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I AM APPALLED! Admiral Mullen After Viewing Classified Detainee Photos

Sunday, July 26, 2009

By CSPANJunkie
Crooks and Liars

July 23, 2009 News Corp:
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed outrage to his combatant commanders after seeing some of the detainee abuse photos now under wraps by the Obama administration, according to a highly sensitive memo obtained Wednesday by FOX News.

In the July 10 memo to service chiefs and battlefield commanders, Mullen says he is "appalled by even the suggestion that someone in an American uniform would behave in such a way."

The photos depict clear instances of abuse -- though not torture -- that included beatings and in some cases deaths during battlefield detentions in Iraq from 2001-2006.

He is the first top military commander to admit that what were in those photos included what would be described as "abuse."

The photos Mullen viewed are among thousands now at the heart of an ACLU lawsuit against the administration. President Obama ordered the photos not be released after commanders, including Gen. Ray Odierno, argued that their release could jeopardize the lives of American soldiers serving in Iraq and elsewhere.

And last month, the Senate quietly passed a ban on the release of any detainee abuse photos, preventing Obama from signing an executive order classifying the photos, a move that would have surely inflamed the left after his campaign promises for more "sunlight" in Washington.

Shortly after Obama's May 13 decision not to release the photos, Mullen was shown the first batch of these classified pictures. A few weeks later he was shown another batch. This was a couple weeks prior to a meeting of combatant commanders at the Pentagon....



Ed Schultz's Recap of Republican Talking Points on Health Care

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

In his Psycho Talk segment, Ed Schultz has a gang of Republicans repeating the talking points given to them from The Lewin Group, Frank Luntz and Alex Castellanos for his latest edition of Psycho Talk....(Original.)


The Pig-Man & Lying Sack of Dog Mess Continue to say ACORN is the Problem. Idiots!

By Media Matters

Several conservative media figures, including Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, have invoked ACORN in their discussions of President Obama's July 22 prime-time press conference, in which he took a question regarding the controversial arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Media Matters for America has previously documented that in discussions of major news stories, conservatives in the media have repeatedly invoked ACORN to attack progressives or Democrats, rather than conducting substantive analysis, even when the group has little or nothing to do with the issue at hand.
  • Rush Limbaugh. During the July 24 broadcast of his radio show, Limbaugh stated that Obama's response was "the reaction of an ACORN leader":
LIMBAUGH: What we got from Obama at his presser on Wednesday night was not a presidential reaction; we got the reaction of a community agitator. We got the reaction of a community organizer. We got the reaction of an ACORN leader. And everybody was going, "Is the president going to apologize?" ACORN members don't apologize for what they do. ACORN doesn't apologize, and the president was ACORN answering this question. He was not presidential.
Limbaugh went on to claim that Obama's "instincts are those of a community organizer, not a president":
LIMBAUGH: Take Obama's reaction to the Gates incident, his instinctive reaction. One event -- three learning experiences.

Lesson one: Obama's instincts are those of a community organizer, not a president -- "Don't bother me with the facts; I have to play it to the crowd here." Lesson two: Obama can sound as if he knows what he's talking about even when, by his own admission, he doesn't know what he's talking about. It's not what he says; it's how he says it. Lesson three: When Obama is faced with a political setback, even one of his own makings, he plays the race card.



Chris Matthews Calls Out People Like Dobbs for Ignorant "Reporting"


CNN's Jeanne Sahadi Explains Health Care Reform


The Great Preventer

By Nouriel Roubini
The New York Times Op-Ed
Photo: Vivienne Flesher

LAST week Ben Bernanke appeared before Congress, setting off a discussion over whether the president should reappoint him as chairman of the Federal Reserve when his term ends next January. Mr. Bernanke deserves to be reappointed. Both the conventional and unconventional decisions made by this scholar of the Great Depression prevented the Great Recession of 2008-2009 from turning into the Great Depression 2.0.

Mr. Bernanke understands that in the Great Depression, the collapse of the money supply and the lack of monetary stimulus during contractions worsened the country’s economic free fall. This lesson has paid off. Mr. Bernanke’s decision to keep interest rates low and encourage lending has, for now, averted the L-shaped near depression that seemed highly likely after the financial collapse last fall.

To be sure, an endorsement of Mr. Bernanke’s reappointment comes with many caveats. Mr. Bernanke, a Fed governor in the early part of this decade, supported flawed policies when Alan Greenspan pushed the federal funds rate (the policy rate set by the Fed as its main tool of monetary policy) too low for too long and failed to monitor mortgage lending properly, thus creating the housing and credit and mortgage bubbles.

