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President Obama Speaks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

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Joe the Plumber: Those Kind of People I Usually Took Behind the Woodshed and Just Beat the Livin' Tar Out Of

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

Apparently the GOP's favorite fake plumber Joe Wurzelbacher speaking about Nancy Pelosi and saying that "those kind of people I usually took behind the woodshed and beat the livin' tar out of" was a bit hit at Americans for Prosperity's right wing conference that they held as their alternative to Netroots Nation.

It's so nice to see these good self proclaimed Christians having no problem with advocating violence as a means to an end that they would prefer to use. I don't have a lot of use for Mrs. "Impeachment is Off the Table" Pelosi myself, but I find it extremely offensive that someone would even suggest that violence would be a suitable means to get that or any other point across to her.

I'm sure Mr. Wurzelbacher will feign ignorance once called out on this and say he wasn't actually calling for anyone to beat the crap out of Nancy Pelosi. Sorry Joe... or is it Sam? If you put the suggestion out there that this is acceptable behavior, you are advocating violence towards the Speaker. It's unacceptable and given the fringe that's been whipped up into a frenzy these days, it's dangerous. Shame on you.

If you're worried about responsibility, you'd better take some for the words that come out of your mouth....(Original.)

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Lying Sack of Dog Mess Attacks His Corporate Overlords, Insurance Companies

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The Pig Man Tells His Latest Lie: "I Don't Tell Lies"

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VFW National Commander, Glen Gardner, Calls Out Fox's Carlson Over False Obama/Military Claims

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Caught in the Desperation of Immigration Detention Centers

Immigrants facing deportation say they must cope with poor living conditions and substandard medical care. The Obama administration has been reluctant to set standards.

By LA Times

For two years, immigration advocates petitioned the federal government to institute legally enforceable standards for the nation's 300 detention centers, where immigrants facing deportation suffer from substandard medical care and deprivations of due process -- cloaked by secrecy that shrouds much of the immigration system and the centers in particular. The George W. Bush administration, true to form, shrugged off those appeals. Then, in June, a federal judge ordered the Obama administration to respond to the petition. It did, but its approach so far is every bit as unacceptable as its predecessor's refusals. According to the Obama administration, the present system ensures quality control, and imposing legally binding standards on the centers would be overly burdensome. The first assertion is false. The second is shameful.

In Basile, La., detainees know well the consequences of Obama's indifference to their difficulties. More than 100 have filed complaints detailing violations that range from humiliating to bizarre. Detainees said they received two days' worth of toilet paper to last a month; they live in rat- and spider-infested cells; they lack medicine for serious illnesses, such as leukemia. They also claim they're denied access to lawyers and subjected to midnight disciplinary "trials" run by the center's staff. Desperate for help from Washington, detainees recently began their fifth hunger strike.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement inspections have found satisfactory conditions at the center, and the private company that runs it disputes allegations of mistreatment. But Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, responding to the detainees' latest hunger strike and complaints from civil liberties groups, dispatched a top official to meet the strikers and has already begun a reform of the system. Those mixed signals only reinforce the sense that the detention centers are not governed by clear standards or subjected to thoughtful oversight....(Remainder.)

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Out-of-State [Maine] Donors Help Fuel Debate on Same-Sex Marriage

By Matt Wickenheiser
Maine Sunday Telegram


Maine's same-sex marriage debate increasingly seems to be a coast-to-coast affair.

Earlier this summer, the campaign seeking to repeal Maine's new same-sex marriage law said it had retained Schubert Flint Public Affairs, the high-power firm that ran the successful effort to ban gay marriage in California.

Now it appears Sacramento, Calif.-based Schubert Flint may face some familiar foes.

This past week, Equality California, the San Francisco-based group that fought to maintain gay marriage in that state, said it planned to support similar efforts in Maine. During a conference call in which Equality California officials talked about trying to reinstate gay marriage there in 2010, they also pushed support for their Maine counterparts.

The attention, and several press releases from both supporters and opponents of gay marriage, demonstrate a growing focus on the Maine debate and the importance it will have on a national level this year.

Both sides - supporters and opponents of gay marriage in Maine -- have attracted dollars and expertise "from away."

"Equality is our mission, and we support our brothers and sisters throughout the country," Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors said in a Friday interview. "Each time there are more people who are able to have the dignity and respect and rights that come with marriage, the better it is for everyone, and the better it is to restore marriage rights in California."

