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As a lifelong environmentalist, a jobs program like this would pretty much be a dream come true for me. Obama had a few promising baby steps in the initial stimulus package, but we need much, much more.
Gov. Jan Brewer is asking Congress to let Arizona out of its obligation to fund health care for 300,000 low-income Arizonans, given that temporary relief from the federal government appears unlikely.
In a letter to members of Arizona's congressional delegation, the Republican governor on Wednesday lamented the demise last week of a bill that would extend Medicaid assistance to the states through June 2011.
"(I)t has become clear that Congress does not have the will to assist states in addressing the very problem that it created," she wrote.
At issue is $400 million in federal dollars intended to shore up Arizona's Medicaid program, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. Lawmakers and Brewer built the funds into the state's fiscal 2011 budget, which begins today.
Without the money, the budget not only falls out of balance, but Arizona stands to lose more than $7 billion in Medicaid assistance for various programs.
That's because the new federal health-care law requires Arizona to maintain programs such as AHCCCS at current levels, which in Arizona's case covers people whose income is up to 100 percent of the federal-poverty level.
Lawmakers and Brewer approved a plan that cuts the eligibility threshold to about 33 percent but delayed it until July 2011 in the belief that the $400 million in federal aid would come through.
Unless Congress revives the Medicaid-assistance provisions, Brewer said, the "only real alternative" is to drop that "maintenance of effort" requirement, or at least relax it.
Last month, when she met with President Barack Obama, Brewer made a plea for the extended dollars. But hopes for the funding waned when Republicans in the U.S. Senate, joined by one Democrat, last week voted against the measure, citing concern about inflating the nation's debt.
Brewer said that while she is sympathetic to debt concerns, states have relied on the Medicaid extension to help them through the coming budget year.
Brewer's letter drew condemnation from Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, who served on a federal health-care advisory panel.
"This is sadly another typical move by Governor Brewer in her series of ceaseless attempts to eliminate health care for children and working families," Sinema said.
But the governor's letter drew praise from Rep. Rick Murphy, R-Peoria, who said the state can't afford to cover health-care costs for 20 percent of its population, especially given the ongoing budget crisis.
The Arizona Republic Souce
See, Republicans? When you set out to screw over everyone, you screw your fellow Republicans too! That aside, this is tragic- yet another case of the people with the least means to help themselves being the first thrown under the bus. Ugh. Having worked in a medical office for years and knowing the sorts of stories people have when they're forced to continually reapply for Medicaid, I can tell you this is going to be pretty shitty- both for patients and physicians. Sick people need to be cared for, whether or not doctors are getting paid.
So I guess stay far away from AZ unless you're rich and white. In which case you will sunburn to death or something.
(First post! Mods, hope I did it right.)
By Jon Ortiz
Published: Friday, Jul. 2, 2010 - 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Friday, Jul. 2, 2010 - 7:46 am
Roughly 200,000 state workers will receive minimum wage paychecks next month under terms of an order issued Thursday by the Schwarzenegger administration.
According to a letter delivered to Controller John Chiang in late afternoon, July pay for most hourly state employees will be withheld to the minimum allowed by federal law – $7.25 an hour – and then restored once there's a budget.
Chiang, whose office cuts state paychecks, said Thursday that he won't follow the order unless a court tells him to.
The letter from the governor's Department of Personnel Administration instructs Chiang to withhold employees' pay because the state started the 2010-11 fiscal year Thursday without a budget appropriating money for payroll. Hours earlier, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger officially ended 17 months of furloughs for state workers.
The minimum-wage order exempts roughly 37,000 state workers in the six bargaining units that have tentatively agreed to labor deals.
The administration insists the order is a matter of law and not politics, but it puts more pressure on the remaining six unions that haven't agreed to the pension and pay concessions Schwarzenegger wants in exchange for an exclusion from minimum wage.
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Flags affected by the recall range from halftime-show extravaganza models to the smallest lapel pins.
WASHINGTON—Citing a series of fatal malfunctions dating back to 1777, flag manufacturer Annin & Company announced Monday that it would be recalling all makes and models of its popular American flag from both foreign and domestic markets.
Representatives from the nation's leading flag producer claimed that as many as 143 million deaths in the past two centuries can be attributed directly to the faulty U.S. models, which have been utilized extensively since the 18th century in sectors as diverse as government, the military, and public education.
"It has come to our attention that, due to the inherent risks and hazards it poses, the American flag is simply unfit for general use," said Annin & Company president Ronald Burman, who confirmed that the number of flag-related deaths had noticeably spiked since 2003. "I would like to strongly urge all U.S. citizens: If you have an American flag hanging in your home or place of business, please discontinue using it immediately."
