Town Hall Highlights: Protesters Fear Socialism, Communism, Mass Murder (VIDEO)
I couldnt see the end of the video... I just... cant...
A former Libyan agent jailed for the bombing of a passenger aircraft over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988 is to be released on compassionate grounds, British media reports say.
Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, who has terminal prostate cancer, is serving a life sentence in prison for bombing Pan Am Flight 103, in which all 259 passengers on board the aircraft and 11 people on the ground were killed.
Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish justice minister, told Scottish Television on Wednesday evening that he had taken no decision on al-Megrahi's future and that he was considering several options.
But Al Jazeera's Alan Fisher, reporting from London, said he had been told that al-Megrahi could be released from prison in the Scottish town of Greenock as early as next week.
"Al-Megrahi's prognosis is not very good; we know that the Scottish justice minister visited him in his prison cell in Greenock just over 10 days ago to assess his condition," he said.
"I was told on Monday that a decision was imminent and it was likely that al-Megrahi would be freed."
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Stupid stuff by Ferguson, who, as you note, is not stupid. I suspect this comes from the pressure of writing a regular column for a non-academic audience, and Ferguson trying to force a shot this week when there was nothing there. You would know more about this than me, but why can't a newspaper editor say something like:
"We're hiring you to write a regular column every X, but if for some reason you come up empty that week (or month, whatever), that's OK, just let us know. We'll publish one of our outside submissions instead and just not pay you for that column. We'd rather have you write less frequently but write consistently good columns than try to force it."
In January, the Congressional Budget Office projected a deficit this year of $1.2 trillion before Obama took office, with no estimate for actions he might take. To a large extent, the CBO’s estimate simply represented the $482 billion deficit projected by the Bush administration in last summer’s budget review, plus the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, which George W. Bush rammed through Congress in September over strenuous conservative objections. Thus the vast bulk of this year’s currently estimated $1.8 trillion deficit was determined by Bush’s policies, not Obama’s.I think conservative anger is misplaced. To a large extent, Obama is only cleaning up messes created by Bush. This is not to say Obama hasn’t made mistakes himself, but even they can be blamed on Bush insofar as Bush’s incompetence led to the election of a Democrat. If he had done half as good a job as most Republicans have talked themselves into believing he did, McCain would have won easily.
In a survey of 1,000 adults taken Tuesday, 34% say demonstrations at the hometown sessions have made them more sympathetic to the protesters' views; 21% say they are less sympathetic.
Independents by 2-to-1, 35%-16%, say they are more sympathetic to the protesters now.
The findings are unwelcome news for President Obama and Democratic congressional leaders, who have scrambled to respond to the protests and in some cases even to be heard. From Pennsylvania to Texas, those who oppose plans to overhaul the health care system have asked aggressive questions and staged noisy demonstrations.
The forums have grabbed public attention: Seven in 10 respondents are following the news closely.
"No one condones the actions of those who disrupt public events," House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio said in an op-ed article published in today's USA TODAY. "But those in Washington who dismiss the frustration of the American people and call it 'manufactured' do so at their own peril."
White House adviser David Axelrod questioned the USA TODAY survey's methodology, saying those who report being more sympathetic to the protesters now were likely to have been on that side from the start. "There is a media fetish about these things," Axelrod said of the protests, "but I don't think this has changed much" when it comes to public opinion.
A study by the non-partisan Pew Research Center concluded that 59% of the airtime last week on 13 cable TV and radio talk shows were devoted to the health care debate.
In the USA TODAY Poll:
• A 57% majority of those surveyed, including six in 10 independents, say a major factor behind the protests are concerns that average citizens had well before the meetings took place; 48% say efforts by activists to create organized opposition to the health care bills are a major factor.
• There's some tolerance for loud voices: 51% say individuals making "angry attacks" on a health care bill are an example of "democracy in action" rather than "abuse of democracy."
