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Friday Morning News


Good morning Conflucians! Today is September 11, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of focus on that grim anniversary in the major newspapers. The New York Times has a couple of articles. The first is about fears that never materialized:

Remembering a future that many feared

So much has been said and written about what happened on 9/11. The following day is forgotten, just another dulled interlude in the aftermath of an incoherent morning.

But New Yorkers were introduced that day to irreducible presumptions about their wounded city that many believed would harden and become chiseled into the event’s enduring legacy.

New York would become a fortress city, choked by apprehension and resignation, forever patrolled by soldiers and submarines. Another attack was coming. And soon.

Tourists? Well, who would ever come again? Work in one of the city’s skyscrapers? Not likely. The Fire Department, gutted by 343 deaths, could never recuperate.

If a crippled downtown Manhattan were to have any chance of regeneration, ground zero had to be rebuilt quickly, a bricks and mortar nose-thumbing to terror.

Eight years later, those presumptions are cobwebbed memories that never came to pass. Indeed, glimpses into a few aspects of the city help measure the gap between what was predicted and what actually came to be.

The second piece is about therapists who dealt with mental health issues that arose for people after 9/11/2001:

A trauma that rippled outward

Dr. Kane is a psychologist. She works a great deal with the dying and the grieving. It was thus not surprising that people, dozens of them, would turn to her after losing relatives or friends at the World Trade Center.

“I always try to leave some space in my practice for nice, normal neurotic people, so that my whole day isn’t just death and dying,” Dr. Kane said. That was not possible after the Sept. 11, 2001, attack. “It was death, day in and day out,” she said. “I would be in the office from 8 in the morning till 8 at night dealing with dead people and bereaved people — all day long for more than a year.”

Her work took its toll. It was nothing like what her patients endured, but it was no walk in the park, either. She would cry on the way home from work. Pain crept into muscles and bones. And she came to understand that, for all her training, “I was ill equipped for how to deal with that kind of trauma that I saw.”

At the Washington Post, there is a really depressing article about teaching high school kids about 9/11–kids who have no memories of that day only eight years ago.

9/11 as a lesson, not a memory

VINCENNES, Ind. The students filed into their social studies class just after lunch and slumped into desks where they had learned about the Civil War, Lewis and Clark, and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. On this day, teacher Michael Hutchison said, the class would feature “another of those huge moments in our history.” He reminded the high school juniors and seniors that he would be grading their notes. Then he dimmed the lights and played a video on the classroom TV.

Some students set backpacks on their desks to use as pillows, and others pulled the hoods of their sweat shirts low over their eyes. “Nap time,” one of them said. Meanwhile, on the screen at the front of the room, a skyscraper burned. A woman screamed. A tower crumbled. A mother sobbed as she recalled her son’s final words.

“There was a fire,” one student wrote in his notes.

“People died and went missing,” scribbled another.

“It was an example of ‘terrorism,’ ” wrote a third.

And to think some of these kids will probably be sent to fight in two wars that Bush and Cheney ginned up because of the events of 9/11, and that are still dragging on with no end in sight.

And now, for those who want to make fun of me for wanting a serious 9/11 investigation, this story was published on September 12, 2001:

“We predicted it”

A bipartisan commission warned the White House and Congress that a bloody attack on U.S. soil could be imminent. Why didn’t anyone listen?

They went to great pains not to sound as though they were telling the president “We told you so.”

But on Wednesday, two former senators, the bipartisan co-chairs of a Defense Department-chartered commission on national security, spoke with something between frustration and regret about how White House officials failed to embrace any of the recommendations to prevent acts of domestic terrorism delivered earlier this year.

Bush administration officials told former Sens. Gary Hart, D-Colo., and Warren Rudman, R-N.H., that they preferred instead to put aside the recommendations issued in the January report by the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century. Instead, the White House announced in May that it would have Vice President Dick Cheney study the potential problem of domestic terrorism — which the bipartisan group had already spent two and a half years studying — while assigning responsibility for dealing with the issue to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, headed by former Bush campaign manager Joe Allbaugh.

