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Archive for March 28th, 2010

Sunday Talking Heads: March 28, 2010

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 28th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Sunday Talking Heads: March 28, 2010
Health care, Republicans vs Democrats, Roundtables.

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13…  Pop the video open into its own window to better enjoy it (h/t Mano).  The beauty of numbers.

And behold the bobbleheads:

Washington Journal: 7:45am – Frm. Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), Republican Main Street Partnership, President & CEO and Fmr. Rep. Martin Frost (D-TX), Fmr. House Democratic Caucus Chairman.  8:45am – Fmr. Democratic Nat’l Cmte. Chairman Howard Dean (2005-09) & Democracy for America, Founder.  9:20am – Matt Kibbe, FreedomWorks, President & CEO.

ABC’s This Week:
Jake Tapper hosts.  Valerie Jarrett.  Then, Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MI) and Gov. Ed RendellRoundtable: George Will, Donna Brazile, Peggy NoonanPaul Krugman.

Amanpour.

CBS’ Face The Nation:
Tim Kaine, DNC Chairman; Sen. Jim DeMint ( R-SC); Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN).

Chris Matthews: Howard Fineman Newsweek; Kelly O’Donnell NBC News; Gloria Borger CNN; Andrew Sullivan The Atlantic.  Topics: Real Health Care Push: Will It Be A Winning Issue for Dems or Republicans?  Elephants in the Room: Are Tea Partiers The Real Republicans Or Party Spoilers?

CNN’s State of the Union: White House adviser David Axelrod.  Then, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD).

Fareed Zakaria – GPS: President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, on the violent drug war wracking that country, sparking civilian death rates that rival Iraq and Afghanistan.  Then, health care with Paul Krugman of Princeton and the New York Times and Robert Samuelson of Newsweek and the Washington Post.

Fox News Sunday: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist v former Florida Speaker of the House Marco Rubio.

NBC’s Meet The Press: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Roundtable: Doris Kearns Goodwin; Jon Meacham; Mike Murphy; Bob Shrum.

Newsmakers:
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate describes how the agency has changed since Hurricane Katrina. He also discusses the function, budget and oversight of FEMA. In 2003 the agency was absorbed into the Dept. of Homeland Security.

Q & A: David Martin, National Security Correspondent for CBS News. He covers the State Department and Pentagon. His stories appear on the CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes, and 48 Hours.

Religion & Ethics: Pilgrimage Through Holy Week.  Catholic Sexual Abuse Scandals.  Juarez Drug Wars. Immigrant Rights Freedom Seder.  Pamela Greenberg, a poet on the Psalms.

60 Minutes: The Case Against Nada Prouty – Former FBI and CIA terrorism fighter Nada Prouty was herself accused of aiding terrorism, but in her first interview, she denies she was anything other than a patriot.  The Russian Is ComingMikhail Prokhorov, perhaps Russia’s richest man, discusses his planned purchase of the N.J. Nets basketball team, his vast wealth and the surprisingly unusual way he made most of his money in his first American television interview.  The Sharkman – Anderson Cooper dives unprotected with great white sharks and the South African who’s spent more time up close with the ocean’s most feared predator than anyone else.

To The Contrary: Topics:  1- Women, sexism, and Newsweek 40 years later; 2- The rise in male-on-male sexual harassment charges.  Panelists: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC); Linda Chavez; Karen Czarnecki; Melinda HennebergerWeb Exclusive: Taking On Immigration…Again
There’s a new plan in Congress to tackle the immigration issue.

Univision’s Al Punto: Lou Dobbs, Former CNN anchor; Dr. Elmer Huerta, Public Health Expert, Dr. Jane Delgado, president and chief executive officer of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health; Mario Kreutzberger aka Don Francisco, Host of “Sábado Gigante” (Giant Saturday).

Virtually Speaking: James Fallows and Bruce Schneier.

C-SPAN’s Book TV.

FDL Book Salon: Notes from the Cracked Ceiling: Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and What It Will Take for a Woman to Win. “In a probing analysis sure to ignite controversy, acclaimed White House correspondent Anne Kornblut argues that the optimists are blind to formidable obstacles that still stand in the way of any woman who aims for America’s highest political offices.”  Chat with Anne Kornblut and host Nona Willis Aronowitz, 5pm ET.