• Some actions are seen as going too far. Six in 10 say shouting down supporters of a bill is an abuse of democracy. On that question, unlike most others, there isn't much of a partisan divide: 69% of Democrats and 58% of Republicans agree.
In Hagerstown, Md., Wednesday, nearly 1,000 people turned out for a forum held by Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin; only 440 could fit in the community-college theater. The crowd often interrupted the senator, but was generally respectful.
In State College, Pa., Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter was jeered at a forum at a Penn State conference center. The 90-minute meeting at times became a shouting match between bill backers and foes.
By ROB MAADDI AP Sports Writer
Suddenly, no one seemed to care much about the preseason game against the New England Patriots on Thursday night. All that mattered to most fans was that the disgraced quarterback had joined their team.
Agent Joel Segal confirmed the signing, shortly before the Philadelphia Eagles announced it in a text message. The team gave Vick a one-year deal with an option for a second year.
“We don’t need another quarterback, especially him,” longtime fan Donald Crispin said.
The 29-year-old Vick, once the NFL’s highest-paid player, has been out of action since 2006. The former Atlanta Falcons star was convicted in August 2007 of conspiracy and running a dogfighting ring, and served 18 of a 23-month sentence in federal prison. He also was suspended indefinitely by the NFL.
Commissioner Roger Goodell conditionally lifted Vick’s suspension on July 27, allowing him to sign with a team, practice and play in the last two preseason games. Once the season begins, Vick can participate in all team activities except games, and Goodell said he would consider Vick for full reinstatement by Week 6 (Oct. 18-19) at the latest.
The Eagles reached the NFC championship game last season under quarterback Donovan McNabb, and are still looking for their elusive first Super Bowl win.
McNabb has led the Eagles to five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl appearance in the last eight years, and was rewarded with a $5.3 million raise in the offseason. The Eagles tore up his old contract with two years remaining, and gave him a new deal worth $24.5 million over the next two seasons.
The team is a surprise landing point for Vick. It was among 26 clubs that said there was no interest in him, but that may have changed when backup Kevin Kolb strained a knee ligament earlier this week. Kolb’s injury isn’t serious and he’s expected to return next week. The Eagles also have veteran A.J. Feeley.
When news of Vick’s signing circulated in the press box during the first half of the Eagles’ preseason opener against New England, even the team’s public relations staff seemed surprised.
The crowd quickly caught on at Lincoln Financial Field. Fans standing on the concourse were in disbelief. One guy wondered how quickly he’d be able to buy a Vick jersey. Another asked if this was a joke.
“It doesn’t make any sense,” said Michelle Harlan, a mother attending her first NFL game with a young son.
In a “60 Minutes” interview set to air Sunday, Vick accepted blame for not stopping the illegal dogfighting operation he bankrolled.
Vick said he feels “some tremendous hurt behind what happened.”
He said he should have taken “the initiative to stop it all … I didn’t.”
Asked if he was more concerned about his playing career or the dogs he hurt, Vick replied, “Football don’t even matter.”
The animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, wasted no time reminding people exactly what Vick had done.
“PETA and millions of decent football fans around the world are disappointed that the Eagles decided to sign a guy who hung dogs from trees. He electrocuted them with jumper cables and held them under water,” PETA spokesman Dan Shannon told The Associated Press.
“You have to wonder what sort of message this sends to young fans who care about animals and don’t want them to be harmed.”
Since Andy Reid became the head coach in 1999, the Eagles have avoided players with character issues. The lone exception came in 2004 when Philadelphia acquired wide receiver Terrell Owens. That move paid off when Owens helped lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl in his first season. But T.O. quickly wore out his welcome, criticizing management over a contract dispute and feuding with McNabb. He was released midway through the 2005 season.
“I couldn’t envision Mike being here,” said former Eagles linebacker Ike Reese, a teammate of Vick’s in Atlanta in 2005-06. “I didn’t see where he fit in. I think most people in the locker room would accept it. Donovan is very secure in his position. He wants to see Mike get another opportunity.”