The Hart-Rudman Commission had specifically recommended that the issue of terrorism was such a threat it needed far more than FEMA’s attention.

Before the White House decided to go in its own direction, Congress seemed to be taking the commission’s suggestions seriously, according to Hart and Rudman. “Frankly, the White House shut it down,” Hart says. “The president said ‘Please wait, we’re going to turn this over to the vice president. We believe FEMA is competent to coordinate this effort.’ And so Congress moved on to other things, like tax cuts and the issue of the day.”

“We predicted it,” Hart says of Tuesday’s horrific events. “We said Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers — that’s a quote (from the commission’s Phase One Report) from the fall of 1999.”

On Tuesday, Hart says, as he sat watching TV coverage of the attacks, he experienced not just feelings of shock and horror, but also frustration. “I sat tearing my hair out,” says the former two-term senator. “And still am.”


Lately we don’t hear much about Iraq–the focus is on Afghanistan. And there doesn’t seem to be a lot of support for Obama’s war among Democrats.

New York Times: Obama Facing Doubts Within His Own Party on Afghanistan

LA Times editorial: Is Afghanistan still worth it?

And a breaking story on the Armor Group scandal from Spencer Ackerman: Whistleblowers Unveil More ArmorGroup Allegations

Former employees of ArmorGroup, the private security company that holds a State Department contract to protect the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, unveiled new allegations against the besieged contractor a week after photographic evidence emerged of its guards engaged in physical and sexual harassment. In a press conference revolving around an unlawful-termination lawsuit filed against ArmorGroup, former senior company officials said ArmorGroup was aware of widespread fraud; intentional use of non-English speaking guards to save money at the expense of embassy security; operations of a shell corporation in order to win contracts intended only for American companies; and even involvement in prostitution — and that the State Department knew about at least some of the company’s illicit practices.

The response from the administration: POGO reacts to Armor Group whistleblower lawsuit

Taliban leader arrested


Gates: It’s not time to leave Afghanistan

Facing eroding public support for the war in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday that the Obama administration’s effort in the 8-year-old conflict is “only now beginning.”

It looks like Afghanistan couold turn into Vietnam. It’s time to get out of both Afghanistan and Iraq, IMHO.

Health Care Mess

Here is the most realistic article I found (thanks to SHV!) Obama seeks to reassure insurance companies, Republicans in speech to Congress on health care

President Barack Obama’s nationally televised address to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night, billed as an effort to explain his health care proposals to the American people, was largely devoted to reassuring the health care industry and conciliating his Republican opponents.

Obama sought to repackage his proposed overhaul of health care to better conceal from the public its reactionary content, but the bulk of his speech focused on the need to slash health care costs, both those borne by private companies and government outlays for Medicare and Medicaid, the government programs for the elderly and the poor.

The New York Times has this delusional editorial. I don’t know where they’re getting this stuff out of what Obama said.

In the moving peroration of his speech to Congress Wednesday night, President Obama cast health care reform as a moral issue that reflects on the character of our country. He also made clear that there are some problems that are too big for individuals to solve on their own — and that guaranteeing that all Americans have access to health care is one of them.


The health care reform plan that President Obama and many Democrats in Congress are calling for could do a lot to reduce Americans’ vulnerability and stem that tide. Likely reforms would require employers to provide health benefits to their workers or pay a fee to help cover them elsewhere, thus slowing the erosion of employer coverage. Reform would also expand Medicaid to cover more poor people, create exchanges where people without group coverage at work could buy affordable policies and receive subsidies based on their incomes and prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage or charging exorbitant rates based on medical conditions.

I’ll believe that when I see it. Here’s an op-ed that is a little more realistic.

Bring on the Democratic Budgeteers

What many lawmakers, especially Democrats, wanted to hear most from the president Wednesday night were specifics – definitive policy positions that would help resolve lingering disagreements within the Democratic Party.

