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American Children in Poverty on the Rise

Saturday, July 18, 2009

More facing threat of hunger with parents unemployed

By Annie Gowen
The Washington Post via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


WASHINGTON -- A growing number of American children are living in poverty and with unemployed parents, and are facing the threat of hunger, according to a new federal report released yesterday.

According to "America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being," 18 percent of all children 17 and under were living in poverty in 2007 -- up from 17 percent in 2006. The percentage of children who had at least one parent working full time was 77 percent in 2007 -- down from 78 percent in 2006. And those living in households with extremely low "food security" -- where parents described children as being hungry or having skipped a meal or gone without eating for an entire day -- increased from 0.6 percent in 2006 to 0.9 percent in 2007, the report said.

Federal officials said the statistics released this week pre-date the current economic downturn and forecast darker times for the country's 74 million children 17 and under, when data on children's lives during the recession become available.

"It foreshadows greater changes we'll see when we look at these figures next year," said Dr. Duane Alexander, director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Heath, one of the government agencies that participated in the study.

The report is an annual compilation of statistics on child welfare from several government agencies, including the U.S. Census. It tracks trends in family life, health care, safety and education.

Drawing on previously released census data, the report painted a picture of a young population that is holding steady as a proportion of the population, at about 24 percent -- a percentage not expected to change through 2021.

But the report also showed racial and ethnic backgrounds and living circumstances are undergoing dramatic shifts. The percentage of children who are Hispanic, for example, has increased faster than it has for any other racial or ethnic group, from 9 percent of the population in 1980 to 22 percent in 2008....(Remainder.)

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Activists Push Ballot Initiaive to End State Benefits for Illegal Immigrants & Their U.S.-born Children



The measure would end public benefits to illegal residents, challenge the citizenship of their U.S.-born children, cut welfare payments to those children and impose new birth certificate requirements.

By Teresa Watanabe
Los Angeles Times


In a stretch of desert just north of the U.S.-Mexico border, men and women in khakis and the colors of the American flag recently gathered at a border watch post they call Camp Vigilance and discussed their next offensive in the nation's immigration wars.

The target: Illegal immigrants and their U.S.-born children who receive public benefits.

The plan: a California ballot initiative that would end public benefits for illegal immigrants, cut off welfare payments for their children and impose new rules for birth certificates.

"We will be out in full force to qualify this initiative," said Barbara Coe, who helped develop Proposition 187, the 1994 measure that would have ended benefits to illegal immigrants but was ruled unconstitutional. "Illegals and their children are costing the state billions of dollars. It's invasion by birth canal."

Supporters of the initiative, recently unveiled by San Diego political activist Ted Hilton, hope to challenge the citizenship of children born in the United States to parents who are here illegally.

The 14th Amendment states that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside." Backers of the initiative argue that illegal residents are not "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States and that, as a result, their U.S.-born children should not be citizens....(Remainder.)

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Urban and Rural, Red and Blue: Time to Rebuild America's Water Infrastructure

By Rep. Earl Blumenauer
The Huffington Post


Two of my staffers were out for a run yesterday and came across a water main break in the middle of one of DC's busiest streets: the intersection of 23rd and I, right in front of GW Hospital and the Foggy Bottom metro. This brought traffic to a halt and hindered access to the Hospital. This reminded me of an incident just this May when a water main broke in Seattle.

These are just two very public examples of water and sewer pipe failures that occur across America, with EPA estimating that about 240,000 breaks occur every year.

As President Obama has said, this isn't about red states vs. blue states. Nor is it about rural vs. urban. Republicans and Democrats support fixing our water and sewer pipes, as do environmentalists, engineers, contractors, industry, and rural community advocates.

Every community is faced with serious drinking water and sanitation problems that lead to dangerous public health problems and serious environmental damage. With support from a wide range of interest groups and colleagues from both sides of the aisle -- Steve LaTourette (R-OH), Norm Dicks (D-WA), Mike Simpson (R-ID), and Tom Petri (R-WI) -- I introduced the "Water Protection and Reinvestment Act", which will renew and rebuild America's outdated water systems. The annual fund would also create upwards of 270,000 jobs a year.

Over the next twenty years, we will need more than $500 billion to rebuild our corroded pipes and outdated sewage treatment systems. In a typical year, we require about $25 billion for water and sewage repairs, yet Congress only provides about $2 billion. In my state of Oregon, based on current funding levels, it would take more than 62 years just to meet our current wastewater needs (this doesn't include drinking water)....(Remainder.)

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Inside Today's KKK

By Life

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Former GOP Congressman Demands Bush Investigations

By Sam Stein
The Huffington Post


A former Republican member of House of Representatives demanded on Thursday that Congress launch an investigation into possible crimes committed under Bush administration.

Former Rep. Mickey Edwards (R-Okla.) argued, in a brief interview with the Huffington Post, that his one-time GOP colleagues in Congress were skirting their constitutional obligations by refusing to probe the Bush administration.

"I don't think it is complicated at all. I mean, oversight is oversight. If there are allegations that people in public office committed crimes, than we have an absolute obligation to investigate and find out if it is true," Edwards said. "I think it is Congress' job. You could have an independent investigation I suppose. But Congress has to keep control of it. It is Congress' obligation under the Constitution to do the oversight."

In making his remarks, Edwards becomes one of only a handful of Republicans who served in elected office to endorse such an investigation. His comments come as the Attorney General's office is reportedly leaning toward appointing a special prosecutor to look into the use of torture during detainee interrogations. Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress have begun discussion about an investigation into the refusal of former Vice President Dick Cheney to conduct briefings on a covert intelligence operation run by the CIA....(Remainder.)

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America Need a National Manufacturing Policy. Now.

By Sen. Sherrod Brown
The Huffington Post


Not too long ago, the ticket to the middle class was straightforward. Work hard, play by the rules, and you'll have something to show for it -- a good wage, a secure job and home, and a solid pension.

Our nation -- and economy -- relied on workers around Ohio to build cars and appliances, to lay down rail lines and highways. Their work put them squarely in the middle class. Their work -- and a thriving manufacturing industry -- turned our nation into an economic superpower.

Job loss and wage stagnation figures reflect a decade's long decline in U.S. manufacturing, a decline that has shattered the American dream for millions of Americans. What these figures don't reflect is the enormous potential the manufacturing sector holds for revitalizing our economy and ensuring our nation remains an economic superpower. Robust manufacturing capacity is not only essential if we are to achieve energy independence and sustain the independent ability to equip our military, it is the key to global competitiveness in emerging markets. From clean energy to medical and information technology to global infrastructure needs -- our nation's global competitiveness depends on our nation's manufacturing sector.

