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Thursday Morning News Links (with a little help from my friend Katiebird)


News from the Boston Area

Good morning, Conflucians! It’s another gray day in New England, but at least the Red Sox are still in first place.

Kansas City Royals play Red Sox this weekend.

José Guillen returned to the lineup — but as the designated hitter — and could spend time this weekend battling the Green Monster, the big left-field wall at Boston’s Fenway Park, in an effort to reduce strain on his aching legs.

Good luck with that, old man.

In other provincial news, legendary local gangster Whitey Bulger is still on the run, and his crimes are still being investigated and prosecuted.

Tall ships arrive in Boston (gorgeous photos!)

Mass. becomes the first state to challenge Federal Defense of Marriage Act.

“Our familes, our communities, and even our economy have seen the many important benefits that have come from recognizing equal marriage rights and, frankly, no downside,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said this afternoon at a news conference announcing the lawsuit. “However, we have also seen how many of our married residents and their families are being hurt by a discriminatory, unprecedented, and, we believe, unconstitutional law.”

Texting trolley driver indicted in crash

Governor’s Race Heats Up in Mass. (scroll down for story)

After years of consideration, republican Charlie Baker has decided to quit his lucrative job as CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care so he can devote his full time to a 2010 Massachusetts gubernatorial bid.

News from Another Corrupt State

Ex-Blagojevich aide pleads guilty, will testify

A blow for Illinois’s Blagojevich in corruption case

Illinois political floodgates open after Madigan passes on governor, Senate bids.

News from Washington, DC

Democrats say CIA deceived Congress for years.

Obama threatens veto of intelligence bill.

Healthcare overhaul bill stalls in Congress

What’s So Scary About Offering People the Option of a Public Health Plan?

Howard Dean: This is ridiculous. We’re 60 Years Behind the Times” on Fixing Health Care

Your candidate won, Howie. So why are you whining?

Cities Lose Out on Road Funds From Federal Stimulus

For [Marion] Barry, a Familiar Script Takes an Unfamiliar Twist

News of the World

What not to say in Moscow.

Climate change pact hits snags

Major Iranian demonstration today?

Iran stocks up on censorship tools.

Khamenei’s son takes control of anti-protest militia

A guide to China’s ethnic groups.
Murdoch papers paid £1m to gag phone-hacking victims

US occupation of Iraq continues unabated.

One woman makes the news, another doesn’t: Neda and Marwa


Bing, the imitator, often goes Google one better.

Google Takes on Microsoft with Chrome OS.

Amazon Drops Kindle Price By $60

North Korean Hackers Blamed for Sweeping Cyber Attack

SKorean agency warns of more cyber attacks

Palin Power and the Progs (Progs = Libertarians, Republicans, and elitist snobs pretending to be Democrats)

TPM still thinks Palin lied about her reasons for quitting.

“You’re not listening to me” Reclusive Leftist on Andrea Mitchell’s pathological PDS

Sally Quinn doesn’t understand Palin either.

David Letterman still not funny

NEW YORK (AP) – If Sarah Palin figured she’d be getting a break from the late night comics — she figured wrong. Last night, David Letterman was all over Palin for her announcement that she will resign as governor of Alaska. Just last month, Letterman issued a public apology to Palin over a joke he made about one of her daughters. Well, last night Letterman’s Top 10 list was “messages left on Sarah Palin’s answering machine.” Number 10: “Hi, it’s George W. Bush, why didn’t anyone tell me resigning was an option.” Number six: “It’s Letterman, are we still cool?” And the number-one message on Sarah Palin’s answering machine: “Hey it’s McCain, who would have thought you’d retire before I did.”

It’s time to retire, David. Johnny Carson must be rolling over in his grave.

News of the Dead

McNamara’s Evil Lives On

Is holocaust too emotionally charged a word? How many millions of dead innocent civilians does it take to qualify labels like holocaust, genocide or terrorism? How many of the limbless victims of his fragmentation bombs and land mines whom I saw in Vietnam during and after the war? Or are America’s leaders always to be exempted from such questions? Perhaps if McNamara had been held legally accountable for his actions, the architects of the Iraq debacle might have paused.

