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Archive for September 16th, 2009

U.N. Finds Israel War Crimes in Gaza

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 16th, 2009 4:46 am by HL

U.N. Finds Israel War Crimes in Gaza
A U.N. fact-finding mission has concluded “there is evidence indicating serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israel during the Gaza conflict, and that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity.” The report also criticized Palestinian militants for firing rockets into Israel. Israel refused to cooperate with investigators and, the U.N. said, denied them access to both Israel and the West Bank. The U.N. said the blockade of Gaza has kept families living in rubble to this day and is part of a “continuing policy aimed at punishing the Gaza population.”  —PS Download the report here.  Read about it on the BBC / UN News / Haaretz. United Nations Press Release: UN Fact Finding Mission finds strong evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Gaza conflict; calls for end to impunity 15 September 2009 NEW YORK / GENEVA – The UN Fact-Finding Mission led by Justice Richard Goldstone on Tuesday released its long-awaited report on the Gaza conflict, in which it concluded there is evidence indicating serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israel during the Gaza conflict, and that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity. The report also concludes there is also evidence that Palestinian armed groups committed war crimes, as well as possibly crimes against humanity, in their repeated launching of rockets and mortars into Southern Israel. The four members of the Mission* were appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council in April with a mandate to “To investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law that might have been committed at any time in the context of the military operations that were conducted in Gaza during the period from 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, whether before, during or after.” In compiling the 574-page report, which contains detailed analysis of 36 specific incidents in Gaza, as well as a number of others in the West Bank and Israel, the Mission conducted 188 individual interviews, reviewed more 10,000 pages of documentation, and viewed some 1,200 photographs, including satellite imagery, as well as 30 videos. The mission heard 38 testimonies during two separate public hearings held in Gaza and Geneva, which were webcast in their entirety. The decision to hear participants from Israel and the West Bank in Geneva rather than in situ was taken after Israel denied the Mission access to both locations. Israel also failed to respond to a comprehensive list of questions posed to it by the Mission. Palestinian authorities in both Gaza and the West Bank cooperated with the Mission. The Mission found that, in the lead up to the Israeli military assault on Gaza, Israel imposed a blockade amounting to collective punishment and carried out a systematic policy of progressive isolation and deprivation of the Gaza Strip. During the Israeli military operation, code-named “Operation Cast Lead,” houses, factories, wells, schools, hospitals, police stations and other public buildings were destroyed. Families are still living amid the rubble of their former homes long after the attacks ended, as reconstruction has been impossible due to the continuing blockade. More than 1,400 people were killed during the military operation. Significant trauma, both immediate and long-term, has been suffered by the population of Gaza. The Report notes signs of profound depression, insomnia and effects such as bed-wetting among children. The effects on children who witnessed killings and violence, who had thought they were facing death, and who lost family members would be long lasting, the Mission found, noting in its Report that some 30 per cent of children screened at UNRWA schools suffered mental health problems. The report concludes that the Israeli military operation was directed at the people of Gaza as a whole, in furtherance of an overall and continuing policy aimed at punishing the Gaza population, and in a deliberate policy of disproportionate force aimed at the civilian population. The destruction of food supply installations, water sanitation systems, concrete factories and residential houses was the result of a deliberate and systematic policy which has made the daily process of living, and dignified living, more difficult for the civilian population. The Report states that Israeli acts that deprive Palestinians in the Gaza Strip of their means of subsistence, employment, housing and water, that deny their freedom of movement and their right to leave and enter their own country, that limit their rights to access a court of law and an effective remedy, could lead a competent court to find that the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, has been committed. The report underlines that in most of the incidents investigated by it, and described in the report, loss of life and destruction caused by Israeli forces during the military operation was a result of disrespect for the fundamental principle of “distinction” in international humanitarian law that requires military forces to distinguish between military targets and civilians and civilian objects at all times. The report states that “Taking into account the ability to plan, the means to execute plans with the most developed technology available, and statements by the Israeli military that almost no errors occurred, the Mission finds that the incidents and patterns of events considered in the report are the result of deliberate planning and policy decisions.” For example, Chapter XI of the report describes a number of specific