To realize our full potential, we must stop ignoring the challenges that manufacturing faces. We need a national plan -- a national manufacturing policy -- that aligns federal actions with the goal of strengthening our manufacturing sector. Today, as Chairman of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy, I am hosting a hearing to examine how best to develop a robust national manufacturing policy.

Some ideas we'll consider: Permanent research and development tax credits. Making these credits permanent would incentivize investment in clean energy manufacturing industries like solar and wind power. A strong and reliable business climate promotes incubators of innovation that help entrepreneurs excel in a 21st Century economy -- like the more than twenty incubators located at Ohio's universities and businesses from Youngstown to Columbus to Dayton....(Remainder.)

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T Plus 40

By Ed Stein
Ed Stein Ink



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Hannity Overlooks Issues Surrounding Anti-Sotomayor Witness

By Ellen
News Hounds


Frank Ricci, the firefighter at the heart of the reverse discrimination case that Republicans Fox News has used to paint Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor as a racist, was on Hannity last night (7/16/09). Despite Sean Hannity’s best efforts, Ricci declined to be pushed into attacking Sotomayor. Not surprisingly, however, white-rights enthusiast Hannity was so busy hailing Ricci as a modern-day Rosa Parks that he failed to reveal to the “we report, you decide” network’s audience the very relevant information that Ricci has quite a lengthy history of filing employment discrimination suits of his own and that when it suited him, he was for affirmative action before he was against it. With video.

As I previously posted when Ricci’s attorney was interviewed earlier in the week by Megyn Kelly: A revealing article in Slate details Ricci’s long list of lawsuits and threatened lawsuits against his employers. Author Dahlia Lithwick concludes, “ultimately, there are two ways to frame Frank Ricci's penchant for filing employment discrimination complaints: Perhaps he was repeatedly victimized by a cruel cadre of employers, first for his dyslexia, then again for his role as a whistle-blower, and then a third time for just being white… The other way to look at Frank Ricci is as a serial plaintiff—one who reacts to professional slights and setbacks by filing suit, threatening to file suit, and more or less complaining his way up the chain of command."

Hannity gave lots of not-so-subtle prods to Ricci in an effort to get him to attack Sotomayor: “Do you want Judge Sonia Sotomayor on the Supreme Court? …She didn’t really provide you equal justice under the law, did she?” But Ricci refused to take the bait.

However, Ricci didn’t need any prodding to go along with Hannity’s attempt to whitewash his litigious history. “Frank, you said the more attention that your case got, the more people tried to distort it. Can you explain that?” Hannity sympathetically asked.

“I was attacked by the left bloggers,” Ricci answered. “They attacked my resume. They attacked my credibility which was very insulting.”

Not surprisingly, Hannity never offered any details of those “insulting attacks” which some people might have described as hypocrisy.

Echoing Megyn Kelly’s remarks, Hannity said, “In many ways though, Frank, you became the latest version of Joe The Plumber.” You mean the guy whose name isn’t really Joe, and isn’t a licensed plumber? At least Ricci appears to be a real firefighter....(Remainder.)

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Best of SNL 2008: Countdown’s Highlight Reel

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How Dennis Kucinich May Save the Health Reform Battle

A proposal by Kucinich that would allow states to create their own single-payer systems is gaining steam in Congress.

By Joshua Holland
AlterNet


No time today for a lengthy analysis of the Tri-Committee health bill. My quick-and-dirty take is this. Those who think the bill is a wonderful progressive victory with a robust public option are wrong, and, on the flip side, the charge that it's a "bailout for the insurance industry" is totally divorced from what the bill would actually do if passed.

It is the most progressive, comprehensive and significant health care legislation to come down the pike since Medicare was passed in 1965. If it were enacted as written, it'd go a long way to solving a lot of our problems (but by no means all) and wouldn't break the bank in the process.

But it also fails some of the basic criteria that most progressives have long said is a red-line that can't be crossed. First and foremost, it doesn't have a public option that can compete with private insurers and result in significant cost savings.

It has a public plan in which -- as far as the statute goes (it can be expanded in 2015 but there's no mandate to do so) -- only 9-10 million people will be eligible to enroll by 2019. Similarly, the publicly-administered exchanges are projected to cover about 30 million by that year. (These relatively small insurance pools will be able to bargain in concert with Medicare to some degree, so their power will be magnified, but still...)

That greatly limits the potential for cost containment. What it does is bend the curve of projected cost growth downwards, and cover about 2/3 of the uninsured. But we'll still have 3-6 % of the population uninsured and being treated at the ER. And while bending the upward curve down a few notches is a very good thing, it doesn't get us where we want to go -- not when you consider that we pay $2000 upwards of $4,000 more for every American than the OECD average each and every  year....(Remainder.)

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Rafsanjani's Steps to Resolve Iran's Crisis

By Juan Cole
Informed Comment


What was Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani trying to say in his Friday prayers sermon? (The text is below).

The reform movement and its allies among pragmatic conservatives have developed a narrative about Khomeinist Iran. They allege that it is ultimately democratic, and that the will of the people is paramount. It is popular sovereignty that authorizes political change and greater political and cultural openness. Precisely because democracy and popular sovereignty are the key values for this movement, the alleged stealing of the June 12 presidential elections by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for his candidate, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is intolerable. A crime has been committed, in their eyes. A social contract has been violated. The will of the people has been thwarted.

The hard liners hold a competing and incompatible view of the meaning of Khomeini's 1979 revolution. They discount the element of elections, democracy and popular sovereignty. They view these procedures and institutions as little more than window-dressing. True power and authority lies with the Supreme Leader and ultimately all important decisions are made by him. Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Misbah-Yazdi is an important exponent of this authoritarian view of the Islamic Republic. The Leader in this view is a kind of philosopher-king, who can overrule the people at will. The hard liners do not believe that the election was stolen. But they probably cannot get very excited about the election in the first place. Khamenei and his power and his appointments and his ability to intervene to disqualify candidates, close newspapers, and overrule parliament are what is important. From a hard line point of view, the election is what Khamenei says it is and therefore cannot be stolen....(Remainder.)

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Joe Scarborough Calls for Dismissal of New Young Republican Chairman Audra Shay

By Faiz Shakir
Think Progress


Earlier this week, 38-year old Tennessee resident Audra Shay won an election to take over the Young Republicans National Federation. Shay’s candidacy had been supported by Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA).

Shay won the post despite the fact that she had come under heavy criticism for approving of a racist comment made by a friend on Facebook. When her friend Eric commented, “obama bin lauden is the new terrorist….muslim is on there side …..need to take this country back from all these mad coons…….and illegals,” Shay responded: “You tell em Eric! lol [laughing out loud].”