He and the Fed made three major mistakes when the subprime mortgage crisis began. First, he kept arguing that the housing recession would bottom out soon (it has not bottomed out even three years later). Second, he argued that the subprime problem was a contained problem when in reality it was a symptom of the biggest leverage and credit bubble in American history. Third, he argued that the collapse in the housing market would not lead to a recession, even though about one-third of jobs created in the latest economic recovery were directly or indirectly related to housing. Mr. Bernanke’s analysis was mistaken in several other important ways. He argued that monetary policy should not be used to control asset bubbles. He attributed the large United States current account deficits to a savings glut in China and emerging markets, understating the role that excessive fiscal deficits and debt accumulation by American households and the financial system played....(Remainder.)


Abstinence-Support GOP State Lawmaker Admits to Sex with 22-Year-Old Intern

By Zachary Roth
Talking Points Memo

Paging Keith Olbermann. You can call off the search...we've found your Worst Person in the World for tonight.

Meet Tennessee state senator Paul Stanley. He's a solid conservative Republican and married father of two, who according to his website is "a member of Christ United Methodist Church, where he serves as a Sunday school teacher and board member of their day school." (Check out the religious imagery on the site -- the sun poking through clouds, as if manifesting God's presence -- which of course shows Stanley's deeply pious nature.)

Stanley recently sponsored a bill designed to prevent gay couples from adopting children. And when a Planned Parenthood official recently sought his support for family planning services for Memphis teens, Stanley told her, according to the official, that he "didn't believe young people should have sex before marriage anyway, that his faith and church are important to him, and he wants to promote abstinence."

So far, so far Republican. But you can see where this is going...

In a sworn affidavit, a Tennessee state investigator has said that Stanley admitted to having a "sexual relationship" with a 22-year-old female intern working in his office, and to taking nude pictures of her in "provocative poses" in his apartment....(Remainder.)


Obama's Health Care Struggle: Waterloo or Water Down?

By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

t r u t h o u t
Art:  Elon Sharton-Bierig

Push finally came to shove in Washington this week as the battle for health care escalated from scattered sniper fire into all-out combat. If it all seems to be getting more and more confusing, join the club. It's hard to see what's happening through all the gun smoke.

The Republicans have more than health care reform in their bombsights - they want a loss for Obama so crushing it will bring the administration to its knees and restore GOP control of Congress after next year's elections. In the words of Republican Senator Jim DeMint, "If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him."

The "Waterloo" of DeMint's metaphor, of course, is not the 1974 Abba hit but the battle in 1815 that ended Napoleon Bonaparte's rule as Emperor of France - a humiliating defeat and a turning point in European history. Right-wingers like Glenn Beck see Obama as Napoleon incarnate, a popular emperor who must be stopped.

Here's what Beck said on his television show Monday, July 20: "I'm telling you, this guy is dangerous. He's never lost before. He won't understand ... like, 'Who are you to question me?' I mean, this guy is practically an imperial President now. When he starts to lose and people start to question him and push him back against the wall, he's not gonna know how to react."...(Remainder.)


A Solution to Our Health Care Crisis

By Gavin Newson
The Huffington Post

Politicians and pundits on both sides of the aisle are trying to make national health care reform into a game. One senator even said that defeating health care reform is about "breaking" President Obama.

It is not about "breaking" our president. Reforming our national health care system is about fixing our economy by creating competition to lower health care costs and improve care.

Health care reform is about the estimated 47 million Americans that do not have health insurance. Nearly five million people have lost their insurance since September 2008. 14,000 more are losing coverage every day -- and the situation is only getting worse.

This is not a game. This is a crisis. And as the recession continues, it is a crisis with profound implications for every city and county in America.

Earlier this week, Governor Schwarzenegger balanced the California state budget on the backs of local governments, taking $4 billion from cities and counties, slashing $1.3 billion from the state's health care program for the poor and gutting millions more from the Healthy Families insurance program that provides coverage for children.

What is happening in California is not unique to our state. Mayors and city councils across the country are facing similar problems as state governments slash health coverage to balance their books....(Remainder.)


GOP ‘Mother Bears’ Warn of Long Lines if Just Anyone Can See the Doctor

By Susie Madrak
Crooks and Liars

This is the GOP strategy? They're going to try to appeal to stressed-out soccer moms to stop healthcare reform? I'm stunned at the sheer brilliance - not to mention that smug attitude that some people's children are more important that others:
Why offer more people health insurance, Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) asked at a press conference Friday, if they might lengthen waits for doctors and otherwise increase the "hassle factor" for her?

