We are the Liberal Blog From Hollywood
L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

Photographer in L.A.

Hot Pics & Gossip.

Archive for October 18th, 2009

Real Talk on Health Reform

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 18th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Real Talk on Health Reform
President Barack Obama has finally put into words what everyone already knows: that insurance companies are “deceptive and dishonest” in their efforts to kill any semblance of health care reform, no matter the cost. Now let’s see if he does anything with this knowledge.  —JCL Reuters: U.S. President Barack Obama lashed out on Saturday against the “deceptive and dishonest” efforts of health insurance companies, who he said are trying to kill healthcare reform, no matter the cost to the country. Sharpening his attack on insurers, Obama also signaled support for a congressional review of the insurance industry’s long-standing exemption from federal anti-trust laws. Some Democrats want the privilege repealed. The Democratic president’s push to revamp the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare industry, his top domestic policy priority, received a big boost this week when the Senate Finance Committee approved its version of a reform measure with the support of Republican Senator Olympia Snowe. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

health care signs

President Barack Obama has finally put into words what everyone already knows: that insurance companies are “deceptive and dishonest” in their efforts to kill any semblance of health care reform, no matter the cost. Now let’s see if he does anything with this knowledge.? —JCL

Reuters:

U.S. President Barack Obama lashed out on Saturday against the “deceptive and dishonest” efforts of health insurance companies, who he said are trying to kill healthcare reform, no matter the cost to the country.

Sharpening his attack on insurers, Obama also signaled support for a congressional review of the insurance industry’s long-standing exemption from federal anti-trust laws. Some Democrats want the privilege repealed.

The Democratic president’s push to revamp the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare industry, his top domestic policy priority, received a big boost this week when the Senate Finance Committee approved its version of a reform measure with the support of Republican Senator Olympia Snowe.

Read more

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Related Entries


Political Crisis Brews in Afghanistan
Afghanistan may be nearing yet another political crisis as officials fear that President Hamid Karzai will not accept results of an investigation outlining massive fraud in the country’s presidential elections two months ago. The inquiry is expected to drop Karzai’s vote total to under 50 percent, requiring a runoff election. The Guardian: Britain and the United States are attempting to avert a political crisis in Afghanistan as fears mounted in Kabul that Hamid Karzai will refuse to accept the results of an official inquiry into massive electoral fraud that is expected to trigger a fresh round of voting. Diplomatic sources in the Afghan capital said the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, was due to call the Afghan president amid concerns that he will reject the findings of the Election Complaints Commission (ECC), due to be published on Saturday. Downing Street confirmed that Gordon Brown has telephoned the Afghan president twice this week. The US ambassador to Kabul is expected to visit the presidential palace. Clinton indicated that a second round of voting would follow the expected report. “Whatever the ECC’s recommendation is, I believe it should be followed. And if that requires a second round that is what should happen,” she said in an interview with CNN. She added she expected Karzai to win: “I think one can conclude that the likelihood of him winning a second round is probably pretty high.” Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Karzai

Afghanistan may be nearing yet another political crisis as officials fear that President Hamid Karzai will not accept results of an investigation outlining massive fraud in the country’s presidential elections two months ago. The inquiry is expected to drop Karzai’s vote total to under 50 percent, requiring a runoff election.

The Guardian:

Britain and the United States are attempting to avert a political crisis in Afghanistan as fears mounted in Kabul that Hamid Karzai will refuse to accept the results of an official inquiry into massive electoral fraud that is expected to trigger a fresh round of voting.

Diplomatic sources in the Afghan capital said the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, was due to call the Afghan president amid concerns that he will reject the findings of the Election Complaints Commission (ECC), due to be published on Saturday. Downing Street confirmed that Gordon Brown has telephoned the Afghan president twice this week. The US ambassador to Kabul is expected to visit the presidential palace.