When asked about the controversy by Bill Maher last night on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said Shay needs to be “immediately” dismissed:
SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, LOL. I hope LOL stands for something other than what I’ve been taught that LOL stands for. I mean, that’s obviously something that the National Republican Party should step in on immediately and relieve her of her responsibilities. That’s inexcusable. [crowd applause] And that’s the sort of thing, if somebody writes it, she needs to be relieved at once.
The flap over the racist comments seemed to help Shay get elected. The Indianapolis Star reported that many young Republicans flocked to Shay’s side to defend her against what they viewed as “just political mudslinging.”...(Remainder.)

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O’Reilly and Crowley v. Colmes – A Lament on the Threat of Sonia Sotomayor to the Dwindling White Male Power Structure

By Julie
News Hounds

On Wednesday (7/15/09) on the O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly's reaction panel to his Talking Points Memo consisted of Alan Colmes and Monica Crowley (how's that plagiarism thing working out, Monica?) to discuss that mythical white male plight. Talk about the classic zero sum game!

"Evil white men – that is the subject of this evening's Talking Point Memo," O'Reilly intoned. "As you may know, if you criticize a minority group in America you will be labeled a bigot. If you criticize a woman – say, Helen Thomas – you might be labeled a sexist. But if you hammer white men you could wind up with a great media job."

Gosh, you mean criticizing a group of minorities because they're minorities isn't bigoted? And criticizing a woman because of the sound of her voice instead of her professional credentials isn't sexist? Quick, get the NAACP and NOW on the phone – we've gotta rewrite some stuff.

O'Reilly pointed to Maureen Dowd's article entitled White Men's Last Stand, and said that the column says "exactly what the New York Times believes – white men have screwed up America, they need to get out of power and to be replaced by minorities and liberal women." WTF? The article said nothing of the sort – it instead mainly talked about the ridiculousness of the Republicans' attacks on Sotomayor at the hearings. O'Reilly's whine seems to be about being on the losing side of the zero sum game – every little bit of power granted to "minorities and liberal women" is that much less to white males. Blasphemy!

O'Reilly went on to talk about his book, "Culture Warrior," and said that in the book he predicted "exactly what's happening now – that the left-wing media would promote minority candidates and causes because they despise the white man power structure."

O'Reilly quoted from Dowd's column, saying: "President Obama wants Sotomayor naturally to bring a fresh perspective to the court. It was a disgrace that President Bush appointed two white men to a court stocked with white men."

O'Reilly defended the overstocked court, invoking the two non-white males, Clarence Thomas and Ruth Bader Ginsburg – and even threw out the name of Harriet Miers, a potential Bush appointee to the Supreme Court, as one of the token non-white males. (O'Reilly failed to note that Miers' nomination was ultimately withdrawn due to "conservative opposition." )

"Last time I looked, she's not a white man," O'Reilly lectured....(Remainder.)

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Whack-Job 'Tea-Party' Speaker From S. Dakota Explains "Global Warming"

Seriously?  These people are dumber than a jar of peanut butter.  How the hell do people get this ignorant and just straight up dumb?



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House Panel to Probe CIA Assassination Program



By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t


The House Intelligence Committee formally announced Friday that it will probe whether the CIA broke the law by failing to inform Congress about a top secret assassination program reportedly aimed at targeting leaders of al-Qaeda.

Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes said the probe would be part of a wide-ranging investigation about the way in which the CIA informs Congress about its covert activities and other matters.

Reyes, in announcing the wide-ranging probe Friday, said he had consulted with the panel’s ranking Republican minority leader, Rep. Pete Hoekstra, and other committee members and concluded that an investigation into "possible violations of federal law, including the National Security Act of 1947" were warranted. Under that law, the CIA must keep Congress "fully and currently informed" via classified briefings about its intelligence activities.

"This investigation will focus on the core issue of how the congressional intelligence committees and Congress are kept fully and currently informed," Reyes said. "To this end, the investigation will examine several issues, including the program discussed during Director Panetta's June 24 notification and whether there was any past decision or direction to withhold information from the committee."

Rep. Jan Schakowsky said Friday that her subcommittee would handle some part of the investigation into the CIA's assassination program....(Remainder.)

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Obama Considering Special CIA Interrogation Squad

Group would develop ‘noncoercive’ questioning techniques

By Stephen C. Webster
The Raw Story


The Obama administration may initiate a special interrogation squad, run out of the Central Intelligence Agency, to handle the questioning of high value prisoners of war, a Saturday morning report revealed.

One of the group’s first primary callings would be the development of new interrogation techniques, a familiar but unnamed source told The Wall Street Journal. “Those techniques could be drawn from sources ranging from scientific studies to the psychology behind television ads,” noted reporter Siobhan Gorman.

While the CIA would direct the team, its members would be a mixture of operatives from law enforcement and intelligence communities.

“The team’s efforts, for example, would focus more on gathering intelligence than on assembling evidence suitable for use in a criminal trial,” the report continued. “In addition, the team would be asked to devise noncoercive procedures that may differ from the 19 permitted in the Army Field Manual, which include providing rewards for information and playing on a detainee’s anxiety or other emotions. That document has emerged as a favored standard among many lawmakers and some human-rights groups.”...(Remainder.)

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Catholic Church Lead$ Anti-Gay Fight

By James Hipps
GayAgenda.com

It has been reported that the official Catholic Church of Maine, along with Catholic affiliated organizations like the Knights of Columbus, have donated over $150,000 in the fight against allowing the same-sex marriage law hold in the state.  This isn’t the first time the Catholic church has donated to oppressive causes however as they gave millions to help pass Prop 8 in California last November.

But wait, that’s not all.  Another group of radical Catholics have formed a group to travel to states including Maine, Rhode Island, and New York with the sole purpose of rallying against marriage equality.  The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, which has been organized by a group of wealthy Catholics, and have already started to produce publications, including a pamphlet “Ten Reasons Why Homosexual Marriage is Harmful and Must Be Opposed.”

One of the group’s organizers, John Ritchie, had this to say about same-sex marriage:
Like counterfeit currency, homosexual ‘marriage’ is not true marriage. It is morally wrong, sinful, offensive to God and a violation of natural law.  To claim that marriage can be anything other than the union of one man and one woman is a flat denial of reality.
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Advisor Yoo Put Bush Above the Law


By Heather
Crooks and Liars

David Shuster and Harper's Scott Horton break down John Yoo's poorly written op-ed at the Wall Street Journal, defending his part in allowing the Bush administration to spy on millions of Americans under the guise of keeping us safe from terrorists.