"That's like having a mother bear protecting her little cubs, and she's seeing that she has to move heaven and earth to get her child what her child needs," Bachmann said, referring to the health care reforms being debated by Congress. "We'll do it if we have to, but why put ourselves in that situation?"

Near the end of a tumultuous week of delays for health care bills in both houses of Congress, Bachmann and a handful of other House Republican women said at a press conference that as far as they were concerned, any reform would just make things tougher for them.

"I think most all of us here have had the opportunity to take our kids to a fast-food restaurant," said Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.). "We want to get a good dinner, and you walk in and there's 50 people there and it seems like everybody in line wants to buy food for their soccer team or whatever. The American people aren't particularly good at standing in line, but that's exactly what's going to happen if this health care plan goes through."...


And That's Not the Way It Is

By Frank Rich
The New York Times

WHO exactly was the competition in the race to be the most trusted man in America? Lyndon Johnson? Richard Nixon?

Not to take anything away from Walter Cronkite, but he beat out Henry Kissinger by only four percentage points when a 1974 Roper poll asked Americans whom they most respected. The successive blows of Vietnam and Watergate during the Cronkite ’60s and ’70s shattered the nation’s faith in most of its institutions, public and private, and toppled many of the men who led them. Such was the dearth of trustworthy figures who survived that an unindicted official in a disgraced White House could make the cut.

In death, “the most trusted man in America” has been embalmed in that most comforting of American sweeteners — nostalgia — to the point where his finest, and most discomforting, achievements are being sanitized or forgotten. We’ve heard much sentimental rumination on the bygone heyday of the “mainstream media,” on the cultural fractionalization inflicted by the Internet, and on the lack of any man who could replicate the undisputed moral authority of Uncle Walter. (Women still need not apply, apparently.) But the reason to celebrate Cronkite has little to do with any of this and least of all to do with his avuncular television persona....(Remainder.)


Texas Tech Profs Oppose Hiring of Bush's AG Gonzales

By Daniel Tencer
The Raw Story

After a long, desperate search, Alberto Gonzales has finally found a job.

The former attorney-general under President George W. Bush will soon be teaching "Contemporary Issues in the Executive Branch" at Texas Tech -- a job for which, at least 40 of the school's professors say, Gonzales is profoundly unqualified.

As of last count, 45 staffers at Texas Tech have signed a petition urging the school's chancellor to rescind the offer of a teaching job to Gonzales, reports the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

According to Texas Tech philosophy professor Walter Schaller, the primary reason for the petition against Gonzales is his record as attorney-general.

Gonzales was swept up in controversy for much of the three years he spent as attorney-general, finally resigning in 2007 after pressure from Congressional leaders. He was questioned over the 2006 dismissal of seven US attorneys, which the attorneys say was politically motivated.

As White House counsel in 2002, Gonzales signed a controversial memorandum denying Geneva Convention rights to Al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners.

And Gonzales also once told Congress that there is no Constitutional right to habeas corpus -- the principle that the accused has a right to see the evidence against them -- only a Constitutional right not to have habeas corpus taken away. It was a logical contortion that left Congressional leaders speechless....(Remainder.)


Citing Email Flap, McKalip Says He'll Withdraw from Public Debate Over Health Care

By Zachary Roth
Talking Points Memo

Dr. David McKalip has told fellow conservative activists that thanks to the flap over his racist email showing President Obama as a witch doctor, he will no longer appear publicly in opposition to health-care reform.

"For now, in the interest of protecting this movement from any collateral damage, I am withdrawing from making media appearances on health system reform," McKalip wrote this morning in an email -- obtained by TPMmuckraker -- to fellow members of an online health-care discussion group affiliated with the Tea Party movement. The email went to the same recipients to which McKalip sent the original racist email.

As we noted in our original post, McKalip -- an energetic and widely quoted conservative activist -- had recently written an anti-reform op-ed in the St. Petersburg Times, and had appeared with at least two GOP members of Congress in an online townhall meeting aimed at stopping reform....(Remainder.)


New Evidence Reveals Feds 'Coached, Cajoled, Threatened' Star Witness in Siegelman Case

By Brad Friedman
The Huffington Post

Declarations filed in former AL Governor's request for new trial, describe government prosecutors manipulating key testimony, pressuring former aide in exchange for lighter sentence. Notes, communications and required FBI disclosures said illegally withheld from defense team.