Clinton indicated that a second round of voting would follow the expected report. “Whatever the ECC’s recommendation is, I believe it should be followed. And if that requires a second round that is what should happen,” she said in an interview with CNN. She added she expected Karzai to win: “I think one can conclude that the likelihood of him winning a second round is probably pretty high.”

Read more

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Related Entries



Reproductive Justice: Stepping Up the Pressure: The Archbishop Comes to the Abortion Clinic

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 18th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Reproductive Justice: Stepping Up the Pressure: The Archbishop Comes to the Abortion Clinic
Every woman has different life circumstances. Every pregnancy produces different challenges. Who is more able to assess the moral validity of every woman’s abortion? I certainly don’t think it’s the Archbishop.

Congressional Campaign Accounts Invested In Stock Market Boosted By Wall Street Bounce
The recent surge on Wall Street has created a windfall for some Congressional campaigns that invested their political contributions in the stock market during the…

John Kerry On Afghanistan: Sending More Troops Is “Irresponsible” Until Afghan Election Is Settled
In an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union,” Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the United States should not proceed with…

Congressional Committees Quietly Kill Portion Of Derivatives Bill; No One Watching For Systemic Risk
Two congressional committees in charge of drafting legislation to regulate derivatives have quietly killed a provision that would allow the Federal Reserve to police the…

Small Group Now Leads Closed-Door Health Care Reform Negotiations
Three senators are working on the bill behind closed doors. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) sits at the head of a wooden table…


Fox News — home of outrageous smears, falsehoods — promotes “tea parties” protesting “journalistic malpractice”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 18th, 2009 4:40 am by HL

Fox News — home of outrageous smears, falsehoods — promotes “tea parties” protesting “journalistic malpractice”

Fox News has promoted what it has referred to as October 17 “tea part[y]” protests by “Operation: Can You Hear Us Now,” an organization that plans “to show the MSM [mainstream media] that we as the American Public are absolutely fed up with their journalistic malpractice.” However, Fox News has committed acts of “journalistic malpractice” including outrageous smears against Obama administration officials, passing off Republican press releases as its own research, deceptively editing videos and quotes, and invoking the Nazis to smear President Obama.

Fox News promotes October 17 “tea parties” protesting “journalistic malpractice”

Fox News website The Fox Nation has promoted October 17 “tea parties marching on media outlets.” Linking to the website OperationCanYouHearUsNow.com, a post on The Fox Nation stated:

Operation: Can You Hear Us Now? organizing October 17 protests against “journalistic malpractice.” According to the Frequently Asked Questions page of the Operation: Can You Hear Us Now? website, the protests are a “nationwide event meant to show the MSM that we as the American Public are absolutely fed up with their journalistic malpractice.”

Fox News has repeatedly promoted other “tea party” protests. Fox News aggressively promoted and covered what it labeled “FNC Tax Day Tea Parties” that took place on April 15. It has since promoted and covered numerous follow-up protests.

Fox News has run with numerous outrageous smears against individuals and organizations

Beck: Obama is a “racist” and “has a deep-seated hatred for white people, or the white culture.” Glenn Beck has said: “This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy — over and over and over again — who has a deep-seated hatred for white people, or the white culture — I don’t know what it is. But you can’t sit in a pew with Jeremiah Wright for 20 years and not hear some of that stuff and not have it wash over.” He later added, “I’m not saying that he doesn’t like white people. I’m saying he has a problem. He has a — this guy is, I believe, a racist. Look at the way — look at the things he has been surrounded by.” [Fox & Friends, 7/28/09]

Fox hosts falsely claimed that Kevin Jennings covered up sexual assault. Sean Hannity repeatedly ignored evidence to falsely claim that Jennings, director of the Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, ignored the statutory rape of a 15-year-old student, even advancing the falsehood after the claim had been widely debunked. Fox News hosts Bill Hemmer and Bret Baier also advanced this smear. Additionally, Hannity and Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers also smeared Jennings — who counseled someone who was of age at the time and who has said he did not have a sexual relationship — with the outrageous suggestion that he is comparable to film director Roman Polanski, who was charged with rape and pleaded guilty to having sex with a girl who was 13 at the time after allegedly plying her with drugs and alcohol.