Exclusive: Robert McNamara deceived LBJ on Gulf of Tonkin, documents show

But probably no secret was more sensitive politically than the one that would have changed fundamentally the public perception of his role in Vietnam policy had it been become widely known.

The secret was his deliberate deceit of President Lyndon B. Johnson on Aug. 4, 1964 regarding the alleged attack on US warships in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Documents which have been available for decades in the LBJ Library show clearly that McNamara failed to inform Johnson that the U.S. naval task group commander in the Tonkin Gulf, Captain John J. Herrick, had changed his mind about the alleged North Vietnamese torpedo attack on U.S. warships he had reported earlier that day.

Blowout ratings for a farewell, on-line and off.

Michael Jackson’s ghost?

Probably not.

Meeting Farrah Fawcett

Odds and Ends

Recession Camp: You didn’t sign up for this

Are men still necessary? Scientists make sperm from stem cells.

Does lab sperm mean an end to fathers? Not in my lifetime

Man ‘driving commando’ pulled over for speeding

Jobseekers bare all

Man dies after falling into vat of chocolate in New Jersey.

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73 Responses

  1. Now this is some really early morning news links. You guys are fast.

    I thought the sperm from stem cell discussions had a funny twist. Some of the researchers kept insisting that it would only work with stem cells from men. Ha, sounds like a bluff to me. I understand the xy vs. xx thing in those cells, but there are ways of dealing with that. They just don’t want to go there I think.

    Ah, to die of chocolate. I can’ think of worse ways to go.

    • Hi Dandy Tiger! I’m up way too late and wanted to be able to oversleep.

    • even if we could figure out how to make sperm without you we would still need you. Boys are some of my favorite people. I wouldn’t want to live in a world without them.

  2. Did you see that now mydd is now trying to spread the meme that Palin’s “scandal” is that she’s seeing a woman? Yay homophobia, not just for Freepers anymore.

    So do they love or hate McNamara? Putting one over on Texans by Whole Foods Nation is admirable, right?

    • its seems the palin must really scareing the C@@p out of somebody .

      • My suspicion is that the republicans are sitting on enough dirt to destroy Obama’s presidency whenever they want. So as far as they and the press are concerned whoever wins the republican primary will become president, thus the effort to destroy Palin before 2012 because odds are good she could easily win the republican primary.

    • What? Will the progs never move on?

    • By refusing to stand pat and allowing both her family and state get continually attacked for the next 17 months of her term , Palin has “robbed” many in the Pundit Nation of the Palin bashing pay checks they were counting on. With Hillary off limits for the time being, you can bet many a tear flowed into martinis over it as they sobbed, ” I can’t quit you! “

    • The tranformation is complete. Left blogistan is now freeperville. Let me guess. Palin has an assistant named Uma.

    • I guess they’ll accuse Gov Palin of having an affair with Vince Foster next.

  3. As there has been some concern lately, that Hillary hasn’t been as visible in the news, as most wanted and expected, look at this (Jan. 1-June 14) :


    What I find surprising is that Sotomayor with only 3 weeks in the news tops Clinton. But even with the Palin-Letterman controversy Palin is far behind.

    • While it’s disappointing for us, I bet Hillary is enjoying being under the press radar. It must be great to do your work without the shit . She seemed to like being under the radar while getting stuff done in the Senate as well .

      • paper doll I agree – if only just Obama wasn’t rewarded and praised for her accomplishments! However much I admire Clinton, I wish she wouldn’t let them get away with that!

      • At least she’s soon going places where the press, the people, and the leaders seem to have no problem whatsoever, openly showing both love and admiration for her! Yay!

    • Hillary Rescues Honduras

      Hillary is doing GREAT work.

  4. GO dodgers

  5. Interesting selection of topics, bb. Speaking from here in Illinois, I can tell you that Lisa Madigan would have been a superb Senator. She’s been a great AG, and, in spite of being the daughter of an old-style pol, Mike Madigan, she’s head and shoulders above her father. This is really a loss for us on the Federal level.