How it's even possible that former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman's bribery case and conviction has not long ago been dropped by the Dept. of Justice is beyond us. There is now so much evidence of clear conflicts of interest, overt partisan political prosecutorial targeting, failures to recuse by at least one conflicted prosecutor as well as the judge in the case, evidence withheld from the defense team, and now evidence of the coaching and strong-arming of witnesses in exchange for a lighter prison sentence and a promise to conceal embarrassing personal information, it all makes the prosecutorial misconduct in the case of former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens -- a Republican whose case was dropped by Obama's Justice Dept. shortly after they came to power -- look like jaywalking.

Official declarations filed along with a recent motion by Siegelman, requesting a new trial in light of the new evidence, reveal what seems just the tip of the iceberg of a flagrant and wholly inappropriate case of wide-spread prosecutorial misconduct. The allegations (with much evidence to back them up) paint a compelling picture of an illegally targeted political prosecution/witch-hunt carried out by Karl Rove and his Alabama-based Dept. of Justice cronies in an attempt to remove Alabama's most popular Democrat from the political grid all together.

The scheme worked, as Siegelman is currently fighting his conviction on appeal and -- now armed with new evidence gathered by the defense team of fellow defendant Richard Scrushy, the man alleged to have "bribed" Siegelman -- is calling for a completely new trial. The government is to answer Siegelman's motion next week, and the decision will be made by the same federal U.S. District Court judge, Mark E. Fuller, reported to have severe conflicts of interest in the entire case, including a specific "grudge" against Siegelman....(Remainder.)


Rushing Into Health Care Reform

By Mike Luckovich
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Since Primary Challenge, Specter Voting with Dems 97% of the Time

By Nate Silver

Back in May, we introduced something which I like to call the Specterometer. This is simply the percentage of the time that Arlen Specter is voting with the Democrats on what I refer to as Contentious Votes -- anything that comes up for a floor vote in the Senate and where the majority of each party splits their votes.

In the first month or so after becoming a Democrat, Specter was voting with his new party about two-thirds of the time on these Contentious Votes. While there are some less loyal Democrats -- say, Ben Nelson of Nebraska -- who only vote with their party about half the time, this was certainly less than what most Democratic observers were hoping for.

But since then, indeed, something has changed. Well, a couple of things have changed. On May 27th, Congressman Joe Sestak announced that he intended to challenge Specter for the Democratic nomination. And since that time, Specter has voted with his party on 28 out of 29 Contentious Votes, or 97 percent of the time.


Sources Say Waxman Kicked Some Blue Dog Tail

By John Amato
Crooks and Liars

The word I'm hearing is that Rep. Henry Waxman kicked the Blue Dogs around over their health care obstructionism and the earlier reports of a deal being dead in the HOUSE is not the case. The Hill is reporting along those lines:
Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) says there is "no alternative" but to have healthcare legislation bypass his Energy and Commerce Committee if Blue Dog Democrats don't accept a deal worked out Friday.Waxman is now playing a game of legislative chicken with the Blue Dogs. He's hoping the inclusion of a study on Medicare reimbursement rates in the healthcare overhaul will be enough to placate the centrist Democrats, who say the government program short-changes hospitals and physicians in their rural districts.

If that’s not, the seven Blue Dogs could join with the committee's Republicans to "eviscerate" healthcare reform, and that’s something Waxman will not tolerate.

"I won't allow them to hand over control of our committee to Republicans," Waxman told reporters.

"I don’t see what other alternative we have, because we're not going to let them empower Republicans on the committee."
Is there anyone wondering why Waxman took over the EC&C Committee from Dingle? If he hadn't then the Blue Dogs would be running the show. Waxman is an excellent at legislature and obviously knew he needed to get things done....(Remainder.)


Who's in Charge at CNN? Klein Capitulates, Allows Dobbs' Birther Coverage to Continue

By Media Matters

In a July 24 interview with Washington Post Co. blogger Greg Sargent, CNN president Jonathan Klein reportedly said that CNN would allow Lou Dobbs to continue airing conspiracy theories about President Obama's birth certificate and stated: "I think no good journalist would ever say that a particular story will never be covered again. Every day brings new facts, new pegs."

Klein's reported statement appears to directly contradict an email he sent to Dobbs' show just one day earlier, in which he reportedly pronounced the birther story seemingly "dead" and declared that "anyone who still is not convinced doesn't really have a legitimate beef." As Media Matters for America documented, Dobbs appeared to disregard Klein's admonishment that the story was "dead," asking CNN contributor Roland Martin on July 23: "When this could be dispelled so quickly, and -- and simply by producing [the birth certificate], why not do it?"

