This I don't entirely understand: Republican Robert F. McDonnell made a bet at his first debate in the Virginia governor's race Saturday: that turning the contest into a referendum on President Obama's increasingly contentious national agenda will sway[...]
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Pro-Choice cat via lotusmonger. Scott Roeder, who shot Dr. George Tiller, links himself to Operation Rescue in a jailhouse interview. Color me shocked: In a phone interview Friday, Roeder said he was upset at the president of Operation Rescue, Troy[...]
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The [warrantless surveillance] program was lawful . . . The reflexive judgments to the contrary seem hasty at best. There has been much controversy about the lawfulness of the program. Here I must point out that agency lawyers career attorneys with deep expertise in the law, privacy and intelligence assisted their professional Justice Department counterparts in their review of the program but remained comfortable throughout with the lawfulness of all aspects of the surveillance effort.
There has been much controversy about the lawfulness of the program. Here I must point out that agency lawyers career attorneys with deep expertise in the law, privacy and intelligence assisted their professional Justice Department counterparts in their review of the program but remained comfortable throughout with the lawfulness of all aspects of the surveillance effort. - Michael Hayden
What amazes me about Mcihael Hayden, the former Bush Administration CIA and NSA Director, is not that he defends his and the Bush Administration actions. You would expect that. but that he does it so poorly does seem strange.
To cite the legal judgments of lawyers who approved torture - people like John Yoo, David Addington and John Rizzo, defies belief. But there you have it.
I quoted from his Hayden's latest op-ed and it remains the same style of argument - trust my word. Now this argument worked to convince Joe Klein and the Media for years. A lot of us knew better. and have been proven right. But Hayden lives in a time warp, where nothing regarding the abuses of the Bush Administration lawyers has been revealed. a world where Joe Klein was proven a fool. We're past that now I hope.
Speaking for me only
Sarah Palin officially stepped down as Alaska’s governor on Sunday, with a speech that “blamed the news media and declared government spending can destroy ‘everything that is free.’” Speaking to the press, Palin said that U.S. troops were fighting to protect their freedoms, adding, “So, how about, in honor of the American soldier, ya’ quit makin’ things up?”
President Obama has sent letters to at least seven Arab and Gulf states seeking confidence-building measures toward Israel. A former U.S. official aware of the letters said they reinforce “the Mitchell message re: the need for CBMs [confidence-building measures] in exchange for [settlement] freeze and to [get] peace talks restarted.”
Israel signaled a disagreement with the U.S. today, over a potential military action to halt Iran’s nuclear program. “We clearly believe that no option should be removed from the table,” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said following talks with Defense Secretary Robert Gates. ”This is our policy; we mean it,” Barak continued. “We recommend to others to take the same position.”
Yesterday, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) distanced himself from his colleagues who have suggested the GOP would benefit politically if it can defeat Obama?s health care plan. Kyl called statements by Sens. Jim DeMint and James Inhofe ?unfortunate.? “I don’t agree with that kind of language,” he added.
According to a report by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), HBO scored highest among 15 networks for its representation of gay characters last season. “Television shows that weave our stories into the fabric of the series present richer, more diverse representations,” said Rashad Robinson, GLAAD’s senior director of media programs.
Citing discouraging poll numbers, proponents of marriage equality are considering delaying a campaign to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage until at least 2012. “[W]e will step up to the plate — with resources and talent — when the time is right,” said millionaire philanthropist David Bohnett. “The only thing worse than losing in 2008, would be to lose again in 2010.”
The Obama administration is vastly expanding a federal effort, started in Houston under President Bush, “to identify and deport illegal immigrants held in local jails.” The program is being used in 70 counties across the country, though “federal officials say that while they are pleased with their new ability to identify illegal immigrants, they do not have enough agents to deport all of those identified.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that she “does not favor a second economic stimulus package,” while appearing on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. Pelosi added she would “rather just stick with” the $787 billion package adopted in January and “get it out faster if we can.”