Hannity falsely claimed that State Department official Koh wanted Sharia law in the United States. Hannity has also claimed that Harold Koh, the State Department’s legal adviser, “advocates the use of Sharia law in America” and that Koh has said “Sharia law can be applied in American courts.” The claim has been denied by Koh himself during Senate testimony, Koh’s spokesman, and the organizer of the event at which Koh supposedly made the remarks about Sharia law. In addition, University of California-Davis law professor Anupam Chander wrote in an April 2 blog post that “[i]n the 71 articles penned by Harold Koh that appear in the Westlaw law review database, there is but one article that mentions Sharia,” and in that article, Koh “denounces the government of Iran for ‘impos[ing] a strict form of Sharia law that denies basic rights to women and minorities.’ “

Fox News promoted fake murder story from ACORN video. On September 15 and 16, Fox News devoted significant programming to conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe and Townhall.com columnist Hannah Giles’ video of their interactions with a San Bernardino, California, ACORN worker who claimed that she had murdered her ex-husband and gave advice on how to run a brothel. The ACORN employee stated after the video was released that she had merely been attempting to “shock them as much as they were shocking me.” In running with the video, Fox News hosts frequently promoted the fake claim that the ACORN employee killed her ex-husband without fact-checking the allegation or indicating that they had contacted ACORN for a response. [Media Matters for America, 9/16/09]

Fox personalities falsely claimed White House official opposed rat elimination, supported forced organ donations. Beck falsely claimed that Cass Sunstein, head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, “believes that everyone must be an organ donor.” Beck also falsely claimed on September 9 that Sunstein said “you should not be able to remove rats from your home if it causes them any pain.” Similarly, Fox News reporter James Rosen claimed: “Rats could attack us in the sewers and court systems if all of Cass Sunstein’s writings became law.”

Beck claimed Van Jones was a “convicted felon.” On August 11, Beck accused Van Jones, whom he described as Obama’s “green jobs czar,” of being a “convicted felon … who spent, I think, six months in prison after the Rodney King beating.” In fact, as Eva Paterson, president and founder of the Equal Justice Society, has explained, “Van [Jones] has never served time in any prison. He has never been convicted of any crime.”

Beck falsely claimed Anita Dunn “worships” “her hero” Mao Zedong. Throughout most of his October 15 Fox News program, Beck falsely claimed that White House communications director Anita Dunn “worships” and “idolizes” “her hero” Mao Zedong. In fact, in the video that Beck aired as evidence to support his claims, Dunn offered no endorsement of Mao’s ideology or atrocities — rather, she commented that Mao and Mother Teresa were her two of her “favorite political philosophers,” and based on short quotes from them, she offered the advice that “you don’t have to follow other people’s choices and paths” or “let external definition define how good you are internally

Fox trumpets CAIR conspiracy theory charges made by author with anti-Islam history. Repeated Fox News segments reported that, in Bret Baier’s words, “Republican lawmakers say the Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR, is trying to infiltrate Capitol Hill by placing interns in key positions,” an allegation stemming from a right-wing book whose author has a history of making outrageous and anti-Islamic assertions and is published by WorldNetDaily, which has its own history of making outrageous allegations and inflammatory remarks. Moreover, the document that Republican Reps. Sue Myrick (NC), John Shadegg (AZ), Paul Broun (GA), and Trent Franks (AZ) cited as evidence of CAIR’s alleged activities is stolen and does not support their claims.