FDL Movie Night Monday: Yoga, Inc. “Today the spiritual practice of yoga is a competitive, commercialized, mega-industry. Can yoga survive with its good karma intact?”  Watch it online, then chat with Producer/Director/Writer John Philp and host Lisa Derrick, 8pm ET.

?


Late Late Night FDL: Springtime For Pluto
Springtime For Pluto. This Walt Disney Studios cartoon was released on June 23, 1944.

Springtime For Pluto.  This Walt Disney Studios cartoon was released on June 23, 1944.

Directed by Charles Nichols.  Animation by George Nicholas, Norman Tate, Marvin Woodward, and Sandy Strother.  Story by Nick George and Eric Gurney.  Layout by Charles Philippi.  Backgrounds by Lenard Kester.  Music by Oliver Wallace.

What’s on your mind?


Time’s Up for ‘24’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 28th, 2010 4:46 am by HL

Time’s Up for ‘24’
Friday marked a sad day for American exceptionalism. Jack Bauer, the heart-throbby, knows-no-rules lead character in “24,” will no longer appear on TV. Fox announced its decision to cancel the series at the end of its current, eighth season. But fear not, torture fans: Producers are looking to turn “24” into a feature film. —JCL Reuters: The Fox TV network on Friday stopped the clock on its action adventure series “24,” ending one of its most successful dramas as ratings began to slip in its current, eighth season. The final, two-hour program will air on May 24, and in the countdown to that last show, the network will air 11 hours of uninterrupted episodes on Monday nights. “This has been the role of a lifetime, and I will never be able to fully express my appreciation to everyone who made it possible,” the show’s star, Kiefer Sutherland, said in a statement. “Looking ahead to the future, (executive producer) Howard Gordon and I are excited about the opportunity to create the feature film version of ‘24’,” Sutherland added. Read more

Friday marked a sad day for American exceptionalism. Jack Bauer, the heart-throbby, knows-no-rules lead character in “24,” will no longer appear on TV. Fox announced its decision to cancel the series at the end of its current, eighth season. But fear not, torture fans: Producers are looking to turn “24” into a feature film. —JCL

Reuters:

The Fox TV network on Friday stopped the clock on its action adventure series “24,” ending one of its most successful dramas as ratings began to slip in its current, eighth season.

The final, two-hour program will air on May 24, and in the countdown to that last show, the network will air 11 hours of uninterrupted episodes on Monday nights.

“This has been the role of a lifetime, and I will never be able to fully express my appreciation to everyone who made it possible,” the show’s star, Kiefer Sutherland, said in a statement.

“Looking ahead to the future, (executive producer) Howard Gordon and I are excited about the opportunity to create the feature film version of ‘24’,” Sutherland added.

Read more

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Barbara Bush Hospitalized

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 28th, 2010 4:45 am by HL

Barbara Bush Hospitalized
HOUSTON — Former first lady Barbara Bush was hospitalized Saturday in Houston to undergo routine tests but doctors don’t suspect anything serious, a family spokeswoman…

Obama Recess Appointments: 5 More He Should Make (Vote For Your Favorites)
President Obama on Saturday made 15 recess appointments, using his power to unilaterally install top officials in his government when the Senate isn’t in session….

Obama’s Recess Appointments: GOPers Raging Now, Welcomed Process Under Bush
President Obama’s decision to bypass the vacationing Senate and directly appoint 15 nominees has produced some expected cries of outrage from Republicans. Sen. John McCain…

Four More Banks SHUT DOWN, Expected Losses Total $320 MILLION
WASHINGTON — Regulators on Friday shut down two Georgia banks and one each in Florida and Arizona, bringing to 41 the number of bank failures…


“Conservative Woodstock?” Fox News’ all-day promotion of anti-Reid tea party rally

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 28th, 2010 4:44 am by HL

“Conservative Woodstock?” Fox News’ all-day promotion of anti-Reid tea party rally

On March 27, Fox News continued its political activism by aggressively promoting that day’s Tea Party Express rally, which targeted for defeat Sen. Harry Reid and other members of Congress who support health care reform. The rally was sponsored by a political action committee run by Republican consultants and headlined by Fox News contributor Sarah Palin, whose speech Fox broadcast live.

