August 9th, 2009

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Oh My God, You Guyz! Is 1994!!... NOT

Analysis: To-do list largely undone

Midway through their first year in power, President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress can point to early signs the nation is beginning to shake off its worst recession in seven decades.

Yet there are glaring holes in their to-do list. The biggest and most difficult priorities had not been accomplished as Obama reached the six-month mark, ending the normal honeymoon period most new presidents enjoy.


While Obama and fellow Democrats did enact the $787 billion economic stimulus, much remains undone:
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Death threats cancels locals town hall. Extreme Rightwing Terrorists Wins...

Death threats cancel local town hall health care meetings

Death threats have forced the cancellation of town hall health care meetings in Vancouver, Washington.
Vancouver Congressman Brian Baird, Democrat, received death threats and heard from numerous constituents fearing for their safety in connection with attending the scheduled town hall discussions. In light of the possible danger, Baird will conduct meetings in a controlled environment over the phone.

Republican protesters have been disrupting health care town hall meetings across the country. Because of Republican threats and intimidation, citizens in Vancouver won't get to discuss health care reform in traditional town hall settings.

Town hall meetings were originally scheduled to provide a forum for discussing health care reform. But in public meetings across the country, those forums have degenerated into shouting matches. Republican extremists, in concert with the health insurance lobby, have been conducting a campaign of dirty tricks and misinformation. “It's not about showing up and having a real dialogue or discussing point A or B about the health care proposal," said Congressman Baird. "It’s 'shout them down, disrupt them and then post your video of that disruption on YouTube'.”

Baird is deploying an interesting strategy, telephone town halls, to overcome Republican plans to disrupt and sabotage town hall meetings. Random voters will receive automated phone messages asking if they have a question for their Congressman. If they do, they will be asked their location and the subject of their question. Sitting at his own telephone, Baird then will choose a name based on its location and the topic. After the call is over, the recording will be posted on his Web site.

While Congressman Baird may have come up with a creative response to an ugly problem, the problem remains. Organized efforts to demonize health care reform have gone far beyond politics as usual. Republican operatives are threatening free speech: Political threats of violence, political acts of violence, threaten the fabric of our society. The fact that any Republican would encourage or condone such activity is appalling.
Heroes: Sylar - Adorably Sad

What President Obama Can Teach America's Kids

[Wait for it...] by Bill O'Reilly



These are tough times for American children for a couple of reasons. The rise of the machines means that kids can now be exposed to material on computers or cellphones that is far beyond their emotional IQ. While high-tech can be a tremendous educational tool, explicit images and conversation easily found in cyberspace can rob children of their innocence and, in some cases, put them in actual danger. Even if parents are vigilant in monitoring the machines, kids can still get the bad stuff at school and on the playgrounds, as computer access is just about everywhere.

The disruption of the traditional American family is also adversely affecting millions of children. Right now, almost 22 million American kids are living with one parent; more than 80% of those are being raised primarily by Mom. Just 50 years ago, a child living without a father was somewhat of a rarity. Now it’s an epidemic.

Thus, our modern age presents vast challenges to children, and they need to learn lessons quickly in order to prosper. And who better to teach them than the President of the United States?

As has been widely chronicled, Barack Obama had a tough childhood filled with instability and loneliness. However, that did not stop him from rising to become the most powerful man in the world. His breathtaking achievement presents five important lessons for all children.

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Source
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GOP: Mission Accomplish. We Saved Democracy!

McConnell: Dem Reaction To Town Halls Shows We're Winning

Democratic grumbling about disruptive protests at health care town halls is simply an attempt at distraction and and admission of weakness, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared on Sunday.

In an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," the Kentucky Republican largely dismissed the bile seen this past week at the health care forums held by Democratic lawmakers. But when pressed to weigh in more fully on the matter, he deemed it evidence that his side was winning the debate.

"Look, I don't think either side ought to be trying to engage in disrupting meetings, either the Democratic side or the Republican side," McConnell said. "We ought to focus on the issue. And to demonize citizens who are energetic about this strikes me as demonstrating a kind of weakness in your position. In other words, you want to change the subject. Rather than talk about the half-a-trillion dollars in Medicare cuts, let's talk about somebody, in some town meeting, who misbehaved. That strikes me as missing the point."
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Matthew Dowd: GOP Playing With Fire On Health Care

Former Bush strategist Matthew Dowd, who was something of a reliable GOP heretic during the 2008 campaign, offered another off-message moment on Sunday when he warned that the Republican Party was playing with fire on health care.

Appearing on ABC's "This Week," Dowd cautioned conservatives to not go too far in pushing back against Obama's agenda, lest they be blamed for actually preventing people from getting better health care coverage.

"I think the Republicans soon have to be careful of something," Dowd said. "I know Republicans are all patting themselves on the back and saying, "We've got the Democrats on the run, Obama on the run.' I don't think it's necessarily a good political place to be in by November if you've defeated any health care reform."
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Gingrich Defends Palin's Obama "Death Panel" Claim

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich defended the bizarre claim by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin that the president's health care plan would result in a "death panel" that could kill her Down Syndrome son.


"You are asking us to trust the government," Gingrich declared on ABC's "This Week." "You are asking us to decide to believe the government should be trusted."

"Communal standards historically is a very dangerous concept," he added.