Added Burman, "The last thing we would want is for more innocent men and women around the world to die because of our product."
Millions of U.S. flag–related injuries and fatalities have been reported over a 230-year period in locations as far flung as Europe, Cuba, Korea, Gettysburg, PA, the Philippines, and Iraq. In addition, the company found that U.S. flag exports to Vietnam during the late 1960s and early 1970s resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, a clear sign that there was something seriously wrong with its product.
Despite fears about the flag's safety—especially when improperly used or manipulated in ways not originally intended—sales continued unabated over the years, potentially putting billions of unsuspecting people in danger.
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New York Times
A serial robber who apparently loves dressing up as a cat is running rampant across the city hitting only high-end shoe and beauty shops, according to New York City police.
The frisky feline has already struck three times and was captured on surveillance video during her heist at the high-end Arche store on Astor Place in the East Village on Thursday.
During the robbery at Arche, the 5-foot-6, 115 pound thief, apparently asked the a salesperson if she likes cats and then began moving like cat woman -- even making cat sounds.
Before she pounced, police say the suspect shopped for nearly 40 minutes, before turning over a note to an employee reading, "Give me the money! I have a gun!" Police say she then fled the store with $86 in cash.
The following day the suspect hit The Body Shop in Forest Hills, Queens, police said. This time, however, she wasn't wearing her cat mask but was instead donning a scarf she had wrapped around her head. In that instance, she demanded money and made off with $500.
Last year, police say she hit another store. This time, she targeted a Nine West in Forest Hills. It is not clear how much money she got away with in that case.
The cat bandit is still on the prowl.
New York City police are urging anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).
"I hope someone recognizes her and takes her off the streets soon," a worried shopper told PIX 11 News.
Well, seems like the Marin Foundation isn't quite the loving outreach of Christianity it claims. Check it:
The preacher lied: Michelangelo Signorile examines the case of Andrew Marin, a lay minister who exploited his lesbian friends to promote himself as a "bridge" between gays and evangelicals. After HRC and others bought into his pitch, his true antigay colors began to shine through.
How is it that officials at the Human Rights Campaign, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the Empire State Pride Agenda, and other prominent gay groups got suckered by a 25-year-old heterosexual evangelical Christian, a man who promised to be their gay-friendly savior but who was simultaneously giving training sessions to antigay groups and calling homosexuality a "sin" on Christian radio? The simple answer is: They wanted to believe.
This is a story about yet another slick preacher. But it's also a story about gay people so hungry for acceptance-and gay groups so eager to tap into the zeitgeist-that they allowed themselves to be had.
It was in 2005 when Marin, a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago (where he majored in psychology) and a devout Christian, first made contact with gay and lesbian groups through his Chicago-based Marin Foundation, an organization for which he had attained nonprofit status that same year. The Web site for the foundation touted seminars for LGBT people as well as straight evangelicals in order to create an understanding between them--a "bridge" between the two communities.
Whatever the loftier goals, some former friends and acquaintances of Marin's say he had other hopes for the foundation he named after himself. "He always said he would make a lot of money and his foundation would make him rich," says Melissa Garvey, a former college classmate, talking about the months preceding the foundation's inception. "He even told my mom that."
Garvey, a lesbian, says she befriended Marin in college because both had an interest in sports and had several friends in common. Though she assumed he knew about her through the grapevine, she'd never told him she was a lesbian--never "came out to him" nor discussed the issue--precisely because of his evangelical beliefs. That's why she was shocked when, at a friend's urging, she went to the Web site for Marin's new foundation and saw photos of herself on it (ones he'd taken at social gatherings), which he used without her permission. Garvey became concerned particularly because she was not completely out at work and was trying to join the Rotary Club in the conservative suburb where she managed a restaurant at the time. Marin, she charges, publicly outed her for his own purposes.
Emily Webster, also a lesbian, agrees with that assessment. She says her photos were on the site as well, as were another lesbian friend's photos, also without permission.
Garvey and Webster told Marin to take their pictures off his site and severed ties with him. He did, but what remained on the site was a story about his friends "Emily" and "Melissa," whom he described as having "come out" to him, one after the other, shocking his sensibilities and putting him on the path to his current mission. The story is quite detailed, describing where they were when each woman told Marin she was gay. But both women--and others who know them--say none of it ever happened.
Source has more, and is an article from 2006, so this has been going on for quite some time.
I will be dubious about the Marin Foundation and anyone associated with it from now on.
Please exploit these resources:
Homeopathic treatments are based on the principle that the more diluted a substance is, the more powerful it becomes, and in many cases the treatments that contain none of the original substance whatsoever are considered the most potent of all.
