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Archive for September 11th, 2009

Insurance Stocks Rise After Obama Speech

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 11th, 2009 4:45 am by HL

Insurance Stocks Rise After Obama Speech
Remember President Obama’s reference during his health care address to “Wall Street’s relentless profit expectations”? Well, those expectations were apparently met by that same address. Insurance company stocks got a boost from the speech, which foreshadowed the death of the public option and promised to deliver millions of currently “irresponsible” customers. Speaking of the uninsured, at last count there were more than 46.3 million.  —PS Reuters: Shares of U.S. health insurers climbed on Thursday after analysts saw no “game changers” from President Barack Obama’s highly anticipated speech on health reform. Following the speech, analysts predicted any changes to the system would be moderate, with Obama backing many initiatives put forth earlier this week by a leading Senate committee. The possibility a threatening public health plan would be enacted also now seemed doubtful, analysts said. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

President Obama

Remember President Obama’s reference during his health care address to “Wall Street’s relentless profit expectations”? Well, those expectations were apparently met by that same address. Insurance company stocks got a boost from the speech, which foreshadowed the death of the public option and promised to deliver millions of currently “irresponsible” customers.

Speaking of the uninsured, at last count there were more than 46.3 million.? —PS

Reuters:

Shares of U.S. health insurers climbed on Thursday after analysts saw no “game changers” from President Barack Obama’s highly anticipated speech on health reform.

Following the speech, analysts predicted any changes to the system would be moderate, with Obama backing many initiatives put forth earlier this week by a leading Senate committee. The possibility a threatening public health plan would be enacted also now seemed doubtful, analysts said.

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Rep. Joe Wilson’s Apology (Plus a Campaign Plug)
So, Congressman Joe Wilson heckled President Obama during Wednesday’s speech on health care reform. On Thursday, Obama accepted Wilson’s apology, but that same day the South Carolina lawmaker leveraged the situation by posting this video calling for voters’ support and announcing he was “under attack by liberals for standing up against a government takeover of health care.” READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Joe Wilson

So, Congressman Joe Wilson heckled President Obama during Wednesday’s speech on health care reform. On Thursday, Obama accepted Wilson’s apology, but that same day the South Carolina lawmaker leveraged the situation by posting this video calling for voters’ support and announcing he was “under attack by liberals for standing up against a government takeover of health care.”

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Obama Is Facing Doubts From Dems On Afghanistan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 11th, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Obama Is Facing Doubts From Dems On Afghanistan
The leading Senate Democrat on military matters said Thursday that he was against sending more American combat troops to Afghanistan until the United States…

Olbermann Offers “Special Comment” On Joe Wilson: ‘You’ve Embarrassed The Nation’ (VIDEO)
On “Countdown” tonight host Keith Olbermann offered a “Special Comment” about Republican Congressman Joe Wilson yelling out “you lie” during President Obama’s speech last night…

Natalie Holder-Winfield: Joe Wilson — This One’s Too Easy
A South Carolina talk show host said it best, “Joe Wilson didn’t lose himself. He was just being himself.”

SC GOP Joins Lawmakers Asking Sanford To Resign
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Leaders of South Carolina’s Republican Party voted Thursday to ask Gov. Mark Sanford to resign, joining an increasing number of GOP officials…

Joe Wilson Explains His Actions, Asks For Campaign Cash (VIDEO)
Joe Wilson is not letting his notoriety go to waste. Not to be outdone by his potential opponent for Congress in 2010, Rob Miller, who…


Fox News’ partisans accuse Obama of “partisan hackery”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 11th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Fox News’ partisans accuse Obama of “partisan hackery”

Responding to President Obama’s September 9 speech to Congress on health care reform, in which Obama denounced “bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform,” Sean Hannity, Karl Rove, and Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. asserted that the speech was, in Hannity’s words, “full of partisan hackery.” But Hannity, Rove, and Johnson have each repeatedly fearmongered or advanced false attacks while discussing health care reform, including the charges that reform would deny care for the elderly or that the administration is encouraging military veterans to end their lives.

Hannity: Obama’s “attack speech” was “full of partisan hackery”

From the September 9 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

HANNITY: Now, tonight, the president did his best to sell Americans on the idea that the government should control their health care. And while trying to position himself as a neutral and fair arbiter of Capitol Hill’s petty partisan disputes, he delivered an attack speech that could have been written by James Carville.

[…]

HANNITY: All right, but this president would never do that, right? Now, President Obama both lectures Americans and hypocritically attacks those who disagree with him. Hope and change gave way to cynicism and intimidation tonight, for this president lives in a world where only he tells the truth and everyone disagrees with him — well, is either a liar or a thug.

OBAMA : Some of people’s concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts but by prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Now, such a charge would be laughable if it weren’t so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple.