incidents in which Israeli forces launched “direct attacks against civilians with lethal outcome.” These are, it says, cases in which the facts indicate no justifiable military objective pursued by the attack and concludes they amount to war crimes. The incidents described include: Attacks in the Samouni neighbourhood, in Zeitoun, south of Gaza City, including the shelling of a house where soldiers had forced Palestinian civilians to assemble; Seven incidents concerning “the shooting of civilians while they were trying to leave their homes to walk to a safer place, waving white flags and, in some of the cases, following an injunction from the Israeli forces to do so;” The targeting of a mosque at prayer time, resulting in the death of 15 people. A number of other incidents the Report concludes may constitute war crimes include a direct and intentional attack on the Al Quds Hospital and an adjacent ambulance depot in Gaza City. The Report also covers violations arising from Israeli treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank, including excessive force against Palestinian demonstrators, sometimes resulting in deaths, increased closures, restriction of movement and house demolitions. The detention of Palestinian Legislative Council members, the Report says, effectively paralyzed political life in the OPT. The Mission found that through activities such as the interrogation of political activists and repression of criticism of its military actions, the Israeli Government contributed significantly to a political climate in which dissent was not tolerated. The Fact-Finding Mission also found that the repeated acts of firing rockets and mortars into Southern Israel by Palestinian armed groups “constitute war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity,” by failing to distinguish between military targets and the civilian population. “The launching of rockets and mortars which cannot be aimed with sufficient precisions at military targets breaches the fundamental principle of distinction,” the report says. “Where there is no intended military target and the rockets and mortars are launched into civilian areas, they constitute a deliberate attack against the civilian population.” The Mission concludes that the rocket and mortars attacks “have caused terror in the affected communities of southern Israel,” as well as “loss of life and physical and mental injury to civilians and damage to private houses, religious buildings and property, thereby eroding the economic and cultural life of the affected communities and severely affecting the economic and social rights of the population.” The Mission urges the Palestinian armed groups holding the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to release him on humanitarian grounds, and, pending his release, give him the full rights accorded to a prisoner of war under the Geneva Conventions including visits from the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Report also notes serious human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests and extra-judicial executions of Palestinians, by the authorities in Gaza and by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. The prolonged situation of impunity has created a justice crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory that warrants action, the Report says. The Mission found the Government of Israel had not carried out any credible investigations into alleged violations. It recommended that the UN Security Council require Israel to report to it, within six months, on investigations and prosecutions it should carry out with regard to the violations identified in its Report. The Mission further recommends that the Security Council set up a body of independent experts to report to it on the progress of the Israeli investigations and prosecutions. If the experts’ reports do not indicate within six months that good faith, independent proceedings are taking place, the Security Council should refer the situation in Gaza to the ICC Prosecutor. The Mission recommends that the same independent expert body also report to the Security Council on proceedings undertaken by the relevant Gaza authorities with regard to crimes committed by the Palestinian side. As in the case of Israel, if within six months there are no good faith independent proceedings conforming to international standards in place, the Council should refer the situation to the ICC Prosecutor. The full report can be found on the web page of the Fact Finding Mission: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/specialsession/9/FactFindingMission.htm For further media information: contact Doune Porter, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Tel: 1-917-367-3292 or +41-79-477-2576. Email: dporter@ohchr.org * The members of the Fact Finding Mission are: Justice Richard Goldstone, Head of Mission; former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa; former Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Professor Christine Chinkin, Professor of International Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science; member of the high-level fact-finding mission to Beit Hanoun (2008). Ms. Hina Jilani, Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan; former Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders; member of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur (2004). Colonel Desmond Travers, former Officer in Ireland’s Defence Forces; member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for International Criminal Investigations. READ THE WHOLE ITEM

A U.N. fact-finding mission has concluded “there is evidence indicating serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israel during the Gaza conflict, and that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity.”