Fox-promoted Tea Party Express III targets Reid, other health care reform supporters

Tea Party Express wants to “Vote Them Out,’ “tak[e] our country back.” TeaPartyExpress.org provides the following “message” for “The Tea Party Express III: Just Vote Them Out! Tour”: “You, the politicians in Washington, have failed We The People with your bailouts, out-of-control deficit spending, government takeovers of sectors of the economy, Cap & Trade, government-run health care, and higher taxes! If you thought we were just going to quietly go away, or that this tea party movement would be just a passing fad, you were mistaken. We’re taking our country back!”

Tour will “highlight some of the worst offenders in Congress.” According to its website:

The Tea Party Express national bus tour will host a series of tea party rallies all across the nation, launching from Sen. Harry Reid’s hometown of Searchlight, NV on March 27th and concluding in Washington, D.C. on Tax Day – April 15th.

At each stop the tour will highlight some of the worst offenders in Congress who have voted for higher spending, higher taxes, and government intervention in the lives of American families and businesses. These Members of Congress have infringed upon the freedom of the individual in this great nation, and its time for us to say: “Enough is Enough!”

Tour kicks off with “Showdown in Searchlight” targeting Reid.” TeaPartyExpress.org bills the March 27 rally as the “Showdown in Searchlight” with “[o]ur first target: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid – he’s got to go!” A promotional video for the “Mega Rally” states that “you’re invited to help us kick Harry out of the Senate and send him back home for an early retirement.”

Tour is “all about” ensuring that members of Congress who support health care reform lose their seats. In a March 20 post to the Tea Party Express blog, “TPX Admin” wrote of health care reform legislation, “If they defy the American people, defy our Constitution, and push this bill through, then we will make sure they lose their seats in Congress. That is exactly what the ‘Tea Party Express III: Just Vote Them Out‘ national tour and the ‘Showdown in Searchlight‘ are all about.”

At Fox, “all eyes on Searchlight, Nevada” for Tea Party Express kick-off rally 

Fox & Friends promotes “huge day for the tea party” as they begin “getting ready to rumble.” On Fox & Friends Saturday, co-host Clayton Morris said it was a “huge day for the tea party… they’re firing up, filling up the tanks with gas, 23 states getting ready to rumble.”

On Fox, “all eyes on Searchlight, Nevada today” for kick-off of Tea Party Express III. On Fox & Friends Saturday, co-host Dave Briggs reported that “thousands of tea partiers are descending on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s hometown,” adding that “they’re kicking off a massive new tour across the country to protest against Democrats who voted for health care reform.” During the segment, radio host Michael Graham — who is listed as a special guest for the April 14 Tea Party Express rally in Boston — said that the tea partiers are “fighting for fundamental American values, and they are not going to quit.” Briggs concluded the segment by stating “all eyes on Searchlight, Nevada today.”

Fox & Friends hosts “one of the keynote speakers” to discuss “the message” of the rally. Fox & Friends Saturday hosted radio host Jerry Doyle, “one of the keynote speakers today,” and asked him to discuss “the message” of the rally.

Cavuto previews Fox News’ coverage priority for the day. During his health care special Final Diagnosis, Neil Cavuto said of Fox’s tea party coverage, “We’re going to be going back and forth to Nevada for something that doesn’t take place for another five hours.”

Cavuto on protestors: “God bless these folks.” During Final Diagnosis, showing footage of tea party protestors gathering for the rally “four and a half hours from now,” Cavuto commented, “I don’t do that for anything. Well, maybe a Cinnabon opening.” He concluded: “God bless these folks.”

Fox’s Stegall on rally: “This is going to be a big day.” During Final Diagnosis, Cavuto stated that Fox News would be covering live Fox News contributor Sarah Palin’s speech at the rally. Cavuto and Fox News’ Casey Stegall, who was on location in Searchlight, discussed how “quite a crowd” had gathered hours before the rally. Stegall said that the rally was targeting Reid, adding that “no doubt a lot of people are calling for his resignation, a lot of people not only in Nevada but across the rest of the country, for that matter, not happy with Harry Reid.” Stegall concluded that “this is going to be a big day.”

Stegall: There is “a real energy that you feel from” the protestors. During Final Diagnosis, Cavuto said that the tea party protestors are “just warming up” in Searchlight, adding that there was a “pretty impressive group thus far.” In a subsequent report, Stegall said that there is “a real energy that you feel from the people who are out here.” Stegall added that “a lot of folks in this country are very upset, and they are not happy about what went down in Washington last Sunday with the passage of this health care bill.” He added that “this is a very grassroots campaign.”