And arguably the most important specific point Mr. Obama made was to support new fees or taxes on high-end insurance plans as a way to pay a big part of the overhaul’s cost.

In doing that, the president sided firmly with negotiators on the Senate Finance Committee, including its chairman Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana. And it was an implicit rebuff to a plan by the House Ways and Means Committee to impose a surtax on high-income Americans.

For that matter, the promise to bring his blockbuster bill in at just $900 billion put the president more in league with Baucus & Friends, than with the House, where Democrats have projected a cost projection of more than $1 trillion.

Patients without borders: the rise of Mexican medical tourism

The city of 1.6 million is one of a few Mexican border towns quietly promoting state-of-the-art hospitals that cater to international patients–Juárez has five such facilities–and betting that refugees from the tattered U.S. health care system will come. On paper, at least, the numbers look promising: According to a 2008 study by Deloitte LLP, 750,000 Americans traveled abroad for medical care in 2007. That number is expected to reach six million by 2010.


Millions more thrust into poverty

A new comprehensive economic survey shows that the recession has plunged 2.6 million more Americans into poverty, wiped out the household income gains of an entire decade and pushed the number of people without health insurance up to 46.3 million.
The grim economic statistics unveiled Thursday in the Census Bureau’s annual report on income, poverty and health insurance are destined to grow bleaker. Since the data were collected in the spring, millions of people have lost their jobs.

“When the numbers come out next year at this time, I expect them to look even worse,” said Robert Greenstein, executive director of the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Chris Dodd positioned to run on Wall Street Crack down

Sen. Chris Dodd’s decision to remain chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee increases the odds that regulatory reform will get through Congress this year — if only because Dodd would like to tout a crackdown on Wall Street as he campaigns for reelection next year.

“He’s going to try and polish his consumer protection creds and run on that as part of his reelection campaign,” predicted Brian Gardner, an analyst with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and a former GOP Hill staffer, who read Dodd’s decision as a signal the committee will move more aggressively than most analysts thought on regulatory reform.

Again, I’ll believe it when I see it. Next, a really bad joke of a story from USA Today: Obama advisers: 1M jobs saved or created

Give me a break! How many jobs have we lost now? 7 million?

Top Dems Renew Call for Cramdown

The White House program designed to prevent foreclosures by paying banks to alter loans voluntarily isn’t doing nearly enough to keep struggling borrowers in their homes, several powerful Democrats charged Wednesday. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, and Richard Durbin (Ill.), the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, are threatening to renew the push to empower homeowners to escape foreclosure through bankruptcy — a proposal that’s anathema to the banks and their congressional defenders.

In March, the Obama administration launched a program providing $75 billion in carrots to banks that make mortgages more affordable. While administration officials say the program is right on track, the number of modifications lags far behind new foreclosure filings. Indeed, the Treasury Department released figures Wednesday revealing that the voluntary initiative has encouraged roughly 360,000 trial modifications since the program began. Meanwhile, foreclosure filings topped 360,000 in July alone, according to RealtyTrac, an online foreclosure tracker. The figures, many lawmakers and consumer groups contend, are indication that leaving the modifications to the fancy of the banks won’t stem the foreclosure crisis, which was at the root of the past year’s financial meltdown and threatens to prolong it.

“Waiting for banks to ‘volunteer’ to end this foreclosure crisis is a waste of time,” Durbin said in a statement Wednesday. “Treasury’s latest report show[s] this approach has failed miserably.”

Durbin is calling on Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner “to sit down with congressional leadership and work to end this blight on our economic future.”

Odds and Ends

IAAF urges caution over Semenya intersex claims

The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia and The Sun newspaper in Britain reported that gender tests ordered by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) show the 18-year-old [Caster Semenya] is a hermaphrodite.

Neither paper named the source of their information. IAAF spokesman Nick Davies would not discuss the findings with CNN. “I simply haven’t seen the results,” Davies said.

“We have received the results from Germany, but they now need to be examined by a group of experts and we will not be in a position to speak to the athlete about them for at least a few weeks.

