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Archive for June 19th, 2009

  • Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor resigned Friday from an elite all-women's club after Republicans questioned her participation in it.

    Sotomayor said she resigned from the Belizean Grove to prevent the issue from becoming a distraction in her confirmation hearings.

    In a letter to Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the federal appeals court judge said she is convinced that the club does not practice "invidious discrimination" and that her membership in it did not violate judicial ethics.

    But she said she didn't want questions about it to "distract anyone from my qualifications and record."

  • In the state’s continuing political battles over gay marriage, both sides are targeting Latino voters, and a new Los Angeles Times poll illustrates why. Overall, the poll showed, a substantial majority of voters in Los Angeles support the right of same-sex couples to legally marry, with 56% in favor and 37% opposed.

    That finding closely tracked the results of November’s election in which Proposition 8, which limited marriage to unions of a man and a woman, won statewide but lost in Los Angeles. But the poll also showed that within the city, views on the issue differed widely among racial and ethnic groups.

    (tags: gaymarriage)
  • California's unemployment rate shot up to its highest level in the post-World War II era.

    The state lost 68,900 jobs during the month of May, pushing the unemployment rate to 11.5%, the California Economic Development Department said this morning.

    (tags: California)
  • The information comes from the Center for Responsive Politics, which in a recent study concluded that the president's new nominees for ambassadorships to Belize, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Romania and Switzerland "brought in at least $1.1 million for Obama's presidential bid as bundlers, and at least another half-a-million as bundlers for his inauguration. To date, this brings the contribution histories of Obama's ambassador nominees to roughly $1.8 million in donations since 1989. The 19 ambassadors that CRP has found in our campaign contribution database, along with their spouses and children, have given more than $98,200 to Obama personally, bundled at least $3.4 million for his 2008 presidential run and bundled another $1.4 million for his inauguration."
    (tags: barack_obama)
  • As lawmakers wrangled last week over how to plug California's giant deficit, the governor who once called them "girlie men" sent the state Senate leader a package that has some Capitol insiders tsk-tsking over what they see as an ill-timed display of machismo.

    The gag gift from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a metal sculpture of bull testicles, came with a note suggesting the lawmaker would need them to make some tough budget choices, said legislative sources who were not authorized to speak publicly.

  • David Scheiner, an internist based in the Chicago neighborhood of Hyde Park, has a diverse practice of lower-income adults from the nearby housing projects mixed with famous patients like U.S. Sen. Carol Mosely Braun, the late writer Studs Terkel and, most notably, President Barack Obama.

    Scheiner, 71, was Obama's doctor from 1987 until he entered the White House; he vouched for the then-candidate's "excellent health" in a letter last year. He's still an enthusiastic Obama supporter, but he worries about whether the health care legislation currently making its way through Congress will actually do any good, particularly for doctors like himself who practice general medicine. "I'm not sure he really understands what we face in primary care," Scheiner says.

  • President Obama's hopes for quick action on comprehensive health-care reform ran headlong this week into the realities of Congress, as lawmakers searching for the money to pay for a broad expansion of coverage discovered that it wasn't easy to find and descended into partisan — and intraparty — bickering.

    A set of unexpectedly high cost estimates — arcane data that nevertheless carry enormous import in the legislative process — sent shockwaves along Pennsylvania Avenue and forced one key committee to delay action on its bill, probably until after the July 4 recess.

    In a high-level meeting at the White House yesterday, Obama conveyed his concern over early pronouncements by the Congressional Budget Office that a bill drafted by the Senate health committee would cover just 16 million additional people at a cost of $1 trillion, said one official with knowledge of the session who was not permitted to talk to reporters and so spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    (tags: Obamacare)
  • The unemployment rates in eight states hit record-highs last month and only two — Nebraska and Vermont — did not report increases.

    The Labor Department says 48 states and the District of Columbia saw employment conditions deteriorate last month. The fallout from the longest recession since World War II, was the worst in Michigan. Its unemployment rate rose to 14.1 percent.