The report also criticized Palestinian militants for firing rockets into Israel.

Israel refused to cooperate with investigators and, the U.N. said, denied them access to both Israel and the West Bank.

The U.N. said the blockade of Gaza has kept families living in rubble to this day and is part of a “continuing policy aimed at punishing the Gaza population.”? —PS

Download the report here.? Read about it on the BBC / UN News / Haaretz.

United Nations Press Release:

UN Fact Finding Mission finds strong evidence
of war crimes and crimes against humanity
committed during the Gaza conflict;
calls for end to impunity

15 September 2009

NEW YORK / GENEVA – The UN Fact-Finding Mission led by Justice Richard Goldstone on Tuesday released its long-awaited report on the Gaza conflict, in which it concluded there is evidence indicating serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israel during the Gaza conflict, and that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity.

The report also concludes there is also evidence that Palestinian armed groups committed war crimes, as well as possibly crimes against humanity, in their repeated launching of rockets and mortars into Southern Israel.

The four members of the Mission* were appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council in April with a mandate to “To investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law that might have been committed at any time in the context of the military operations that were conducted in Gaza during the period from 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, whether before, during or after.”

In compiling the 574-page report, which contains detailed analysis of 36 specific incidents in Gaza, as well as a number of others in the West Bank and Israel, the Mission conducted 188 individual interviews, reviewed more 10,000 pages of documentation, and viewed some 1,200 photographs, including satellite imagery, as well as 30 videos. The mission heard 38 testimonies during two separate public hearings held in Gaza and Geneva, which were webcast in their entirety. The decision to hear participants from Israel and the West Bank in Geneva rather than in situ was taken after Israel denied the Mission access to both locations. Israel also failed to respond to a comprehensive list of questions posed to it by the Mission. Palestinian authorities in both Gaza and the West Bank cooperated with the Mission.

The Mission found that, in the lead up to the Israeli military assault on Gaza, Israel imposed a blockade amounting to collective punishment and carried out a systematic policy of progressive isolation and deprivation of the Gaza Strip. During the Israeli military operation, code-named “Operation Cast Lead,” houses, factories, wells, schools, hospitals, police stations and other public buildings were destroyed.

Families are still living amid the rubble of their former homes long after the attacks ended, as reconstruction has been impossible due to the continuing blockade. More than 1,400 people were killed during the military operation.

Significant trauma, both immediate and long-term, has been suffered by the population of Gaza. The Report notes signs of profound depression, insomnia and effects such as bed-wetting among children. The effects on children who witnessed killings and violence, who had thought they were facing death, and who lost family members would be long lasting, the Mission found, noting in its Report that some 30 per cent of children screened at UNRWA schools suffered mental health problems.

The report concludes that the Israeli military operation was directed at the people of Gaza as a whole, in furtherance of an overall and continuing policy aimed at punishing the Gaza population, and in a deliberate policy of disproportionate force aimed at the civilian population. The destruction of food supply installations, water sanitation systems, concrete factories and residential houses was the result of a deliberate and systematic policy which has made the daily process of living, and dignified living, more difficult for the civilian population.

The Report states that Israeli acts that deprive Palestinians in the Gaza Strip of their means of subsistence, employment, housing and water, that deny their freedom of movement and their right to leave and enter their own country, that limit their rights to access a court of law and an effective remedy, could lead a competent court to find that the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, has been committed.

The report underlines that in most of the incidents investigated by it, and described in the report, loss of life and destruction caused by Israeli forces during the military operation was a result of disrespect for the fundamental principle of “distinction” in international humanitarian law that requires military forces to distinguish between military targets and civilians and civilian objects at all times. The report states that “Taking into account the ability to plan, the means to execute plans with the most developed technology available, and statements by the Israeli military that almost no errors occurred, the Mission finds that the incidents and patterns of events considered in the report are the result of deliberate planning and policy decisions.”