Reminded by host George Stephanopoulos that there was no such thing as communal standards in any health care bill -- just language that would allow for optional Medicare consultations on end of life decisions -- Gingrich grew a bit flummoxed.
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Homeless Holocaust Survivor Leaves $100,000 Gift. Puts to shame shameless Rich F#ktards.

Homeless Holocaust Survivor Leaves $100,000 Gift

Hebrew University has received a surprise donation of more than $100,000 from an unexpected benefactor – a woman who survived the Nazi Holocaust and appeared to be destitute, a university official said Sunday
.

Upon her death two years ago, a homeless Holocaust survivor living on the streets of New York City willed the gift to the university. The Jewish woman lived out of a shopping cart in Manhattan and had no known relatives, said Yefet Ozery, Hebrew University's director of development and public relations.

"She lived as a very poor woman. And when she died at the age of 92, it was discovered she had accumulated close to $300,000," Ozery said.

The university first learned about the gift three months ago but did not receive the money until this week. It will be used to fund scholarships for medical research students, according to the woman's wishes, Ozery said, refusing to disclose her name. The story was first reported by The Jerusalem Post daily.

Not much is known about the woman, who had no known connection to the university. She left the other half of her savings to various causes and beneficiaries, though Ozery said it is unknown how she amassed the small fortune.

"No one knows where she got it from. But she probably lived penny to penny. She probably saved it to do good for the world and for the Jewish people," Ozery said.

The woman's last known employer was a Jewish man in New York, who hired her to move his car to avoid parking tickets in exchange for a hot meal and a room, Ozery said. The woman also left that employer a portion of her savings.
Me

Just when you thought it was over...

The AP informs us that South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford used state aircraft for personal and political trips, often bringing along his wife and children – contrary to state law regarding official use.

On five of the last six Thanksgiving weekends, Sanford used a state plane to fly himself, his wife and their four sons from the family's plantation in Beaufort County to Columbia for the state Christmas tree lighting. The cost for those flights alone: $5,536, including $2,869 for flying the plane empty to pick them up.

The governor has made a political career out of being outwardly thrifty – known to demand that state employees use both sides of Post-It notes.

SOURCE warns you about the comments
hpyy

Damn, Colombia, you always team up with the ~empire~



Colombia President, on South America Tour, Defends U.S. Military Role

BRASÍLIA —President Álvaro Uribe of Colombia wrapped up a seven-country tour of South America this week seeking to calm skeptical neighbors about a proposal to allow an increased American military presence in Colombian territory.

On Thursday, Mr. Uribe met for more than two hours here with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, who requested guarantees from Mr. Uribe that the military cooperation with the United States would not spill over Colombia’s borders, Celso Amorim, Brazil’s foreign minister, told reporters.

Mr. Uribe took to the road on his diplomatic offensive this week after some countries — including Venezuela, Ecuador and Nicaragua — denounced the plans to allow for increased American troop levels. Others, like Brazil, expressed concern about the agreement, which Colombian and American officials insisted would only extend and formalize a continuing counternarcotics program between the countries.

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U.S. National Security Adviser, James Jones admitted things could have been better discussed before they became public interest. South Americans continue to be uncomfortable with American military presence in the continent and Chávez will be Chávez, Uribe will be Uribe.  I'm sure everybody will be partying together soon though.
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Banks make $38bn from overdraft fees. Good to see they wont be going hungry, or cold, or sick...

Banks make $38bn from overdraft fees

US banks stand to collect a record $38.5bn in fees for customer overdrafts this year, with the bulk of the revenue coming from the most financially stretched consumers amid the deepest recession since the 1930s, according to research. The fees are nearly double those reported in 2000.

The finding is likely to increase public hostility towards the financial sector, which has been under political pressure to ease the burden on consumers by increasing credit availability and lending more fairly after being bailed out by taxpayers.

The Federal Reserve is working on rules on overdraft fees, and rules on customer charges could be a priority of the Obama administration’s proposed Consumer Protection Agency if approved by Congress.


Data from Moebs Services, a research company, show that the crisis has prompted many banks to lift charges on overdrafts and credit cards in order to boost profits.

The median bank overdraft fee has this year rose from $25 to $26, according to Moebs, the first time it has gone up in a recession for more than 40 years.

“Banks are returning to a fee-driven model and overdraft fees are the mother lode,”
said Mike Moebs, the company’s founder.

Overdraft fees accounted for more than three-quarters of service fees charged on customer deposits, he said.

The most cash-strapped customers are the hardest hit by such fees, with 90 per cent of overdraft revenues coming from 10 per cent of the 130m checking accounts in the US. Regular use of overdrafts is most common among consumers with low credit scores, Moebs discovered.
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' jules

Nice.

Levi Johnston And Kathy Griffin Hold Hands At Teen Choice Awards



Kathy Griffin, 48, found herself a hunky date for Sunday night's Teen Choice Awards -- Levi Johnston, 19.

Dressed in a pinstripe suit and pink striped tie, the Alaskan teen and father of Sarah Palin's grandson Tripp arrived hand-in-hand with Griffin, planted a kiss on her cheek for the cameras and did some solo posing as well.

No word how the pair became friends, but Johnston told Access Hollywood, "She's beautiful and funny. She's the star of the night."

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ngl, I'd hit it so hard I'd travel back in time and become Trig's ~real mother~. He always has that dopey look on his face but I LIKE IT