Cavuto hosts Quayle who calls protest the “silent majority” becoming “silent no more.” On Final Diagnosis, Cavuto conducted a phone interview with former Vice President Dan Quayle, who said of the protestors that there had been a “radical expansion of government, and god bless these folks, they’re trying to take things into their own hands.” Quayle also said that “instead of being part of what Richard Nixon used to call that silent majority, they’re silent no more.”

Fox News asks if rally is “Conservative Woodstock.” Shannon Bream opened the noon ET hour of America’s News HQ by stating of the rally, “Organizers are hoping it will be a conservative Woodstock as thousands of tea party activists converge on Harry Reid’s small town of Searchlight, Nevada.” Bream also aired the following graphic: 

Conservative Woodstock?

During the following segment, Stegall said that the Tea Party Express was “taking this town by storm.”

Bream: “How appropriate” that Tea Party Express tour concludes on “Tax Day.” In a live update on America’s News HQ, Stegall said that “this event is the most action Searchlight has perhaps seen ever,” adding that “people from all over the country have converged on this dusty field in the desert to have their voices heard.” After Stegall noted that the bus tour concludes on April 15, “Tax Day,” Bream commented, “How appropriate.”

Fox promotes, lauds “rock star” Palin’s keynote address

Palin listed as event’s “Keynote Speaker.” TeaPartyExpress.org lists Palin as the “Keynote Speaker” for the March 27 rally.

Fox News breathlessly “Awaiting Sarah Palin’s Arrival At Nevada Tea Party Rally.” Teasing coverage of the rally at the top of the 3 p.m. ET hour of America’s News HQ, host Rick Folbaum and Jamie Colby agreed that it would be a “very busy hour,” with Folbaum stating that “Palin is expected to take the stage at the bottom of this hour, and we will bring it to you live.” During the segment, the following caption aired:

Awaiting Palin

Folbaum: “How far could today’s rally go to stamping the Tea Party as a dominant political force in America?” On America’s News HQ, Folbaum preceded Palin’s rally speech by asking “how far could today’s rally go to stamping the Tea Party as a dominant political force in America, and how real is the Palin effect?” Folbaum also stated that “these tea party folks have been very tough on a lot of Republicans out there, but they love Sarah Palin, don’t they?”

Fox airs Palin’s speech in its entirety. Fox News aired Palin’s entire Searchlight speech. During her remarks, Palin attacked the “lamestream media” for their “lies” about conservatives “inciting violence,” offered an explanation for her prior comment that conservatives should “RELOAD!” not “Retreat,” and repeatedly attacked Reid.

Stegall: Crowd “went wild,” “nuts” at “rock star” Palin’s speech. On the 4 p.m. ET hour of America’s News HQ, co-host Gregg Jarrett called the rally “the Tea Party flexing its muscles.” Reporting on Palin’s speech, Stegall explained the Palin comments for which the crowd “really went wild” and “really went nuts.” Stegall called Palin “the rock star here,” and said that Palin was “no doubt very, very big, she was the big draw of this event.” He concluded that Palin’s speech was “why more than 10,000 people have converged on this tiny town, her message very well-received.”

Tea Party Express was launched by Republican consultants, headed by birther

Tea Party Express run by Republican PAC. The Associated Press reported in October 2008 that Our Country Deserves Better PAC, which launched the Tea Party Express and is the national sponsor of Tea Party Express III, “was formed in August [2008] by California political consultant Sal Russo and former California Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian.” As their OCDB biographies note, Russo is a veteran Republican consultant and Kaloogian served as a Republican.

OCDB’s mission is to oppose Obama and “Democratic Congress.” On its “About Us” page, OCDB states that “we must stand up to Barack Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress.” The PAC also solicits contributions by stating, “Help us fight the Democratic Congress!” NPR reported on September 26, 2008, that OCDB’s website then said “it has one objective: to defeat Obama.” During the 2008 campaign, the PAC hosted “patriotic, pro-McCain/Palin rallies” to “Stop Obama.”

OCDB campaigns against “Pelosi Democrats.” As part of their effort to “Defeat Pelosi Democrats,” OCDB “campaign[ed]” “on behalf of” Republican New York congressional candidate Jim Tedisco in March by “broadcasting television and radio advertisements. … Total ad buy is expected to reach well into the hundreds of thousands by Election Day.”

OCDB campaigns to “Defeat Harry Reid.” OCBD has initiated a campaign against Reid and is urging people to make contributions to “purchase airtime for our ‘Defeat Harry Reid’ TV and radio ads.”

