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Archive for March 22nd, 2010

Millions in Bangladesh Poisoned by Arsenic

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2010 4:57 am by HL

Millions in Bangladesh Poisoned by Arsenic
Up to 20 million people in Bangladesh are at risk of suffering early deaths because of arsenic poisoning — the legacy of a well-intentioned but ill-planned water project that created a devastating public health catastrophe. Bangladesh’s arsenic crisis dates back to the 1970s when, in an effort to improve the quality of drinking water and counter diarrhoea, there was large-scale international investment in building tube wells. It was believed the wells would provide safe supplies for families, otherwise dependent on dirty surface water which was killing up to 250,000 children a year. The arsenic contaminating so much of Bangladesh’s water occurs naturally in the water courses of the rivers that sustain hundreds of millions of people.


Late Late Night FDL: After Hours

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2010 4:56 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: After Hours
Featuring new videos from Sarah Jarosz and Ilirjana Alushaj Elizabeth Harper Annie Hart Jane Herships Jessica Lauretti Caroline Polachek Erika Spring-Forster Natalie Weiss.

Featuring two new videos, First “Look at Miss Ohio” from Sarah Jarosz (vocals), Mary Maguire (guitar), Jeff Horton (bass), Tim Fitzpatrick (guitar), Bill Francis (guitar), Mike Barnett (fiddle), Mike Kropp (banjo), Steve Ide (harmonica).

Second video, “Come As You Are” by Eric Robertson (mandolin) and Ilirjana Alushaj Elizabeth Harper Annie Hart Jane Herships Jessica Lauretti Caroline Polachek Erika Spring-Forster Natalie Weiss.

What’s on you mind tonight?

Tags: Sarah Jarosz

Twittertwatters Are Seriously Unfriending Baby-Eating Bart Stupak
Nun-hatin’ Bart Stupak was once the whacking material poster boy for undercooked-baby worshipers.

Nun-hatin’ Bart Stupak was once the whacking material poster boy for  undercooked-baby worshipers.

This is no more.

…and my favorite

Word is bong. Awesome.

(Added) To toot my own horn:

Tags: Bart Stupak, health care reform, Twitter

Early Morning Swim: The House Passes Health Reform
Epic teabagging fail.

David Frum:

Conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s.

[…]

We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or – more exactly – with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?

Epic teabagging fail.

Tags: Early Morning Swim, health care reform


Obama: ‘This Government Still Works’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2010 4:54 am by HL

Obama: ‘This Government Still Works’
The president, speaking after the passage of health care reform, said, “We proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things.”

The president, speaking after the passage of health care reform, said, “We proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things.”

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Lincoln Mitchell: What the Health Care Bill Might Mean

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2010 4:53 am by HL

Lincoln Mitchell: What the Health Care Bill Might Mean
The health care bill has finally passed, but its meaning is still unclear. The process and debate around the health care bill has been extraordinary…

Steven Weber: War of Choice: Part 2
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Valerie Taliman: US Human Rights Record Challenged
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Where do Indian nations go when United States’ courts have failed them, and justice is unattainable? The Haudenosaunee Confederacy – the oldest…


Wallace falsely claims water allocations, ND bank provisions are “special deals” that are “in the bill”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2010 4:52 am by HL

Wallace falsely claims water allocations, ND bank provisions are “special deals” that are “in the bill”

Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace falsely claimed that deals for “one bank in North Dakota” and “more water supplies for farmers in central California” were “special deals” to ensure passage of health care reform legislation. In fact, the water allocations are a Department of the Interior decision based on heavier winter rainfall, and a provision that would have benefited the Bank of North Dakota was removed from the bill.

Wallace claims water allocations, bank provision are “special deals” in health care bill

Wallace cites “special deals” that are “still in the bill.” On the March 21 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday, Wallace asked Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), “[D]idn’t Speaker Pelosi end up using a lot of taxpayer money to buy votes for this bill?” Wallace listed what he claimed were “special deals” that would ensure passage of the health care reform bill, citing as examples “the one deal for the one bank in North Dakota” and “more water supplies for farmers in central California.”

Will brings water-allocation conspiracy theory to ABC. Appearing on This Week, Washington Post columnist George Will stated, “Now, I understand politics is a transactional business, but some of the transactions in this — are you a little all embarrassed about water suddenly being released to the California valley because of health care?”

Provision benefiting Bank of North Dakota is not “in the bill”

Manager’s amendment removed state-owned bank provision. A proposal that would have exempted state-owned banks from a provision to eliminate federal subsidies for private lenders — originally contained on Page 145 of the reconciliation bill — was removed from the reconciliation bill that will be voted on by the House. From the manager’s amendment:

Page 145, beginning on line 18, strike section 2213 (and redesignate the succeeding section accordingly).