For example, Chapter XI of the report describes a number of specific incidents in which Israeli forces launched “direct attacks against civilians with lethal outcome.” These are, it says, cases in which the facts indicate no justifiable military objective pursued by the attack and concludes they amount to war crimes. The incidents described include:

Attacks in the Samouni neighbourhood, in Zeitoun, south of Gaza City, including the shelling of a house where soldiers had forced Palestinian civilians to assemble;

Seven incidents concerning “the shooting of civilians while they were trying to leave their homes to walk to a safer place, waving white flags and, in some of the cases, following an injunction from the Israeli forces to do so;”

The targeting of a mosque at prayer time, resulting in the death of 15 people.

A number of other incidents the Report concludes may constitute war crimes include a direct and intentional attack on the Al Quds Hospital and an adjacent ambulance depot in Gaza City.

The Report also covers violations arising from Israeli treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank, including excessive force against Palestinian demonstrators, sometimes resulting in deaths, increased closures, restriction of movement and house demolitions. The detention of Palestinian Legislative Council members, the Report says, effectively paralyzed political life in the OPT.

The Mission found that through activities such as the interrogation of political activists and repression of criticism of its military actions, the Israeli Government contributed significantly to a political climate in which dissent was not tolerated.

The Fact-Finding Mission also found that the repeated acts of firing rockets and mortars into Southern Israel by Palestinian armed groups “constitute war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity,” by failing to distinguish between military targets and the civilian population. “The launching of rockets and mortars which cannot be aimed with sufficient precisions at military targets breaches the fundamental principle of distinction,” the report says. “Where there is no intended military target and the rockets and mortars are launched into civilian areas, they constitute a deliberate attack against the civilian population.”

The Mission concludes that the rocket and mortars attacks “have caused terror in the affected communities of southern Israel,” as well as “loss of life and physical and mental injury to civilians and damage to private houses, religious buildings and property, thereby eroding the economic and cultural life of the affected communities and severely affecting the economic and social rights of the population.”

The Mission urges the Palestinian armed groups holding the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to release him on humanitarian grounds, and, pending his release, give him the full rights accorded to a prisoner of war under the Geneva Conventions including visits from the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Report also notes serious human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests and extra-judicial executions of Palestinians, by the authorities in Gaza and by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

The prolonged situation of impunity has created a justice crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory that warrants action, the Report says. The Mission found the Government of Israel had not carried out any credible investigations into alleged violations. It recommended that the UN Security Council require Israel to report to it, within six months, on investigations and prosecutions it should carry out with regard to the violations identified in its Report. The Mission further recommends that the Security Council set up a body of independent experts to report to it on the progress of the Israeli investigations and prosecutions. If the experts’ reports do not indicate within six months that good faith, independent proceedings are taking place, the Security Council should refer the situation in Gaza to the ICC Prosecutor. The Mission recommends that the same independent expert body also report to the Security Council on proceedings undertaken by the relevant Gaza authorities with regard to crimes committed by the Palestinian side. As in the case of Israel, if within six months there are no good faith independent proceedings conforming to international standards in place, the Council should refer the situation to the ICC Prosecutor.

The full report can be found on the web page of the Fact Finding Mission:
http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/specialsession/9/FactFindingMission.htm

For further media information: contact Doune Porter, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Tel: 1-917-367-3292 or +41-79-477-2576. Email: dporter@ohchr.org

* The members of the Fact Finding Mission are:
Justice Richard Goldstone, Head of Mission; former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa; former Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
Professor Christine Chinkin, Professor of International Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science; member of the high-level fact-finding mission to Beit Hanoun (2008).
Ms. Hina Jilani, Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan; former Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders; member of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur (2004).
Colonel Desmond Travers, former Officer in Ireland’s Defence Forces; member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for International Criminal Investigations.