    I see that another strong female AG–and strong Hillary supporter–Martha Coakley is standing up for same-sex couples in MA. Gutsy move (and totally correct, IMO) to challenge DOMA. Wouldn’t be surprised if this takes years and ends up at the Supreme Ct.

    Meanwhile, Howard Dean has convinced me that he is a total has-been. Americans want to keep their corporate-provided insurance? Try reading the newspapers occasionally, Howard, and you’ll find that 70% of Americans want Medicare for all. COBRA is so expensive it’s a joke. Why should anyone be without healthcare because they lose their jobs or want to change jobs? Howard sounds like he’s still desperate to be part of Obama’s political machine. Pathetic.

    • Howard Dean supports a single payer plan, basically an expansion of Medicare to all. So why did he suppot Obama?

      • I, too, thought that Howard supported single payer, but in the article you cited Howard is gushing about Obama being correct that we need a “uniquely American solution.” Sounds to me like he’s still trying to be part of the O-team.

        • It’s sad when they don’t realized it’s over. Exactly why would Obama need Howrad at this point anyway?
          He ruined anyone thinking he’s a seroius person putting Barry over . Howie, go home and wait for Obama’s phone call in 2011 when he wants a 2nd term and it’s all hands on deck

      • Cuz, cuz, cuz he said he supported Single Payer and cuz, cuz, cuz Obama said he was like Hillary and cuz, cuz, cuz, we only now realized after our members from SinglePayerAction went to Open Secrets that that, that Baucuss

        With CRP data, Sunlight Maps Baucus’s Health Care Lobbying Network

        got Millions of dollars in campaign contributions from, from, from….WHA!

        There, there, there, Dean…I guess if you had gone with the other doctors, that Baucuss would have arrested you too for asking that Single Payer be on the table of discussions. Yup, maybe we also need TERM LIMITS along with Single Payer since we are 60 years behind on health care reform.

    • It is a shame that Madigan decided not to run for either office. I’m hoping Martha Coakley will end up eventually running for the Senate, replacing either Kennedy or Kerry.

      • Me too, and the sooner the better.

      • I don’t. I filed a report with her office alleging the Department of Social Services (“DSS”) (now the Department of Children and Families), headed by Attorney Larry Locke (now a Superior Court judge), was abusing and neglecting a child in their custody, and covering it up. Ms. Coakley had previously worked alongside Mr. Locke, in the office of the Middlesex DA. When she was elected DA, she was asked her thoughts about Mr. Locke heading up DSS. She said he was her mentor, and expressed high hopes he could ‘turn the troubled DSS around.’ So, what did she do to investigate my charges her mentor was abusing and neglecting a child in state custody and covering it up? Well, her office didn’t examine the child, which would have established the 8-month-old was failing to thrive. They didn’t review his medical records, including his birth records, which would have established he was perfectly healthy until DSS took custody and placed him in a foster home with a history of problems, where he got sick and became sicker ever since. They certainly didn’t contact his pediatrician, who would have confirmed that he finally learned the foster family had been starving his patient after I caught them and told him and then, per my instructions, he wrote to DSS to make sure he was fed. No; according to a former staffer from her office, they simply called DSS and asked, ‘Are you abusing and neglecting this child and covering it up?’ However, immediately AFTER I filed charges, DSS ordered the foster mother to take the child to the hospital, who began treating him for severe malnutrition. (Not surprisingly, as long as he was fed by strangers, he was able to eat with no problem.)

    • COBRA is so expensive it’s a joke

      I always thought it was very well named…as in poisonous snake. One of those little jokes our leaders allow themselves

      • (nodding) I’ve got COBRA for life as part of my retirement but, I don’t think we can keep it after this year. We can’t handle another 100 dollar increase like we got this year.

        That’s why there HAVE to be some subsidies for any public plan — no one can afford the full cost of a plan!