“After that, depending on the results, we will meet privately with the athlete to discuss further action.”

Caster Semenya is not a unique case

KIRSTEN AIKEN: Caster Semenya looks almost certain to keep her World Championship gold medal, regardless of the results of gender verification tests.

Not so lucky – the Indian athlete Santhi Soundararajan who was stripped of her silver medal from the 2006 Asian Games in Doha Qatar after officials told her she possessed male characteristics.

Fixed-up Hubble telescope spots distant stardust

“The telescope was given an extreme makeover and now is significantly more powerful than ever, well-equipped to last into the next decade,” Ed Weiler, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said at a news conference.

The newly installed Cosmic Origins Spectrograph got detail data on a galaxy called Markarian 817 being pulled into a supermassive black hole, and an exploded star in the Large Magellanic Cloud that are both spewing matter into space.

“We believe that most of the matter in space is actually wispy filaments between the galaxies,” James Green of the University of Colorado told the news conference. Hubble is making these wisps visible for the first time.

The spectral imager detected oxygen, nitrogen and carbon. “The elements of life are being produced in stars … but they are also being distributed through the cosmos,” Green said.

Another star has jets, material being blasted out “from what probably is going to be a planetary system by the time this thing settles down,” said Bob O’Connell of the University of Virginia.

Another one? Man with gun arrested during Obama speech

U.S. Capitol Police have arrested a Virginia man they say tried to drive into a secure area near the Capitol with a shotgun and rifle in his car as the president gave his health care address to Congress.

Joshua Bowman, 28, of Falls Church, Va., was arrested around 8 p.m. Wednesday and charged with two counts of possession of an unregistered firearm and one count of unlawful possession of ammunition. Each carries a possible one-year jail sentence and $1,000 fine.

Bowman’s intentions were unclear, said police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, but the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington decided against prosecuting him on more serious charges, said spokesman Benjamin Friedman.

I just love this story! I’ve always been fascinated by altered states.

Adventures with Mazatec Mint: Exploring the Mind-Bending World of Salvia Divinorum

Within around thirty seconds of smoking the dark herbal extract the effects rapidly began, and I felt my entire sense of identity suddenly shift. I was instantly transformed from a human being into a tiny disembodied speck of consciousness — completely bewildered as to what I was and amnesic of my former identity. I was suspended in a hyperspatial dimension, a crystalline network of pulsing energies, that was filled with countless other miniature beings like me. I found myself inside of a kind of space within space, that appeared to transcend the whole three-dimensional universe. Suddenly, my identity shifted again, as a portion of the space and beings around me folded and twisted into me, becoming a part of me. More and more layers of the space around me continued folding in and becoming a part of my expanding sense of identity — until, finally, I was my familiar human self again. This strange and somewhat unsettling experience was the result of my smoking an extract made from the hallucinogenic leaves of the Salvia divinorum plant.

From the world of archaeology: Most ancient colored twine found:

A Georgian cave has yielded what scientists say are the earliest examples of humans making cords.

The microscopic fibres, discovered accidentally while scientists were searching for pollen samples, are around 30,000 years old.

A team reports in the journal Science that ancient humans probably used the plant fibres to carry tools, weave baskets or make garments.

Some of the fibres are coloured and appear to have been dyed.

The fibres were discovered preserved within layers of mud in Dzudzuana Cave in Georgia.

Have a fabulous Friday folks!!

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70 Responses

  1. Bringing this from downstairs: if the bestest speech eva was so successful, how come everyone is talking today about a i second heckler?

    • Because “everyone” = a bunch of morons?

      The top story on Memeorandum on the anniversary of 9/11 is about the guy taking caffeine pills.

    • And they ignore that the Dems booed Bush at his State of the Union (not that he didn’t deserve it). I hate the self-righteous hypocrisy.