From The Anonymous Liberal--John Yoo: Still Lying:
In this morning's Wall Street Journal, John Yoo has an op-ed defending himself from the malpractice charges set forth in the recent Inspecter General's report. As with the opinions themselves, the op-ed is deeply disingenuous and misstates the law repeatedly.

Not surprisingly, Yoo begins the op-ed with a collosal straw man. He points out how important it is to intercept al Qaeda communications and writes: "Evidently, none of the inspectors general of the five leading national security agencies would approve." Of course, the issue is not whether intercepting communications is a good idea, but whether the program violated the law. Yoo was not a policy maker. He was a lawyer. His job was to state what the law was, not what it should be.

Continue reading.....

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CNN's Resident Bigot, Dobbs, Continues to Make BS Claims About Obama's Birth Cert.

By Media Matters

During the July 15 edition of his radio program, CNN host Lou Dobbs devoted substantial airtime to the issue of President Obama's birth certificate, asserting repeatedly that the president needs to "produce" it. Dobbs said that the birth certificate posted online by FactCheck.org "purporting to validate the president" has "some issues ... I mean, it's peculiar," and stated that he wants to see a "long form" birth certificate, which he called "the real deal." By contrast, Dobbs' CNN colleagues have repeatedly debunked claims that Obama has yet to produce a valid birth certificate, calling them "total bull" and "a whack-job project," and have characterized those who make these claims as "conspiracy theorists" who wear "tin foil hat[s]."

Dobbs also mentioned the issue of Obama's birth certificate on the July 15 edition of his CNN television show. Referring to the document that FactCheck.org posted, Dobbs said, "It is, in fact, the so-called short form, not the original document. It is really a document saying that the state of Hawaii has the real document in its possession."

Media Matters for America has noted that Dobbs has a history of pushing conspiracy theories and numerous falsehoods and distortions.

Dobbs' radio show

During his radio program, Dobbs stated: "[S]hould he produce his birth certificate -- the long form, the real deal? Should he be a little more forthcoming? ... What is the deal here? I'm starting to think we have a -- we have a document issue. Do you suppose he's un -- no, I won't even use the word undocumented. It wouldn't be right."...(Remainder.)

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Once Again War Criminal Rove and The Moronic Baby Jesus Spread Lies About Stimulus & Jobs

By Media Matters

On the July 16 edition of Fox News' Hannity, host Sean Hannity and Fox News contributor Karl Rove advanced the falsehood that White House chief economic adviser Larry Summers promised that the economic recovery plan would "create jobs right away." In fact, during a February 14 appearance on CNN's The Situation Room, after saying that "[y]ou'll see the effects [of the economic plan] begin almost immediately," Summers specified that the immediate effects would include prevented layoffs, tax cuts, "orders" for infrastructure projects, and "better maintenance of schools." Summers added that "the effect will build over time."

During the Hannity segment, Hannity said, "Lawrence Summers has said at the time -- you quoted it in your article in the Journal today -- that, you know, we'd see an impact almost immediately. What happened?" Rove replied in part: "The administration's now, rather than saying that jobs are going to be created, now is now saying, the president said this is a two-year plan, not a ... you shouldn't have expected to have an effect in six months." He later asserted, "Yeah, well, they said we're going to create jobs right away, and the jobs are not being created now. So, they said, well, wait, it's going to take us two years."

Rove's and Hannity's statements echo a claim Rove made in his July 16 Wall Street Journal column, in which he also asserted that President Obama "is attempting to lower expectations retroactively" and falsely claimed that "Obama never said if his stimulus were passed things might still get significantly worse in the following year."...(Remainder.)

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Religious Right Promotes Falsehoods in Last-Ditch Attempt to Stall Federal Hate Crimes Bill

By Sonia Scherr
SPLC


In the days leading up to yesterday’s Senate approval of far-reaching federal hate crimes legislation, religious right anti-gay groups were ramping up their rhetoric in a last-ditch attempt to defeat it.

But while their tone was shriller, their tune hadn’t changed: As they’ve done for months, these organizations were falsely claiming that the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act would protect pedophiles and inhibit religious expression. Many of the religious right groups issuing alerts in recent days — including the Illinois Family Institute and the Liberty Counsel — seem not to have read the bill at all.

An E-mail sent Tuesday from Rick Scarborough, head of Vision America, exhorted supporters to “KEEP THE HATE CRIMES PRESSURE ON!” It referred to the bill as the “Pedophile Protection Act” because of its “inclusion of pedophiles as a protected class under the proposal that protects homosexuals from hate crimes.” In fact, while the law would allow prosecution of crimes motivated by bias against gays or transgendered people, it would not extend hate crimes protections to pedophiles.

The next day, the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) posted an “urgent” message on its website telling supporters to contact their senators. The proposed legislation was “anti-Christian, pro-LGBT [lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender]” and “threatens religious liberty, free speech and makes at least 30 different sexual orientations into federally protected minority groups.” According to the TVC, these sexual orientations include incest, voyeurism and bestiality. That’s false; “sexual orientation” refers only to heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality. The TVC, in fact, has been listed as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for years, largely because of its routine promotion of known falsehoods to demonize homosexuals....(Remainder.)

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President Obama Weekly Address: Health Care Reform Cannot Wait

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Former GOP Sen. Danforth Says Buchanan is Making "Silly Arguments" About Judge Sotomayor

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Glenn "I'll Cry for America" Beck: Presidential Election is an Example that "Democracy Doesn't Work"

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Apparently Hatred & Racism Run in the Buchanan Family as Bay Calls Sotomayor "Quota Queen"

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Disgusting Racist Piece of Waste, Jim Quinn, Doesn't Think "Slavery" is a "Dark Past" in US History

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Wow! Shrum Calls Out Buchanan Over "Latino Bashing all the Time"

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David Shuster & Tamron Hall Discuss "Beck Freak Out" & Right Wing Wingnuttery

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The Savage Weiner Lies Yet Again Saying House Bill "Makes Private Insurance Illegal"

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The Lying Sack of Dog Mess' Wheel's Have Really Come Off as He Claims "The President is a Marxist"

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Lawrence O'Donnell Slays Pat Buchanan's "Ugly Thought About Being a Latino..."

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Lou Dobbs Fill in Pilgram: "Overwhelming Evidence Obama's Birth Cert. is Real." Does Dobbs Know?

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Racist Bitch, Ingraham, Claims Obama "Channeled His Best Jeremiah Wright Accent"

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Kucinich Amendment to Health Care Bill Passes!

By Rep. Dennis Kucinich
www.Kucinich.us


With your support, your phone calls, your emails, we won a major legislative victory today for a state single payer health care option in the House of Representatives in Washington, DC. The House Education and Labor Committee approved the Kucinich Amendment by a vote of 27-19, with 14 Democrats and 13 Republicans voting yes.

