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Sen. Ron Wyden's Healthy Americans Act

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

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Inauguration Preview by By Mike Luckovich

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The Queen of Pork

Nobody doles out taxpayer money like Hillary Clinton — or rakes in as much campaign cash from the companies she does favors for


by MATT TAIBBI

One Sunday about three months ago — on the day before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, in fact — I got out of bed very late and lazily switched on CNN. On the TV screen, Sen. Hillary Clinton was smiling broadly and wearing a black jacket over some strange Oriental get-up. She was standing next to influential black pastor Calvin Butts, in front of the latter's famous Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. Camera bulbs were flashing. An important announcement was about to be made.

Butts, it turns out, was endorsing Hillary over Barack Obama in the upcoming New York primary. I raised an eyebrow. It's not that I expected Butts — perhaps the most prominent black minister in New York — to automatically endorse Obama simply because he is black. But I certainly didn't expect to see Butts go on national television and make swipe after thinly veiled swipe at Obama, sounding like he was reading a script prepared for him by Hillary's campaign team.

"This is no time for waiting or hoping for solutions," quipped Butts, making an obvious reference to The Audacity of Hope author Obama and echoing the hope-ain't-shit theme that had been pounded on the campaign trail by the Clinton camp over and over again....(Click here for remainder of article).

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Bill Vs. Barack

by Ryan Lizza

On the Thursday before the Pennsylvania primary, Bill Clinton spoke to a crowd of college students at a gymnasium in Lock Haven. The event was typical of the stops—forty-seven of them—that the former President had made in the state during the seven weeks leading up to the vote. Lock Haven is a small town (pop. 9,000), hours away from Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, and the crowd was modest (half the gym’s floor space was empty). Within the campaign, Clinton’s enthusiasm for rustling votes in these remote corners was a source of amusement. When I asked what he was doing on Election Day, a Clinton campaign adviser said, “I think he’s leading a caravan of Wal-Mart greeters to the polls.”

On the stump, the former President dispensed idiosyncratic political analysis. “One of the reasons that she won Ohio that nobody wrote about,” he said, without explanation, “is that Ohio has a plant that produces the largest number of solar reflectors in America.” He offered commentary about his wife’s earlier limitations as a candidate: “I think Hillary’s become a much better speaker.” But, most of all, Bill Clinton talked about Bill Clinton:
The headquarters of my foundation is in Harlem. . . . My Presidential library and school of public service are in Arkansas. . . . I try to save this generation of children from the epidemic of childhood obesity. . . . I am working on rebuilding the Katrina area in New Orleans. . . . I have major global-warming projects in cities all around America. . . . Most of the time I am out in America on the streets. . . . I once gave a speech to a million people in Ghana.
...(Click here for remainder of article).

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Obama says rivals Clinton, McCain pandering on gas tax

By MIKE GLOVER and BETH FOUHY

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Democrat Barack Obama dismissed his rivals' calls for national gas tax holiday as a political ploy that won't help struggling consumers. Hillary Rodham Clinton said his stance shows he's out of touch with the economic realities faced by ordinary citizens.

Clinton and certain Republican presidential nominee John McCain are calling for a holiday on collecting the federal gas tax "to get them through an election," Obama said at a campaign rally before more than 2,000 cheering backers a week before crucial primaries in Indiana and North Carolina. "The easiest thing in the world for a politician to do is tell you exactly what you want to hear."

Clinton, who toured the Miller Veneers wood manufacturing company in Indianapolis, said "there are a lot of people in Indiana who would really benefit from a gas tax holiday.

"That might not mean much to my opponent, but I think it means a lot to people who are struggling here, people who commute a long way to work, farmers and truckers," Clinton said. She has called for a windfall tax on oil companies to pay for a gas tax holiday.

"Senator Obama won't provide relief, while Senator McCain won't pay for it," Clinton said. "I'm the only candidate who will provide immediate relief at the pump, with a plan."...(Click here for remainder of post).

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Was Jeremiah Wright's speech set up by a Clinton supporter?

by Andrew Malcolm

Well, here's a most interesting connection we just came across.

Everybody is talking today about how much the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's latest unrepentant militant remarks hurt his most prominent parishoner, Sen. Barack Obama, and his chances to win the Democratic presidential nomination and the general election. So much so that the Obama camp realized the latent danger overnight and the candidate was forced to speak out publicly a second time today, as The Ticket noted here earlier today.

There was little doubt left in today's remarks by Obama, who recently said he could no more disown Wright than he could the black community. He pretty much disowned Wright today. Obama described himself as "outraged" and "saddened" by "the spectacle of what we saw yesterday."

But now, it turns out, we should have been paying a little less attention to Wright's speech and the histrionics of his ensuing news conference and taken a peek at....

who was sitting next to him at the head table for the National Press Club event.

It was the Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds, a former editorial board member of USA Today who teaches at the Howard University School of Divinity. An ordained minister, as New York DailThe Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright at the head table of the National Press Club event Monday which Reynolds helped arrange. News writer Errol Louis points out in today's column, she was introduced at the press club event as the person "who organized" it....(Click here for remainder of post).

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