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

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Chris Matthews Hits Joe Wilson: He Offered Obama “A High-Schooler’s Definition Of An Apology” (VIDEO)

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ABC’s Sawyer whitewashes 9-12 protesters’ extremism

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 16th, 2009 4:44 am by HL

ABC’s Sawyer whitewashes 9-12 protesters’ extremism

During an interview with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Good Morning America, Diane Sawyer whitewashed the extremism on display during the 9-12 protests by asserting that people at the protests were “saying things like, look at the reality. We’re facing a $1.6 trillion deficit. If you’re facing IOUs to other countries, where suddenly they own America, our children are imperiled.” In fact, far from simply complaining about the deficit, numerous protesters at the 9-12 rallies held signs featuring inflammatory attacks on Obama and other Democrats, and Good Morning America itself previously interviewed 9-12 protesters who said that “every Democratic politician is working for the mafia” and that Obama is a “communist.”

Sawyer claims 9-12 protesters were “saying things like” the ballooning deficit “imperil[s]” our children

From the September 15 edition of ABC’s Good Morning America:

SAWYER: There were tens of thousands of people in the street in Washington over the weekend, saying things like, “Just look at the reality. If you’re facing a $1.6 trillion deficit, if you’re facing IOUs to other countries, where suddenly they own America, our children are imperiled.”

FEMALE 9/12 PROTESTER : Stop spending our money. I have a grandbaby, we have a grandbaby, a year old, who isn’t going to have a dime.

SAWYER: One woman said, “they won’t have a discretionary dime.”

But many of the protesters’ signs and statements were extreme

Shuster: The 9-12 protesters gathered to “unite in apparent hatred” of Obama. On the September 14 edition of MSNBC’s Countdown, guest host David Shuster noted signs at the 9-12 protest comparing Obama to “Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, and Fidel Castro”; “threaten[ing] the president’s life”; “denigrat[ing] the ancestry and skin color” of Obama “while calling him a liar”; and portraying Obama as a “bloodsucking alien,” an “illegal alien,” and “the devil.” Shuster also noted a sign that “use[d] the death” of Sen. Edward Kennedy to “bury” health care reform legislation.

Reported protest sign: “Bury Obamacare with Kennedy” From Talking Points Memo’s 9-12 protest photo gallery:

Reported protest sign: Obama telling terrorists, “Whoa boys! I’ll take it from here.” From Talking Points Memo’s protest photo gallery:

Reported protest sign: “Obamacare is elderly genocide.” From Talking Points Memo’s 9-12 protest photo gallery:

Reported protest sign: “We came unarmed [this time].” From Talking Points Memo’s protest photo gallery:

Reported protest sign: “Stop” Obama “now” before “we smell the burning flesh from the ovens.” From Talking Points Memo’s protest photo gallery:

Reported protest sign: “The zoo has an African [lion] and the White House has a lyin’ African!” From Wonkette:

ABC’s own reporting undermines Sawyer’s assertion

GMA previously aired protesters pushing “mafia” and “communist” smears. During the September 13 edition of Good Morning America, ABC’s Yunji de Nies interviewed protesters who said that “every Democratic politician is working for the mafia” and that Obama is a “communist.” Like Shuster, de Nies also noted that “Some [protesters] even called to bury Obamacare with Kennedy.” During the show, ABC also aired footage of protesters holding signs depicting Obama as the Joker, comparing Obama to Karl Marx and Josef Stalin, and urging people to “Fight Liberal Fascism.” One sign ABC aired read, in part: “We have waken up to your evil plans to destroy our country. Take your racist, un-American ‘ACORN’ groups and arrogant wife back to your own country.”