The amendment propels the growing single payer health care movement at the state level. There are at least ten states which have active single payer efforts in their legislatures. They are California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington. The amendment mandates a single payer state will receive the right to waive the application of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which has in the past been used to nullify efforts to expand state or local government health care.

Under the Kucinich Amendment a state's application for a waiver from ERISA is granted automatically if the state has signed into law a single payer plan. With the amendment, for the first time, the state single payer health care option is shielded from an ERISA-based legal attack. Now that the underlying bill has been passed, as amended, by the full committee, we must make sure that Congress knows that we want the provision kept in the bill at final passage!

The state single payer option was one of five major amendments which I obtained support to get included in HR3200. One amendment brings into standard coverage for the first time complementary and alternative medicine, (integrative medicine). Another amendment drives down the cost of prescription drugs by ending pharmaceutical industry's sharp practices manipulating physician prescribing habits. An amendment stops the insurance industry from increasing premiums at the time when people are not permitted to change health plans; and finally an amendment imposing a requirement on insurance companies that they disclose the cost of advertising, marketing and executive compensation expenses (which generally divert money from patient care).

Please make sure you post this message on your social networking site, ask all your friends to get involved and encourage everyone you know to sign up at www.Kucinich.us so we can build full momentum behind this movement for real health care.

Let's do this!
-Dennis

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Sotomayor Wins Over 3 Republicans

By Richard Cowan
Reuters


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three Republican senators said Friday they will back President Barack Obama's choice of Sonia Sotomayor to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, setting the stage for a likely easy confirmation.

"Given her judicial record, and her testimony this week, it is my determination that Judge Sotomayor is well-qualified to serve as associate justice of the United States Supreme Court," Cuban-born Senator Mel Martinez of Florida said on his website.

If confirmed by the Senate, which is dominated by Obama's Democrats, Sotomayor would be the first Hispanic justice on the top court.

Sotomayor testified this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she appeared to solidify her support among Democrats, who control the panel. Conservative Republicans on the committee spent four days questioning her on race issues, but analysts think she effectively answered skeptics.

Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana said Sotomayor was "clearly qualified" to serve on the Supreme Court, where she will replace the liberal-leaning Justice David Souter, who is retiring.

She would join three other liberals and five conservatives on the nine-member court under Chief Justice John Roberts....(Remainder.)

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Timothy Wirth, Natural-Gas Advocate, Takes Gas Industry to Task

By Abrahm Lustgarten
ProPublica


They were tough words for the natural gas industry to hear. In a blunt speech before the Colorado Oil and Gas Association last week, Timothy Wirth, a former Colorado Democratic senator and Under Secretary of State for global affairs in the Clinton administration, warned industry leaders that they need to pay attention to the environmental and climate concerns that are shaping national policy, or risk being left behind.

Wirth took the industry to task for not engaging in the climate legislation being debated in Congress -- a bill he said every other energy industry was deeply involved in -- and for fighting the changes taking place in energy policy rather than participating and seeking fresh opportunities.

Wirth, who today is president of Ted Turner's United Nations Foundation, is no enemy of the oil and gas industry. He described clean-burning natural gas as the single most important component of a new energy supply chain that can help cut greenhouse gas emissions, and he said the use of nation's bountiful natural gas reserves is essential to curbing climate change. But he also said the industry is preoccupied with the wrong priorities and is off message.

"The time has come for the natural gas industry to get organized, take the gloves off, and get thoroughly engaged in helping our country advance rapidly toward a low-carbon economy," Wirth said.

In his speech he offered some advice: The industry should identify its key priorities, work to get its regulatory house in order and recognize the big picture rather than complain about details in legislation like the climate bill....(Remainder.)

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No-Bid Stimulus Contracts for Military


Fort Bragg - Jonas N. Jordan, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

By Amanda Michael, Michael Grabell and David Epstein

ProPublica


Despite the Obama administration’s pledge that stimulus contracts would involve competitive bids, the Defense Department has awarded 570 no-bid contracts for military base repairs, according to an analysis by the Associated Press.

With $5 billion available for education innovations, some states and school districts are passing laws that will open the door to more charter schools, reports The Wall Street Journal. The states are heeding the advice of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who has said limits on charter schools—which are often non-unionized—might prevent states from winning the funds. Tennessee, which had one of the least-developed charter systems in the country, recently passed a bill to increase the number of charter schools.

Administration officials went back out on the stump. Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday defended the stimulus in Richmond, Va., which is the congressional territory of Eric Cantor, the House Republican whip and stimulus critic. Administration officials like Jared Bernstein, Biden’s top economic adviser, volunteered interviews with reporters to discuss the stimulus, the LA Times reports. In those off-camera briefings White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters the stimulus was designed to “stabilize” the downturn. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood on Wednesday delivered his rebuttal to growing Republican criticism before an audience at the Center for National Policy. Earlier this week the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials held a news conference in Seattle to promote the stimulus’ successes, StateLine.org reports. Officials pointed to more than 2,000 projects around the country that are in progress.

The showdown between Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania and the majority of his state’s congressional delegation isn’t over yet. The governor recently applied for stimulus funds for state-owned universities, not state-related ones. State officials living in districts with state-related universities, like Penn State, have protested Rendell’s decision, as have officials at those schools. The U.S. Department of Education has weighed in, saying that state-related universities should be included in Rendell’s application. Rendell begs to differ. Yesterday the governor’s spokesman said that “the governor still has the discretion to apply for federal stimulus money for state-owned universities but not state-related ones,” reports the AP....(Remainder.)

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Bennett Says Stimulus is Spending Too Much on Road Signs Promoting Stimulus

By PolitiFact
St. Petersburg Times


Critics of the $787 billion economic stimulus package are up in arms about a particularly visible reminder of the legislation: roadway signs that are sprouting up across the nation, touting construction projects funded by the bill.

In June, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., included the signs as an example of questionable spending in his report, “100 Stimulus Projects: A Second Opinion.” In July, Rep. Chris Lee, R-N.Y., issued a statement saying that the signs are “just the most recent in a series of examples demonstrating how dollars from the stimulus are being wasted or misspent.” Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, mocking the red, blue and green logo of the stimulus, has gone so far as to label the signs “stimulus hype propaganda sporting the mark of the porkulus beast." Democrats, such as Rep. Dan Maffei of New York, have even joined the chorus of critics.

On July 15, 2009, Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, and Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., took aim at stimulus-touting signs with an amendment that “would prohibit the use of stimulus funds to pay for signage promoting the administration's spending of taxpayer dollars on (stimulus) projects.” (The amendment has not yet been taken up by the Senate.)