    The eight states that set records are: California, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia.

  • The tax options include:

    – Increasing the price of soda and other sugary drinks by 10 cents a can.

    – Applying a potential 2 percent income tax increase to single taxpayers earning more than $200,000 a year and households earning more than $250,000.

    – A new employer payroll tax could target 3 percent of employers' health care expenditures.

    – Taxing employer-provided health insurance benefits above certain levels – a less likely option but one that still is in the running.

    House Democrats planned to unveil a draft of their sweeping health care bill Friday. It would require all individuals to obtain health insurance and force employers to offer health care to their workers, with exemptions for small businesses. A new public health insurance plan, strongly opposed by Republicans, would compete with private companies within a new health care purchasing "exchange" where Americans could shop for coverage. Government subsidies would help the poor buy care.


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So says the latest Rasmussen Poll.

Forty-four percent (44%) of Americans say the Obama administration should wait on health care reform until the economy improves.

But 43% say health care reform should move ahead now, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of 10,000 adults nationwide. Twelve percent (12%) are not sure which course is best.

Despite the president’s stepped-up efforts to promote his health care reform agenda with the public, these numbers have changed little from the beginning of the month when 46% favored moving ahead while 45% said wait until the economy improves. In early March, 49% said health care reform should wait for a better economy, but 42% wanted to go ahead.

As expected, the partisan divide is huge. Sixty-four percent (64%) of Democrats say the administration should go ahead with health reform, but 69% of Republicans favor waiting until the economy gets better. Among adults not affiliated with either party, 41% want to move ahead now, but 45% want to wait for a better economy.

Women favor moving ahead slightly more than men, as do younger Americans. Those working in the private sector favor waiting more than government employees.

Americans are more concerned with their jobs and the support of their families, especially if they already have medical insurance provided by their employers, than redistributing health care to others.

Obamacare will have a tough time ahead in the Congress. There is NOT overwhelming public support and then there is the issue of the burdensome cost.

I say there is a less than 50 per cent chance of any substantial health care reform coming out of the Congress this summer.

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All things nuclear are coming to a boil with North Korea.
The U.S. military is planning to intercept a flagged North Korean ship suspected of proliferating weapons material in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution passed last Friday, FOX News has learned.

The USS John McCain, a navy destroyer, will intercept the ship Kang Nam as soon as it leaves the vicinity off the coast of China, according to a senior U.S. defense official. The order to inderdict has not been given yet, but the ship is getting into position.

The ship left a port in North Korea Wednesday and appears to be heading toward Singapore, according to a senior U.S. military source. The vessel, which the military has been tracking since its departure, could be carrying weaponry, missile parts or nuclear materials, a violation of U.N. Resolution 1874, which put sanctions in place against Pyongyang.

North Korea could view any interdiction of their ships as an act of war. But, should President Obama order the enforcement of the United Nations resolution on nuclear proliferation would North Korea attack American troops in South Korea?

Stay tuned…….

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I think the Republican Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann is more than a little paranoid here and using hyperbole to make her point about government use and abuse of information obtained by the United States Census.
Outspoken Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann says she’s so worried that information from next year’s national census will be abused that she will refuse to fill out anything more than the number of people in her household.

In an interview Wednesday morning with The Washington Times “America’s Morning News,” Mrs. Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, said the questions have become “very intricate, very personal” and she also fears ACORN, the community organizing group that came under fire for its voter registration efforts last year, will be part of the Census Bureau’s door-to-door information collection efforts.

“I know for my family the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home,” she said. “We won’t be answering any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn’t require any information beyond that.”

The Congresswoman is incorrect and will comply with the law.

But, Congress should examine the problem of ACORN and the use of the information -especially since Congressional and Electoral College reapportionment depends on a fair and impartial accounting of demographics.

If the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party through ACORN is going to subvert the census process for partisan advantage then the only recourse is to sue in federal court to enjoin/examine the entire process.

And, it may come down to this.

Stay tuned……

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