And finally: Are you looking for a new home? Do you have a spare $1.6 million laying around? If so, you could be next owner of Karl Rove’s home. The Washington Post reports that Rove is “unloading the Federal-style home in D.C.’s Kent neighborhood he bought eight years ago for $799K. Five bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths, brick-and-stone exterior, built 1968. Real estate photos show sunny kitchen, big entertaining spaces, pleasant yard, lots of bookshelves, one wall-mounted deer head.”
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As noted in a cliff-hanger preview on Friday, my newspaper column last week generated some Official[...]
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With the MSM digesting the text of Sarah Palin's "Farewell to Government, Washington D.C. here I[...]
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During the July 25 edition of Fox & Friends Saturday, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), a Fox News contributor, falsely claimed that the House Democrats' Tri-Committee health care reform bill "is very specific that private insurance would be ended." Santorum added: "You have to go through this government system, which again mandates certain benefits to be covered." Santorum's claim echoes a July 15 editorial by Investor's Business Daily, which stated that the House health care reform bill includes "a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal" and that the "provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage." In fact, as former Democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro said in response to Santorum, the bill does not say "you can't go into your private insurance."
As Media Matters for America has noted, the provision to which the IBD editorial referred establishes the conditions under which existing private plans would be exempted from the requirement that they participate in the Health Insurance Exchange. Individual health insurance plans that do not meet the "grandfather" conditions would still be available for purchase, but only through the Exchange and subject to those regulations.
In its editorial, Investor's Business Daily claimed:
When we first saw the paragraph Tuesday, just after the 1,018-page document was released, we thought we surely must be misreading it. So we sought help from the House Ways and Means Committee.
It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of "Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage," the "Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill clearly states:
"Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law.
So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised -- with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won't be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.
In fact, the paragraph in question states in context [emphasis added]:
SEC. 102. PROTECTING THE CHOICE TO KEEP CURRENT COVERAGE.
(a) GRANDFATHERED HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE DEFINED. -- Subject to the succeeding provisions of this section, for purposes of establishing acceptable coverage under this division, the term ''grandfathered health insurance coverage'' means individual health insurance coverage that is offered and in force and effect before the first day of Y1  if the following conditions are met:
(1) LIMITATION ON NEW ENROLLMENT. --
(A) IN GENERAL. -- Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day of Y1.
(B) DEPENDENT COVERAGE PERMITTED. -- Subparagraph (A) shall not affect the subsequent enrollment of a dependent of an individual who is covered as of such first day.
Sec. 102 subsection (c) states: "Individual health insurance coverage that is not grandfathered health insurance coverage under subsection (a) may only be offered on or after the first day of Y1 as an Exchange-participating health benefits plan."
According to the House Ways and Means Committee's summary of the bill, the Health Insurance Exchange "creates a transparent and functional marketplace for individuals and small employers to comparison shop among private and public insurers."
From the July 25 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
CLAYTON MORRIS (co-host): Let's bring the senator back in. You know, the president says that your coverage wouldn't change. You would have the choice here.
SANTORUM: That's --
MORRIS: Do you agree or disagree?
SANTORUM: That's a lie. I mean, it's an outright lie. The fact -- the House bill is very specific that private insurance would be ended. You have to go through this government system, which again mandates certain benefits to be covered. The bottom line is, Gerry, that cancer survival rates in America are the highest in the world.
FERRARO: OK. Wait --
SANTORUM: The places that have socialized medicine are lower.
FERRARO: Let me just tell you what I'm holding up.
MORRIS: What are you holding up there?
FERRARO: What I'm holding up here -- these are the comparison of Senate and House health care reform bills. And, actually, it gets changed -- it has been changed since -- this was started June 9, it was changed again --
ALISYN CAMEROTA (co-host): OK, but what about --
FERRARO: -- later on, so it keeps on going on.
CAMEROTA: But what I said about private insurance --
FERRARO: None of these people say that you can't get -- you can't go into your private insurance. Every single one of them provides -- every single one of these bills that the Democrats have put in have provided.
Monday punditry... no excuse for taking the day off.
The major health care bills moving through Congress would require nearly all Americans to have health insurance. But as lawmakers struggle to achieve the goal of universal coverage, a critical question is whether the plans will be affordable to those who are currently uninsured.
Paul Krugman: Are the Blue Dogs in the tank for the lobbyists, or just intellectually incoherent? We'll see soon enough.