        • Some stories from the readers, where everyone can post their horror story of losing coverage or not having any and telling what it is like out here with no health plan coverage via the government like the legislators have for life for FREE.

      • For anyone who now has or may need COBRA: There’s a provision in the stimulus bill that provides that anyone who was involuntarily terminated between September, 2008 an December 2009, who made below a certain salary–don’t remember exactly where the cut-off is, but it’s well higher than average pay–and who was not dismissed for misconduct, can apply for susidized COBRA. The terminated person pays only 35% of the cost of the policy. The other 65% is paid either by the company or by the insurance carrier and is reimbursed to them as a tax credit. The subsidy is retroactive. If you’ve already paid full price for your initial COBRA coverage and you qualify for the 35% rate, you can either claim a refund or apply the larger payment over a longer period of time.

  6. Many Americans take low-paying jobs just for health coverage.


    • Indeed, and that’s been true for awhile. A friend stayed at her awful job while battling brain cancer, just to keep the health care . As Kaffka shook his head in the next door cubical .

    • Health coverage is all that’s keeping me from retiring. Can’t qualify for Medicare yet and don’t want to be without coverage.

      Howard Dean, in that link at least, was talking about a public plan “like medicare”. If that’s the case, just open medicare but, no, that’s too simple. I know he is probably actually for Medicare for All, but he’s trying to be on both sides now and not disagree too much with Obama. He must be really disappointed though.

      • Howard Dean, in that link at least, was talking about a public plan “like medicare”. If that’s the case, just open medicare but, no, that’s too simple

        Exactly…and saying it was an expansion of medicare would help people understand what was meant since that’s already a known. It’s, as you say, simple. But since they don’t want to give us single payer (where is the profits and campaign contributions in that?) they are going though the usual kabuki dance of we don’t know/who knows ? let’s give the HMO’s what they want and see how it goes crap

        • We should throw them all out in 2010. Every incumbent. Just on the Senate side, there are only Feingold and Sanders to keep. Everyone else should be voted out and that would include 435 members of the House.

          It’s the only way the people will really get their attention.

          • I’d like to keep Dennis Kucinich and Keith Ellison, if that’s okay with you.

          • Some members of the CBC could also stay, but “Throw the bums out” sounds so much better than “Throw some of the bums out”.

      • that stands true for me (not old enough for Medicare yet)… I also think a lot of entrepreneurs would get busy creating new business if they were so worried about providing care for their families…

        it just seems stupid not to have UHC – from a lot of different standpoints.

      • They are good jobs. My current “fools gold” plated insurance coverage costs me $0 and is a good fee for service plan with fairly low deductibles. Maybe I don’t want to retire after all.

        UHC would save money overall for health care in the US. What they are talking about now will cost an extra $trillion or so. Makes no sense at all.

        • in effect, it’s another bailout. If we could convince those in DC that single payer would cost an extra trillion as well, it would have a better shot. They aren’t there to save money. They are there to get some

        • Medicare now pays 80 percent, but there is no real reason that with everyone paying in, rather than just the old and sick, it could not be close to if not 100 percent.

      • The costs of the uninsured, underinsured and Medicare and Medicaid fixed cost payment patients are passed along to the insured. If everyone is covered, if everyone gets timely care, and the financial burden is equally born by everyone, UHC will be far cheaper in the fairly short term. The costs of poor health, loss of productivity, stress, lousy employers making indentured servants out of employees, bankruptcy and on and on are incalculable. Many groups such as the Chamber of Commerce do not want universal coverage because many crap employers will loose leverage over employees and have to give pay raises as the benefits offered will be worth so much less. It will cause a huge realignment in the economy and for the better for most people which is why the powerful do not want it.

  7. Clinton plans to raise her profile with foreign policy speech.

    After missing two overseas trips due to surgery to repair a broken elbow, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans to deliver a major foreign-policy speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington next week before departing for India and the ASEAN conference in Thailand on Friday, July 17, aides say.

