Good Morning Everyone! Here are the latest news stories everyone is talking about.
Nobel Prize Announcement
The Nobel prize for medicine goes to Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider and Jack Szostak
Their work revealed how the chromosomes can be copied and has helped further our understanding on human ageing, cancer and stem cells.
Blackburn is from the University of California at San Francisco, Szostak is at Harvard Medical School, and Grieder was a graduate student who worked with Blackburn.
Obama and the Generals
The London Telegraph claims that Barack Obama is furious at Gen. Stanley McChrystal over a speech he made in London about Afghanistan policy. There isn’t much evidence in the story that Obama is really “furious,” though. I guess time will tell.
Meanwhile Elizabeth Bumiller has a story in The New York TImes about Gen. David Petraeus, suggesting that Petraeus may be planning to run for President and that he has “muzzled himself” in public to avoid antagonizing President Obama.
Gen. David H. Petraeus, the face of the Iraq troop surge and a favorite of former President George W. Bush, spoke up or was called upon by President Obama “several times” during the big Afghanistan strategy session in the Situation Room last week, one participant says, and will be back for two more meetings this week.
But the general’s closest associates say that underneath the surface of good relations, the celebrity commander faces a new reality in Mr. Obama’s White House: He is still at the table, but in a very different seat.
No longer does the man who oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have one of the biggest voices at National Security Council meetings, as he did when Mr. Bush gave him 20 minutes during hourlong weekly sessions to present his views in live video feeds from Baghdad.
Bumiller also suggests that the White House resents pressure from the two generals–McChrystal and Petraeus.
If anything, General McChrystal’s public comments may prove that General Petraeus might be prudent to take a back seat during the debate. On Sunday, when CNN’s John King asked Gen. James L. Jones, the national security adviser, if it was appropriate for a man in uniform to appear to campaign so openly for more troops, General Jones replied, “Ideally, it’s better for military advice to come up through the chain of command.”
How much General Petraeus’s muted voice will affect Mr. Obama’s decision on the war is unclear, but people close to him say that stifling himself in public could give him greater credibility to influence the debate from within. Others say that his biggest influence may simply be as part of a team of military advisers, including General McChrystal and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
At Firedoglake, Spencer Ackerman laughs off implications that “there’s a debilitating breakdown in civilian control of the military,”
A new Supreme Court term begins today with new Justice Sonya Sotomayor retiring Justice David Souter.
NYT: New Court Term Hints at Views on Regulating Business
The term will provide important hints, said Richard H. Pildes, a law professor at New York University, to “how much the worst economic crisis since the Depression is going to shape the court’s general stance toward markets and economic regulation.”
Professor Pildes pointed to two cases in particular, one concerning the constitutionality of a regulatory board created in the wake of the Enron accounting scandal, the other about what role the courts should play in setting the compensation of advisers to mutual funds.
The decisions in those cases, he said, are likely to signal whether the court has become “more receptive to regulatory constraints on the market” in the wake of the financial crisis.
Bloomberg: Companies Seek Turnaround at Supreme Court as Sotomayor Joins
“The business community is anxious to see if the losses of last term were aberrations,” said Thomas Goldstein, a Washington lawyer at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and the creator of the Scotusblog Web site, which tracks the court.
Whether that trend continues will depend in part on how much deference the court affords the Obama administration, which is urging the justices to allow more investor lawsuits.
BBC News has a good breakdown of the Key cases before US Supreme Court in this term. One big issue will be a gun law challenge from Chicago.
ABC News: New Battle in the Gun War Heads to the Supreme Court
A 16-year-old honor student in Chicago being beaten to death by teenagers. Derrion Albert, a high school sophomore was caught in a mob fight as he was walking to a bus stop. Despite not being part of either of the gangs, he was punched, kicked and struck by a board.
And just a week and a half after the fatal incident, as residents demand safer streets, Chicago faces a new battle — this time over guns.
On Monday, the Supreme Court will begin its 2009-2010 term, and on the docket is the case of Chicago residents who are challenging the constitutionality of the city’s hand gun laws, which ban residents within the city limits from having guns, even in their own homes.
