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      From the useful Elija Mangnier, 1 – Adherence to Iran’s right to nuclear enrichment and everything related to this science at all costs. Nuclear enrichment is a sword Iran can hold in the face of the West, which wants to take it from Tehran. It is Iran’s card to obstruct any US intention of “obliterating” […]
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Wednesday Morning News at the Break of Day

 

General News

Senate Backs Obama on F-22 Fighter

The vote was a major victory for the White House and makes it unlikely, though not impossible, for the F-22 to survive.

Blasts Kill at Least 15 in Baghdad

The violence was the worst to hit the Iraqi capital since American combat troops withdrew on June 30, providing another test of Iraq’s ability to defend itself as Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki left for talks with President Obama in Washington.

Accused of profiling, cops won’t charge Harvard prof

“The city of Cambridge, the Cambridge Police Department, and Professor Gates acknowledge that the incident of July 16, 2009 was regrettable and unfortunate,” they said in a joint press release.

“This incident should not be viewed as one that demeans the character and reputation of Professor Gates or the character of the Cambridge Police Department. All parties agree that this is a just resolution to an unfortunate set of circumstances.”

Woman found dead at Calif. food processing plant

A 40-year-old woman has been found dead in a machine at a Southern California food processing plant that is a major supplier for McDonald’s restaurants.

Economy

Challenge to Health Bill: Selling Reform

The United States now devotes one-sixth of its economy to medicine. Divvy that up, and health care will cost the typical household roughly $15,000 this year, including the often-invisible contributions by employers. That is almost twice as much as two decades ago (adjusting for inflation). It’s about $6,500 more than in other rich countries, on average.

We may not be aware of this stealth $6,500 health care tax, but if you take a moment to think, it makes sense. Over the last 20 years, health costs have soared, and incomes have grown painfully slowly. The two trends are directly connected: employers had to spend more money on benefits, leaving less for raises.

Bailouts could cost U.S. $23 trillion

A series of bailouts, bank rescues and other economic lifelines could end up costing the federal government as much as $23 trillion, the U.S. government’s watchdog over the effort says – a staggering amount that is nearly double the nation’s entire economic
output for a year.

Health and Science

Democrats use Republicans to rally on health care

“The comments by Kristol and DeMint prove what we already knew: Republicans have no interest in meaningful reform,” Poersch wrote to the Senate committee’s email list. “Their top goals: Destroy President Obama. Regain political power. Continue Bush-era policies that have cost our country so dearly.”

DCCC chairman Rep. Chris Van Hollen also joined in: “Republicans should immediately put an end to their political games and join President Obama and House Democrats in fixing America’s broken health care system.”

Global swine flu deaths top 700

Margaret Chan, WHO director-general, has warned that swine flu will become the biggest flu pandemic ever seen.

However, most cases continue to produce only mild symptoms.

Asia watches long solar eclipse

The previous total eclipse, in August 2008, lasted two minutes and 27 seconds.

This one will last six minutes and 39 seconds at its maximum point.

Why raindrops come in many sizes (Link to the story)

Scientists previously believed that the drops collided with each other as they descended, and that these interactions produced a variety of drop sizes.

But the lead author of this study, Emmanuel Villermaux from Aix-Marseille University, explained that there were always “shortcomings” in this idea.

“The drops are not likely to collide that often,” he told BBC News. Real raindrops are so sparse, he said, that it is likely a drop would “fall on its own and never see its neighbours”.

Mapping America’s giant trees

“We want to identify the reasons for tree mortality and if those are changing,” says Dr James Lutz, a research associate at the university’s College of Forest Resources.

Little research has been done on a long-term basis to monitor the lives of large trees. Unlike studies with smaller plants and almost all animals, no individual scientist is able to track a forest giant for its entire lifespan – from germination to death. They live for hundreds of years and play a vital role in the ecosystem long after they have died.

Arts

Rough Sex With Vampires: What Does “True Blood” Tell Us About Women and Sexuality?

To Peterson, the current crop of pointy-toothed dramas continues the genre’s fascination with sexual violence and the idealization of the chaste woman. I can’t fault her for taking issue with eroticized depictions of abuse, often against women. But she’s wrong to equate the sexual politics of True Blood with those of the abstinent, repressed Twilight.

Oldest UK television discovered

The 1936 Marconiphone is thought to have been made in the months that Britain’s first “high-definition” television service began.
. . .
The few controls include volume and vertical hold, but there is no channel changer, as there was only one channel when it was made: the BBC.
. . .
It has been hooked up to a Freeview box so that it can show digital channels, although Mr Borinsky has had to install a standards converter so that a modern television signal can be seen.