Kors said his group would contribute $25,000 to the "No on 1" campaign in Maine. Kors also said the group would encourage supporters to make matching contributions and volunteer time to help the campaign in Maine. And Equality California is evaluating what sort of staff assistance it could send to the East Coast, Kors said....(Remainder.)

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Is Whole Foods Sustainable or Just a High-Priced Hoax? I Took a Job There to Find Out

Was Whole Foods truly sustainable, or was it just a high-priced version of the same food one could find in a conventional supermarket?

By Jill Richardson
Ig Publishing via AlterNet


As a sustainable-food aficionado, my attitude toward Whole Foods and other national chains offering organic food changes based on the available alternatives.

When I can buy directly from local farmers and food artisans, I avoid places like Whole Foods. However, when I am on the road and my next best option is Subway, I look to Whole Foods as an oasis.

After reading The Omnivore's Dilemma's harsh account of Whole Foods and its suppliers (Michael Pollan traces some of the food sold at Whole Foods back to its suppliers, and what he discovers is not necessarily the "supermarket pastoral" that the company promises) and then seeing Pollan debate Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, I decided to get to the bottom of the matter by taking a job in the bakery at a Whole Foods in San Diego. My goal was to answer the following question: Was Whole Food truly sustainable, or was it just a high-priced version of the same food one could find in a conventional supermarket?

Right off the bat, Whole Foods made an impressive effort to train its new staff members on how to properly handle organic food. I, along with the rest of the new hires, had to complete an eight-week training course with team trainers before going before team and store managers to be quizzed on the information we had learned. In addition, we had to complete computer-based training on various topics (earning a free organic-cotton T-shirt in the process)....(Remainder.)

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What Has Israel Done to Deserve Christo-Zionist Wingnut Mike Huckabee?

The former, and perhaps future, US presidential candidate criticized Obama's policy, comparing rules about where Jews could live to racial segregation.

By Ilene R. Prusher
The Christian Science Monitor
Photo: Ronen Zvulun (Reuters)

Jerusalem - In the first major Republican challenge to President Obama's Israel policy, former US presidential candidate Mike Huckabee visited a number of controversial Jewish housing projects in Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem on Monday.

The former governor of Arkansas – a Southern Baptist minister who was one of the main contenders for the Republican Party's 2008 nomination for president – took issue with Obama's insistence that Israel freeze the expansion of all Jewish settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Standing next to a new Israeli housing compound wedged into the Arab neighborhood of Abu Dis and abutting the looming cement security barrier, he compared placing restrictions on where Jews can live to the racial segregation of his childhood in the American South, saying, "I can't understand it at all."

Mr. Huckabee, who may well have designs on another presidential run, is in Israel as the guest of The Jerusalem Reclamation Project, run by the settler group Ateret Cohenim. Under the project, the group buys real estate – both land and existing buildings – in Arab areas of Jerusalem where Palestinians hope to make the capital of their future state. A tax-exempt organization that receives most of its revenue from US donors, the group also regularly moves Jews into Arab neighborhoods, which would complicate any effort to partition Jerusalem as part of a peace plan....(Remainder.)

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Beck: "They're Trying to Make Deathers Sound Like Crazy Conspiracy Nuts"

By Hula
News Hounds


Last week (Friday, August 14th) Glenn Beck once again made the case that President Obama will implement euthanasia. As absurd as this sounds, Beck is following up on his segment from earlier in the week in which he used his own daughter's medical condition, and fear tactics complete with Nazi WWII footage, to back up his bizarre claim. With video.

Beck's hyperbole has a life of its own, despite independent findings that what Sarah Palin calls "death panels" is a hoax, despite the fact that the media have debunked the death panels -- more than 40 times over -- and despite statements to the contrary by those who have worked on the end-of-life provision in the bill:
Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Republican who co-sponsored the Medicare End-of-Life Planning Act in 2007 and proposed an amendment similar to the House bill's provision during the Senate health committee's markup of its health-care bill, termed Palin's interpretation "nuts" and noted that all 50 states have laws allowing end-of-life directives.

And Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., who authored the House provision on end-of-life counseling, said he is astounded that Palin has not tempered her bleak descriptions. "It's deliberate at this point," he said. "If she wasn't deliberately lying at the beginning, she is deliberately allowing a terrible falsehood to be spread with her name."
(Remainder.)