During Sawyer’s remarks, ABC aired protester’s sign echoing Rep. Wilson’s “You lie!” outburst. As Sawyer spoke about how the protesters expressed concern about the deficit, ABC aired footage of a protester holding a sign which read: “YOU LIE! NO BIG GVT. TERM LIMITS.” The sign echoed Rep. Joe Wilson’s (R-SC) outburst during Obama’s September 9 joint address to Congress on health reform, in which Wilson shouted, “You lie!” when Obama said “our reform efforts” would not “insure illegal immigrants.” But as ABC’s Jake Tapper stated on the September 10 edition of World News: “Would the president’s reforms apply to illegal immigrants? The answer is no.”

Transcripts

From the September 15 edition of ABC’s Good Morning America:

SAWYER: There were tens of thousands of people in the street in Washington over the weekend, saying things like, “Just look at the reality. If you’re facing a $1.6 trillion deficit, if you’re facing IOUs to other countries, where suddenly they own America, our children are imperiled.”

FEMALE 9/12 PROTESTER : Stop spending our money. I have a grandbaby, we have a grandbaby, a year old, who isn’t going to have a dime.

SAWYER: One woman said, “they won’t have a discretionary dime.”

GEITHNER: We got into this because we borrowed too much. We lived beyond our means, both as a country — many businesses did it, many families did it, and obviously, the financial sector did that. But, in a crisis, in a fire that was that powerful, the government had to do some deeply offensive things to help contain the damage. And we will get out of that as quickly as we can. We’re not going to keep a penny in the financial system or in the U.S. economy longer than we think is absolutely necessary.

From the September 13 edition of Good Morning America:

BILL WEIR: Protesters descend on the nation’s capital to rail against big government, while the president takes his health care pitch on the road. What the battle means for true reform.

[…]

KATE SNOW (ABC correspondent): A galvanizing moment in Washington on Saturday for those opposed to President Obama’s health care plan. Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets to rally against Democrats in Congress and a whole lot more. And ABC’s Yunji de Nies was on the National Mall for the rally. She joins us now from the White House this morning. Good morning, Yunji.

DE NIES: Good morning, Kate. The numbers are hotly debated. Washington officials estimate that as many as 75,000 people marched down Pennsylvania Avenue. Regardless of how many, their message was loud and clear.

[begin video clip]

DE NIES: They came with signs, costumes, and lots of energy. A government they see as too big, wasteful, and out of control.

PROTESTER: We don’t want your new health care. We don’t want any more taxes. We don’t want any more stimulus. We don’t want any more lies.

DE NIES: They carry a great mistrust of almost anyone in office.

PROTESTER: Every poli — Democratic politician is working for the mafia.

MICHAEL GIBBS (protester from Ohio): He’s a communist.

DE NIES: Do you really believe the president is a communist?

GIBBS: I believe he’s not only a communist, but all you have to do is look at the people he’s brought in as czars, you know, and look at the things he’s doing.

DE NIES: Some even called to bury Obamacare with Kennedy. But the marchers insist they’re not extremists.

DARIN INGE (protester from Texas): We have been mischaracterized as a mob, as terrorists, as racists, as gangsters, when really we’re just Americans who are fed up.

DE NIES: The marchers’ message was aimed squarely at the president.

JIM FLAUTHER (protester from Ohio): Start listening to the people, sir. We’ve had just about enough.

DE NIES: Mr. Obama held a health care rally of his own thousands of miles away in Minneapolis.

[end video clip]


Justice To Probe Decision To Drop “New Black Panther” Voter Intimidation Case

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What’s Wrong with South Carolina?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 16th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

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Democrats on Rebound in Ohio

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 16th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

Democrats on Rebound in Ohio
The latest Quinnipiac poll in Ohio finds a general uptick for Democrats over the summer, evidencing itself in higher approval ratings and stronger showings for the party’s U.S. Senate candidates.

In a Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D) has opened a 26% to 17% lead over Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (D), with 55% still undecided.