Leading homeopath Dr Dana Malik explained, “You’re essentially taking NHS funding from 0.001% to 0.000000000001%, which as any good Homeopath will tell you, makes that funding significantly more effective.”
“Taking all this money away is much like giving a billion pounds to any other scientifically proven area of medicine. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out this dilution of our funding leads to a homeopathic cure for cancer.”
Just as Homeopathy relies on the fact that water can remember what was in it even when it’s no longer there, homeopaths claim the memory of previous funding will allow them to continue to grow their practices.
Malik continued, “Just because we can’t prove how or why something works, or even effectively demonstrate that it does, does not mean that it doesn’t.”
“So just because you’re mind is closed to the fact that taking all of our money away will actually make us stronger, doesn’t mean it won’t.”
“The important factor is that we potentise our accounts by shaking them in exactly the correct manner, ensuring that the memory of the previous funding is transferred to our now empty bank accounts.”
“This is absolutely the best thing that could have happened to homeopathy in the UK. In fact, I’m feel wealthier already.”
The National Constitution Centre is awarding him its Liberty Medal for “steadfast” efforts in not declaring war on everyone, everywhere, all of the time.
A spokesperson explained, “As Prime Minister it would have been really easy to start a war with every country he ever encountered, yet here we are years later and the UK is only involved in a couple of borderline illegal conflicts.”
“Which as far as America is concerned makes him pretty much the human embodiment of peace itself.”
“We admire people who can meet other people, especially foreigners, and not immediately succumb to the desire to blow them all the hell.”
“Especially when you have a button right there on your desk for just that purpose.”
Organisers have said they are overlooking the Iraq war because that particular conflict was absolutely necessary in ensuring that they didn’t have to trade in their land cruisers for a tiny Prius.
The spokesperson continued, “We don’t count Iraq because we tend not to count the wars that we absolutely approve of.”
“As far as we’re concerned the true war-mongers are the people who start conflicts where there is no obvious financial or resource gain to be had.”
“Mr Blair is a prime example of limiting yourself to starting military conflicts where there is a clear financial benefit for doing so.”
“And for that, we salute you, sir.”
Lacking G.O.P. Largess, Crist Turns to Democrats
ORLANDO, Fla. — Gov. Charlie Crist seemed very much in his element as he worked the room at a fund-raiser here last week — clapping backs, leaning in for small talk, touching an elbow here and a shoulder there, always making sure to introduce himself: “Hi, I’m Charlie.”
It is an art form he has perfected over the course of a long career in Republican politics. This time, however, there was a notable difference in his dance step: he was courting a roomful of mostly Democrats.
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Al Qaeda sucks at Propaganda
Rachel Maddow expresses her skepticism about Al Qaeda's new English language magazine, "Inspire," which is so ridiculous it might actually be a ploy to make Al Qaeda look foolish.
First Posted: 07- 2-10 02:31 PM | Updated: 07- 2-10 02:31 PM
Via Fishbowl LA comes this video capturing an altercation between Jimmy Kimmel's production crew and pro-life group SurvivorsLA outside the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. The group describes itself as "a Christian, pro-life activism organization dedicated to educating and activating high school and college age individuals."
The group claims that Kimmel's crew "turned high intensity spotlights onto a young teenager peacefully practicing his first amendment rights", though it is difficult to make out from the video. What do you think?
I wonder if this will make it to the show tonight? I wish my tv reception was working at the moment but I guess I can catch it online later.
So what do you guys think? Who was in the wrong? It looks like the lights were being shown on the protestors but we don't know why. Still, the man grabbed that expensive light and I think the crew was in the right to try to protect their property from him.
Polemicist cancels book tour promoting autobiography and will undergo chemotherapy
Thursday 1 July 2010
The author and polemicist Christopher Hitchens yesterday announced he was cutting short a promotional book tour in order to undergo chemotherapy treatment.
There were reports that the the British-born writer, who was a heavy smoker until giving up several years ago, had been diagnosed with cancer.
In a statement issued by his US publisher, Twelve, the 61-year-old said: "I have been advised by my physician that I must undergo a course of chemotherapy on my oesophagus. This advice seems persuasive to me. I regret having had to cancel so many engagements at such short notice."
The firm gave no further details other than asking for his privacy to be respected. Hitchens launched a high profile book tour last month to promote his memoir Hitch-22, which tackles subjects ranging from the Middle East and Zimbabwe to his friendships with prominent writers including Salman Rushdie and Martin Amis. The volume has already entered the bestseller lists.
Hitchens has in the past described himself as "an essayist and a contrarian". As a journalist, critic and war correspondent, he has carved out a reputation for barbed repartee, scathing critiques of public figures and a fierce intelligence.