Despite his reported statement that the story is "dead" and that the birth certificate conspiracy theorists don't "really have a legitimate beef," Klein reportedly told The New York Times on July 24 that, in the Times' words, "the e-mail message should not be interpreted as an order to stop debating the subject." According to the Times, Klein "defended Mr. Dobbs' broadcast, saying that 'what we do here all the time is dig into the truth about all kinds of controversial issues.' "...(Remainder.)


Ensign's Church Head Endorsed Sex-With-Succubus Economic Theory

By Bruce Wilson
The Huffington Post

What drives economic boom-and-bust cycles and stock market fluctuations ? In the late 1970's, the Texas oil tycoon Hunt brothers caused a mammoth speculative bubble in world silver prices by buying up between fifty and seventy five percent of the precious metal. This spring, 2009, a new Rolling Stone magazine story claimed that the financial investment firm Goldman Sachs "has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression."

But Van Nuys, California based megachurch pastor Jack Hayford, current head of sex-scandal embroiled GOP Senator John Ensign's religious denomination, has endorsed a theory proposing that a supernatural mechanism drove down Japanese stock market prices during the early 1990's:  the Japanese emperor's alleged sexual intercourse with a "sky goddess" who, according to the theory, might be a succubus.

Footage from a 1993 evangelical video shows Hayford enthusiastically introducing and endorsing a talk during which his colleague C. Peter Wagner claimed that the early 1990's economic downturn of the Japanese economy was due to what Wagner depicted as a Shinto ritual in which Japanese emperors have sexual intercourse with a demonic sky-goddess being that, posited Wagner, may have been a succubus. Wagner blamed slack Japanese stock prices on the alleged tryst. As British religious scholar Richard Bartholomew notes, C. Peter Wagner's treatment of the Shinto ceremony is factually dubious on a number of counts....(Remainder.)


Racist Web Posts Traced to Homeland Security

By Kirk Semple
The New York Times

After federal border agents detained several Mexican immigrants in western New York in June, an article about the incident in a local newspaper drew an onslaught of vitriolic postings on its Web site. Some were racist. Others attacked farmers in the region, an apple-growing area east of Rochester, accusing them of harboring illegal workers. Still others made personal attacks about the reporter who wrote the article.

Most of the posts were made anonymously. But in reviewing the logs of its Internet server, the paper, The Wayne County Star in Wolcott, traced three of them to Internet protocol addresses at the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees border protection.

Homeland Security started an investigation into the posts this month, according to the reporter, Louise Hoffman-Broach, and Richard M. Healy, the Wayne County district attorney. A spokeswoman for the federal agency’s inspector general said she could neither confirm nor deny an investigation; department rules prohibit the use of office equipment for the personal transmission of material that could offend fellow employees or the public.

Coming on the eve of the apple harvest season, the Web posts and the investigation — first reported this week on The Star’s Web site — have ratcheted up longstanding tensions in Wayne County, where farmers and laborers have accused immigration officials of using heavy-handed tactics like racial profiling and arbitrary or unjustified detentions....(Remainder.)


Whistleblower Tells of America's Hidden Nightmare for its Sick Poor

When an insurance firm boss saw a field hospital for the poor in Virginia, he knew he had to speak out. Here, he tells Paul Harris of his fears for Obama's bid to bring about radical change.

By Paul Harris
The Observer
Photo:  John Moore (Getty)

Wendell Potter can remember exactly when he took the first steps on his journey to becoming a whistleblower and turning against one of the most powerful industries in America.

It was July 2007 and Potter, a senior executive at giant US healthcare firm Cigna, was visiting relatives in the poverty-ridden mountain districts of northeast Tennessee. He saw an advert in a local paper for a touring free medical clinic at a fairground just across the state border in Wise County, Virginia.

Potter, who had worked at Cigna for 15 years, decided to check it out. What he saw appalled him. Hundreds of desperate people, most without any medical insurance, descended on the clinic from out of the hills. People queued in long lines to have the most basic medical procedures carried out free of charge. Some had driven more than 200 miles from Georgia. Many were treated in the open air. Potter took pictures of patients lying on trolleys on rain-soaked pavements.

For Potter it was a dreadful realisation that healthcare in America had failed millions of poor, sick people and that he, and the industry he worked for, did not care about the human cost of their relentless search for profits. "It was over-powering. It was just more than I could possibly have imagined could be happening in America," he told the Observer....(Remainder.)