Most will carry Obama press conference; time shifted after NBC balked

The stakes were particularly high for NBC, which airs the most-watched show of the summer, “America’s Got Talent,” at 9 p.m. This week, the reality hit includes a heavily promoted interview with “Britain’s Got Talent” singing sensation Susan Boyle.

Sources said that NBC demonstrated reluctance to carry Obama’s news conference live. Faced with the prospect of only one or two major broadcasters — CBS and ABC — covering the event, the White House moved its start time to 8 p.m.

Opinion

The Great Tax Con Job

Why are these guys willing to lose so much money funding “conservative” media? Why do they bulk-buy every right-wing book that comes out to throw it to the top of the NY Times Bestseller list and then give away the copies to “subscribers” to their websites and publications? Why do they fund to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year money-hole “think tanks” like Heritage and Cato?

The answer is pretty straightforward. They do it because it buys them respectability, and gets their con job out there. Even though William Kristol’s publication is a money-losing joke (with only 85,000 subscribers!), his association with the Standard was enough to get him on TV talk shows whenever he wants, and a column with The New York Times. The Washington Times catapulted Tony Blankley to stardom.

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74 Responses

  1. “Rough Sex With Vampires: What Does “True Blood” Tell Us About Women and Sexuality?”

    Mr. Ryan, a better question would be – What does True Blood tell us about how men think about sexuality and women?

    • Mr. Ryan, a better question would be – What does True Blood tell us about how men think about sexuality and women?

      YUP!

    • More like “Mr. Ryan, Why did you use TrueBlood as an excuse to write your view of sexuality and women?” He and I can’t be watching the same show otherwise.

  2. When I read this:

    Most, if not all, of Barack Obama’s Campaign for Change veterans were among the 350,000 applicants for a few thousand jobs in Obama’s Washington. For those who didn’t have connections in the inner sanctum (or expansive resumes), the odds weren’t great. Some staffers who did not want to move to Washington, D.C. were depending on contacts made during the campaign for future opportunities. Now many of them are not only unemployed, but in the season of health care reform, they help comprise the 80 million under- or uninsured Americans (although the campaign cushioned the blow by extending health care benefits until the end of 2008).

    I was reminded of this Conflucian Classic

  3. Wither the trust? WaPo peers into the abyss left by Cronkite – you won’t believe what’s left
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2009/07/22/the-death-of-trust/

  4. Regarding O’s Healthcare plan:

    >>But by drawing attention to Republicans who are hoping to reap the political benefit that would come with health care failure, Obama allies can accomplish at least two goals.

    First, they can better focus the attention of their own party base and recalcitrant congressional Democrats on the nature of the opposition and what not passing a bill may mean at the ballot box.

    Second, by having Obama himself and then his surrogates discuss the GOP’s raw political calculations, they may divert some eyes from their own intra-party divisions — which pose a far more serious threat to the legislation. <<

    The last paragraph above says it all, they need to rally the libs to get the Dem mods to comply with their wishes. This Bill is not without huge faults and all O wants to do is rush it through with a battering ram. Blame the Pubs, O wants that to be his catch phrase. Balanced government has to be there for a reason, to make sure everything is debated and policy created for the betterment of the American people. An unbalanced scale doesn't do anyone any favors.

  5. Just a question:

    Is Michael Steel the dumbest person ever to chair a national party?

  6. Oakland’s bid to become the first U.S. city to tax proceeds on medical marijuana passed Tuesday by a landslide vote.

    • iPhone and pot —

      >>>>Jonesin’ for some (legal) weed? Yes, there IS an app for that.
      Called plainly “Cannabis,” a new $1.99 application for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch lets you find medical marijuana in the 13 states that have such laws, and lawyers in the 37 others that don’t.

      For overseas users, it also guides you to the friendliest Amsterdam hash bars.

      The app is the creation of AJNAG, or Activists Justifying the Natural Agriculture of Ganja, a Los Angeles-based online group created in 2006 to “connect, educate and empower individuals on the cultural, economic, and medicinal benefits of legalization, production, regulation, distribution, and taxation of Cannabis sativa,” according to the group’s Web site

      http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,534313,00.html

  7. Here’s some more news:

    http://terrorfreesomalia.blogspot.com/2009/07/hawiye-terrorest-rape-and-impregnate.html

