Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Congressman Yells 'You Lie' During Obama Speech

Now tell me this isn't about a White man hating - or pandering to those whom do - a black man occupying the Oval Office. It has gotten out of control. There is no respect coming from the Republicans. Where will it end? I'll tell you: In President Obama's assassination.

A South Carolina Republican lawmaker shouted "You lie" at President Barack Obama as he addressed Congress on Wednesday. The congressman later apologized for his "lack of civility."

In his speech in the House chamber, Obama was telling lawmakers that the Democratic plans for health care overhaul do not cover illegal immigrants.

"The reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally," Obama said.

"You lie!" Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., shouted from his seat, jabbing a finger in the air.

In a statement, Wilson said later that he regretted the incident.

"This evening I let my emotions get the best of me," Wilson said. "While I disagree with the president's statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility."

Feds are in Bed with "Hazardous Materials" Shippers

Why not?! Everything else is for sale in America. Public safety is the last concern. And the government just gives and wink and a nod.

The federal agency that regulates transportation of hazardous materials is too "cozy" with shippers and often fails to provide adequate oversight to protect the public, a congressional investigation finds.

The concerns are outlined in a staff memo for the House Transportation Committee ahead of a hearing today on the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

The investigation by committee staff "strongly suggests that (the safety administration's) performance of its primary safety mission is less than diligent in far too many instances, appears to be inappropriately 'cozy' with industry, and demands an immediate, high-level policy review," the memo says.

Obama Speech to Congress on Health Care Transcript (9-9-09)

Read the complete transcript of President Obama's speech to the full Congress on health care reform. Excerpt below:

I am not the first President to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last. It has now been nearly a century since Theodore Roosevelt first called for health care reform. And ever since, nearly every President and Congress, whether Democrat or Republican, has attempted to meet this challenge in some way. A bill for comprehensive health reform was first introduced by John Dingell Sr. in 1943. Sixty-five years later, his son continues to introduce that same bill at the beginning of each session.

Our collective failure to meet this challenge – year after year, decade after decade – has led us to a breaking point. Everyone understands the extraordinary hardships that are placed on the uninsured, who live every day just one accident or illness away from bankruptcy. These are not primarily people on welfare. These are middle-class Americans. Some can't get insurance on the job. Others are self-employed, and can't afford it, since buying insurance on your own costs you three times as much as the coverage you get from your employer. Many other Americans who are willing and able to pay are still denied insurance due to previous illnesses or conditions that insurance companies decide are too risky or expensive to cover.

We are the only advanced democracy on Earth – the only wealthy nation – that allows such hardships for millions of its people. There are now more than thirty million American citizens who cannot get coverage. In just a two year period, one in every three Americans goes without health care coverage at some point. And every day, 14,000 Americans lose their coverage. In other words, it can happen to anyone.

But the problem that plagues the health care system is not just a problem of the uninsured. Those who do have insurance have never had less security and stability than they do today. More and more Americans worry that if you move, lose your job, or change your job, you'll lose your health insurance too. More and more Americans pay their premiums, only to discover that their insurance company has dropped their coverage when they get sick, or won't pay the full cost of care. It happens every day.

One man from Illinois lost his coverage in the middle of chemotherapy because his insurer found that he hadn't reported gallstones that he didn't even know about. They delayed his treatment, and he died because of it. Another woman from Texas was about to get a double mastectomy when her insurance company canceled her policy because she forgot to declare a case of acne. By the time she had her insurance reinstated, her breast cancer more than doubled in size. That is heart-breaking, it is wrong, and no one should be treated that way in the United States of America.

Then there's the problem of rising costs. We spend one-and-a-half times more per person on health care than any other country, but we aren't any healthier for it. This is one of the reasons that insurance premiums have gone up three times faster than wages. It's why so many employers – especially small businesses – are forcing their employees to pay more for insurance, or are dropping their coverage entirely. It's why so many aspiring entrepreneurs cannot afford to open a business in the first place, and why American businesses that compete internationally – like our automakers – are at a huge disadvantage. And it's why those of us with health insurance are also paying a hidden and growing tax for those without it – about $1000 per year that pays for somebody else's emergency room and charitable care.