  2. Ok, I’ve come to terms with what this plan is and isn’t. It’s Romney Care. There’s some good information here from the CBO blog:

    Democrats on the Hill have to know by now this plan largely kicks the can down the road. However, they likely see it as giving a federal role to insurance regulation. For states like ours, boomer, this doesn’t mean anything except if we want to change our system to say Mass Care or Cape Care, we will be barred by ERISA, unless we can get an exemption. For less wealthy states, the federal regulations provide mild improvements, and most significant for relief, is an expansion of Medicaid. If we expand Medicaid to 150% FPL, we can cover half of the people who lack insurance today. But this package, the Romney package, relies on the premise that Democrats will be able to do more later once they have established a federal role. I think individual states are more apt to go SP first, like PA, Delaware, CA, etc, so I am not very supportive of the larger federal role at this point. I think Democrats could have gone one of two ways on reform. The Weiner way, expand our federal single payer, Medicare to Americans 55-65. The Obama way, expand the federal role in insurance regulation, and hope to enact tighter regulations down the road(I think this will largely slow down the pace of lowering HC as a percentage of GDP than Weiner’s move toward expand the federal role through program). That’s my take, anway.

    Also, when they say they are going to pay for a program by squeezing out “waste, fraud, and abuse” from an existing program, they don’t know how they are going to pay for it.

    • Thanks for that analysis, Masslib. I agree on the fraud and abuse claims. That’s a bunch of ragtime, if you ask me.

      BTW, do you know how I’m supposed to find out about getting into Romneycare? My student health insurance expired at the end of August, and I have no idea how to learn about coverage. I hope I’m eligible for help, because I don’t have a permanent job–just teaching jobs for this semester.

  3. I work across the street from ground zero. I am reminded every day the horror of 9/11/01. The company I work for lost 11 people and constructed a touching memorial in the lobby of my office building. I stopped by first thing this morning to pay my respects to the fallen.

  4. I couldn’t help but catch this little tidbit and pass it along. Has anybody mentioned the story of our friend, Andrew Sullivan at the Cape Cod National Seashore Park? Seems he got caught with some and the US Attorney overrode the judge’s order and dismissed the charges against him. Not any other’s who were charged with the same offense, just Sullivan’s. See, supporting Obama and beating Palin pays.

    • Possession of pot shouldn’t be a crime at all, IMO. Thank goodness we have at least decriminalized it in Mass. I’m glad Sullivan got off with a fine.

      • I read the article to mean that the entire case was dismissed, and he did not have to pay the fine, i.e., “forfeit collateral.”

        • Whatever. I’m sick of the government wasting my money prosecuting people who have small amounts of pot for personal use. At least I live in MA where there has been some sanity about the issue.

          • Yeah, the fine is tiny anyway. We are not very serious about that here, thank goodness. This is one case where the ballot initiative proved the local pols totally wrong about where the people were. I hope our next step in MA will be legalization and taxing mary jane, because it’s sensible and would bring in tons of revenue. Boston has the most pot smokers per capita of any major city, well, at least the most who admit it. 🙂

          • Makes you wonder, what Senator or Representative is taking money from the Mexican or Colombian cartels to keep pot illegal and profitable?

          • Sullivan’s case was dismissed but others who were ticketed the same day were not. The objection was to the disparate treatment.

      • That’s not the point. The point is that Sullivan got special treatment because of who he was. That sucks in any case.

    • The worst part to me is finding out he is trying to get US citizenship. Ugh. I don’t want him.

    • http://www.maniacworld.com/US-Army-Accidentally-Grows-What.html

      Can he use the excuse that he was trying to do a story and went to the wrong place?



  5. Great article by former Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-SC) who resigned in 2004 after a zillion years in Congress.
    “Waterloo” Demint (R) won Hollings seat.

    Still Campaigning

    • Thanks for the link. Hollings is the one that alerted me to the value of the Fair Elections Now Act. http://www.fairelectionsnow.org/

    • Not the most literate article one can read but it definitely sums up our congressional reality. The identifier/doer divide reminds me so much of the FDR years—FDR was a doer and Eleanor and his appointees seemed to have a real doer mentality. And then they all died and we got the 21st century.