    “…
    Hawiye kidnap Canadian journalist MOGADISHU –Amanda Lindhout, a Canadian journalist who was abducted by habar-gidir .. hawiye al-shabaab wing gunmen from Mostly hawiye Somali capital Mogadishu about Ten months ago ,according to hawiye media, She Deliver Baby Boy, we have reported in the past, she was apparently raped by her abductors, Sources say the Canadian journalist Amanda and an Australian photojournalist are being held by the Hawiye habar-gidir Jehadest in the northeastern neighbourhood of Suqa Holaha habar-girir haweye Terrorist fighter neighborhood in Mogadishu. The abductors have demanded $2.5 million of ransom from the two journalists to release.Amanda and the Australian photo journalist once escaped from a house in Suqa Holaha neighnourhood and entered a mosque near by, but they were recaptured again. militia who kidnapped the journalists claims they are Al-Shabab Terrorist Hawiye wing . Some reports suggest that one the abductors made Amanda as his wife.they name the new-born baby boy after Osama .

    source hawiye clan.. webside,.. http://wadanka.com/Somali-News/2118.html

    …”

    • How absolutely horrid and of course she had no choice, just like the virgins that were raped in Iran before execution. Absolutely sickening.

    • Every day I think I’ve heard the worst and then another story comes along to top it.

  8. Damn it, Katiebird, you’ll try anything to get us to eat healthy, won’t you? And that dead body in the McDonalds food plant is just one of your evil ploys!

    It may be working. I’ll have to rethink lunch.

  9. The health care bill battle is looking more and more like the election—deja vu. If Chicago/Obama politics is the failed poster child for democracy, it is the perfect symbol for failed democratic partisan politics in the USA. It is the nightmare come true of all those cautions about political parties from the Founding Fathers.

    DeMint should remember that other maxim, “loose lips sink ships”.

  10. The funding of right wing causes like the Cato insititute, Bill Kristol, Heritage Foundation et al is cut from the same cloth as the funding of the liberal analogs—Media Matters, Move On, George Soros. Probably the real truth is that it is all some back office operation at Goldman Sachs ensuring that we never figure out who and what is screwing up our lives.

    • Pubishing bogus books no one will read so you can then make the TV show rounds talking about the bogus topic was done on a daily basis during Bill’s terms. The shows were EAGER for these guests. It was a self perpetuating, self contained loop.

  11. NBC stood up to the One about the timing of the latest speech to the nation? Wow—are we now finding out who really runs the show?

    How long is this going to work—Totus/Potus speeching and voila, we are all reassured and happy? Remember the election and how Obama would dig himself a hole through failure to deal (Wright et al), do the speech thing and cover everything up and make happy? Can’t wait for the leadership book from this administration.

  12. How does Obama get by with all these free speeches to the nation and the Repubs never get time to reply?

  13. The raindrop story reminds me of one of the Peanut characters (probably Pigpen who even in the rain stirs up dustclouds, lol), who never runs when it is raining, as not to run into drops he would otherwise avoid!

  14. Btw, if anyone (katiebird?) is responsible: Thank you for bringing back the “good old” Smilies! 😀

  15. Screw the Dems and their lousy “reform” bill. And screw the Repubs for their lack of alternatives.

    I keep hearing numbers tossed around of where they can improve “efficiency” and save a few million here, of where they can cut “waste” and save thousands, of how they can ration this or that, or control doctors fees, or eliminate duplicate charges and save another million or so…

    HERE are the numbers that constitute PURE WASTE that not a damn one of them has the courage to even MENTION:

    HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY PROFITS IN 2007:
    • UnitedHealth Group — $ 4.654 BILLION. UnitedHealth Group owns Oxford, PacifiCare, IBA, AmeriChoice, Evercare, Ovations, MAMSI and Ingenix, a healthcare data company
    • WellPoint — $ 3.345 BILLION. Wellpoint owns BLUES across the US, including Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin, Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Healthy Alliance, and many others
    • Aetna Inc. — $ 1.831 BILLION
    • CIGNA Corp — $ 1.115 BILLION
    • Humana Inc. — $ 834 million
    • Coventry Health Care — $626 million. Coventry owns Altius, Carelink, Group Health Plan, HealthAmerica, OmniCare, WellPath, others
    • Health Net — $ 194 million

