Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) has got enough time on his hands to demand a Congressional resolution denouncing President Obama's comments on the arrest of Prof. Gates (which ultimately will bring Sgt. Crowley and Prof. Gates together for a meeting at the White House), but he's way too busy to say whether or not he believes President Obama was actually born in the United States:
Instead of answering the question about Obama's birth, McCotter claimed he was working on health care reform -- which he opposes. But he wasn't too busy to conduct an interview today with Detroit-area radio station WJR (via Think Progress) in which he accused Pres. Obama of an "abuse of power" in the Prof. Gates house arrest.
Remember when the slightest downtick in Bill Clinton's approval ratings was gleefully trumpeted by the press as The Beginning of the End for him? Remember also how the media just never seemed to care that much about George W. Bush's approval ratings,[...]
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The Associated Press has some speculative details of the "compromise" health care bill that looks ready, at long last, to emerge from Max Baucus's Senate Finance Committee:
[Any] legislation that emerges from the talks is expected to provide for a non-profit cooperative to sell insurance in competition with private industry, rather than giving the federal government a role in the marketplace. The White House and numerous Democrats in Congress have called for a government option to provide competition to private companies and hold down costs.So there's not a public option in the Finance Committee's bill -- which should come as no great surprise to anyone who's been following this debate. Instead, there's Kent Conrad's plan for regional, non-profit cooperatives. The real fight over the public option will take place when the HELP Committee's bill, which does include a public option, is reconciled with the Finance Committee's version, and/or when the Senate's version is ultimately reconciled with the House version.
Officials also said a bipartisan compromise would not subject companies to a penalty if they declined to offer coverage to their workers. These businesses would be required to reimburse the government for part or all of any federal subsidies designed to help lower-income employees obtain insurance on their own.
Democratic-drafted legislation in the House includes both a penalty and a requirement for companies to share in the cost of covering employees.
-- No employer mandateIt should -- because this particular permutation on health care reform looks an awful lot like the incomplete draft of the HELP Committee's bill that the CBO scored last month, which also lacked an employer mandate and a public option but contained an individual mandate. That bill, the CBO estimated, would cost about $1.0 trillion -- but would only cover a net of about 16 million people. In contrast, the revised version of the HELP Committee's bill, which did include both a public option and an employer mandate, would cost about the same amount but cover a net of 37 million people.
-- No public option
-- But yes, an individual mandate
This evening, the House passed a resolution sponsored by Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) that commemorates Hawaii’s 50th anniversary as a U.S. state by a vote of 378-0. The resolution also contains this provision: ?Whereas the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii,” a measure that some GOP members may have had trouble supporting. However, many of the Republican representatives who at expressed at least subtle doubt that Obama was not born in the U.S. voted for the resolution. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who had earlier in the day prevented the resolution from coming to a voice vote on the House floor, and Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), who sponsored a bill requiring presidential candidates to prove natural-born citizenship, both voted for the resolution. Rep. John Campbell (R-CA), a co-sponsor of Posey’s bill who expressed doubt about Obama’s citizenship last week on MSNBC, did not vote.
We don't really know. But the draft of a GAO risk assessment says the decision was based on "unrepresentative accident scenarios," "outdated modeling" and "inadequate" information about the sites. Gee, I'm not feeling real good about that:
The Department of Homeland Security relied on a rushed, flawed study to justify its decision to locate a $700 million research facility for highly infectious pathogens in a tornado-prone section of Kansas, according to a government report.
The department's analysis was not "scientifically defensible" in concluding that it could safely handle dangerous animal diseases in Kansas -- or any other location on the U.S. mainland, according to a Government Accountability Office draft report obtained by The Washington Post. The GAO said DHS greatly underestimated the chance of accidental release and major contamination from such research, which has been conducted only on a remote island off the United States.