    • I always thought Fritz would make a good President.

  6. This feels more like the aftermath of Nov. 4—I know we have lost the opportunity for any meaningful hc reform; I know that somehow O seems to have razzle-dazzled the msm one more time; I know that nothing is going to get better in hc and mostly it is going to be worse. Glad I live close to Mexico in the winter. I am going to check out the medical tourism there this winter.

    I do not think the USA works anymore. I think we should break it up and start over. We should return to sectionalism. We could have the West Coast US; the East Coast US; the Midwest US; and Southern US. Then we could see what generates the best life and the most effective government. Our current government is a disaster and totally ineffective.

    Sorry, I read this stuff and this am it really depresses me.

    • It is depressing. I tried to put in a few feel-good stories at the end. I love the one about psychedelic mint plants myself.

    • He didn’t razzle-dazzle anybody in the media, they know he’s a cheap opportunist in an expensive suit. They are just following orders from their corporate masters so they get to keep or buy that house on Nantucket.

  7. Chris Floyd points out the obvious about Obama’s “health care reforms”: http://chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/1838-healthy-profits-corporate-money-moves-tell-the-true-tale-of-obamas-qreformsq.html

    I was disappointed that Krugman has accepted who Obama is and is willing to pretend that Obama’s speech is great because it might get a piece of garbage bill passed and maybe save his ass from losing in 2012.

    Also, Floyd’s latest post at the top of his site has some important observations about 9/11.

  8. Thanks for the news, bb! Everyone should definitely view those latest Hubble photos-truly amazing! I looked at them yesterday and my mind is still blown today. lol.

  9. I keep saying the Upper Crust wants Mad Max Thunder Dome for us peons, but I still get shocked as I see it happening. They are planning to shut Philly down .

    3,000 city employees are to be layoff, 1000 of that number , police. 200 firefighters and paramedics, the courts , all libraries , rec centers , health centers , senior centers , …garbage picked up twice a month are some of the ‘high’ lights . It’s called Plan C

    Lawmakers at the state capital have done nothing on the budget for months in order to bring us to the crisis point. The Dems and Repugs are very close to an agreement , but are stalling . The governor is completely MIA on this , expect to say the unions should think how hard it is to get work these days.( whoever replaced Ed Rendell with a pod person, please , return our governor )

    Many think plan C is kabuki and will never happen. But I’m married to a city employee and it’s already being implemented . The spouse has been told how to shut down his dept and expects to be laid off in about a week. The Upper Crust will not miss this chance to wreck civil jobs and the concept of public service. It wants those jobs for the private sector imo

    So hold on to your hats and expect a dail tone if you have to call 911….it’s gonna be a bumpy ride

    • This was the craziest part of Obama’s stimulus. All those applications in the name of transparency….foolish. The first thing to do with stimulus was fund state and local budgets, keep people working, and maintain services, duh.

      In Germany, Merkel bailed out payrolls instead of banks. Now that’s stimulus.

    • I said this during the horror of post Katrina…” We are all in the Super Dome now.” While it hasn’t gotten there yet of course…but that’s what they want for us.

      Bagdad …NOLA…these are the social models they are aiming at . Shock and awe baby!

    • Lawmakers at the state capital have done nothing on the budget for months in order to bring us to the crisis point. The Dems and Repugs are very close to an agreement , but are stalling . The governor is completely MIA on this , expect to say the unions should think how hard it is to get work these days.( whoever replaced Ed Rendell with a pod person, please , return our governor )

      But of course the lawmakers still get paid.

      • You bet, they set up a ” special” fund for that…hence their day at the beach speed with everyone else’s lives. But really they too are pawns in a corporate vice, just more comfortable pawns .

    • The cost of sailing a container ship from Third World manufacturing countries will go up as the price of energy increases. There will come a time when it will be cheaper to start up manufacturing here in the Big PX again. When that time comes the Democrats want to ensure there is a work force ready to labor at Third World rates.
      Rendell and the General Assembly are doing Pennsylvania’s part to bring that plan to fruition for their corporate masters.