Fox News guilty of doctoring quotes

Fox News doctors Biden quote to falsely claim he was praising economy in March. On March 16, Live Desk co-host Martha MacCallum claimed that “after weeks of economic doom and gloom, the Obama administration is now singing a slightly different tune. Take a look at what was said in recent interviews this weekend.” Live Desk then aired clips of administration officials purportedly giving an optimistic view of the economy, which included video of Vice President Joe Biden stating, “The fundamentals of the economy are strong.” However, Biden did not make those remarks during an “interview” that weekend; he made them at a September 2008 campaign event in which he criticized statements by Sen. John McCain. MacCallum apologized the next day.

Fox News reporter distorts Obama comments on health care. On April 24, White House correspondent Wendell Goler cropped a comment by Obama and took it out of context — effectively reversing the statement’s meaning — to falsely suggest that Obama supports creating a health care system “like the European countries.”

Happening Now crops clips of Obama to promote “another apology tour.” On June 2, Happening Now co-host Jon Scott asked if “the president’s upcoming trip [to Europe and the Middle East will] be what conservatives might call another apology tour,” and both Scott and co-host Jane Skinner aired cropped clips of Obama’s remarks from an April 3 speech in France to falsely suggest that Obama only criticized the United States. In doing so, Happening Now joined conservative commentators and Fox News hosts who have cropped or misrepresented Obama’s overseas remarks to falsely suggest, in the words of Hannity, that Obama was “blam[ing] America first” and, more broadly, that Obama’s earlier overseas trip constituted an “apology tour.”

Fox News passes off GOP research as its own

Fox News’ Hemmer “keeping track of the stimulus money” — by lifting research from GOP website. On April 23, Hemmer repeatedly suggested information about four “interesting” projects reportedly funded by the economic recovery act was obtained through Fox News’ own research, even though nearly all of the information Hemmer mentioned, as well as that included in on-screen text and graphics, first appeared on Rep. Eric Cantor’s Republican Whip website.

America’s Newsroom pushes discredited GOP calculation of Obama’s cap-and-trade proposal. On April 2, guest host Alisyn Camerota asserted that the cost of Obama’s cap-and-trade proposal “would be $3,100 per U.S. household.” The claim was advanced by the House Republican Conference in a March 23 “Talking Points” press release, and the Republicans reportedly purported to back up the claim by pointing to a 2007 study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). But MIT professor John Reilly, one of the authors of the study, has disputed the GOP’s calculation, stating that his study “has been misrepresented” and that the Republicans’ claim of an average household cost of $3,128 was significantly higher than the correct figure. PolitiFact.com rated the $3,100 figure a “pants on fire” falsehood.

Happening Now passes off GOP press release as its own research — typo and all. During the February 10 edition of Happening Now, Scott purported to “take a look back” at how the economic recovery plan “grew, and grew, and grew.” In doing so, Scott referenced seven dates, as on-screen graphics cited various news sources from those time periods — all of which came directly from a Senate Republican Communications Center press release. A Fox News on-screen graphic even reproduced a typo contained in the Republican press release. The following day, Scott apologized — for running the typo. Scott’s apology was criticized by Washington Post media critic and CNN host Howard Kurtz, who said: “We sometimes jab at the pundits for using talking points, but in the case of Fox News anchor Jon Scott, it was literally true this week. … You should be apologizing for using partisan propaganda from the GOP without telling your viewers where it came from. Talk about missing the point.”

Happening Now posts “FOXfact[s]” about GOP budget nearly identical to GOP Rep. Ryan’s op-ed. Two segments on the April 1 Happening Now aired “FOXfact[s]” purporting to describe facts about the House Republican budget. However, all seven of the “FOXfact[s]” displayed on-screen were nearly identical to portions of an op-ed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) published in that day’s Wall Street Journal.