In a statement announcing the amendment, Sen. Bennett asserted that “the administration is wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on a PR campaign.”

We’ll leave it to others to decide whether spending stimulus money on roadside signs is worthwhile. Instead, we’ll look at whether the senator’s assertion is accurate. This requires breaking his statement into two parts.

The first portion of Bennett’s statement – his assumption that “the administration” is the primary actor in the signage drama – isn’t entirely correct.

It’s true that the federal government is providing the stimulus money for these highway construction projects. It’s also true that the U.S. Department of Transportation has issued three versions of guidance on stimulus-related signs, saying that states are “strongly encouraged” to post the signs.

But the department did not make the signs mandatory, and news reports indicate that Texas, Florida and Virginia have opted not to post the signs. Indeed, the feds have delegated most of the responsibility for carrying out stimulus efforts to the states, from choosing the projects to negotiating the contracts. If states want to put stimulus money to uses other than signs, they may do so....(Remainder.)

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KKK Senators McConnel & Bunning say They'll Vote 'No' on Sotomayor

By Halimah Abdullah
McClatchy Newspapers


WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Friday that he'll oppose Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, lending his voice to a chorus of conservatives who've vowed to vote no on making the appellate judge the court's first Hispanic justice.

McConnell's announcement followed several days of Sotomayor testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, during which several panel members tried to unravel Sotomayor's views on race and determine if ethnic loyalty rather than judicial oath would influence her rulings.

A day earlier, Kentucky's junior senator, Republican Jim Bunning, said he also found the jurist "unsuitable to be a member of the United States Supreme Court."

In opposing Sotomayor, McConnell alluded to what he called "an alarming lack of respect for the notion of equal justice."

"This is particularly important when considering someone for the Supreme Court since, if she were confirmed, there would be no higher court to deter or prevent her from injecting into the law the various disconcerting principles that recur throughout her public statements," McConnell said Friday in a written statement. "For that reason, I will oppose her nomination."

McConnell cited New Haven, Conn., firefighter Frank Ricci, the lead plaintiff in a landmark case that challenged the city's refusal to promote white firefighters after African-Americans and all but one Hispanic didn't score well on a promotion test, as an example of inequality in Sotomayor's judicial rulings. Other Republicans have brought up the Ricci case repeatedly as an example of judicial activism and overreaching....(Remainder.)

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Sen. Bernie Sanders Cries "Monopoly" in a Collapsing Milk Market

By Tom Laskawy
Grist.org


Earlier this year, the Obama administration's top antitrust enforcer, Christine Varney, announced a new effort to crack down on monopolist practices in industry. Some of us were particularly interested to observe that Varney’s first speech specifically mentioned agribusiness as a top target. This is understandable since, from fertilizer to meatpacking to seeds, four companies or fewer control up to 80% of each of these markets.

But right now nowhere are the oligolopolists doing more damage than in the dairy industry, where prices have fallen faster and deeper than any time since the Great Depression. And now, joining ranks with tens of thousands of desperately struggling dairy farmers, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has had enough—he has called on the Justice Department to investigate the dairy giant Dean Foods as a monopolist.

It’s about time someone in government used that word to describe Dean Foods. They control 40% of the fluid milk supply nationwide and, to Sen. Sanders great dismay, almost 70% of fluid milk in New England. But surely, with milk prices scraping the bottom, they must be suffering as well. Nope.
At the end of 2008, Dean Foods reported adjusted quarterly operating income of $184m, the highest in its history.

...While Dean Foods continues to increase its profits, milk prices have taken a tumble. At a press conference in his offices, Sanders said: “Farmers have seen the price for their milk drop from $19.50 per hundred pounds a year ago to less than $11 in June. Meanwhile, Dean Foods’ profits climbed from $30m in the first quarter of 2008 to $76.2m for the first quarter of 2009.”
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Wild Horses SAVED: Congress Votes To Protect Mustangs And Burros From Government-Sponsored Slaughter

By Kevin Freking
Associated Press via The Huffington Post


WASHINGTON — Galloping to the aid of the nation's wild horses and burros, the House voted Friday to rescue them from the possibility of a government-sponsored slaughter and give them millions more acres to roam.

But the effort may get penned up in the Senate.

The bill passed the House, 239-185, with Republican opponents arguing that it underscored wrongheaded Democratic priorities by focusing on animals instead of people at a time when the nation's unemployment rate is approaching double digits.

An estimated 36,000 wild horses and burros live in 10 Western states. Federal officials estimate that's about 9,400 more than can exist in balance with other rangeland resources. Off the range, more than 31,000 other wild horse and burros are cared for in corrals and pastures.

The plan aims to reduce the number of animals kept in holding pens awaiting adoption and to reduce the stress on land currently set aside for them.

Supporters mobilized after the Interior Department announced last year that it might have to kill thousands of healthy wild horses and burros to deal with the growing population on the range and in holding facilities.

Republicans dismissed the measure as welfare for horses, but Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., said a majority of Americans would not support slaughtering healthy animals or keeping them in holding pens for years at a time.

"The status quo is a national disgrace," said Rahall, chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources. "It is a disgrace to our heritage."...(Remainder.)

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House Launches Investigation into CIA Program

REUTERS/Larry Downing
By Tabassum Zakaria
Reuters


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The House Intelligence Committee said on Friday it was launching a formal investigation into the concealment of a secret CIA program from Congress that one senator said was withheld on orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Immediately after the Democrats announced the investigation, Republicans cried foul and called it a partisan effort to protect the Democratic leader, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

It was the latest spat in the political bickering that has erupted this year between Democrats and Republicans over CIA-related issues.

The investigation has the potential to become a distraction from President Barack Obama's efforts to push an ambitious domestic agenda through Congress.

According to media reports, the CIA program involved an effort to carry out a 2001 authorization by Republican President George W. Bush to capture or kill al Qaeda operatives. The CIA said it was never fully operational.

The probe will look into "whether there was any past decision or direction to withhold information from the committee" about the intelligence program that CIA Director Leon Panetta informed lawmakers about on June 24, Representative Silvestre Reyes, the Democratic committee chairman, said in a statement.

Panetta, appointed by Obama to head the spy agency, killed the program when he found out about it.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said on "Fox News Sunday" the CIA had withheld information from Congress about the program on Cheney's orders....(Remainder.)

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It's Not 2003: Obama Needs to Convince Fellow Democrats That They're in the Majority

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.
The New Republic


WASHINGTON -- It was not the soaring rhetoric that is Barack Obama's signature, but he recently offered the sound bite that may define his presidency: "Don't bet against us."

