During the March 11 broadcast of the CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric stated that the omnibus spending bill was "filled with earmarks." Likewise, chief White House correspondent Chip Reid reported that the bill was "loaded with about eighty-five hundred pet projects known as earmarks, inserted by members of Congress without legislative review." But at no point during their report did Couric or Reid note that according to most estimates, earmarks constitute less than 2 percent of the bill's[...]
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Conservative Michael Frum explains why Rush Limbaugh is wrong and why he's not a smart choice for GOP representation. This article comes at the end of a couple weeks of Limbaugh controversy leaving some wondering who really is the leader of the Republican party.
?The party of Buckley and Reagan is now bereft and dominated by the politics of Limbaugh. A conservative's lament.?
?Rush is a walking stereotype of self-indulgence.?
?Rush Limbaugh is a seriously unpopular figure among the voters that conservatives and Republicans need to reach.?
?The Republican Party needs to evolve.?
Post-mission analysis of Phoenix Mars lander data is turning up strong new “smoking gun evidence” that the spacecraft discovered liquid water on the Red Planet. The data that Phoenix imaged and touched liquid water is a stunning discovery that directly relates to the potential for current or past life on Mars.
Read the article, with cool pictures, here.
Republicans made some news: Michael Steele admitted he's really a Democrat....and Sen. David "Diapers" Vitter will be investigated for an incident at Dulles airport....It's still low, but Congressional approval is at its highest point in the Gallup poll in four years...Also via Sully: What the Chas Freeman case is really about....The Atlantic's Ross Douthat will replace Bill Kristol at the Times. Well, he's better than absolutely horrible.
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In the International Journal of Epidemiology, S. V. Subramanian and Jessica Perkins write that, after controlling for age, sex, race, marital status, religious service attendance, highest educational degree, and total family income, Republicans were 25% less likely than Democrats to report being in poor health. They find a key component of this to be smoking: after controlling for that above list of variables, Republicans were 15% less likely to be smokers.
The analysis is based on data from 1972-2006, and I think a lot more needs to be done before I'd know what to make of it. Subramanian and Perkins write:
The observation that republicans enjoy better health status may reflect the core republican value of individual responsibility, which could translate into increased adherence to health-promoting behaviours. . . . It may also be that republicans exhibit greater religiosity (beyond attendance) compared with democrats, which may lead to health promoting social conditions such as enhanced social ties and networks. Alternatively, it is possible that our measures of SES (income and education) are inadequate in terms of controlling for one?s SES. The effects of identifying with the republican party, however, did not alter substantially in unadjusted and adjusted models.
Whether one?s political ideology is an independent risk factor, or a marker of something else, clearly requires further research. It does not seem implausible, however, that conservative values at the individual level may be health promoting.
During the March 10 edition of Fox News' Special Report, host Bret Baier reported on emails from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office obtained and released by the conservative organization Judicial Watch concerning requests for air transportation for congressional delegation trips. Baier asserted that the "documents detailed demands from Pelosi's people for certain aircraft" and that one staffer wrote: "It is my understanding there are NO G5's [Gulfstream V jets] available for the House during[...]
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A BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
In a testament to the vital need for non corporate, independent media, the non-profit MinnPost.com posted a Five Alarm bombshell: Seymour Hersh stated that a top secret assassination squad reported directly to Dick Cheney in the Bush Administration.
Ignored by the corporate mainstream press -- as usual -- Hersh's comments were picked up and followed up upon by the MinnPost following a forum at the University of Minnesota.Bookmark/Search this post with: buzzflash | delicious | digg | yahoo | technorati Technorati Tags: Other Cheney Assassination Hersh
President Obama's announcement earlier today of his earmark reform plan (full video and transcript at DKTV) was not only interesting on a substantive basis, but also on a political one.
Although his tone was calm and measured, and while he never mentioned the Republican Party by name, President Obama quite clearly called the GOP out for its hypocritical attempt to exploit the earmarks issue.
Watch for yourself (transcript below):
President Obama mocked the irony of earmarkers protesting earmarks (virtually all of them Republican):
I also find it ironic that some of those who rail most loudly against this bill because of earmarks actually inserted earmarks of their own — and will tout them in their own states and their own districts.
President Obama reminded Republicans that earmarking reached its height when they controlled both Congress and the White House:
But the fact is that on occasion, earmarks have been used as a vehicle for waste, and fraud, and abuse...these practices hit their peak in the middle of this decade, when the number of earmarks had ballooned to more than 16,000, and played a part in a series of corruption cases.
President Obama pointed out that Democrats were the ones to begin reforming the process:
In 2007, the new Democratic leadership in Congress began to address these abuses with a series of reforms that I was proud to have helped to write. We eliminated anonymous earmarks and created new measures of transparency in the process, so Americans can better follow how their tax dollars are being spent.
And President Obama emphasized that not only did the earmark era flourish under the GOP, it concluded with indictments and convictions.
Any earmark for a for-profit private company should be subject to the same competitive bidding requirements as other federal contracts. The awarding of earmarks to private companies is the single most corrupting element of this practice, as witnessed by some of the indictments and convictions that we’ve already seen.
Now, this was no Karl Rove-style political attack. It was presidential, and it was honest.
But the message should be clear to Republicans: if you want a political fight, that's just what you're going to get -- and you're going to lose.
From Lisa DePaulo's interview with Michael Steele, asking him to explain his pro-life views ...DePaulo: Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?Steele: Yeah. I mean, again, I think that's an individual choice.[...]
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No Lamborghinis? No Nice Little CEO Bonuses And Salary Caps? Pause On All Foreclosures? Refinance Poor Folks With Bad Credit? Sorry, We Don’t Need To Be Bailed Out After All Say The “Desparate” BanksCourtesy of The New York TimesWell, well, well — wouldn’t you...
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