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Same-Sex Marriage and Naked Political Calculations

By Saqib Ali
Gazette.net


Last November when Californians voted to approve the odious Proposition 8, it seemed like a very heavy blow indeed had been landed against the decades-old movement to legalize same-sex marriage.

After all, people thought, if voters in the liberal bastion of California overturned a previous court ruling allowing same-sex marriage, it would show decisively that country was not ready for marriage-equality.

And to a degree they were right. Proposition 8 was probably the single biggest electoral setback in the history of the gay rights movement. However Proposition 8's passage may have sown the seeds of its own demise. And I am hopeful that in the long run, it will be seen as a pyrrhic victory for opponents of equal rights.

A few months after Proposition 8, Iowa's Supreme Court stunned the nation by declaring the state's long-standing gay marriage ban unconstitutional by 7-0 vote. This was followed by dominoes falling in dramatic fashion within days in Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire. Impressively in each of those last three states, marriage-equality laws were passed by the state legislatures. For the first times in our nation's history, marriage-equality had earned the imprimatur of publicly elected bodies.

I remember watching those dominoes fall. With each domino, I sensed the pressure building to do the same in Maryland and wondered, "When will our turn come?"

It feels like the nature of the fight for equality has changed. It has gone from being a rather niche liberal issue to perhaps the most pressing civil rights issue of this generation. And marriage equality throughout the land now feels like an eventual inevitability....(Remainder.)

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Homosexuals Hunted & Brutally Murdered With Government Complicity

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Death Panel

By Ed Stein
Ed Stein Ink



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Liberals Complain Over Obama Concession

By David Espo
Associated Press via Google News


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's weekend concession on a health care "government option" drew complaints from liberals and scarce interest from Republicans and other critics on Monday, a fresh sign of the challenge in finding middle ground in an increasingly partisan political struggle.

"You really can't do health reform" without allowing the government to compete with private insurers, said Howard Dean, a former Democratic Party chairman. "Let's not say we're doing health reform without a public option," he added in a slap at the administration's latest move.

Obama and his top aides signaled retreat over the weekend on proposals for a provision under which consumers could choose from health insurance policies sold by the federal government as well as those marketed by private companies. "All I'm saying is, though, that the public option, whether we have it or we don't have it, is not the entirety of health care reform," the president told a town hall-style audience in Grand Junction, Colo., on Saturday. "This is just one sliver of it, one aspect of it."

The government option has emerged as one of the most contentious elements of legislation taking shape in Congress, with critics saying it is a step toward a federal takeover of health care and supporters arguing it is essential to create competition with private firms.

Proposals for creation of nonprofit co-operative ventures have emerged as an alternative, but so far, neither liberals nor conservatives have shown great interest....(Remainder.)

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Even More Advertisers Leave Glenn Beck

By Stephen C. Webster
The Raw Story


When RAW STORY ran a blog just last week detailing the stunning success of a campaign to knock advertisers off the Glenn Beck television show and radio program, our story was stunningly successful. (Almost 3,000 votes on Digg and tens of thousands of page views, with many thanks to all of you.)

But that kind of powerful response is likely just a taste of the pressure to drop Beck currently being applied to numerous major U.S. corporations.

Because of that pressure -- because of you and people like you signing petitions and picking up telephones to say 'No more' -- Color of Change announced today that Walmart, a key bank with GMAC Financial Services, Best Buy, CVS, Travelocity, Re-Bath, Broadview Security and Allergan have all backed out, bringing the list of former Glenn Beck advertisers to Twenty.

Other high-profile companies you've shaken loose from the Fox editorialist's fold include Lawyers.com, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, State Farm, S.C. Johnson, GEICO, Men's Wearhouse, Sargento, ConAgra, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis and RadioShack.

"We are heartened to see so many corporate citizens step up in support of our campaign against Glenn Beck," said James Rucker, executive director of Color of Change, in a media advisory. "Their action sends a clear a message to Glenn Beck: Broadcasters shouldn’t abuse the privilege they enjoy by spewing dangerous and racially charged hate language over the air. No matter their political affiliation, hate language doesn’t belong in our national dialogue."...(Remainder.)

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A Healthcare Proposal from Thom Hartmann That Solves Obama's Problems (Except for Campaign Funding)

By Thom Hartmann
After Downing Street


Dear President Obama,

I understand you're thinking of dumping your "public option" because of all the demagoguery by Sarah Palin and Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich and their crowd on right-wing radio and Fox. Fine. Good idea, in fact.