    Guiding the speech are Anne-Marie Slaughter, the director of the State Department’s policy planning office, and Derek Chollet, her deputy, among others. In a “smart power” oriented address, Clinton plans to discuss ways the United States can promote nuclear nonproliferation, combat violent extremism, and improve food security, along with other themes. “She will highlight the … goals of U.S. policy (not her goals — the country’s),” one official familiar with the preparations stressed on condition of anonymity.

    • This is good news! …and then I’ll be depressed she’s only co-POTUS. lol!

    • How’s this scenario?
      Biden continues his gaffesand goofiness while Obama’s polling takes a hit. In mid-2012 Biden’s doctors declare his “health” won’t allow him to remain VP – and Obama selects Hillary.

      • Please, Goddess, no. I hope at some point she gets off the Titanic. She does not need to be at his side, to take the blame, as he hits the iceberg over and over again.

  8. Good Morning, BostonBoomer!! Your team is playing the KC Royals? Then THAT’s a guaranteed win for you!

    • Good morning, KB! You never can tell. But you’re probably right.

  9. From Jim Sciutto, ABC foreign correspondant on today’s protests in Iran (Twitter feed):

    One witness: basij throwing protesters from pedestrian bridges in Shiraz.

    Another witness: police throwing tear gas into buses, some protesters gathering near Tehran Univ

    Iranian protester: “10 times as many police as previous demo’s, few people on the sts for now”

  10. Howard Dean has long supported single payer. But his candidate isn’t his candidate anymore — After the election, Barack threw him under the bus so quickly it set a new land-speed world record.

    The always-excellent Justin Raimondo at Antiwar has a couple of really good pieces on the Honduran crisis. And let me just put in a plug for that site, btw, because for years it has been a fantastic source of antiwar, anti-empirial commentary from a conservative perspective. Here’s Raimondo:

    “American conservatives echo the junta’s rationale for the coup, accusing Zelaya of following in Hugo Chavez’s footsteps, and, by calling for a constitutional convention repealing the one-term limit stipulated by the Honduran constitution, thereby extending his reign indefinitely. This is, in short, a lie. The text of the question that was to appear on the ballot asked voters the following:

    “¿Está de acuerdo que en las elecciones generales de 2009 se instale una cuarta urna en la cual el pueblo decida la convocatoria a una asamblea nacional constituyente? = Sí…….ó………..No”


    “Do you agree with the installation of a fourth ballot box during the 2009 general elections so that the people can decide on the calling of a national constituent assembly? Yes or no.”


    • Thank you for the info!

    • A national constituent assembly is an assembly to rewrite the constitution. That’s what Zelaya wanted to do. The honduras constitution very clearly states (just as ours does) the method that is the legal one for changing that constitution.

      Whether it was non-binding or not, I think you would be rather alarmed in this country if, say, Obama wanted to hold a national referendum whose stated end goal was to throw out and rewrite our constitution. The fact that the initial step was non-binding, or that the process was going to be “democratic” would not allay that alarm.

  11. anti-imperial, not anti-empirial…mas cafe’ por fabor.

    • SOS Clinton has evidently been working hard behind the scenes to resolve this without championing a “side”.

      The WSJ (yeah, I know, RW paper) reports that she has managed to get a mediator in place:

      Secretary of State Clinton, while condemning the action of the Honduran military, mounted a behind the scenes diplomatic effort to counter the meddling of Cuba and Venezuela. Her efforts paid dividends yesterday with the news that Nobel laureate and former Costa Rican President, Oscar Arias, would mediate the conflict.

      Typical Hillary. No jumping up and down and bloviating pro or con for this group or that – just measured statements and hard, practical work to SOLVE the conflict, not escalate it.

      I don’t think the Honduras situation is as cut-and-dried, “good guys vs. bad guys” as either side wants it to appear. That’s been my take from the beginning, and it seems Hill thinks so as well.

  12. >>>>>The federal government is pushing out stimulus funds slightly faster than expected. As of June 19, $29 billion was given to states and localities — 90% of which has gone toward Medicaid and education.