Fox News’ Beck repeatedly compares Obama administration people, policies to Nazis

Beck compared auto bailouts to the actions of German companies “in the early days of Adolf Hitler.” On April 1, after stating, “I am not saying that Barack Obama is a fascist,” Beck said, “If I’m not mistaken, in the early days of Adolf Hitler, they were very happy to line up for help there as well. I mean, the companies were like, ‘Hey, wait a minute. We can get, you know, we can get out of trouble here. They can help, et cetera, et cetera.’ “

Beck compared TARP to “what happened to the lead-up with Hitler.” On the April 21 edition of Fox Business’ Money for Breakfast, Beck said of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, “This is not comparing these people to the people in Germany, but this is exactly what happened to the lead-up with Hitler. Hitler opened up the door and said, ‘Hey, companies, I can help you.’ They all ran through the door. And then in the end, they all saw, ‘Uh-oh. I’m in bed with the devil.’ They started to take their foot out, and Hitler said, ‘Absolutely not. Sorry, gang. This is good for the country. We’ve got to do these things.’ And it was too late.”

Beck said “the Germans” during Hitler’s rise “were an awful lot like we are now.” On the June 10 edition of his Fox News program, Beck stated: “I think the Germans, however, were an awful lot like we are now. We’re kind of living in a denial, like, ‘No, no, that can’t really be happening. No, that really — I’ — you don’t want to believe some things, but you have to. You have to actually think about them.”

Beck airs photos of Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, asks, “Is this where we’re headed?” On the April 2 edition of his Fox News program, while teasing the next day’s show, Beck asked, “Is this where we’re headed?” while airing photos of Hitler, Josef Stalin, and Vladimir Lenin.


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 18th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Presented By:

Muslim Ex-Bush Official: ‘Intern Spy’ Hunt Threatens Careers Of Good Americans
Says former Bush official Suhail Khan of the GOP “Muslim intern spy” hunt on the Hill: “Really what they’re trying to do here is to scare otherwise thoughtful members and chiefs of staff from hiring Muslims.”


Tales From the FOXholes, Part 9

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 18th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Tales From the FOXholes, Part 9


Shame on Schumer and Gillibrand

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 18th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Shame on Schumer and Gillibrand
Ben Smith of Politico reports that New York’s Senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, have withdrawn their names from the host committee for J Street’s upcoming first-ever conference. Schumer departed first, before the Congressional sponsor list was published; Gillibrand was…


Sponsored Topics: New YorkKirsten GillibrandChuck SchumerBen SmithUnited States

The Lost Generation
This is the most frightening economic chart I have seen in the last decade. Net private investment, which includes spending on everything from machine tools to new houses, minus depreciation, fell to 0.1% of gross domestic product in the second…



Sponsored Topics: Gross domestic productInvestmentBusinessGreat DepressionEnergy


Obama rips health insurance lobby as ?deceptive,? ?dishonest,? ?bogus.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 18th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Obama rips health insurance lobby as ?deceptive,? ?dishonest,? ?bogus.?
Earlier this week, the health insurance lobby AHIP (America’s Health Insurance Plans) issued a false and dishonest report claiming that the Baucus health care bill would increase health care costs. Even the firm hired to do the analysis — PriceWaterhouseCoopers — backpedaled from the report’s conclusions. The insurance lobby’s strategy backfired as it appeared […]

Earlier this week, the health insurance lobby AHIP (America’s Health Insurance Plans) issued a false and dishonest report claiming that the Baucus health care bill would increase health care costs. Even the firm hired to do the analysis — PriceWaterhouseCoopers — backpedaled from the report’s conclusions. The insurance lobby’s strategy backfired as it appeared to alienate Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), who voted with the Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee. But Republicans dutifully peddled the study to try to sink health reform. In his weekly address, President Obama struck back at the insurance lobby, calling them out for their deception and deceit:

This is the unsustainable path we’re on, and it’s the path the insurers want to keep us on. In fact, the insurance industry is rolling out the big guns and breaking open their massive war chest – to marshal their forces for one last fight to save the status quo. They’re filling the airwaves with deceptive and dishonest ads. They’re flooding Capitol Hill with lobbyists and campaign contributions.  And they’re funding studies designed to mislead the American people. […]

It’s smoke and mirrors. It’s bogus. And it’s all too familiar. Every time we get close to passing reform, the insurance companies produce these phony studies as a prescription and say, “Take one of these, and call us in a decade.” Well, not this time. The fact is, the insurance industry is making this last-ditch effort to stop reform even as costs continue to rise and our health care dollars continue to be poured into their profits, bonuses, and administrative costs that do nothing to make us healthy – that often actually go toward figuring out how to avoid covering people. And they’re earning these profits and bonuses while enjoying a privileged exception from our anti-trust laws, a matter that Congress is rightfully reviewing.