Spitzer: Federal Reserve is ‘a Ponzi Scheme, an Inside Job’

By Daniel Tencer
The Raw Story

The Federal Reserve — the quasi-autonomous body that controls the US's money supply — is a "Ponzi scheme" that created "bubble after bubble" in the US economy and needs to be held accountable for its actions, says Eliot Spitzer, the former governor and attorney-general of New York.

In a wide-ranging discussion of the bank bailouts on MSNBC's Morning Meeting, host Dylan Ratigan described the process by which the Federal Reserve exchanged $13.9 trillion of bad bank debt for cash that it gave to the struggling banks.

Spitzer — who built a reputation as "the Sheriff of Wall Street" for his zealous prosecutions of corporate crime as New York's attorney-general and then resigned as the state's governor over revelations he had paid for prostitutes — seemed to agree with Ratigan that the bank bailout amounts to "America's greatest theft and cover-up ever."

Advocating in favor of a House bill to audit the Federal Reserve, Spitzer said: "The Federal Reserve has benefited for decades from the notion that it is quasi-autonomous, it's supposed to be independent. Let me tell you a dirty secret: The Fed has done an absolutely disastrous job since [former Fed Chairman] Paul Volcker left.

"The reality is the Fed has blown it. Time and time again, they blew it. Bubble after bubble, they failed to understand what they were doing to the economy.

"The most poignant example for me is the AIG bailout, where they gave tens of billions of dollars that went right through — conduit payments — to the investment banks that are now solvent. We [taxpayers] didn't get stock in those banks, they didn't ask what was going on — this begs and cries out for hard, tough examination....(Remainder.)


McKalip: I'm No Racist—I Once Had a Career Counseling Day for Black Kids

By Zachery Roth
Talking Points Memo

More McKalip fallout:

The Florida Medical Association yesterday condemned McKalip's racist email and called on him to apologize to the president:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (July 23, 2009) - The Florida Medical Association is an organization with a zero-tolerance for racist or discriminatory behavior. As such, we do not condone the circulation of what has been described by the press as a racist depiction of President Obama by David McKalip, MD. Dr. McKalip's actions do not in anyway reflect the positions, attitudes or culture of the Florida Medical Association.

The Florida Medical Association finds the actions by Dr. McKalip to be hurtful and in poor judgment. Further, we find his actions disrespectful to President Obama and the Office of the President. The Florida Medical Association is disappointed by Dr. McKalip's actions and urges Dr. McKalip to extend President Obama an apology for this egregious deed.
McKalip did indeed apologize.

But that may not be the end of it. A Florida Democratic lawmaker has called on McKalip to resign as president-elect of the Pinellas County Medical Association and as a board member of the Florida Medical Association. State Rep. Darryl Rouson called the email "absolutely terrible" and an "outrageous act."

And it's worth noting that McKalip's original response to the flap was much more defiant than his subsequent apology. In an interview yesterday with the St. Petersburg Times, which picked up the story, he declared: "I am not a racist. I am simply a person speaking up to make sure patients don't get hurt by the government and by insurance companies.''...(Remainder.)


What You Might Not Know About the Recovery

By Vice-President Joe Biden
The New York Times Op-Ed

WASHINGTON - Six months ago, when President Obama and I took office, we were confronted with an economic crisis unparalleled in our lifetime. The nation was hemorrhaging more than 700,000 jobs a month, the housing market was in free fall, and the fate of the financial system hung in the balance. Credible economists were handicapping the probability of a depression. The actions we took — passing the Recovery Act, stabilizing the banking system, pressing to get credit flowing again and helping responsible homeowners — brought us back from the precipice. Monthly job losses are down, financial markets are improved, and economic contraction has slowed. We still have a long way to go, but clearly we are closer to recovery today than we were in January. The Recovery Act has been critical to that progress.

Notwithstanding this progress, the nature of the Recovery Act remains misunderstood by many, and misconstrued by others: critics have suggested that the entire $787 billion is being spent on pet programs. As the person leading the administration’s efforts to put the Recovery Act into effect, I want to set the record straight.

The single largest part of the Recovery Act — more than one-third of it — is tax cuts: 95 percent of working Americans have seen their taxes go down as a result of the act. The second-largest part — just under a third — is direct relief to state governments and individuals. The money is allowing state governments to avoid laying off teachers (14,000 in New York City alone), firefighters and police officers and preventing states’ budget gaps from growing wider....(Remainder.)



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