Instead, let's make it simple. Please let us buy into Medicare.

It would be so easy. You don't have to reinvent the wheel with this so-called "public option" that's a whole new program from the ground up. Medicare already exists. It works. Some people will like it, others won't - just like the Post Office versus FedEx analogy you're so comfortable with.

Just pass a simple bill - it could probably be just a few lines, like when Medicare was expanded to include disabled people - that says that any American citizen can buy into the program at a rate to be set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which reflects the actual cost for us to buy into it.

So it's revenue neutral!

To make it available to people of low income, raise the rates slightly for all currently non-eligible people (like me - under 65) to cover the cost of below-200%-of-poverty people. Revenue neutral again.

Most of us will do damn near anything to get out from under the thumbs of the multi-millionaire CEOs who are running our current insurance programs. Sign me up!

This lets you blow up all the rumors about death panels and grandma and everything else: everybody knows what Medicare is. Those who scorn it can go with Blue Cross. Those who like it can buy into it. Simplicity itself....(Remainder.)

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Knuckle-Dragging Wannabe Right-Wing Attention Whore Makes News, Again

By Larisa Alexandrovna
at-Largely


You must be asking yourself which knuckle-dragging wannabe right-wing attention whore has made the news yet again? After all, there are so many of these evolutionary stay-behind types to choose from. Could it be Ann Coulter?  Could it be Shiksa Malkin? No, today's knuckle-dragging glue-sniffer is not even as accomplished as these two ladies. He is simply a walking poser- poster whose only day-time job is to say stupid things.

Joe Wurzelbacher - a.k.a Joe the Moron - keeps getting invited to right-wing events for reasons no one can figure out (no one sane that is). Perhaps it is support for violence against women that makes him such a draw for the extremist crowd?  Apparently so. Here is his latest audition for employment with Fox (h/t Think Progress):
This past weekend, at the right wing’s RightOnline blogger conference in Pittsburgh — sponsored by Americans for Prosperity — Alternet’s Adele Stan reported that Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher attacked Nancy Pelosi for calling teabaggers “un-American.” (In fact, Pelosi said “drowning out opposing views is un-American.”) Wurzelbacher said that in the good ol’ days, he would have been able to physically “beat” Pelosi:
"WURZELBACHER: For Pelosi to write about us bein’ un-American and disprespectful — I’ll tell ya what: I respect nobody who lies to me and manipulates me and takes my money and puts my children in debt. They want me to be respectful towards them? Please! You know, I’m not the most civilized person: Those kind of people, I usually took behind the woodshed and just beat the livin’ tar out of ‘em."
(Remainder.)

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Roy Blunt Caught Lying. Surprise!

By David Waldman
Congress Matters


Caught by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
As chairman of the House Republican Health Care Solutions Group, Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Springfield, knows a thing or two about health care. But some of what he knows just isn’t true.

"I’m 59," Mr. Blunt said last week during a meeting with Post-Dispatch reporters and editors. "In either Canada or Great Britain, if I broke my hip, I couldn’t get it replaced."

We fact-checked that. At least 63 percent of hip replacements performed in Canada last year and two-thirds of those done in England were on patients age 65 or older. More than 1,200 in Canada were done on people older than 85.

"I didn’t just pull that number out of thin air," Mr. Blunt said in a subsequent interview. It came, he said, from testimony before the House Subcommittee on Health by "some people who are supposed to be experts on Canadian health care."

"I had been given that example. I was told that 59 is the cutoff," he said. "I’m glad you pointed that out to me. I won’t use that example any more."
Interesting, to say the least.

F-ing disgusting, to be a little bit more accurate about it....(Remainder.)

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Cradle to Grave

By Pat Bagley
Salt Lake Tribune



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White Supremacist Wiginton Turned Back at Heathrow on Way to British Hatefest

By David Holdhouse
SPLC


Globetrotting white supremacist financier and organizer Preston Wiginton (at right, showing the flag at a 2007 white nationalist rally in Moscow) was barred from entering the United Kingdom last week by Home Office authorities at London’s Heathrow Airport. Wiginton, a U.S. citizen, was trying to enter the U.K. to address the racist throngs at the tenth annual “Red, White and Blue” summer festival put on by the neofascist British National Party, or BNP.