TPM: Majority of OCDB spending in recent reporting period “went to GOP firm that created it.”On December 28, 2009, Zachary Roth reported for Talking Points memo that “[t]he political action committee behind the Tea Party Express (TPE) — which already has been slammed as inauthentic and corporate-controlled by rival factions in the Tea Party movement — directed almost two thirds of its spending during a recent reporting period back to the Republican consulting firm that created the PAC in the first place.” Roth further wrote:

Our Country Deserves Better (OCDB) spent around $1.33 million from July through November, according to FEC filings examined by TPMmuckraker. Of that sum, a total of $857,122 went to Sacramento-based GOP political consulting firm Russo, Marsh, and Associates, or people associated with it.

OCDB, which built the Tea Party Express, is essentially a Russo, Marsh creation, as we’ve detailed. The PAC’s site was registered in July 2008 by Sal Russo, the firm’s founder. That site also lists Russo as the PAC’s “chief strategist.” Tea Party Express fundraising emails, sent by OCDB and obtained by TPMmuckraker, come from another Russo, Marsh employee, Joe Wierzbicki.

Express chairman Williams a birther with history of calling progressives “Nazis.” Mark Williams, the chairman of Tea Party Express, has previously called President Obama and Jimmy Carter “Nazis”; has advanced the discredited smear that Obama lacks a valid birth certificate and referred to him as “Our Half White, Racist President;” and has stated that “people have made up their minds … that if we vote Democrat, that just hastens the day we disappear in a nuclear holocaust.”

Fox News aggressively promoted previous Tea Party Express tours

Fox News has aggressively promoted the Tea Party Express tours. Fox News, Fox Business, Fox Nation, and FoxNews.com have promoted the tours, going so far as to cheerlead for the protests and advertise the tea party schedule so viewers “can be a part” of the events. Indeed, a Fox News producer was even caught coaching a crowd to cheer during a stop of the Tea Party Express.

In turn, the organizers of Tea Party Express have used Fox’s coverage for fundraising. The OCDB PAC used Fox News’ coverage of its Tea Party Express to fundraise in a July 29, 2009, email.

Fox News follows pattern of conservative protest promotions

Fox News promoted April 15 tea parties. In the lead-up to the April 15, 2009, tea parties, which the channel repeatedly described as “FNC Tax Day Tea Parties,” Fox News frequently aired segments publicizing and encouraging viewers to get involved with the protests. A Media Matters for America study found that from April 6 to 13, Fox News featured at least 20 segments on the “tea party” protests. A subsequent Media Matters study found that from April 6 to 15, Fox News aired at least 107 commercial promotions for its coverage of the April 15 tea parties.

Fox News promoted health care disruptions. Fox News promoted disruptions of Democratic town hall events by protesters opposed to health care reform — protests that are being touted by Republican leaders and supported by conservative groups. Following the August 2 disruption of a town hall event hosted by Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Fox News personalities repeatedly lauded such protesters and urged viewers to take similar action.

Fox News promoted 9-12 protests. In the lead-up to the 9-12 protest, Beck’s website worked with others organizing the September 12 “March on Washington” and he repeatedly encouraged viewers to attend the protest. Fox News also heavily promoted the Tea Party Express tour — the final stop of which was the 9-12 protest — on Fox News, Fox Business, the Fox Nation, and FoxNews.com.


In Wake of Citizens United, Another Campaign-Finance Reg. Bites The Dust

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 28th, 2010 4:43 am by HL

In Wake of Citizens United, Another Campaign-Finance Reg. Bites The Dust
There was bad news and good news — which could turn into bad news — for backers of efforts to reduce the role of money in politics today.


Feeling The Heat, Tea Partiers Denounce Violence
Tea Partiers and others on the right are starting to distance themselves from the recent spate of violence and racism that has characterized the opposition to health-care reform.



PATRIOT Act may be used against tea party

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 28th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

PATRIOT Act may be used against tea party
Excerpt: According to Douglas J. Hagmann, writing for Northeast Intelligence Network, a “federal intelligence source” revealed that “high-level discussions between top lawmakers and agency heads are ‘exploring the application of the Patriot Act against any right-wing individual or group that poses a danger to government operations.’” Whether or not Congress people were subjected to taunting and racial […]


15-Minutes Are Up: National Minuteman Border Group Disbands

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 28th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

15-Minutes Are Up: National Minuteman Border Group Disbands
After a five-year run, the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps is calling it quits, their president announced this week.