There are reasons to believe that his confident words--they were about health care reform, but have broader application--were not the bombast of a bluffer exaggerating the strength of his hand. They reflect the high cards that Obama holds and has only now started to play.

Of course, no one ever thought passing a health care bill would be easy, and the effort hit some bumps last week over costs and how to cover them.

But Obama doesn't quite see things the way his more nervous Democratic allies do because he missed the years in Washington during which his party was beaten down. Many Democrats had their perceptions of political reality shaped by the failure of Bill Clinton's health proposal, the 1994 Republican revolution, and the GOP's triumphalism during President Bush's first term.

That world, however, turned upside down in 2005--the year Obama arrived in Washington. But in 2005, the year Obama came to Washington, that world was turning upside down. Bush's power dissolved in the failure of his Social Security privatization proposal, the Hurricane Katrina backlash, and rising disillusionment with the Iraq War. By the end of 2006, less than two years after Obama's arrival, Democrats had seized control of both houses of Congress.

The paradox is that Obama's limited experience under Republican sway makes him more comfortable than are many of his allies with wielding the power that comes from large Democratic majorities....(Remainder.)

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Obama Plans ‘Rendition’ Of Tunisians In Guantanamo To Italian Jail

By Andy Worthington
The Public Record


On Wednesday, the British Muslim support group Help The Prisoners stated that it had “received notification from an inmate at Macomer prison” — an Italian high-security prison on the island of Sardinia — that “three Tunisian inmates from Guantánamo Bay will be transferred there.” This is disturbing news, because, as Help The Prisoners note, “Macomer has been dubbed ‘Italy’s Guantánamo’ by inmates and independent human rights organizations who have been campaigning for change at the prison.”

In 16 letters received by Help The Prisoners, those held at Macomer allege that they have been subjected to ill-treatment including “beatings, abuse of their religious items, denial of medical treatment, [and] sexual humiliation.” Another recently received letter adds further disturbing details, and it is, therefore, no surprise that Help The Prisoners has stated that it intends to “file a UN submission to the Special Rapporteur on Torture on the detainees’ behalf.”

Why Italy’s Offer is a “Rendition” Proposal

However, the news is not entirely unexpected. Since June 15, when President Obama announced, following talks with Silvio Berlusconi in Washington, “This is not just talk, Italy has agreed to accept three specific detainees,” the Italian press has explained that Berlusconi’s unexpected reversal of his previous opposition to accepting cleared prisoners from Guantánamo was only agreed on the basis that the Italian government would take prisoners who would subsequently be imprisoned in Italy on the basis of criminal proceedings pending against them.

According to a translation of an article in La Repubblica that was sent to me, the US informally asked the Italian government in April to take six or seven prisoners from Guantánamo, and in the weeks that followed the Department of Public Security and the Ministry of Justice compiled a list of Guantánamo prisoners who had criminal proceedings pending against them in Italy....(Remainder.)

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Goldman's Sudden Boom Could Be a Bust for Obama


(Chip Somodevilla / Getty) Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on Feb. 11, 2009

By Michael Scherer
Time

In a clear departure from the historical norm, the White House is not cheering the return of huge profits to Wall Street. On the contrary, the recent windfalls at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, and the promise of giant year-end paydays for banking executives and traders, has caused a bit of consternation in the West Wing, coming as it does so soon after the taxpayer bailouts saved the entire financial system from total collapse.

"If I were a Wall Street firm, I would perhaps be cognizant of the fact that the financial regulatory-reform process is only beginning in Congress," warns a senior White House official, speaking about the political problems that huge paydays at Wall Street firms could create later this year, when new laws to regulate the industry will be written on Capitol Hill. Officials have also begun to worry aloud whether the Wall Street firms learned anything from the catastrophic financial crisis that was largely of their making or whether they are now returning to the old business of making short-term profits that create long-term risks.

On July 14, Goldman Sachs posted second-quarter profits of $3.44 billion, more than the company made in all of 2008 and about on par with the precrisis gilded age, while announcing that it had set aside $11.4 billion this year to compensate workers, or $386,489 per employee. The huge profits were hailed on Wall Street as another sign that the crisis might be ending. On July 15, the Dow Jones industrial average jumped 3.1%, and other banking giants are expected to issue their own similarly glowing reports. On July 16, JPMorgan announced that it had earned $2.7 billion in the second quarter....(Remainder.)

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Health Care: Change the Debate

By Rep. Dennis Kucinich
Truthdig


In mid-May, in an effort to reach consensus, President Obama secured a deal with the health insurance companies to trim 1.5 percent of their costs each year for 10 years, saving a total of $2 trillion, which would be reprogrammed into health care. Just two days after the announcement at the White House, the insurance companies reneged on the deal that was designed to protect and increase their revenue at least 35 percent.

The insurance companies reneged on the deal because they refuse any restraint on increasing premiums, co-pays and deductibles—core to their profits. No wonder a recent USA Today poll found that only 4 percent of Americans trust insurance companies. This is within the margin of error, which means it is possible that no one trusts insurance companies.

Then why does Congress trust the insurance companies? Recently, HR 3200 “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act,” a 1,000-page bill, was delivered to members. The title of the bill raises a question: “Affordable” for whom?

Of $2.4 trillion spent annually for health care in America, fully $800 billion goes for the activities of the for-profit insurer-based system. This means one of every three health care dollars is siphoned off for corporate profits, stock options, executive salaries, advertising, marketing and the cost of paperwork (which can be anywhere between 15 and 35 percent in the private sector as compared to Medicare, the single payer plan which has only 3 percent administrative costs).

Fifty million Americans are uninsured and another 50 million are underinsured while for-profit insurance companies divert precious health care dollars to non-health care purposes. Eliminate the for-profit health care system and its extraordinary overhead, put the money into health care and everyone will be covered, everyone will be able to afford health care.

On Monday, three committees will begin marking up and amending HR 3200. In this, one of the most momentous public policy debates in the past 70 years, single payer—the only viable “public option,” the one that makes sound business sense, controls costs and covers everyone—was taken off the table....(Remainder.)

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NY State Senator Tom Duane Gives Gripping Speech on AIDS

THANK YOU SEN. TOM DUANE! This is how our politicians are supposed to act! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!


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Polis Named to Air Force Board

Michelle Garcia
Advocate.com


Rep. Jared Polis, one of three openly gay members of Congress, has become a member of the U.S. Air Force Academy's board of visitors.

The Colorado Democrat was named to the board on Wednesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader John Boehner, according to a press release.

"I am particularly pleased to appoint Jared Polis to the Board of Visitors given the strong ties between his congressional district and the academy near Colorado Springs and his expertise in the field of education coupled with his commitment to our national security," Pelosi said in a statement.