      • Exactly. They want a time when the words ” retirement ” and ” benefits” are answers in a trivial pursuit game.

  10. WHAT is the matter with these people?! Do they have reading comprehension issues? How can anyone think Obama is ultra-progressive?

    Why the Right Hates Obama: He’s a Liberal!
    David Corn

    I believe I may have an insight into why so many conservatives crazy-hate Barack Obama: He’s a liberal. A true liberal. An unabashed liberal. Yes, there’s a liberal in the White House — and most Americans aren’t disgusted by that. In fact, most approve of him. (His approval rating is on par with that of Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan eight months into their presidencies.) Worse, he’s a liberal with an ambitious liberal agenda. And even worse, he might just succeed in enacting it.

    There’s no denying his own views are mostly progressive. He has said he would favor a single-payer, Canadian-style health care system, if one was being built from scratch. But his pragmatism has caused him to choose another course. Clearly, he’d rather be seen as a let’s-work-together policy builder than as a liberal crusader.


    • There’s no denying his own views are mostly progressive.

      Uh, yeah David. he’s progressive like Max Baucus.

      He has said he would favor a single-payer, Canadian-style health care system, if one was being built from scratch.


      But his pragmatism has caused him to choose another course.

      Yeah, expanding Medicare even one generation down is obviously not pramatic.

      Clearly, he’d rather be seen as a let’s-work-together policy builder than as a liberal crusader.


    • The lie Obama is a liberal serves both the Right and the Obots. So expect to keep hearing it.

      They both want to pretend that is what a liberal looks like. For the Right it means getting even more concessions, and for the Obots, well it helps keep alive the lie Obama is a liberal .

      He can appear as one enough to spin , but only if the Right is attacking him. If the Right stops attacking Obama, Obots would be even sadder about it than far out parts of the GOP base. Imo

    • Obama is a gliberal, not a liberal.

  11. Again, I’ll believe it when I see it. Next, a really bad joke of a story from USA Today: Obama advisers: 1M jobs saved or created

    So Orwellian.

    I saw a statistic this a.m. citing Bloomberg news forecasts that by 2011, HALF of all mortgage owners will be underwater. Another headline by a real estate analyst predicts that home values could fall another 25%. This is really frightening.

  12. Today, one of the Italian tv channels is dedicating almost the whole day’s programming to 9/11.

    It begins with a 2-3 of BBC documentaries, then to a special on FBI double crossing. followed by Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, then Oliver Stone’s “W”, and finishes off with another film made by 11 different directors.

    Today is so depressing after Obama’s speech. I just can’t get my mind around how deeply in the pockets of corporations American government is.


  13. In memory of the hundreds of 9/11 responders who’ve lost their lives (http://www.healthcare-now.org/action-alert-support-the-911-responders/), call Congress today for single-payer healthcare reform and say:

    1) Support Congressman Weiner’s single-payer amendment to HR 3200
    2) Retain Congressman Kucinich’s amendment for state single-payer options in HR 3200
    3) Support S. 703

  14. there is a post at No Quarter about the UN called for a global currency to replace the dollar.
    This country has always given freely to help other countries. I wonder if the countries that take our place will help us now as we have become a developing nation.



    • Wasn’t one reason for Bush’s invasion of Iraq because Saddam was pushing for oil to be priced in Euros instead of Dollars?

  15. Would 911 happened with an Al Gore administration in the White House?
    Would it have been mitigated?
    Or were (are) the defects in our national security apparatus that bad it was inevitable?
    I do know one thing for certain, the republican House would have started impeachment proceedings against a President Gore post haste … and the MSM would have been cheering them on.

  16. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/09/11/state/n093729D40.DTL&feed=rss.business

    do you think if they stopped talking about their sex lives they might get something done?



  17. http://www.lookingattheleft.com/2009/08/911-never-forget-never-give-in/

    always remember



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