    The money is helping states deal with their budget crunches, Acting Comptroller General Gene Dodaro told a congressional committee Wednesday.

    Still, the agency found that some states have been giving short-shrift to a recovery act requirement that infrastructure projects be located in economically distressed areas. Officials in many states told the GAO that they had picked the projects based on other priorities and only later gave consideration to ones in economically troubled areas.


    iow – states are directing the stimulus funding to existing programs to avoid raising state taxes – rather than to projects to create jobs!
    Remember all those shovel-ready projects that Obama hyped to get the stimulus funding passed?
    Remember the fearmongering? – that if the stimulus bill didn’t pass – unemployment would skyrocket.

    • Until we see actual job creation, it’s all smoke and mirrors and hogwash. You can nitpick all day long about where the money is going, and whether this or that project is worthy or is pork.

      But the bottom line is that unless we get a SIGNIFICANT number of jobs out of that money, it was pissing in the wind. The american consumer drives this economy, and unless they get working and consuming again, then Obama and Congress have only engaged in a 787 billion big circle jerk.

      The proof is in the pudding, and as of now that pudding is sitting there all watery and runny, not setting up at all.

      • Did you see this take on the stimulus?


        “Keynesians like Paul Krugman say that fiscal stimulus will get us out of this economic crash.

        Austrian economists say that the Keynesians are wrong, and that they erroneously think that stimulus spending is a “free lunch”.

        But – whether you agree with Keynesians or not – the fact is that what the government has actually been doing is spending our money on helping out the big boys, and spending next to nothing on even trying to stimulate the economy. The government is giving trillions to the big banks and financial giants, but almost zero to the working people.”

      • It’s all supposed to kick in in 2010 in time for the elections.

        (no sense in alleviating unemployment in a non-electoral year)



    Kenosha Marge’s take on all the “correspondence” we get from our “representatives”….a snarky way to start the day!!

  14. Interesting point made on Denninger: the talking heads are gushing that the new unemployment claims for last week went down by about 20%!

    They neglect to factor in that all unemployment offices were closed on Friday. That reduces the days for filing (from 5 days to 4 days) by around….let’s see….almost 20%?

    And of course, the assumption is made that those people who filed 6 months ago are now among the employed. No, they are not. They are simply off the tracking radar.

  15. http://www.zerohedge.com/article/former-us-assistant-secretary-treasaury-geithner-works-goldman

    “Max Keiser: “Does the US Secretary of the Treasury work for the people or does he work for the banking system on Wall Street?”

    Dr. Paul Craig Reports: “He works for Goldman Sachs.””

  16. Sorry -I posted this at the end of the feminist thread by mistake, but it’s really news, so I’ll stick it here instead.

    G8 in Italy-though it’s almost like the G20, because so many others have come along. (China, India, Korea, Australia, various African-there are others but it’s all I can remember from the lunch time news). They are planning on introducing Global law/regulations for the first time, so it’s complicated.

    Anyway, after 5 minutes of praising Berlusconi to the skies, the tv commentators finally got round to Obama who was defined as behaving with “elegance and aplomb”. Michelle did well too, the yellow color of her dress was “cheerful and bright”.

    She did much better than Sarkozy’s wife (of Italian origin BTW) who was called a “lady-snob” because she did not visit the earthquake ruins at Aquila with the rest of the First Ladies, but will be visiting them this afternoon with George Clooney.

    • Oh, I forgot-they managed to include two sequences, one of Michelle Obama shaking hands down a row of firemen, and a few minutes later of her husband doing exactly the same thing.

  17. I thought this was interesting


    Thank you for the pictures of the tall ships. I remember when they came to Philadelphia. I have some great pictures, one of the Coast Guard tall ship the Eagle. All the sailors were standing on the spars as she came in to port.



  18. Does anyone remember how Hillary planned to extend the same insurance that members of congress get to every citizen? Wouldn’t that be great? That’s exactly what I want.

    Congress can graciously extend to all Americans that which they are given by us…..oh, yeah, right.

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