In his 2008 book "God Is Not Great", Hitchens put himself on a collision course with major religions through his advocacy of atheism.
He lives in Washington DC and became an American citizen in 2007, although also retains British citizenship. Hitchens appeared at the Guardian Hay Festival this summer.
source / lifted off The Mothership
Can't wait to not vote for her. Gotta give her campaign people props for a generally aesthetically pleasing ad though, even if it's full of bullshit ("LOLZ DON'T VOTE FOR HIM GUISE HE DOESN'T LIKE THE DEATH PENALTY CHEESE AND CRACKERS IT'S NOT 1967 ANYMORE!!!!1").
According to an announcement on Beck's Web site, "Beck University is a unique academic experience bringing together experts in the fields of religion, American history and economics." In July, August and September, interested parties can participate in "captivating lectures and interactive online discussions" in which "experts will explore the concepts of Faith, Hope and Charity and show you how they influence America's past, her present and most importantly her future."
At [link] is the actual insignia of Beck University. (Note the buffalo, feather and Latin words.) To be clear, calling it a university is more than a stretch: It is actually simply an opportunity to watch online classes taught by three men, among them the controversial David Barton.
Barton is described on Beck's site as "the founder and president of WallBuilders, a national pro-family organization that presents America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious, and constitutional heritage." He is an evangelical minister and GOP political activist who has pushed hard against the separation of church and state and been embraced by conservative Republican politicians.
He has been criticized repeatedly for bad scholarship. According to People for the American Way, then-Republican Sen. Arlen Specter wrote in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy in 1995 that Barton's arguments "range from the technical to the absurd" and "proceed from flawed and highly selective readings of both text and history."
The other two teachers have more traditional backgrounds: Louisiana State University professor James R. Stoner, Jr. and former Columbia Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology and Education David L. Buckner. Available classes are "Faith," "Hope" and "Charity" 101, 102 and 103.
So how do you enroll at Beck University? By joining his "Insider Extreme" website at a cost of $9.95 per month or $74.95 for the year. A promotional page for the "Insider Extreme" subscription lays out what it offers beyond the normal "Insider" membership and features a variety of pictures of Beck mugging for the camera.
Somebody's been drinking the sauce.
China Puts Best Face Forward With News Channel
Xinhua, China's official news agency, introduced CNC World, a 24-hour English-language news channel, at a news conference in Beijing on Thursday. The expansion comes as many Western news media are cutting back.
Trader-Turned-Author Nomi Prins on Financial Reform (Video)
Thursday 01 July 2010
by: Laura Flanders | GRITtv | Interview
Nomi Prins, former Wall Street trader and author of It Takes a Pillage, says that the current financial reform legislation is like throwing your extra junk in the attic and pretending that your house is clean. She says that it allows banks to keep all sorts of securities off their balance sheets--that it does nothing to prevent, in short, the kind of shady dealings that helped land us in this financial mess to begin with.
Together with Roosevelt Institute Fellow and blogger Mike Konczal, Nomi joins Laura in studio to discuss the financial reform legislation, its chances of passage, and what it would do--and wouldn't.
All republished content that appears on Truthout has been obtained by permission or license.
Report: U.S. Banks Laundered Mexican Drug Money
By DAILYFINANCE STAFF Posted 1:10 PM 06/29/10 Economy, Bank of America, Wells Fargo & Co
Mexican drug traffic
In a meeting in Mexico last March, Obama administration officials acknowledged that Americans' insatiable appetite for illegal narcotics is at the core of Mexico's drug war. But it isn't only the habits of some U.S. consumers that are keeping Mexican drug cartels in business.
In April, Mexican soldiers searched a DC-9 jet that had landed at the international airport in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, 500 miles east of Mexico City. On the plane they found 128 black suitcases, packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100 million.
Law-enforcement officials later also discovered something else. The smugglers had bought the DC-9 with laundered funds they transferred through two of America's biggest banks: Wachovia and Bank of America (BAC), Bloomberg Markets reports in its August issue.
It wasn't the first time. Wachovia, it turns out, habitually helped move money for Mexican drug smugglers. Wells Fargo (WFC), which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers -- including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine, the Bloomberg story says.
"Wachovia's blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations," says Jeffrey Sloman, the federal prosecutor who handled the case.
Similarly, traffickers used accounts at Bank of America to purchase three planes that ended up smuggling 10 tons of cocaine. "Federal agents caught people who work for Mexican cartels depositing illicit funds in Bank of America accounts in Atlanta, Chicago and Brownsville, Texas, from 2002 to 2009," the article says.
Seriously, what the fuck. And why isn't this a bigger story? JESUS H CHRIST.
This is almost as bad as this story which I posted here some time ago. Almost.