Wednesday, September 16, 2009

'Countdown' Video: Cong. Wilson Lies About being an Immigration Lawyer

The Hatepublicans seem to have a pathological urge to tell lies. Here we catch them again, as told by Keith Olbermann.

Study: Employers to up Workers' share of Health Costs

Well, If you don't want health care reform (which is primarily the health care industry their mostly errand boys - The U.S. Congress) then better get ready for your expenses to skyrocket. And even if you want significant reform, your government won't do much for you. They've been bought off. America is controlled by lobbies. And Barack won't be able to change that. You have been abandoned.

Tens of thousands of U.S. workers face higher health insurance costs and reduced benefits next year, regardless of whether Congress passes health legislation, according to an annual survey released today.

The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust found that nearly 40% of employers surveyed said they were likely to make their employees pay more for heath care, including higher deductibles and co-pays for doctor visits and prescriptions.

Premium increases have far outstripped wages and inflation, the survey found. During the past 10 years, employers' contributions jumped an average of 131% per worker. That's three times worker wages and four times general inflation, Kaiser said.

Some members of Congress haven't been bought off completely and are blowing the whistle on so-called health care reform:
This is a rather amazing public admission of something that most elected Democrats have kept to themselves, up until now: the growing concern that Obama will settle for anything and call it victory. From The Hill:
Rockefeller emerged from the Senate Democrats' weekly luncheon Tuesday afternoon, which featured an appearance by President Barack Obama's communications guru David Axelrod, wondering aloud (perhaps rhetorically) whether the White House's get-it-done message to Congress wasn't bold enough.

"David’s in there -- Axelrod -- saying we’ve got to try to get ‘something.’ So, the new benchmark is, ‘Well, if we can do something, if we can do anything, then we can say we did healthcare reform,’" Rockefeller said.

"Are we getting to the point where, if we do anything, we’ve achieved our purpose?" he said, less than an hour before announcing on a conference call with reporters that he would not vote to support the healthcare reform bill being drafted by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.).

Even news outlets that are sympathetic to health care reform are trashing the Democratic proposals:
By now you've probably heard about the draft bill submitted by Sen. Max Baucus. You may even have heard it's not a very good bill - for the American public, anyway. But it's a complex topic, and a complex bill (even though it has been written in relatively plain English and posted on the Web, to the Senator's credit).

So in order to clarify this complicated issue, here are the top five reasons why it's a really bad bill:[...]

Contractors in Afghanistan are Drugged Up

Our troops are not only dealing with an elusive enemy, but are now having to put their lives at risk alongside stoned contractors. This is at time when contractors are playing an increasing role in America's wars. And this President doesn't seem to want to change it.

A U.S. contractor in Afghanistan helping train the national police was found dead last week of a possible drug overdose, just months after his company was reprimanded by the State Department for another worker's drug-related death.

The deaths have raised questions over how well DynCorp International selects and manages employees assigned to the police training contract, a crucial component of the U.S. effort to hand over more of the security burden to the Afghans.

The leaders of an independent panel investigating wartime spending said Wednesday they are troubled that drugs appear to be involved in the deaths of two workers hired by the State Department's largest contractor.

"This shouldn't be treated as an isolated event that (the State Department) can ignore," said Christopher Shays, co-chairman of the Commission on Wartime Contracting. "They really need to step in and say, 'Do we have a drug problem at DynCorp?'"

Former WH Speechwriter Book: Bush Calls Obama "Clueless"

Another kiss and tell book. Doesn't mean it isn't true. What we need is a book that details the crimes of the Bush gang:

Matt Latimer, who used to make a living writing speeches for former President George W. Bush, has decided to let loose in a book under his own name that describes the White House as more like the TV show “The Office” and less like “The West Wing.”

In excerpts of his book “Speech-Less” appearing in the October issue of GQ magazine, out on newsstands Sept. 22, Latimer says Bush had something unflattering to say about the leaders of the pack running to win the White House in last year’s election.

(We obtained, and more importantly, read all the excerpts to be published in GQ. There is some discussion about the plan to boost the economy which we leave you to read in the magazine or book).