- Related Topic:
Obama Talks to Students at Wakefield High School (9-8-09)

Video: China Fuels Illegal Ivory Demand

The Chinese are behind much of the evil in the world. But whose to stop them? Not the U.S. government since they need China's money to pay for their wasteful spending. And then there are all those profits being made by Wall St. and those outsourcing corporations.

British soldier killed during rescue of kidnapped journalist in Afghanistan

Should our military, or that of our allies, be in the business of rescuing journalists that act as free agents in a war zone? The press has it's own agenda. Which is not necessarily the same of that of our military. It is hard enough fighting a tenacious enemy that our soldiers have to worry about babysitting reporters. Many of these reporters often hide behind the military in order to get what they want. It should be made clear to any reporter that if they wish to go to a war zone that they follow the rules set by the military. Otherwise, they are on their own.

A British soldier serving with the special forces support group has been killed during a pre-dawn raid to free a British journalist being held by the Taliban in northern Afghanistan, it was confirmed today.

The reporter's interpreter also died in the operation.

Stephen Farrell, a New York Times journalist, and his translator, Sultan Munadi, were captured last Saturday as they reported on the aftermath of a Nato air strike in which at least 70 people were killed.

Early today, Farrell said he had been "extracted" after a helicopter carrying British and Afghan soldiers swooped on a compound near the northern city of Kunduz.

"We were all in a room, the Talibs all ran ... it was obviously a raid," the 46-year-old told his editors in New York.

The Kunduz governor's office confirmed that the raid had been led by British special forces.

Israel Pushes Ahead East Jerusalem Building Plans

You can forget any peace agreements. The Israeli government feels that Obama is too preoccupied with health care that he won't make much of a stink. But if war does break out again you can bet it will get the President's attention then.

Israel is pushing ahead with a long-delayed plan to build hundreds of apartments in east Jerusalem, staking claims to land the Palestinians want for a future state and complicating already tense relations with the U.S. over its demand for a construction moratorium.

The government has chosen developers to build 486 new apartments in the Pisgat Zeev neighborhood after a yearlong delay over pricing disputes, the state-run land agency said Tuesday.

The announcement came just days after Israel approved up to 455 apartments in the West Bank. Construction plans are continuing even as Israel negotiates with the U.S. on its demand for a total building freeze in both the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

The new buildings are to go up on the outer edge of Jerusalem's northeastern boundary and would narrow the distance between Pisgat Zeev and nearby Palestinian communities.

Jerusalem, with its sites holy to both Jews and Muslims, lies at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel captured the eastern sector of the city from Jordan in 1967 and immediately annexed it. The international community does not recognize the annexation or Israel's argument that Jewish neighborhoods there are not settlements.

"While the government of Israel for the sake of the peace process is willing to consider placing severe limitations on construction in the West Bank, that does not apply to Jerusalem," government spokesman Mark Regev said. "The position of the government is that Jerusalem is and will remain the united capital of Israel."

By rebuffing U.S. pressure on settlement construction, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has solidified the support of his largely hawkish coalition. But the dispute has caused unprecedented tensions with Washington, and the Palestinians have refused to resume stalled peace talks until construction stops.

And let's not forget Israel's plan to bomb Iran. A politically wounded Obama would strengthen the hand of the neocons and the pro-bombing Iran elements in the Israeli government.
The United States says it has "serious concerns" that Iran is deliberately trying - at a minimum - to preserve a nuclear weapons option.

Washington's chief envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency says a recent report by the nuclear watchdog shows that Iran is now either very near or already has enough low-enriched uranium to produce one nuclear weapon.

And the Israelis army isn't squeamish about fighting a war. Even if it means killing plenty of civilians. Which only inflames the Arab and Muslim world further.
Well over half of nearly 1,400 Palestinians killed in Israel's Gaza war were civilians, including 252 children younger than 16, a leading Israeli human rights groups said Wednesday, challenging Israel's claim that most of the dead were militants.