After a five-year run, the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps is calling it quits, their president announced this week.


AIPAC Agonistes

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 28th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

AIPAC Agonistes
I confess feeling a twinge of pathos when I heard on Reshet Bet radio this morning how Benjamin Netanyahu told his AIPAC audience in Washington that the Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3000 years ago, would continue doing so today,…


Benjamin NetanyahuIsraelEast JerusalemMiddle EastUnited States

Fox University
Thomas Jefferson stated an essential truth of democracy when he said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” So what are we to think…


Thomas JeffersonUnited StatesDemocracyGlenn BeckTea Party


Romney Struggles To Distance RomneyCare From ObamaCare: Ours Was ?Bipartisan?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 28th, 2010 4:38 am by HL

Romney Struggles To Distance RomneyCare From ObamaCare: Ours Was ?Bipartisan?
Throughout the health care debate, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has had to do a delicate political dance. The legislation that Congress ultimately passed and that President Obama signed into law closely mirrors the health care reform measure Massachusetts passed when Mitt Romney was governor in 2006. Thus, Romney has had to embrace his plan […]

mitt-romneyThroughout the health care debate, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has had to do a delicate political dance. The legislation that Congress ultimately passed and that President Obama signed into law closely mirrors the health care reform measure Massachusetts passed when Mitt Romney was governor in 2006. Thus, Romney has had to embrace his plan while at the same time, attacking Obama’s in an effort to appease the GOP and the conservative base, who adamantly oppose it.

However, the similarities between the bills Romney and Obama signed into law coupled with the current staunch GOP opposition are proving to be difficult gaps to bridge for the former governor.

Particularly troubling for Romney is the mandate to buy insurance in both reform measures. Republicans believe the individual mandate in the bill Obama signed is unconstitutional and stands as the raison d’etre for their efforts to repeal the bill. But Romney said in 2008, “I like mandates. The mandates work.” Now, it’s unclear where Romney stands on the federal mandate, and he won’t say whether it is constitutional, even though it is core principle of the health care reform bill he signed.

At the same time, Romney tries to embrace the bill he passed. “I think our plan is working well. And perhaps the best thing I can say about it, it’s saving lives. It is the ultimate pro-life effort,” Romney said this month, even though the Massachusetts plan covers abortions. During a book tour stop this week, Romney struggled to explain any substantive differences between the two plans:

“I like what we have in Massachusetts, despite some flaws,” Romney said. “But what I see in Obamacare is a very different piece of legislation — and one that followed a very different track. In our case, our bill was carried out in a bipartisan basis.”

Romney is exactly right. The only real difference between Obama’s bill and his is that Massachusetts Democrats worked with their Republican governor Romney to pass their bill. Congressional Republicans, however, refused to cooperate with the President.

Tufts University professor Jeffrey Berry noted that the mandates and penalties in both plans are “anathema to mainstream Republicanism” adding that “both involve a significant expansion of government. So, on all those counts, Mitt Romney is vulnerable.” Indeed, as the AP noted, “Mitt Romney has a problem with Obamacare. It looks a lot like Romneycare.”


Midterms pose major challenge for Obama’s grass-roots political organization

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 28th, 2010 4:37 am by HL

Midterms pose major challenge for Obama’s grass-roots political organization
TUCSON — President Obama’s strategy for helping Democrats win the midterm elections was in full view at a former dance studio here more than a week ago as rotating teams of volunteers made thousands of calls about health care to residents of Arizona’s 8th Congressional District.


Ex-TSA pick Harding’s firm got Army deal after he cited sleep apnea disability
The firm owned by the decorated general who withdrew his nomination to lead the Transportation Security Administration had received a consulting contract worth almost $100 million from the Army after certifying he was a “service disabled veteran,” according to documents and interviews with government officials.

McCain understudy Sarah Palin is now the star
John McCain and Sarah Palin were back together again Friday. His presidential campaign was floundering when he first reached out to her. Now, facing a challenge from within his party as he seeks reelection to the Senate, McCain has turned to her again to help bail him out. But what a difference.

Obama uses recess appointments to fill 15 posts
An emboldened President Obama filled 15 key administration posts Saturday by bypassing the Senate, defying the GOP as he announced his first recess appointments since taking office.