The Home Office stated that it denied entry to Wiginton because it deemed his presence in the U.K. would not have been conducive to the common good. Wiginton has a close relationship with BNP chairman Nick Griffin, as well as ultra-right politicians and white nationalist academics and activists in Russia, the Texas native’s adopted homeland. (Wiginton resides part of the year in a Moscow apartment he sublets from ex-Klan boss David Duke.) Wiginton also brags about friendships with the leaders of violent neo-Nazi skinhead gangs in Russia, and claims that he pumps $50,000 a year of his own money into the global white supremacist movement.

In the U.S. in recent years, Wiginton has appeared at racist skinhead gatherings and co-sponsored lectures with hate groups such as the Council of Conservative Citizens and the Michigan State University chapter of Young Americans for Freedom.

The Home Office’s barring of Wiginton is the latest indication that U.K. officials are cracking down on right-wing extremists from other countries, including the U.S. Earlier this year, the names of five U.S. citizens appeared on a list of 16 individuals banned from entering the U.K. for reasons of “fostering extremism or hatred.” (Wiginton was not among them, but right-wing radio host Michael Savage was.)...(Remainder.)

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Limbaugh, Beck, O’Reilly, Hannity, Dobbs: The Five Horsemen of the Apocalypse

By William Fisher
The Public Record


Rush Limbaugh. Glenn Beck. Bill O'Reilly. Sean Hannity. Lou Dobbs: Five now-household names made rich and famous by those wonderful folks who brought us cable and talk radio.

All were gung-go for that grotesquely-misnamed government euphemism known as "enhanced interrogation techniques." All were joined at Dubya's hip as cheerleaders for "Democratizing" Iraq. All were megaphones for the CIA's "black sites" and "extraordinary renditions." And all were eager to tell us all about the superb cuisine and exquisite personal service accorded the guests at GITMO-by-the-Sea.

Until the lies and uselessness of these misadventures became so obvious that they lost their ratings value. Another headline-grabber had to be found!

And, Eureka, our Five Horsemen found their Holy Grail: A new cottage industry called:

Immigration.

Undocumented workers were every bit as evil as Al Qaeda. Terrorists were crossing our borders with "dirty bombs" concealed under their fruit-pickers' farmhand garb and waiters' uniforms. IEDs were being secreted among the tools they brought in to build our homes.

They pushed for 3,000-mile-long fences between us and Mexico. They attacked the Department of Homeland Security for failing to enforce our laws of entry. They proposed sending the National Guard to our Southern border. They opposed public education and health care for the undocumented, including their children – many of whom were American citizens, born in the U.S.A....(Remainder.)

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Bachmann Says Obama Health Adviser Things Health Care Should Not Be Given to Disabled

By PolitiFact
St. Petersburg Times


You know Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama's intense chief of staff. And maybe you've heard of his brother, Ari Emanuel, a Hollywood talent agent who provided the inspiration for the Ari Gold character on HBO's Entourage . Now a third Emanuel brother, Ezekiel Emanuel, has been thrust into the spotlight.

Ezekiel Emanuel is a health policy adviser at the White House Office of Management and Budget, and is a member of the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research, but until last week, he had largely flown under radar of the national political media.

That changed when Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., made a statement from the floor of the House on July 27 in which she said the American public needed to know what the people who advise Obama about health care reform think. Specifically, she said, Dr. Emanuel "says medical care should be reserved for the nondisabled. So watch out if you're disabled."

Emanuel is a well-known oncologist and bioethicist, which means he ponders such moral questions as "You have three people who need a liver, but you've got just one liver, who gets it?"

Like other academics (see our article on claims about science czar John Holdren ), Emanuel has found that highbrow articles for academic journals make great fodder for opponents trying to score political points. Academics often write theoretically about ideas that are being kicked around. And they repeat and explore those ideas, without necessarily endorsing them....(Remainder.)

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Are Immigrants Stealing U.S. Jobs?

By Daphne Eviatar
The Colorado Independent


That’s the explosive question at the heart of the latest study released by the Center for Immigration Studies, a research group that advocates tight restrictions on immigration. Although the report somewhat debunks the myth that Americans won’t do the sort of low-wage work that immigrants do, it does not suggest that immigrants are the cause of American workers’ unemployment, either.

The CIS report released today concludes that, contrary to the common refrain that immigrants only do work that native-born Americans don’t want to do, in fact, native-born United States citizens dominate many of the low-paying industries in the labor market. CIS concludes that immigrants are therefore posing significant competition to native U.S. workers.

Another way of looking at it is that immigrants could actually be a much smaller percentage of the labor force than previously thought.