Politics Daily:Special Provision for North Dakota Bank Removed From Health Bill.” A March 18 Politics Daily article reported that “Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) Thursday sought the removal of a special provision he had written into the package of fixes to the Senate health care bill that would have applied only to the Bank of North Dakota. The provision would have allowed the Bank of North Dakota to continue to originate and service student loans even though a pending overhaul says that all such loans will originate through the U.S. Department of Education, beginning July 1.”

NPR: “OUT: A student-loan provision for North Dakota, from Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND).” A March 19 National Public Radio article provided examples of “what’s in, what’s out and why” and reported that the “student-loan provision for North Dakota” is “out.” According to the article, “when the exemption became controversial, Conrad asked the House to remove it.”

Increased water allocation is not “in the bill”: DOI announced it as a result of increased winter rain and improved storage in California

DOI: “Interior Announces Increased Water Supply Allocations in California.” A decision to increase water allocation for farmers in California’s Central Valley is not “in the bill,” as Wallace claimed. The U.S. Interior Department announced increased water supply allocations, citing “additional precipitation, improved snowpack, and improved storage at Shasta Reservoir.” From a March 16 Department of the Interior press release:

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that the Bureau of Reclamation’s 2010 Central Valley Project Water Supply allocations have increased throughout the valley as a result of additional precipitation, improved snowpack, and improved storage at Shasta Reservoir. As forecast by Reclamation on February 26, California is having a near-average water year following three years of drought.

The Department is deeply committed to working with all stakeholders to find solutions to the challenges — both short term and long term — facing water users throughout the Central Valley,” said Secretary Salazar, who was joined on the teleconference by Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Mike Connor. “In this case, we accelerated our reporting of updated allocations, hoping to get the best available information to agricultural water service contractors as quickly as possible. This allocation update shows improvements from the previous allocation — just as we hoped in our recent announcement.

WSJ: Salazar said, “Winter rains have helped replenish the state’s biggest reservoir.” In a March 17 article, The Wall Street Journal noted that California’s Central Valley had been experiencing severe drought and that the “increase is made possible, Mr. Salazar said, in part because winter rains have helped replenish the state’s biggest reservoir, Lake Shasta, which now stands at 81% of capacity, compared with 55% a year ago.” Salazar also “said he moved up the announcement by a week or so ‘because people on the ground and farming need to have certainty.’ ” The Journal reported that Salazar’s announcement “further eas[ed] drought concerns in a state where El Niño rains have raised the mountain snowpack after three severely dry years.”

AP: “Interior secretary: Recent storms mean California farmers, cities will get more water.” In a March 17 article, the Associated Press wrote, “A series of drenching storms have replenished many of California’s reservoirs, freeing up more water for parched farms and cities throughout the state, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Tuesday.”


Ominously For Ensign, Probe’s Focus Appears To Shift To Possible Quid Pro Quo

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2010 4:51 am by HL

Ominously For Ensign, Probe’s Focus Appears To Shift To Possible Quid Pro Quo
Buried under the pile of details that have emerged in the last 48 hours on the John Ensign investigation is one crucial over-arching development: The federal probe into the matter appears to have expanded, and shifted its focus in a way that may could make it an even graver threat to the Nevada senator than before.


California Bar Now Investigating Orly Taitz
The State Bar of California is investigating Orly Taitz, a process that could ultimately result in the Birther attorney’s disbarment, Taitz and her lawyer confirmed to TPMmuckraker.



GOP Blundered Big Time on Health Care Reform Bill

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2010 4:47 am by HL

GOP Blundered Big Time on Health Care Reform Bill


Reactions to the Health Care Vote

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2010 4:46 am by HL

Reactions to the Health Care Vote
Matthew Yglesias: “Now that it’s done, Barack Obama will go down in history as one of America’s finest presidents. It’s always possible of course that, like LBJ, he’ll get involved in some unrelated fiasco that mars his reputation. But fundamentally, he’s reshaped the policy landscape in a way that no progressive politician has done in decades.”

Marc Ambinder: “Republicans had bet that throwing everything into killing the bill would result in the bill’s defeat. The entire strategy was predicated on killing the bill. Now that the bill has passed, it means that the health care system has been fundamentally changed, and there’s no way — and there will not be the votes — to repeal it. No one will tell seniors that the donut hole will be opened up, or people promised new insurance that they’ll have to look elsewhere, or that rescission will once again be legal. Democrats will work for to force Republicans to talk about repeal as often as possible.”

