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Archive for October 31st, 2009

Camping Out in Our Own Backyard

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 31st, 2009 4:45 am by HL

Camping Out in Our Own Backyard
Despite protests by many Latin countries, the Obama administration and Colombia have signed a deal that gives the U.S. military access to seven Colombian bases. The U.S. and Colombia say the pact is aimed at countering drug trafficking, but some of Colombia’s neighbors see it as American interventionism. The BBC: The United States and Colombia have signed a deal giving the US military access to seven Colombian bases. Both the US and Colombia have previously stressed their aim is to use the bases to combat drug trafficking and rebels. The prospect of the deal had caused alarm among some of Colombia’s neighbours, who object to an increased US military presence. Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela have all recently expressed concern. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

SA Obama

Despite protests by many Latin countries, the Obama administration and Colombia have signed a deal that gives the U.S. military access to seven Colombian bases. The U.S. and Colombia say the pact is aimed at countering drug trafficking, but some of Colombia’s neighbors see it as American interventionism.

The BBC:

The United States and Colombia have signed a deal giving the US military access to seven Colombian bases.

Both the US and Colombia have previously stressed their aim is to use the bases to combat drug trafficking and rebels.

The prospect of the deal had caused alarm among some of Colombia’s neighbours, who object to an increased US military presence.

Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela have all recently expressed concern.

Read more

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

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James Zogby: J Street Again

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 31st, 2009 4:44 am by HL

James Zogby: J Street Again
On October 25th the Arab American Institute and J Street convened a joint meeting, that brought leaders and activists from both communities together as…

Sarah Granger: A Sad Day for Californians: Gavin Newsom’s Withdrawl from the Race for Governor
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Gautam Dutta: A Hypocrite Bashes Immigrants
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Media echo GOP’s fixation on size of House health care reform bill

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 31st, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Media echo GOP’s fixation on size of House health care reform bill

Following the release of the House Democrats’ health care reform bill, the leaders of the House Republican caucus repeatedly stressed the length and size of the bill during an October 29 press conference. Numerous media figures and outlets have followed in lockstep, with the Politico‘s Jonathan Allen asserting that the bill “comes out to about $2.24 million per word,” and Sean Hannity claiming that “if you can’t put this down in 30 pages or less, it proves that this is a complicated, you know, bunch of bureaucratic garbage.”

House Republicans harp on length of House bill

Boehner issues statement on “Speaker Pelosi’s 1,990-Page Government Takeover of Health Care.” House Minority Leader John Boehner stated on October 29 that “[t]he fact that it weighs in at nearly 2,000 pages — more than 620 pages longer than the government takeover of health care Hillary Clinton proposed in 1993 — is as good an indication as any of just how costly and unsustainable Speaker Pelosi’s proposal is.”

Barton: “[T]hat’s about four reams of paper.” Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) stated at the October 29 Republican leadership press conference, “I would say, 1,990 pages — that’s about four reams of paper. I would say that the people getting reamed are the American people.”

Pence: “[T]his legislation actually uses the word ‘shall’ 3,425 times.” Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) stated during the press conference: “After weeks of backroom negotiations, now the Democrats have emerged with a bill that isn’t a thousand pages; it’s 1,990 pages. It isn’t just the mandates included in the last bill, but this legislation actually uses the world ‘shall’ 3,425 times. The American people don’t want to see a mountain range of taxes and mandates and debt burdened on this generation and the next.”

Blunt: “I’ve sponsored nine bills … I don’t think any of them are 100 pages long.” Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) stated during the press conference that “one of the things we heard, beginning with the 1,056-page stimulus bill, is let’s see what’s in the bill. Let’s talk about what’s in the bill. And Republicans have a lot of — a lot of bills out there. I don’t think any of the — I’ve sponsored nine bills, nine different bills. I don’t think any of them are 100 pages long.” He later added, ” ‘Shall’ over 3,000 times sounds like a pretty significant government intervention in health care.”

Cantor: Do the people believe this “nearly 2,000-page bill is not going to explode the federal deficit? I don’t think so.” Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) stated at the press conference, “Do the American people really believe this bill — this nearly 2,000-page bill — is not going to explode the federal deficit? I don’t think so.” As he spoke, Cantor held up the bill.