HANNITY: Oh, it’s a lie? So when was the last time that a president of United States called a joint session of Congress to speak in prime time and deliver what amounts to be a campaign speech full of partisan hackery.

But Hannity himself has repeatedly advanced false attacks on health care reform

Hannity falsely claimed health bill doesn’t have “any restrictions” on undocumented immigrants. Purporting to quote from a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, Hannity falsely claimed that the health care reform bill “does not contain any restrictions on non-citizens whether legally or illegally present” and that there is “proof that illegal immigrants could very well be covered by the Democrats’ health care plan.” In fact, the bills under consideration do prohibit undocumented immigrants from receiving subsidies to purchase health insurance. [Hannity, 8/26/09]

Hannity falsely claimed Obama accused “ObamaCare” opponents of “bearing false witness.” Hannity misrepresented a statement that Obama made during a conference call with religious leaders, claiming that Obama “talked about those of us that oppose ObamaCare as, quote, ‘bearing false witness.’ ” In fact, Obama was not calling out opponents of health insurance reform, but rather those who have misinformed about it, stating: “I know there’s been a lot of misinformation in this debate, and there are some folks out there who are, frankly, bearing false witness, but I want everyone to know what health insurance reform is all about.” [Hannity, 8/20/09]

Hannity asked: Is VA document “equivalent of a death panel?” Hannity said during an interview with Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele: “[A]pparently, they’ve got this document that they show veterans at all our VA hospitals, and they asked — there’s a section in which it says, have you ever heard anyone say, I’m a vegetable, pull the plug; I’m a severe burden financially on my family; I’m causing severe emotional damage to my family?” Hannity asked Steele if the manual is “the equivalent of a death panel,” and Steele replied that “in my view, it very well could be.” [Hannity, 8/20/09]

Hannity falsely claimed businesses would be “punished” if they “don’t go for the public option.” Hannity falsely claimed that if small businesses “don’t go for the public option” under a House health care reform bill, “they’re going to be punished.” In fact, the penalty on small business would apply to businesses that don’t provide health care, not specifically on those that “don’t go for the public option.” [Hannity, 8/18/09]

Hannity falsely claimed bill establishes a “bureaucrat” to offer “end-of-life advice.” Hannity claimed that end-of-life provisions in the bill would establish “a bureaucrat that is designated to save money talking to an elderly person and offering them end-of-life advice.” In fact, the end-of-life provisions would reimburse physicians — not “a bureaucrat” — for voluntary counseling sessions. [Hannity, 8/18/09]

Rove: Obama advanced “a series of very glaring misstatements or distortions” during “gratuitously and bitterly partisan” speech

From the September 9 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor:

ROVE: This was not an exceptionally good speech. It was gratuitously and bitterly partisan. But I think the biggest problem was the section in which he talked about the so-called lies and misstatements about his proposal. He dealt with five of them, and in each one of them he made a series of very glaring misstatements or distortions.

Rove has previously advanced false attacks on health care reform

Contradicting CBO, Rove suggested “most companies” will “dump the coverage” under House bill. Rove stated that the House health care reform bill “says if you’re a business you can either continue to provide health care to your employees or you can pay a fine equal to 8 percent of your payroll costs. Well, for most companies, what they’re now paying for health insurance is in excess of 8 percent of their payroll costs.” But according to the Congressional Budget Office, net employer coverage will increase under the House bill and only “about 3 million people” who would otherwise be covered under employer plans “would not have an offer of coverage under” HR 3200. [The O’Reilly Factor, 9/9/09]

Rove falsely claimed Obama administration is pushing veterans toward “assisted suicide.” Rove claimed that the Veterans Health Administration is directing veterans to an end-of-life educational booklet, “Your Life, Your Choices,” that includes contact information for “a group that believes in assisted suicide,” and thus “the kind of guidance we’re giving returning veterans” is “you ought to go to an assisted suicide group.” In fact, that group is not referenced in the current version of the document, a fact that Jim Towey — who originated the smear of the booklet as a “death book” — acknowledged in an interview on Fox News Sunday. [Hannity, 8/24/09]

Rove distorted Obama statement to suggest he is considering a “health care system like the European countries.” Rove wrote that, in 2008, the Obama campaign “ran ads attacking ‘government-run health care’ as ‘extreme.’ Now Mr. Obama is asking, as he did at a townhall meeting last month, ‘Why not do a universal health care system like the European countries?’ Maybe because he was elected by intimating that would be ‘extreme’?” In fact, in the town hall remarks Rove quoted, Obama was paraphrasing the question he had just been asked — “Why can we not have a universal health care system, like many European countries, where people are treated based on needs rather than financial resources?” — before explaining why he opposed such a system. [Wall Street Journal, 4/30/09]

Peter Johnson Jr.: Speech was “partisan spectacle” with “scary” level of “anger and bitterness and outrage”

From the September 9 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

HANNITY: First of all, I want to say from the outset, the president sounds like he’s talking out of both sides of his mouth. He gives a very partisan speech in Cincinnati, very partisan speech tonight.