Matthew Continetti: “Do not believe anyone who tells you they understand the path American politics will take after this vote. It is truly unique.”

Jonathan Chait: “Let me offer a ludicrously premature opinion: Barack Obama has sealed his reputation as a president of great historical import. We don’t know what will follow in his presidency, and it’s quite possible that some future event–a war, a scandal–will define his presidency. But we do know that he has put his imprint on the structure of American government in a way that no Democratic president since Lyndon Johnson has.”

David Frum: “No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the ‘doughnut hole’ and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?”

Josh Marshall: “Again, I don’t want to paint any rosy pictures. And, as I said, I don’t want to hazard any predictions. But I think this conventional wisdom is quite mistaken. Hard fought victories don’t deplete political capital; they build it. And political wins themselves often have a catalyzing effect that shapes political opinion far more than we realize.”

Story of the Day
New York Times: “House Democrats approved a far-reaching overhaul of the nation’s health system on Sunday, voting over unanimous Republican opposition to provide medical coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans after an epic political battle that could define the differences between the parties for years.”

Washington Post: “House Democrats scored a historic victory in the century-long battle to reform the nation’s health-care system late Sunday night, winning final approval of legislation that expands coverage to 32 million people and attempts to contain spiraling costs.”

Wall Street Journal: “The biggest transformation of the U.S. health system in decades won approval on Capitol Hill late Sunday, the culmination of efforts by generations of Democrats to achieve near-universal health coverage.”

USA Today: “Congress completed action Sunday night on the major portion of President Obama’s top priority, a historic restructuring of the nation’s health care system that has eluded his predecessors for more than a century.”

Los Angeles Times: “Ending the Democrats’ decades-long quest to create a healthcare safety net to match Social Security, the House of Representatives on Sunday night approved sweeping legislation to guarantee Americans access to medical care for the first time, delivering President Obama the biggest victory of his young presidency.”


The Future of Drug Reform Is Bright

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2010 4:45 am by HL

The Future of Drug Reform Is Bright
The Students for a Sensible Drug Policy conference in San Francisco was a major demonstration of youthful, activist energy to change the drug paradigm.

The Students for a Sensible Drug Policy conference in San Francisco was a major demonstration of youthful, activist energy to change the drug paradigm.

Most Progressive Legislation in My Lifetime Passes

This post was originally published on the Booman Tribune. Here’s the Roll Call for the Health Care bill that passed tonight with a 219-212 tally. Thirty-four Democrats voted against it and no Republicans voted for it. The Republicans are totally steamed. One, as yet unidentified, member of Congress yelled ‘Baby-Killer’ at Bart Stupak on the House floor. […]

Are Greedy Water Bottlers Siphoning Your City’s Drinking Water?
Bottled water giants are pilfering water from rural towns and cities, while their products are trashing the planet and putting a hole in our pockets. It’s time to call it quits.

Bottled water giants are pilfering water from rural towns and cities, while their products are trashing the planet and putting a hole in our pockets. It's time to call it quits.

Winograd vs. Harman in CA Primary: Will U.S. or Israel?s Interests Come First?

(This article is based on one that will appear in the upcoming May/June 2010 issue of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs: http://www.wrmea.com) Sunday, March 14, 2010, ushered in two welcome events to Southern California: the inauguration of the headquarters of the bustling Winograd For Congress primary campaign, and an extra hour of daylight to […]

200,000 March For Immigration Reform in Massive D.C. Rally
The message was clear: fix our broken immigration system, stop the deportations that split up families, and allow immigrants to come to the US legally and to earn legal status.

The message was clear: fix our broken immigration system, stop the deportations that split up families, and allow immigrants to come to the US legally and to earn legal status.


Book Review: Zionism’s Invented State

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 22nd, 2010 4:44 am by HL

Book Review: Zionism’s Invented State
Israeli Exceptionalism: The Destabilizing Logic of Zionism by M. Shahid Alam Palgrave Macmillan, 272 pp., £55.00 Israeli Exceptionalism: The Destabilizing Logic of Zionism arrived in the mail shortly after I completed sending a thank you note to two other authors…


ZionismState of IsraelMiddle EastPoliticsIsrael

Can House Democratic Committee Chairs Oppose the Party’s Signature Legislation and Keep Their Posts?
As we wait to find out if the Democratic Party will round up enough votes to pass health reform, proving they can deliver on a priority they have declared for more than half a century, much of the media…


DemocraticHealthcare reformUnited StatesPoliticsParties