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Media parrot House GOP talking points on size of bill

Politico does entire story on physical appearance of the bill. In an article headlined, “House health bill clocks in at 1,990 pages,” Politico writer Jonathan Allen wrote, “It runs more pages than War and Peace, has nearly five times as many words as the Torah, and its tables of contents alone run far longer than this story.” Allen added, “The House health care bill unveiled Thursday clocks in at 1,990 pages and about 400,000 words. With an estimated 10-year cost of $894 billion, that comes out to about $2.24 million per word.” He further reported Republican concerns about the weight and height of the bill. [Politico, 10/29/09]

Hannity: “[I]f you can’t put this down in 30 pages or less, it proves that this is a complicated, you know, bunch of bureaucratic garbage.” Fox News host Sean Hannity stated of the bill, a copy of which he had on set, “My gosh, I could work out with this.” He added, “Nineteen hundred pages. That — if you can’t put this down in 30 pages or less, it proves that this is a complicated, you know, bunch of bureaucratic garbage.” During the program, conservative columnist S.E. Cupp stated of the bill, “It’s longer than War and Peace. It’s longer than Atlas Shrugged. And it’s longer than Les Mis.

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Drudge Report: “$2.2M A WORD.” With the headline, “$2.2M A WORD,” the Drudge Report highlighted Allen’s Politico article. Drudge also featured the headline, “Pelosi’s biggest one yet! 1,990 pages,” which linked to a Politico blog post that did not mention the length of the bill but reported on “[a]n anti-Pelosi activist” who called Pelosi a Nazi. A third Drudge link stated, “Boehner: ‘1,990 Pages of Bureaucracy,’ ” and linked to a clip of Boehner’s press conference. The following headlines were posted on the Drudge Report on October 30:

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Dobbs: “Pelosi’s massive government takeover of the health care system — here it is, 1,990 pages of it.” CNN host Lou Dobbs stated, “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s massive government takeover of the health care system — here it is, 1,990 pages of it, at least $1 trillion, and that’s the first estimate.” He had on set copies of the House and Senate Finance Committee bills and later added, “I think it’s really important we be straightforward and honest with everyone watching us right now and listening to us. This is 1,000 — if we can show this — 1,992 pages. This is House Bill 3962. This is Senate 1796. It is — it’s crazy. This is 1,502 pages here under my left hand.”

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Cafferty: “Look at that thing. … [Y]ou need a truss just to carry that out of the office.” Jack Cafferty stated on CNN’s The Situation Room, “It’s 2,000 pages long. And that’s the one in the House. They’ve got another one — there’s John Boehner with a copy of that legislation. Look at that thing. You could hardly — you need a truss just to carry that out of the office.” He added that “the original legislation creating Social Security — it was called the 1935 Economic Security Act. It was 64 pages long. The question this hour is — we’ll have more on this, by the way, tomorrow. We’re working on a little something.”

Fox & Friends hosts four reams of blank paper. Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy had a crew member carry a stack of paper on set and stated of the House bill, “It’s 1,990 pages. We have not printed it out, because we didn’t want to go through a couple of printers. But it is effectively four reams of paper. It weighs 20 pounds. It’s a foot tall. … Extraordinarily, with the 400,000 words — I think it was Politico that averaged it costs us $2.2 million per word what’s in this thing.” Guest host Alyson Camerota also stated, “How can you lift this?” and later added, “Unbelievable the price tag and the reams of paper that are clearly killing some rain forest somewhere.”

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NY Post “editorial,” “2,000 pages of ObamaCare costs,” is just a Boehner quote. The New York Post published an editorial titled, “2,000 pages of ObamaCare costs.” However, the “editorial” consisted of a photo of Pelosi and a quote from Boehner stating, in part, that “[t]he fact that it weighs in at nearly 2,000 pages — more than 620 pages longer than the government takeover of health care Hillary Clinton proposed in 1993 — is as good an indication as any of just how costly and unsustainable Speaker Pelosi’s proposal is.” [New York Post, 10/30/09] From the New York Post on October 30:

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Charles Hurt: “[B]ill uses the word ‘shall’ 3,425 times.” In a New York Post column, Charles Hurt echoed Pence, writing: “At nearly 2,000 pages, this latest bill uses the word ‘shall’ 3,425 times. In other words, it’s just another massive bill where the feds tell people what to do on every page.” [New York Post, 10/30/09]


Bush Nuclear Regulator Contacted Potential Employers With Business Before Agency

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 31st, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Bush Nuclear Regulator Contacted Potential Employers With Business Before Agency
A Bush administration official on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission broke ethics rules by approaching companies with business before the agency, and inquiring about employment, according to an internal report.

Leaked House Ethics Doc: Less Than Meets The Eye?
The cable news networks have jumped all over the ethics document leaked to the Washington Post showing that over 30 members of Congress have been subjects of “inquiries” by the House ethics committee. But several of the members in question were cleared of wrongdoing, and it’s worth asking how much new information has really come to light here.