    ANNUAL COMPENSATION OF HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY EXECUTIVES (2006 and 2007 figures):
    • Ronald A. Williams, Chair/ CEO, Aetna Inc., $23,045,834
    • H. Edward Hanway, Chair/ CEO, Cigna Corp, $30.16 million
    • David B. Snow, Jr, Chair/ CEO, Medco Health, $21.76 million
    • Michael B. MCallister, CEO, Humana Inc, $20.06 million
    • Stephen J. Hemsley, CEO, UnitedHealth Group, $13,164,529
    • Angela F. Braly, President/ CEO, Wellpoint, $9,094,771
    • Dale B. Wolf, CEO, Coventry Health Care, $20.86 million
    • Jay M. Gellert, President/ CEO, Health Net, $16.65 million
    • William C. Van Faasen, Chairman, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, $3 million plus $16.4 million in retirement benefits
    • Charlie Baker, President/ CEO, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, $1.5 million
    • James Roosevelt, Jr., CEO, Tufts Associated Health Plans, $1.3 million
    • Cleve L. Killingsworth, President/CEO Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, $3.6 million
    • Raymond McCaskey, CEO, Health Care Service Corp (Blue Cross Blue Shield), $10.3 million
    • Daniel P. McCartney, CEO, Healthcare Services Group, Inc, $ 1,061,513
    • Daniel Loepp, CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, $1,657,555
    • Todd S. Farha, CEO, WellCare Health Plans, $5,270,825
    • Michael F. Neidorff, CEO, Centene Corp, $8,750,751
    • Daniel Loepp, CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, $1,657,555
    • Todd S. Farha, CEO, WellCare Health Plans, $5,270,825
    • Michael F. Neidorff, CEO, Centene Corp, $8,750,751

    How about THOSE numbers, you congressional COWARDS. Let me hear you talk about them, you smarmy silent sycophants. Explain to me how that amount of money, going not to pay providers for CARE, but to sheer profits .

    You bitch and moan that the fucking doctor who does my surgery and maybe saves my LIFE should take a 10% fee cut, because he’s “overcharging”. But you have no problem with the fact, and indeed will not even WHISPER the fact in any of your “healthcare debate” that the CEO of Cigna makes THIRTY FUCKING MILLION. No, you weasels ignore that fact like it didn’t exist, while you bitch that an MRI costs more than it should.

    So spare me your fucking hypocrisy, Obama and Congress. Just spare me the sanctimonious talk of “cost control” that somehow always means shaving a little off of my pocket, or the docs pockets, or the hospitals operating budgets, or squeezing an extra 1% from employers.

    If you can’t even bring yourself to MENTION in all your “cost-savings” blather those obscene 4 little words “BILLIONS in insurance company PROFITS” then you can just STFU tsk-tsking and moaning over my “gold-plated” health plan, or whether some cardiologist is living high on the hog at 400,000 a year.

    • Hey, where did you get that info? Is it okay by you if I post it on Facebook?

      • I had it saved in a file, so not sure where I compiled it from originally. Maybe from Physicians for National health Care? But if you google, it’s out there. You’ll see slightly different numbers, depending on who did the counting, but it’s all roughly the same. Use away!

      • You really should start submitting posts. I always learn something from your comments.

        • ahem.
          😛

          (She’s right WM-you let fly some kick-ass info filled rants!)

          • Well, I’m definitely in rant mode today. I’m not saying that there is not waste and fraud, or areas where costs could be controlled by patients/doctors/hospitals.

            But it just PISSES ME OFF to hear them bitching and nickeling and dime-ing over those “potential savings”, while not even daring to fucking MENTION the hundreds-of-billions elephant in the room, or suggesting that any “cost-savings” could be achieved out of HIS hide.

    • Exactly. Thanks for those CEO pay figures. The insurance companies are a tumor on the medical body. Rather than removing the tumor, we are removing a few limbs to ensure the tumor’s continued good health.

      The sick should not be used to generate profits and any system that does is an insane blood sucking set up . At this point, why do we need insurance compaines?

      Ronald A. Williams, Chair/ CEO, Aetna Inc., $23,045,834

      Oh my…how many people could that alone cover?

      • This disgusts me. It’s like when you hear about executives at charities taking massive salaries. It’s just plain wrong!

    • Great comment-ITA.

      • Hi Laurie!

        (Whispering: Did you see my greeting back on Saturday’s News-thread? Would hate for you to think I had ignored you. 😳 )

    • There are lots of high salaries in the insurance industry too. Yes, the CEO’s make the most, but then there are the other executives, division heads, in house lawyers, and actuaries all most likely making a minimum 6 figure salary (with many probably earning more than the average doctor).

      • Exactly why do we need insurance companies? If Obama is willing to spend trillions on health care , just send it to the doctors and hospitals via single payer .

        I was in my doctor’s office yesterday. Those receptionists could run a whole company . Handling insurance is what they do all day and the phone never stops.

        • Obama doesn’t know and doesn’t care what’s in that bill. He ADMITTED in his press conference this week that he hadn’t even read the bill (that he is insisting has to be passed RIGHT NOW), and seemed kind of bored with anything about pesky details – you know, the ones that affect US. Because to him, it doesn’t matter what’s in it, or what is does to the people, so long as he can trumpet that he passed “reform”.