Will the Supreme Court continue on the course they seemed to set out on in 2008 when the struck down the Washington DC handgun ban?
Health Care Bill
USA Today: Health care bills tackle gender gap in coverage
Women’s health groups, legal organizations and some female senators are fighting for a host of little-known provisions in the health care legislation being debated in Congress that they say will dramatically improve health care and insurance coverage for women.
From a ban on insurance companies charging women more for the same policies as men to a requirement that companies provide maternity coverage as part of their basic plans, advocates say the provisions would correct longstanding inequities and offer more coverage to women at lower costs.
I just don’t *get* what President Obama is up to with the “public option.”
Obama quietly tries to shore up Senate support for public option
Despite months of outward ambivalence about creating a government health insurance plan, the Obama White House has launched a behind-the-scenes campaign to get divided Senate Democrats to take up some version of the idea for a final vote in the coming weeks.
President Obama has cited a preference for the so-called public option. But faced with intense criticism over the summer, he strategically expressed openness to health cooperatives and other ways to offer consumers potentially more affordable alternatives to private health plans.
In the last week, however, senior administration officials have been holding private meetings almost daily at the Capitol with senior Democratic staff to discuss ways to include a version of the public plan in the healthcare bill that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans to bring to the Senate floor this month, according to senior Democratic congressional aides.
Color me skeptical. My guess is this is just another effort to paper over the fact that “health care reform” is in effect a bailout for big insurance companies.
NY Daily News: Public option is alive and well: Sen. Schumer insists it still has healthy chance of passing
Schumer is on the Finance Committee, which turned thumbs down on his plan for a government-run insurance choice. But he said the close 13-to-10 loss actually shocked the effort back to life – and time is now on his side.
“The press missed the point,” Schumer told the Daily News. He noted that two moderate senators who opposed an earlier version switched to support the government-run option.
The New York Democrat also said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” that voters increasingly see the public option as the only way to drive down costs through competition.
“We are going to come together on a public option,” Schumer asserted, adding that the final bill will likely include “some modifications.”
At Americablog, John Aravosis is apoplectic that his hopey-changey candidate has morphed into a President who doesn’t support gay rights with actions, “just words.” Aravosis sorta kinda tries to put the blame on NSA Jones…
National Security Adviser: Obama won’t lift gay ban until Iraq and Afghan wars finished – and even then, if there are more wars…
Apparently, General Jones would have us believe that President Obama wasn’t aware that we were fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan when he promised to lift the gay ban during the campaign in exchange for our votes. So, Jones tells us today, Obama can’t get to that particular promise right now because he’s busy fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Uh huh.
But further down the page, he admits:
In the end, don’t think that Jones is simply freelancing. There is no way a senior administration official goes on TV and keeps screwing up like this. At first it’s a screw up. After this many times, it’s part of the plan. And the plan is to move the goal posts again and again and again until Obama can pass his gay rights promises to the next president, assuming we get a Democrat elected again this century.
Hey, we tried to warn them, but they were too busy swooning over empty speeches and downing Koolaid like it was champagne.
Fit to be tied: Twins beat Royals 13-4, will play Tigers in AL Central playoff on Tuesday
The Minnesota Twins held a season-long countdown celebrating their final season in the Metrodome, commemorated each game by pulling down a number hanging in the left field stands.
During an emotional postgame ceremony on Sunday, Kirby Puckett Jr., the son of the biggest star in Twins history, pulled down the No. 1 sign, supposedly marking the end of the team’s 28-year run indoors.
Not so fast, Kirby Jr. There is still at least one game left to play here.
Jason Kubel got the Homer Hankies waving with a pair of three-run homers and Minnesota beat Kansas City 13-4, putting the Twins into a one-game playoff with the Detroit Tigers for the AL Central title.
Have a Marvelous Monday!!!!!!!
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Filed under: Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Cost of Sexism, DOMA, Health Care Reform, LGBT rights, Politics | Tagged: Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Business regulation, General David Petraeus, General Stanley McChrystal, GLBT rights, Health Care Report, Nobel Prize, Public Option, Second Amendment, Senator Charles Schumer, sports, Supreme Court | 22 Comments »