Study: Lack of health care insurance a factor in 17,000 child deaths

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 31st, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Study: Lack of health care insurance a factor in 17,000 child deaths
I wonder how the pro-lifers who are against health care reform will react to this… Excerpt: Lack of adequate health care insurance may have contributed to the deaths of some 17,000 hospitalized U.S. children over the past two decades, according to a study by the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. “Thousands of children die needlessly each year because we […]


Newsom Quits Governor’s Race

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 31st, 2009 4:38 am by HL

Newsom Quits Governor’s Race
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) “abruptly abandoned his run for California governor Friday, folding in the face of weak poll numbers and a skimpy bank account and leaving state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown as the only major candidate bidding for the Democratic nomination,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“Newsom’s announcement in a statement issued just after 3 p.m. was surprising mainly for its timing, a full seven months before the primary. For weeks, rumors circulated among political insiders that Newsom would exit the race absent a dramatic turnabout in his fortunes. The arrival of his first child, a daughter born seven weeks ago, increased that speculation.”


Glenn Beck Peddles Populism for Rich Guys

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 31st, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Glenn Beck Peddles Populism for Rich Guys
The Fox News shock jock weaves a tale of wealthy elites who are victims of tyrannical government hell-bent on taking their hard-earned money.

The Right Isn’t Only Trying to Take Down ACORN, It’s Got a 25-Year Project to ‘Defund’ the Left
GOP Rep. Michele Bachman may have revealed more than she intended when she recently crowed that the attacks on ACORN were just the start of a campaign to "defund the left."

There Is a Way to Help Avoid Heart Disease and Diabetes: You Are What You Eat!
A plant-based diet is both preventative and healing, whereas a diet high in animal protein is destructive to our health.


Bring Out the Cots

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 31st, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Bring Out the Cots
So Joe Lieberman thinks he’s a mighty force? Here’s what Harry Reid could tell him and his stalwart allies: Show us the mettle, Joe & Co. If you want to filibuster, make it a real filibuster. None of this namby-pamby…


Sponsored Topics: Harry ReidJoe LiebermanFilibusterUnited StatesSouth Carolina

Jon Stewart Creates Sea Change on Middle East Coverage
Not long ago, no mainstream media personality would ever allow himself to be associated with anyone who suggests that diplomacy, not war, is the way to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Being thought of as not 100% down with the government…


Sponsored Topics: Middle EastIsraeli–Palestinian conflictWarfare and ConflictMass mediaIsrael-Palestine


Lieberman plans to campaign for Republicans in 2010.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 31st, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Lieberman plans to campaign for Republicans in 2010.
After joining with Republicans this week in a promise to filibuster health reform if a public option is included, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) tells ABC News that he plans on campaigning for some GOP candidates in the 2010 elections: I probably will support some Republican candidates for Congress or Senate in the elections in […]

McCain, Lieberman, and Graham After joining with Republicans this week in a promise to filibuster health reform if a public option is included, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) tells ABC News that he plans on campaigning for some GOP candidates in the 2010 elections:

I probably will support some Republican candidates for Congress or Senate in the elections in 2010. I’m going to call them as I see them.

There’s a hard core of partisan, passionate, hardcore Republicans. There’s a hard core of partisan Democrats on the other side. And in between is the larger group, which is people who really want to see the right thing done, or want something good done for this country and them — and that means, sometimes, the better choice is somebody who’s not a Democrat.

Lieberman also said it remains an “open question” whether he will seek the Democratic nomination when he runs for re-election in 2012. Last month, Lieberman also joked that he may run as a Republican. In September 2008, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter — who was then still a member of the GOP — ironically said that Lieberman was “practically” voting as a Republican already and should just switch parties.


House committee investigating Rep. Laura Richardson

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 31st, 2009 4:34 am by HL

House committee investigating Rep. Laura Richardson
The House ethics committee is investigating whether Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) failed to disclose information about a controversy last year in which her home was put into foreclosure and sold. The sale was invalidated after Richardson said she had not known of the sale and had previously re…

Dismissal recommended for earmark ethics allegation against Rep. Bishop
Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (D-Ga.) has a letter from the Office of Congressional Ethics saying that it would recommend dismissal of allegations against him involving an earmark he requested for a program that employed some of his relatives.

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In Congress, a call to review internal cybersecurity policies
House leaders on Friday called for an “immediate and comprehensive assessment” of congressional cybersecurity policies, a day after an embarrassing data breach that led to the disclosure of details of confidential ethics investigations.