Watch it:

Of course, the best way to keep insurance companies honest would be to pass a robust public health insurance plan — a provision that Obama did not talk about in his weekly address.

Maddow and Olbermann respond to George H.W. Bush?s attack on them as ?sick puppies.?
In an interview with CBS News radio yesterday, former President George H.W. Bush called assailed the tone of our national discourse. “I don’t like it. The cables (TV) have a lot to do with it,” he said, adding that MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann were partly responsible: The Republican elder statesman said, “It’s not just […]

In an interview with CBS News radio yesterday, former President George H.W. Bush called assailed the tone of our national discourse. “I don’t like it. The cables (TV) have a lot to do with it,” he said, adding that MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann were partly responsible:

The Republican elder statesman said, “It’s not just the right.” He complained, “there are plenty of people on the left.”

While he said he does not believe in personal name-calling, he singled out MSNBC personalities Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow calling them “sick puppies.”

“The way they treat my son and anyone who’s opposed to their point of view is just horrible,” Mr. Bush said.

Last night, Maddow invited Olbermann, who was out sick, to call in and discuss Bush’s statements on her show. “I think that I can speak on your behalf here and say that we’re very grateful for the former president’s concern about our health,” Olbermann joked. He then noted the irony behind Bush’s attack. “I mean he’s the father of the process that took us to the place we are now. He is the man who employed Roger Ailes. He and Roger Ailes are the men who ran the Willie Horton ad against Mike Dukakis.” Watch it:


Surprise Hurdle for Illinois Front-Runner

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 18th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Surprise Hurdle for Illinois Front-Runner
CHICAGO, Oct. 17 — Alexi Giannoulias set out to make himself the inevitable Democratic nominee for President Obama’s old Senate seat. But resistance from an unexpected quarter has slowed him down.

Medical Device Makers Court Unlikely Allies in Health Debate
Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken of Minnesota are blue-state Democrats strongly supportive of President Obama’s health-care reform efforts. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is a Republican presidential contender who has loudly criticized Obama’s plans.

Fact Checker
In a campaign that has shifted the debate to taxes, State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, the Democratic candidate for governor, accuses Republican candidate Robert F. McDonnell of exaggerating the potential cost of Deeds’s proposals to Virginia’s families.



Ignore FOX News

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 18th, 2009 4:30 am by HL

Ignore FOX News
Jacob Weisberg, Slate
Barack Obama Last week, when White House communications director Anita Dunn charged the Fox News Channel with right-wing bias, Fox responded the way it always does. It denied the accusation with a straight face while proceeding to confirm it with its coverage. Take a look at Fox's own Web story on the episode. It begins by quoting a Fox News senior vice president named Michael Clemente, who says: “It's astounding the White House cannot distinguish between news and opinion programming. It seems self-serving on their part.” Then it quotes David Gergen, the gravelly voice of…

Who You Calling Deranged?
Jonathan Chait, The New Republic
Democracy Corps has a very interesting survey about the worldview of conservative Republicans. The focus group interviews show that the Republican right, which consists of about a fifth of the electorate, is held together by a set of beliefs that goes well beyond small government and traditional values. "Our groups showed that they explicitly believe [Obama] is purposely and ruthlessly executing a hidden agenda to weaken and ultimately destroy the foundations of our country," reports the survey. Conservatives further believe that Obama’s policies are not merely…

Spend and Deliver

The Case for Humility in Afghanistan
Steve Coll, Foreign Policy