DHS staff members tried quietly last week to fend off a public airing of the facility's risks, agency correspondence shows. Department officials met privately with staff members of a congressional oversight subcommittee to try to convince them that the GAO report was unfair, and to urge them to forgo or postpone a hearing. But the House Energy and Commerce Committee's oversight and investigations subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), decided otherwise. It plans to hold a hearing Thursday on the risk analysis, according to two sources briefed on the plans.
The criticism of DHS's site selection comes as the proposed research lab, the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), was expected to win construction funding in the congressional appropriations process.
"Drawing conclusions about relocating research with highly infectious exotic animal pathogens from questionable methodology could result in regrettable consequences," the GAO warned in its draft report. DHS's review was too "limited" and "inadequate" to decide that any mainland labs were safe, the report found. GAO officials declined to comment on the findings.
The new developments started another round of accusations that politics steered DHS's decision in January to build the proposed lab in Manhattan, Kan. Critics of the choice argue that a Kansas contingent of Republican Sens. Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts and then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, aggressively lobbied DHS to pick their state. Records show that a DHS undersecretary and his site selection committee met frequently with the senators, one of whom is a member of an appropriations subcommittee that helps set DHS funding.
Rejoice, Deaniacs! Our very own Howard is going to guest-host Countdown on MSNBC this Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 p.m.
Granted, Howard Dean does not have the world's most melifluous voice, but he doesn't have to do much to improve on Richard "I don't speak American" Wolffe, who guest-hosted Countdown on Friday and if there's any justice buried his TV career for good.
Keith Olbermann kept me going through the Smirky/Darth Interregnum, and I will always worship him for that. If it were up to me, he'd never be allowed to take a vacation or a sick day, especially now that Rachel has her own show and can't guest-host for him.
But if I can't have Keith, I'll take Howard.
Cancel your dinner plans, turn off the phone, shut the kids in the basement with the dog, and for good measure set the DVR. It's a whole, entire hour of Howard - two nights in a row.
Cross-posted at Blue in the Bluegrass.
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"It's important to our national security because we're not just fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq," Cornyn says. "We're fighting -- we have graver threats and greater threats than that: From a rising India, with increased exercise of their military power; Russia; Iran, that's threatening to build a nuclear weapon; with North Korea, shooting intercontinental ballistic missiles, capable of hitting American soil."
Uh...India? Aren't they our ally?
Skip ahead to Cornyn today: Oops! I meant China.
''Senator Cornyn misspoke saying 'India' when he meant to say 'China.' As Founder and Co-chairman of the Senate India Caucus, no Senator has greater respect or admiration for India or values our relationship with them more. Sen. Cornyn regrets the mistake and apologizes for any misunderstanding this may have caused,'' his spokesman Kevin McLaughlin clarified after the remarks were brought to his notice.
Misunderstanding and ire there certainly was for a moment from a very sensitive Indian lobby. One community activist wanted to know what the Senator had been drinking. And coming on a day India launched its first indigenously built nuclear submarine, it certainly raised eyebrows.
People misspeak, of course. But misspeaking when you're engaging in international fearmongering is a little more serious than ordering the wrong thing at dinner. And that's just one of the reasons it's really stupid to call out four countries at a time in your pursuit of military pork.
The Bachelorette Finale starts here in 15 minutes. You can read my predictions and thoughts on the season over at PopLeft.
I've also got Weeds and Nurse Jackie set to record. I won't be checking in here until after the Bachelorette is over so I don't see a spoiler from the East Coast by mistake.
Thanks to everyone for putting up with my Monday night TV threads, this is probably the final one.
So what are you watching (or not) tonight and what did I miss by spending the day sitting in tiny visiting cubicles at the jail today? This is an open thread, all topics welcome.
Mike Stark gets to the bottom of the story in some must-watch video: Tags: Birthers (all tags) [...]
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Dave Phillips' Casualties of War in the Colorado Spring?s Gazette is a stunning and horrifying report on the multiple murders and other crimes committed by members of the ?the brigade called the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, which nicknamed[...]
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