According to Latimer, Bush believed Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee in the 2008 presidential election and quotes the former president as saying “Wait till her fat keister is sitting at this desk,” although the speechwriter-turned-book-writer says Bush didn’t say “keister” (guess he’s urging us to use our imagination).

“He didn’t think much of Barack Obama,” Latimer writes. He recalls an occasion when Bush was fuming that it was a dangerous world, and quotes the president as saying, “and this cat isn’t remotely qualified to handle it. This guy has no clue, I promise you.”

On Joe Biden, according to Latimer, Bush had a one-liner he liked to tell: “If bull—- was currency (pause), Joe Biden would be a billionaire.”

But it does show that Bush was the truly clueless one when it came to the economy:
It seemed like every time President George W. Bush stepped before the cameras during last fall's stock market meltdown, the Dow tumbled.

It's a good thing the public couldn't see what was going on behind the scenes at the White House, according to an insider's account.

Bush is pictured as a desperate, bumbling lame duck with little grasp of the economic turmoil around him in the tell-all book by ex-speechwriter Matt Latimer in "Speech-Less: Tales of a White House Survivor."

Hours before Bush was to give a speech last September outlining the administration's $700 billion plan to buy up troubled mortgages, for instance, Latimer writes that Bush clearly didn't understand his own plan.

"We're buying low and selling high," Latimer quotes Bush as saying over and over in an excerpt posted yesterday on GQ's Web site.

"The problem was that his proposal didn't work like that," Latimer noted.

Finally, after some staffers explained to Bush that his mortgage bailout plan included no such likely return, Bush barked: "Why did I sign on to this proposal if I don't understand what it does?" Latimer writes.

President Obama on Kanye West: "He's a Jackass"

I agree. The President should use the bully pulpit to get America to turn from the vulgarity and inanity of the media and towards a more decent society. Maybe Obama didn't intend for the remark to be heard, but his comment carries weight. Americans should not stand for boorish behavior, which is a trademark of West:

President Barack Obama's candid thoughts about Kanye West are provoking a debate over standards of journalism in the Twitter age.

ABC News says it was wrong for its employees to tweet that Obama had called West a "jackass" for the rapper's treatment of country singer Taylor Swift. The network said some of its employees had overheard a conversation between the president and CNBC's John Harwood and didn't realize it was considered off the record.

The network apologized to the White House and CNBC.

Harwood had sat down with the president to tape an interview following his appearance on Wall Street on Monday. Although they are competitors, CNBC and ABC share a fiber optic line to save money, and this enabled some ABC employees to listen in on the interview as it was being taped for later use.

Their attention was drawn to chatter about West, who was widely criticized for interrupting Swift as she accepted an award at Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards to say that Beyonce deserved it.

During what sounds like informal banter before the interview begins, Obama is asked whether his daughters were annoyed by West's hijacking of Swift's acceptance statement, according to an audio copy that was posted on

"I thought that was really inappropriate," Obama says. "What are you butting in (for)? ... The young lady seems like a perfectly nice person. She's getting her award. What's he doing up there?"

A questioner chimes in, "Why would he do it?"

"He's a jackass," Obama replies, which is met with laughter from several people.

World Food Aid Drops to 20-year Low

More hunger means more political instability. That means greater political implications for the U.S. It does not bode well:

Food aid is at a 20-year low despite the number of critically hungry people soaring this year to its highest level ever, the United Nations relief agency said on Wednesday.

The number of hungry people will pass 1 billion this year for the first time, the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) said, adding that it is facing a serious budget shortfall.

Expect to see more chaos like that in Nigeria:
Militants in Nigeria announced Wednesday they will extend a cease-fire that expired overnight by one month, holding off on attacks on oil installations and kidnapping foreigners, but warned that the government must address its grievances.

The militants are pressing the government to send federal oil revenues to the impoverished southern Delta region, where the oil came from, and wants the government to withdraw troops and help people return to homes they had fled.

In July, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta called a two-month halt to its violent campaign, saying it hoped the truce would help foster talks with the government. The group said Wednesday the government should use the truce extension "to do the right thing instead of pretending to talk peace while arming the military for a war it cannot win."