Ezra Klein from Sunday:
What people support, in other words, is not public or private insurance, but choice in insurance. That, along with protection from escalating costs, is the inviolable principle of health-care reform.
Robert J Samuelson: You cannot cover more people and control costs. Obama is lying to you.
At this point in the news cycle, President Obama and Gates himself have asked us to dial down the drama and, as Gates himself put it, to "move on."
But I don’t think we should be so quick to reduce this sad, important and deeply symbolic incident to what the French would call a fait divers.
As it happened, I’d been up very early that morning to talk to CNN’s excellent John Roberts about Iran. Waiting for the show, I looked east across Central Park to the rising sun just knotting its tie over the serried high rises of midtown and the Upper East Side.
It was a magnificent sight, the city resplendent. New York has recovered, if not its stride, at least its balance.
In many respects, this ideological truce is welcome. The fortunes of war have made every American faction look foolish at some point, and modesty is becoming to all sides. Anti-war liberals (and, much less influentially, anti-war conservatives) got the most important question right. But the anti-war side often seemed far too willing to leave Iraq to the furies, and far too reckless about the strategic consequences of beating a retreat.
Senator Arlen Specter and primary challenger Joe Sestak have both agreed to hold a joint candidate forum next month, I’ve learned, their first joint appearance since Sestak committed to the Senate race and a sign that this hotly anticipated Senate campaign is rapidly becoming a reality.
Guess where? Netroots Nation, of course!
Want some LIVE opinions on polling? Join us at Netroots Nation!
How to Get The Most Out Of The Polling Data You Read About
This panel will share insights and observations from some veteran pollsters and analysts that might help you interpret the next set of poll data you see. Charlie Cook (The Cook Political Report, www.cookpolitical.com), Mark Blumenthal and Charles Franklin (www.pollster.com), and Nate Silver (www.fivethirtyeight.com) will join moderator Greg Dworkin (Daily Kos) on a discussion about how to get the most out of poll watching.
I think there should be an amendment to the old adage "There's only two things that are certain: death and taxes" to read "The only certainties in life are death, taxes and Sarah Palin will make a convoluted word salad in lieu of a lucid speech."
I admit, I can't get more than three or four minutes in to one of her speeches before my eyes glaze over because she uses so many words and takes so much time to say absolutely nothing at all. Poor CSpanJunkie did the hard work and recorded her "Goodbye, Cruel World" speech:
Apparently, Alan Colmes has a better ability to sit through such bizarre ramblings than I do (no doubt the practice he got from years sitting next to Sean Hannity):
In her bizarre farewell speech as governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin fed red meat to the right-wing, invoking patriotism and the military in her first sentence. It was unclear to whom she was referring when she talked about those who are ?tearing down our nation?, ?American apologetics? and unmentioned forces ?suggesting that our best days were yesterdays.? How can that be, she pleaded, when there are volunteers willing to fight for our freedoms.
Next it was on to criticizing the press, lecturing them that soldiers ?are willing to die for you,? so ?quit making things up!? And the new governor, Sean Parnell, has a nice family too, ?so leave his kids alone!?
After what sounded like a campaign speech for re-election, it was time to defend gun rights, and warn that ?You?re going to see anti-hunting, anti-Second Amendment circuses from Hollywood.? This will be done by using ?delicate, tiny, very talented celebrity starlets? who will ?use Alaska as a fund raising tool for their anti-Second Amendment causes.? Luckily, ?patriots will protect our individual guaranteed right to bear arms.? And ?Hollywood needs to know we eat, therefore we hunt.?
Can you blame me for not be able to get through the speech? My buddy Jon Perr has come up with his own personal list of Palin's greatest hits, and that--in combination with her incredible popularity amongst the GOP-- makes me doubt Darwin.
Frankly, I wish that I could say this is the last we'll hear from Sarah Palin, but given how inexplicably popular Palin remains, I don't think we'll be so lucky.
“I am the chief adviser on foreign policy. … .. [...] [...] …I’m out of politics.“ - Secretary of State Clinton As backdrop, Gates is on his way to Israel, as is Mitchell, along with Gen. Jones. The question expected to come[...]
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