The board is responsible for giving frequent reports on the military academy to Congress and the Department of Defense.

Polis is a cosponsor of legislation currently being spearheaded by Rep. Patrick Murphy that would repeal the ban on openly gay service members in the military....(Remainder.)

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Vatican Funded Groups Comes Out for Marriage Equality

By William McGuinness
Advocate.com via Yahoo! News


The chief executive of Marriage Care, a marriage counseling organization partly funded by the Catholic Church, voiced his dissent with the Vatican's teaching that same-sex couples are unfit to raise children.

Terry Prendergast, the chief executive of the organization, pointed out that same-sex couples who lead good lives, follow the church's gospel, and raise children healthfully are nonetheless continuously "consigned to the dustbin," the U.K.'s Telegraph newspaper reports.

Prendergast added the families are advertisements for the church but are often disregarded. He will present these statements when he addresses Quest, a group of gay Catholics.

A church spokesperson for England and Wales rebuffed Prendergast's comments, telling the Herald Catholic, "Defining ‘family' is a notoriously difficult task. Yet the views expressed by Terry Prendergast about the definition of family and marriage are clearly not a reflection of the Church's teaching, nor those of the Bishops' Conference."...(Remainder.)

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The Six Deadly Hypocrites

By Paul Krugman
The New York Times


Will the destructive center kill health care reform? It looks all too possible.

What’s especially galling is the hypocrisy of their claimed reason for delaying progress — concern about the fiscal burden. After all, in the past most of them have shown no concern at all for the nation’s long-term fiscal outlook.

Case in point: the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, which denied Medicare the right to bargain for lower drug prices, locked in overpayments to private insurance companies, and did nothing, nothing at all, to pay for its proposed outlays. How many of these six self-proclaimed defenders of solvency voted no on the crucial procedural vote? One. (Joe Lieberman, to my surprise.)

And let’s not forget that Ben Nelson, who appears to be the ringleader, has fought tooth and nail against competition from a public option — which would almost certainly save a significant amount of money, as well as providing much-needed competition.

If the Gang of Six really does kill reform, remember their names; they will bear the responsibility for vast, unnecessary suffering over the years to come....(Remainder.)

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Pathetic GOP Piece of Shit, Rep Tiahrt Asks Whether Obama's Mother Would Have Had An Abortion

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First the Abortionists, Then the "Homosexuals": TheCall Declares War

By Patricia Nell Warren
The Bilerico Project


Just this morning, an announcement went out from TheCall, asking its list of followers to join a national prayer-and-fasting movement aimed at "the spiritual darkness of the homosexual agenda" and the "restraining" of our "ideology." TheCall is not just another fringy extremist church group -- we need to pay serious attention to this move it's making. Lou Engle, founder and leader of TheCall, is not the familiar old bible-thumping enemy like Jerry Falwell and James Dobson. A major figure in the New Apostolic Reformation that I've been writing about, Engle has close ties with the violent anti-abortion movement called The Army of God, who stirred up such a frenzied atmosphere of attacks on abortion clinics that they finally incited someone to assassinate the well-known doctor George Tiller.

Now Engle's front is calling for 21 days of national prayer against the "unseen spiritual powers" (meaning the unholy demons that allegedly possess you and me). But that's not all. His own movement also calls for acts of "martyrdom" -- meaning followers who are willing to commit violent acts, including murder, who will willingly go to prison or be shot down by police, so they can rid the world of the movement's "enemies," namely prominent abortionists and LGBT leaders and the like.

In other words, leaders like Engle can keep the blood off their own hands, and themselves out of prison, by merely inciting others to riot. Their weapons are other people who leap into "Christian soldier" mode and pull the trigger.

Engle isn't a name that is well-known to many of us, but he travels with familiar figures like Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee and Oliver North, among others. Gingrich has been described as one of what Engle calls "the wallbuilders." So when Gingrich is talking and religious rhetoric is coming out of his mouth, you can bet that powers like Engle are moving the former Speaker's lips....(Remainder.)

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Wingnut Group Offers FedEx Support for $2 Million

By Mike Allen
Politico


The American Conservative Union asked FedEx for a check for $2 million to $3 million in return for the group’s support in a bitter legislative dispute, then the group’s chairman flipped and sided with UPS after FedEx refused to pay.

For the $2 million plus, ACU offered a range of services that included: “Producing op-eds and articles written by ACU’s Chairman David Keene and/or other members of the ACU’s board of directors. (Note that Mr. Keene writes a weekly column that appears in The Hill.)”

The conservative group’s remarkable demand — black-and-white proof of the longtime Washington practice known as “pay for play” — was contained in a private letter to FedEx , which was provided to POLITICO.

The letter exposes the practice by some political interest groups of taking stands not for reasons of pure principle, as their members and supporters might assume, but also in part because a sponsor is paying big money.

In the three-page letter asking for money on June 30, the conservative group backed FedEx. After FedEx says it rejected the offer, Keene signed onto a two-page July 15 letter backing UPS. Keene did not return a message left on his cell phone.

Maury Lane, FedEx’s director of corporate communications, said: “Clearly, the ACU shopped their beliefs and UPS bought.”

ACU's executive vice president, Dennis Whitfield, said that neither the group nor David Keene, the chairman, took any money from UPS. Whitfield said the group has never received a response to its original proposal to FedEx. He said Keene endorsed the second letter as an individual, even though the letter bore the logo of ACU....(Remainder.)

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Gang Of Six Centrist Senators Demands Delay On Health Care Reform

By Ryan Grim
The Huffington Post


A bipartisan group of centrist and conservative senators sent a letter to the Democratic and Republican leaders on Friday urging delay in consideration of health care reform.

The letter, obtained by the Huffington Post, was drafted by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and is also signed by Democratic Sens. Mary Landrieu (La.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.). Independent Joe Lieberman (Conn.), who caucuses with Democrats, signed on, as did Maine Republican Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins -- moderates heavily courted by President Obama.

The organized effort to slow down the process is a blow to the reform effort. Obama has pushed hard for a final vote before the August recess, arguing that delaying until September could slow momentum and risk missing a historic opportunity.

The letter, sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stresses that while the senators still want health care reform done this year, they don't feel comfortable voting for it until they've had more time to study its costs and benefits.

Read the letter here.

Reid had said on Thursday that senators always want more time, no matter when a vote comes.

Any of those individual senators calling for delay by themselves would be a surmountable obstacle; but together, they make a formidable force and throw the possibility of an August vote in serious doubt.

"If we fail to act, and act now, working families will continue to see their premiums skyrocket, their benefits will erode even further, the number of uninsured will keep exploding and the deficit will grow uncontrollably," said Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, in response to the news of the letter....(Remainder.)

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