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      Looks like Chris made a boo-boo: A PandoDaily investigation has discovered evidence that Gov. Chris Christie’s pending deal to award a $300 million pension management contract to a controversial hedge fund is in violation of state anti-corruption laws. New Jersey state pay-to-play statutes prohibit state contractors from directly or indirectly financially su […]
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      The Ukrainian military clearly doesn’t care enough to actually fight: The day began inauspiciously for Ukrainian forces as they sought to establish an operating base in the city of Kramatorsk, moving in units from a nearby military air base. According to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and a witness who spoke by phone, a column of six [...]
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Why is Health Care Reform Being Held Hostage by a Fundamentalist Cult?

300px-Bart_Stupak_official_109th_Congress_photo

Bart Stupak

No, I don’t mean the Catholic Church. I mean the super-secret, ultra-creepy fundamentalist sect that calls itself

“the Family,” or “the Fellowship,” and they consider themselves a “core” of men responsible for changing the world. “Hitler, Lenin, and many others understood the power of a small core of people,” instructs a document given to an inner circle, explaining the scope, if not the ideological particulars, of the ambition members of the avant-garde are to cultivate.

That’s a quote from the introduction to Jeff Sharlet’s The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.

Early this morning I learned from Jeff Sharlet’s piece in Salon that the two men responsible for the Stupak amendendment–Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Joseph Pitts (R-PA)–are both members of the Family and both live in the group’s C-Street residence. These two nutty fetus fetishists are trying to end abortion in this country by making sure that insurance companies will stop covering this essential and perfectly legal medical procedure.

I’ve been obsessing on this news all day long while trying to concentrate on writing an exam. As hard as it is for me to accept, I now have to face the face that the forces of theocracy not only control of the Republican Party, but also they are well on the way to taking over the Democratic party.

Sharlet writes:

American women will pay the price for the Democratic dithering that allowed Saturday’s passage of the Stupak-Pitts amendment, a worm virus inserted into the House healthcare reform bill with surgical precision. But the Democratic Party will suffer collateral damage.

Stupak-Pitts isn’t just “the biggest restriction on women’s right to choose in our generation,” as Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado puts it; it’s also evidence that on abortion the Democratic Party is now captive, just like the GOP, to Christian conservatism. Of course, Republicans traded away their party’s moderate wing for real electoral gains, a base that propelled them to power for decades. The Democrats, already in power, sucker-punched themselves, and all they have to show for it is a big fat shiner in the shape of Bart Stupak’s knuckles.

Sharlet thinks it’s unlikely that Stupak and Pitts came up with their plan on their own. The Family supposedly doesn’t directly try to influence political policies–they just offer support, guidance and powerful connections to their followers.

Pitts

Joseph Pitts

Which raises the question: Who’s pulling whom? Did backbencher Bart Stupak really come up with the bluff that led pro-choice Democrats to abandon not one but two compromises, one of which Stupak himself seemed to be signing off on earlier this summer? Or was it Pitts, an abortion-wars warrior since the 1970s, and a longtime leader of the House Values Action Team — an off-the-record caucus of religious right organizations and members of Congress — who drew up the blueprint?

Neither Stupak nor Pitts is talking. Of course, if they just keep quiet, the press will pin it on the bishops — who, to be fair, are more than happy to take credit. That version of events neglects the role of relationships forged within the evangelical context of the Family — a group founded in the spirit of virulent anti-Catholicism, and which maintains to this day that being Catholic brings you no closer to Christ than being Jewish or a Muslim — and the growing evangelical movement within the Democratic Party. A source close to the Faith Table, a gathering of ostensibly progressive Christians gathering of ostensibly progressive Christians helmed by evangelical leader Jim Wallis, notes that the group has been agitating for Stupak-Pitts for months, with Wallis declaring Stupak-Pitts the most important vote of the year.

May I remind you that Jim Wallis was a major supporter of President Obama and is one of his close “spiritual advisers?”

Terri Gross did an interview with Jeff Sharlet last summer. You can listen to it here and read an excerpt from Sharlet’s book if you’re interested. I heard that Rachel Maddow covered this story last night, but I couldn’t bring myself to watch the video.

What is happening to our country? Is there any way to turn it around?

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Coakley for President

It’s about damn time this started being said. (h/t Suburban Guerrilla):

Coakley, in her boldest gamble of the campaign, said that fighting for women’s access to abortions was more important than passing the overall bill, despite its aim of providing coverage for 36 million people, establishing a public insurance option, and prohibiting insurers from discriminating against patients with preexisting conditions. [Ed. note: Coverage to some 2 million, varying assistance to the other 34 million. Guaranteed issue, yes, but the pricing of policies for people with pre-existing conditions is basically up to the insurers.]

“To pretend that now the House has passed this bill is real progress – it’s at the expense of women’s access to reproductive rights”

Women’s rights are human rights. Sexism kills.

 

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Veterans Day Wake-up

DF-SC-84-11899


Today is an annual holiday where we honor our military veterans with parades, ceremonies and discount sales. Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day on November 11, 1919 to celebrate the end of World War I, and it called that until it was changed by Congress to Veterans Day in 1954. There are approximately 25 million veterans in the United States.

 



Obama Receives New Afghan Option

‘Hybrid’ Compromise Would Combine Troops, Trainers to Hold Back Taliban and Boost Local Military

 


Blackwater Said to Pursue Bribes to Iraq After 17 Died

 

Top executives at Blackwater Worldwide authorized secret payments of about $1 million to Iraqi officials that were intended to silence their criticism and buy their support after a September 2007 episode in which Blackwater security guards fatally shot 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, according to former company officials.


Executed: D.C. Sniper John Allen Muhammad Put to Death
Last minute appeals and pleas for clemency denied, no last words.

 


Marine reservist attacked Greek priest he mistook for terrorist

 

Marine reservist Jasen Bruce was getting clothes out of the trunk of his car Monday evening when a bearded man in a robe approached him.

That man, a Greek Orthodox priest named Father Alexios Marakis, speaks little English and was lost, police said. He wanted directions.

What the priest got instead, police say, was a tire iron to the head. Then he was chased for three blocks and pinned to the ground — as the Marine kept a 911 operator on the phone, saying he had captured a terrorist.


Al Gore crusades against global warming
He is promoting his new book, “Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis.”

 


Pilot charged after UK airport arrest

 

British police said they stopped a United Airlines pilot from flying while intoxicated earlier this week, pulling him from a Boeing 767 aircraft at London’s Heathrow airport and charging him with being on duty while his blood-alcohol level was over the limit.


Former Nasa astronaut Lisa Nowak pleads guilty to attacking love rival
Nowak, who drove 1,000 miles to confront Colleen Shipman, pleads guilty to burglary and battery charges.

 


Pay caps make it tough to hire execs: GM chairman
(Boo-fucking-hoo)

 


Somali Pirates Seize Greek-Owned Cargo Ship

 


Bear Juror Says U.S. Case So Weak She’d Invest With Defendants
Prosecutors missed the mark so widely in the fraud trial of Bear Stearns Cos. hedge fund managers Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin that a juror said after their acquittal she would invest with them if she had the money.

 


Happy Veterans Day!

 


iwomtsurubachi

 

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