For example, CIS finds that across the United States, 55 percent of maids and housekeepers are native-born; 58 percent of taxi drivers and chauffeurs are native-born; 63 percent of butchers and meat processors are native born; 65 percent of construction workers are native born; and 65 percent of grounds maintenance workers are native-born.

Another report released today from CIS finds that while the official unemployment rate for native-born Americans is 9.7 percent, a broader measure that includes people who have given up looking for work or are involuntarily working less than full-time, is 16.3 percent....(Remainder.)

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Gay Marriage Fight, 'Kiss-Ins' Smack Mormon Image

By Jennifer Dobner
Associated Press via Edge Chicago


SALT LAKE CITY - The Mormon church’s vigorous, well-heeled support for Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California last year, has turned the Utah-based faith into a lightning rod for gay rights activism, including a nationwide "kiss-in" Saturday.

The event comes after gay couples here and in San Antonio and El Paso, Texas, were arrested, cited for trespassing or harassed by police for publicly kissing. In Utah, the July 9 trespassing incident occurred after a couple were observed by security guards on a downtown park-like plaza owned by the 13 million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The court case was dismissed, but the kiss sparked a community backlash and criticism of the church.

"I don’t think that kiss would have turned out to be the kiss heard round the world if it were not for Proposition 8," said Ash Johnsdottir, organizer of the Salt Lake City Kiss-In.

Atali Staffler, a Brigham Young University graduate student from Geneva, Switzerland, said she joined the 200 or so people who filled a downtown amphitheater for the event because she has watched her gay father and many gay friends struggle to find their place.

The 31-year-old, who was raised Mormon but is not active in the church, said the church shouldn’t be involved in Prop. 8.

"I encourage them to promote the values they believe in and to defend their religious principles in advertisements, but civil rights have nothing to do with religious principles," she said....(Remainder.)

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President Obama is the Real Target of Health Care Protesters, Not Policy



By Mike Lupica

Daily News
Photo: Downing (Reuters)

The woman went to an airplane hangar in Belgrade, Mont., the other day, prepared to actually listen to President Obama talk about health care reform in America.

She has watched, the way the rest of us have watched, as the debate about health care has turned into a sideshow and in some cases even more of a freak show than Glenn Beck's. Now she wanted to see for herself, along with more than 1,000 others, if it would happen this way in Montana.

This is what she said about the event when it was over:

"Yes, there were a few protesters en route. But the Montanans who were excited to hear the President far outnumbered the fringe groups."

Then she said this about Obama: "He was smart, fair, funny."

So this wasn't an occasion when people with legitimate concerns and legitimate points to make were overwhelmed by the wing nuts and screamers who take their marching orders from right-wing radio and television and the Internet.

Those idiots come to these town hall meetings more to be seen than heard, and think creating chaos makes them great Americans.

Those people have been convinced by the current culture that we are dying to hear from them, and the louder the better. People who think that all they need to star in their own reality series is a couple of TV crews. But then this is Twitter America now, where no thought is supposed to go unspoken.

We hear that all of this is democracy in action. It's not. It's boom-box democracy, people thinking that if they somehow make enough noise on this subject, they can make Obama into a one-term President.

The most violent opposition isn't directed at his ideas about health care reform. It is directed at him. It is about him. They couldn't make enough of a majority to beat the Harvard-educated black guy out of the White House, so they will beat him on an issue where they see him as being most vulnerable....(Remainder.)

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Howard Dean Says Bill Will Pass With the Public Option

By Susie Madrak
Crooks and Liars





Howard Dean on Morning Joe this morning:
"The president knows very well that you aren't really going to have health care reform without a public option. But he also knows he has to get this out of the Senate," Dean said on "Morning Joe." "He's got a very important member of the Finance Committee, Kent Conrad, who doesn't want to vote for this bill if it's got a public option in it. And he knows he's not going to get any Republican votes, of any kind. So at the end of this day, this bill is going to be written by Democrats. It's got to get out of the Senate. And you only need a few Democrats to take out the public option."

He added that with Republicans unlikely to support any version of health care legislation, he had no doubt that the final reform bill would be passed with the help of reconciliation, which means Democrats need only to muster 50 votes in the Senate rather than the usual 60.

Dean told RCP earlier this year that a health care reform bill without a strong public option was pointless. "If it doesn't, all we have is the same old stuff, and I don't think it's worth spending $634 billion on what we've already got," he said.

(Original.)

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