You know, and by the way, they’re going after you if you don’t agree, you know, if you don’t have the facts as he sees them. He rejects every reform the Republicans offer, and, you know, attacks Bush, attacks talk radio, attacks cable.

JOHNSON: Well, you know, he promised in the speech to replace acrimony with civility. And I was waiting for four words: “I hear you, America. I hear the town halls.” I didn’t hear those words, “I hear you America.”

Instead we got a partisan spectacle, scare tactics, bickering, games, distortion, misinformation, demagoguery, lies, scary tactics, all attributed to town hall people and Republicans in this country.

HANNITY: And he said, “I will call you out. We will call you out.” Is that the Chicago threat?

JOHNSON: So I was expecting a speech in which there was moral suasion. Instead there was a level of anger and bitterness and outrage —

HANNITY: I thought so, too.

JOHNSON: — that was in some sense scary.

Johnson has previously fearmongered about health care reform

Johnson claimed health care reform is “the government deciding who will live, who will die.” Responding to a video in which Obama discussed reducing costs by providing information to doctors and patients about which treatments aren’t “necessarily going to improve care,” Johnson stated: “President as social engineer. President as bioethicist. The government deciding who will live, who will die. You’re too old. You’re too young. … Is that what this plan is about? To save money by killing old people? That’s frightening. It’s absolutely frightening.” [Fox & Friends, 6/25/09]

Johnson compared end-of-life counseling to “Brave New World, Solent Green, 1984.Johnson stated that “advance care planning consultation is kind of our 2009 Brave New World, Soylent Green, 1984, Aldous Huxley kind of world.” [Fox & Friends, 7/28/09]


GOP Lawmaker’s Graphic Sex-Bragging Caught On Tape

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 11th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

GOP Lawmaker’s Graphic Sex-Bragging Caught On Tape
A married California Republican state lawmaker and family values champion is caught on a hot mic telling a colleague, in graphic terms, about his affairs with two women, one of whom is an energy lobbyist.

Duvall Probe Could Look At Other Lawmaker-Lobbyist Affairs
The ethics probe into whether Mike Duvall sold votes for sex could expand to look at other lawmakers’ affairs with lobbyists. The state attorney general has not commented on calls from pressure groups to launch his own investigation of the issue.

Duvall Won “Ethics In America” Award
Mike Duvall, who just resigned as a California lawmaker after a hot mic picked up the married conservative Republican bragging about his sexual exploits, won an ethics award in 2000.






Rep. Joe Wilson’s War

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 11th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

Rep. Joe Wilson’s War


Money Flows After Wilson’s Outburst

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 11th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Money Flows After Wilson’s Outburst
The major beneficiary of Rep. Joe Wilson’s (R-SC) outburst towards President Obama Wednesday night is the lawmaker’s rival Rob Miller (D) who is raising huge amounts of money online. As of this morning, Miller has raised more than $700,000 from nearly 20,000 donors.

In fact, Wilson released a video apologizing for letting his emotions “get the best of me.” he then asks for supporters to contribute to his campaign fund because, “They want to silence anyone who speaks out against it.”

However, Charlie Cook has a reality check: “Some news accounts have noted South Carolina GOP Rep. Joe Wilson faces a ‘tough race’ in 2010. Not so fast — this conservative seat remains relatively secure for the GOP, even after Wilson’s outburst. After all, Democrat Rob Miller’s 46% showing in 2008 was largely attributable to Obama’s strong 45% in the state, a factor Miller won’t enjoy again. Instead, this looks like simply more of a distraction for the GOP. Wilson’s remark itself isn’t likely to be a huge problem for him 14 months from now, but the instant cash it has generated should make Miller one of Democrats better-funded challengers next year.”


Obama’s Quagmire Looks a Lot like Vietnam

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 11th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Obama’s Quagmire Looks a Lot like Vietnam

The way he's headed on Afghanistan, Barack Obama is threatened with a quagmire that could bog down his presidency.

14 Things You Need to Know About Obama Heckler, Rep. Joe Wilson

He was mentored by notorious racist Strom Thurmond, he's taken hundreds of thousands from the health industry, and "Joe" isn't even his real name.

After Targeting Van Jones, Glenn Beck Takes His shot at Hip-Hop Activist Yosi Sergant

Glenn Beck uses smear attacks to push for White House staffer Yosi Sergant's resignation for organizing artists to support Obama's national service program.