In a GOP primary, former Rep. Rob Portman (R) leads businessman Tom Ganley (R), 27% to 9%, with 61% still undecided.

In general election matchups, Fisher tops Portman, 42% to 31%, and beats Ganley 41% to 29%. Brunner tops Portman, 39% to 34%, and beats Ganley 39% to 31%.


Religious Right Has-Beens Try for a Resurrection

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 16th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Religious Right Has-Beens Try for a Resurrection

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The Trials of Being a Conscious Meat Eater

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Jimmy Carter: ‘Hamid Karzai Has Stolen the Election’ in Afghanistan

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Why Are African-Americans So Frequently the Subject of Glenn Beck’s Ridicule?

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Vested self interest and the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 16th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Vested self interest and the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
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Three-quarters of doctors support some form of public plan.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 16th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Three-quarters of doctors support some form of public plan.
While public polling indicates that Americans are pretty evenly-divided over health reform efforts, there’s one subgroup of knowledgeable stakeholders who are strongly convinced of the need for passing legislation with a public option. NPR reports that a new survey finds “a large majority of doctors say there should be a public option”: Nearly three-quarters of doctors […]

While public polling indicates that Americans are pretty evenly-divided over health reform efforts, there’s one subgroup of knowledgeable stakeholders who are strongly convinced of the need for passing legislation with a public option. NPR reports that a new survey finds “a large majority of doctors say there should be a public option”:

chart

Nearly three-quarters of doctors want some form of a public plan — 63 percent favor public/private competition while 10 percent want a single-payer system. NPR notes that, “when compared to their patients, doctors are bigger supporters of a public option.” Nevertheless, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) has taken the public option off the table because he says it “cannot pass the Senate.”

GOP lawmaker displays ?I am a friend of Joe Wilson? sign outside his Capitol Hill office. (Updated)
Center for American Progress Policy Analyst Ian Millhiser was on Capitol Hill today and noticed that Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) is proudly hanging a sign in support of Rep. Joe “You Lie!” Wilson (R-SC): Several Republican lawmakers have been rushing to stand by Wilson, including Reps. Steve King (IA) — who defended Wilson’s support for […]

Center for American Progress Policy Analyst Ian Millhiser was on Capitol Hill today and noticed that Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) is proudly hanging a sign in support of Rep. Joe “You Lie!” Wilson (R-SC):

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Several Republican lawmakers have been rushing to stand by Wilson, including Reps. Steve King (IA) — who defended Wilson’s support for the Confederate flag — and Michele Bachmann (MN) — who thanked God for Wilson.


As Right Jabs Continue, White House Debates a Counterpunching Strategy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 16th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

As Right Jabs Continue, White House Debates a Counterpunching Strategy
Facing a near-daily barrage of attacks from conservative opponents, White House officials are engaged in an internal debate over how hard to hit back, even as they have grown increasingly aggressive in countering allegations they deem to be absurd.

Full Slate of Issues Likely to Extend Lawmakers’ Work Calendar
Even as health-care reform dominates the agenda, Congress is confronting so many other issues that lawmakers could be kept at work through the first frost of winter.


President Obama Speaks at a Fundraiser for Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Penn.)
SPEAKER: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA [*] THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Philadelphia! (Applause.) It is good to be back in Philly with a man who’s always put his state before politics, before party — your senator, Arlen Specter. (Applause.) We’ve got a number of other luminaries here today, starting with th…

Mullen Says More Troops Are Probably Needed in Afghanistan
The nation’s top military officer told Congress on Tuesday that the U.S. war in Afghanistan “probably needs more forces” and sought to reassure lawmakers skeptical of sending additional troops that commanders were devising new tactics that would lead to victory over a resurgent Taliban.


U.S. Should Simplify Terror Warning System, Panel Says
A bipartisan task force recommended Tuesday that the Obama administration simplify and reset the U.S. government’s iconic color-coded terrorism warning system to the lowest of three new levels, if it keeps using levels at all.