          He wants that photo op of him pen-in-hand in the Oval Office, signing it for the cameras. He could give a shit what the bill actually DOES.

          • This morning I listened as a congress person said he didn’t have to know what was in it? Well, excuse me! That is more reason to support HR 676 which is only 23 pages long and has NO PORK in it.

    • Terrific insight. Thanks.

      • Yes! It would be great to have an article that could be spread with WMCB’s thoughts. It’s clear and simple and great ammunition against this pitiful “public option”.

    • Let those ‘GREEDOS’ have it, and to think the ‘POOR MILLIONAIRES’ want a second bailout. 😯

  16. It is nice to know that backtrack has his priorities straight.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/congressdaily/print_friendly.php?ID=hca_20090722_6620

    good affordable health care for the country or his presidency.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

  17. Apologies for possible repeat. And for bringing old news.
    (How do the rest of you avoid that? And how did I miss this?)

    Bill Clinton in Haiti:

    http://tinyurl.com/m3gxy7

    • It was a great day for Haiti when Bill accepted this job .
      Thanks for the link. Poppy Bush sky dives!! Stop the presses! ! Bill helping Haiti,…. crickets

  18. WCMB send that data to Greta Wire. Congress critters are not the only ones keeping that information under wraps—the entire msm and all its cable derivatives are equally complicit. I would contribute to a mass consumer ad to publish what you have put together. That alone would do more for single payer than just about anything else that could be done. Those numbers following all we have learned about Wall St. bonuses is fuel to start a real tea party revolution. In a quick rough estimate, i count about 12-15 Billion $$$ in savings without anyone breaking a sweat.

    • What part of “ELIMINATE (OR CUT INTO THE PROFITS OF) THE MIDDLE-MAN” in order to see cost savings is so hard to understand?

      We all understand this concept, in every other area of purchasing. It’s why freaking Lumber Liquidators and other wholesale outlets can offer good prices. But somehow the “middleman” in health care purchasing is a fucking holy untouchable unmentionable cow? Give me a break.

      • It seems to me insurance companies got in the health care mix back in the day expressly so the ill would be included. If now they want to exclude the ill, then their reason for being in health care is over .

        There, that was easy! I just saved trillions!

  19. Barry told Katie Curric this morning that he didn’t want to wade into the particulars of his health care reform when asked if abortions should be covered. He continued to say that “historically” we haven’t used public money to pay for abortions. I hope NARAL and Planned Parenthood are happy with the guy they helped install in the White House. Could he not have said that as long as abortions are a legal medical procedure there is no reason to exclude them from coverage?
    This is what a feminist looks like???? I think not.

    • Oh, well, if we are going to go with the “historically” defense, then the Dixiecrats could have made the same argument.

      Blacks were “historically” given roadblocks to voting, so that made it okay.

    • Here’s a link to go with your comment.

      http://cbs13.com/national/health.care.reform.2.1095931.html

      “Katie Couric: Do you favor a government option that would cover abortions?

      President Obama: What I think is important, at this stage, is not trying to micromanage what benefits are covered. Because I think we’re still trying to get a framework. And my main focus is making sure that people have the options of high quality care at the lowest possible price.

      As you know, I’m pro choice. But I think we also have a tradition of, in this town, historically, of not financing abortions as part of government funded health care. Rather than wade into that issue at this point, I think that it’s appropriate for us to figure out how to just deliver on the cost savings, and not get distracted by the abortion debate at this station.”

    • said that he didn’t want to wade into the particulars of his health care reform…..

      Because he knows nothing about it. He is so f-ing lame. I think the Upper Crust went a bridge too far this time. Obama has never known anything about what he votes for…but now, in the oval office, it’s getting too obvious.

      You know Obama tried to get the insurance companies to go along with a pretend cost cutting kabuki weeks ago when he said they committed to an 11 B cost cutting….and they rushed to the media to declare No! they didn’t . This horrifying bill would be further long if they had at least helped in the smoke and mirror dept . Now their arrogance and greed is making this drag to the point where people are looking. So now it’s plain they are arrogant, greedy ….and stupid.

  20. Bizarre upside to the recession. A sharp fall in road deaths:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/driving/article6723194.ece#cid=OTC-RSS&attr=797084

  21. Historically, thanks to GW Bush, abortions have not been covered. Sounds like a good reason to me. snark.

  22. Katiebird, is that Queen Elizabeth reading the paper at the top?

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