It Begins: Jewish Organizations In DC Today For Iran Push

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 11th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

It Begins: Jewish Organizations In DC Today For Iran Push
Check out this press release announcing Iran Advocacy Day. It’s today and it marks the start of the fall push on Iran The United Jewish Communities (formerly called UJA) is about as mainstream a Jewish organization as exists in this…


Sponsored Topics: IranUnited Jewish CommunitiesMiddle EastDC ComicsSociety and Culture

Why the Death of Why? Celebrified Journalism & Right-Wing Lynch Mobs
Andrea’s book, The Death of Why, could not come out at a more appropriate time. It’s premise has unfortunately become a truism – in the American Idiocracy, we have stopped asking even the simplest questions, much less the tough…


Sponsored Topics: Right-wing politicsWarfare and ConflictIraq WarGlenn BeckVan Jones

Outliers: We Stand On Guard For Thee
I did something embarrassing this past summer. I bought and read the (then) #1 non-fiction best seller: Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers. I expected the usual Gladwell, smart, off-beat, the distiller of academic psychological data for people responsible for judging (and perhaps…


Sponsored Topics: Malcolm GladwellOutliers: The Story of SuccessCanadaUnited StatesHistory


Hoyer: Rep. Joe Wilson ?ought to apologize to the House.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 11th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Hoyer: Rep. Joe Wilson ?ought to apologize to the House.?
Last night, after Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) interrupted President Obama’s speech by yelling, “you lie!,” Wilson issued a statement of apology and followed it up with a call to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. But House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) doesn’t think Wilson’s efforts at repentance go far enough. On MSNBC’s Morning […]

Last night, after Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) interrupted President Obama’s speech by yelling, “you lie!,” Wilson issued a statement of apology and followed it up with a call to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. But House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) doesn’t think Wilson’s efforts at repentance go far enough. On MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, Hoyer called Wilson’s actions “inappropriate” and “shameful,” adding, “I think, frankly, he ought to apologize to the House as well because not only did he undermine the civility in the House of Representatives.” Watch it:

Before Wilson issued his apology last night, Hoyer told WTOP that “there’ll be time enough to consider whether or not we ought to make it clear that that action is unacceptable in the House of Representatives.” On ABC’s Good Morning America today, Vice President Biden responded to Wilson by saying, “I was embarrassed for the chamber and a Congress I love.”

Rep. Jean Schmidt tries to insist she?s not a birther.
At a Labor Day tea party in Cincinnati, OH, ThinkProgress captured exclusive footage of Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) whispering to a birther, “I agree with you, but the courts don’t.” Watch it: Yesterday, Schmidt issued a statement attempting to back away from her comments, claiming that she was only agreeing “that the constitution should be […]

At a Labor Day tea party in Cincinnati, OH, ThinkProgress captured exclusive footage of Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) whispering to a birther, “I agree with you, but the courts don’t.” Watch it:

Yesterday, Schmidt issued a statement attempting to back away from her comments, claiming that she was only agreeing “that the constitution should be strictly interpreted”:

The President is indeed a Citizen of this country and constitutionally qualified to be President of the United States. I may not agree with his politics but there is no doubt he is the President and has my full respect. The video clip being circulated by some is part of a longer conversation with a woman who was very upset about a number of things. I, in no way, agree with her belief that President Obama is not a citizen of the United States. I did agree with her view that the constitution should be strictly interpreted. I was trying to be kind to a woman who was trying desperately and passionately to express her views. She has the right to her beliefs, no matter how much I disagree with them.

Despite this statement, as Politico’s Glenn Thrush has noted, it’s clear from the footage that Schmidt was playing a “wink-wink game” with the birther crowd.


Joe Wilson Harks Back to Tradition of Rowdy South Carolina Politics

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 11th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Joe Wilson Harks Back to Tradition of Rowdy South Carolina Politics
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) mastered politics in a state where no-holds-barred political combat dates to the days before the Civil War, when one of its congressmen entered the Senate chamber and beat a Massachusetts senator with a cane for attacking pro-slavery Southerners.

Washington Sketch: Republicans Are Mad, if Not Joe Wilson-Shouting-Mad
John Boehner of Ohio, the House Republican leader, showed up half an hour late for his weekly news conference on Thursday, but he had a good excuse: He had been trying to persuade Joe Wilson to apologize on the floor of the House for shouting “You lie!” at President Obama during his address to…

Obama Health-Care Reform Plan Still Lacks Specifics
One day after President Obama pitched his plan for comprehensive health-care reform to a joint session of Congress, administration officials struggled Thursday to detail how he would achieve his goal of extending coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans without increasing the deficit.


Post Interview Transcript: Iran’s Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi
Transcript of an interview with Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi, top aide to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on Sept. 10, 2009, in his office in Tehran. The interview was translated from Farsi by The Washington Post.