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Archive for July, 2010

Update – ABC Reports that Judge Bolton has blocked key provisions of S.B. 1070, however, several measures of the law will go into effect today. See:

Arizona Immigration Law Judge Puts Hold on Key Provisions

The ACLU has reported that back to back hearings were presented on Arizona’s new immigration law, and sides presented to Judge Bolton.

The law is now under judicial review. See:

Arizona’s Back-to-Back Hearings Do Not Disappoint

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On this one, I agree with the Prez. Pass the Disclose Act tomorrow, otherwise known as the “Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act, S.3628,(correction) see file “getdoc.cgi“! Don’t let this Supreme Court Decision stand. Corporations should not have personhood, or the right to donate money without disclosure to elections. It was bad enough last election WITH disclosure.

The White House Blog

President Obama on Citizens United: “Imagine the Power This Will Give Special Interests Over Politicians”

Posted by Jesse Lee on July 26, 2010 at 03:07 PM EDT

With a Senate vote tomorrow on legislation to undo some of the damage from the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, the President laid out the stakes in no uncertain terms:

Monday A vote to oppose these reforms is nothing less than a vote to allow corporate and special interest takeovers of our elections. It is damaging to our democracy. It is precisely what led a Republican President named Theodore Roosevelt to tackle this issue a century ago.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/07/26/president-obama-citizens-united-imagine-power-will-give-special-interests-over-polit

As pre-announced last month, Hayward’s head is going to be put on the plate for the BP Gulf debacle. If you will pardon the Cold War chuckle, they are sending him HERE in Siberia. Well not quite, the headquarters of TNK-BP was changed to the British Virgin Islands in 2006. However, if he takes the penitent’s job, I see no reason to believe that he will fail to visit the Irtyish River once or twice. TNK-BP announced in January they were aiming to double production. Hayward sounds like just the guy they need. Who needs a river anyway?

BP’s Hayward to Leave as CEO; Russia Job in Works

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=11249030

Look at that, China doen’t want to  be left out of the story either!

In counterpoint to our health plans, Japan’s keep producing this:

Japan women’s life expectancy world longest for 25th straight year

Posted : Mon, 26 Jul 2010 10:04:50 GMT

By : dpa

Tokyo – Japanese women held the world’s longest life expectancy for the 25th year in row in 2009, with their average life-span hitting a record high of 86.44 years, the government said Monday.

Japanese men’s life expectancy also posted a record high of 79.59 years, but they dropped to fifth in the world from fourth in 2008, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare said in a report.

The extension was attributed to improved treatment of major causes of death among Japanese – cancer, strokes, pneumonia and cardiac disorders.

“If an influenza epidemic does not break out, the life expectancy (of Japanese people) is likely to extend further,” a ministry official was quoted by Kyodo News as saying.

In the men’s list, Qatar topped the men’s list at 81.0 years, followed by Hong Kong at 79.8 years, and Iceland and Switzerland at 79.7 years.

As for women, Japan was followed by Hong Kong at 86.1 years, and France at 84.5 years.

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/news/336496,longest-25th-straight-year.html

As adjunct to a recent comment about the lack of alternatives in political parties over at the Confluence last night, this news arrives from the Denver Post.  Just in case you didn’t know, there is frustration among Repubs as well as Dems. Upsetting TeaPartiers, Tom Tancredo has decided to openly declare his right wing intentions by running for the American Constitution Party. Frankly I like this kind of transparency; Tancredo hasn’t changed, he’s just come out of the closet.

Tancredo will run for governor as American Constitution Party candidate

By Karen Crummy, Denver Post Staff Writer

POSTED: 07/26/2010 08:48:17 AM MDT

UPDATED: 07/26/2010 11:49:11 AM MDT

Tom Tancredo (Denver Post | 2008 file)

[Former Congressman Tom Tancredo is in the race for Colorado governor, he said this morning. “I will officially announce at noon that I will seek the nomination of the constitution party,” Tancredo told the Post….]

http://blogs.denverpost.com/thespot/2010/07/26/tancredo-will-run-for-governor-as-american-constitution-party-candidate/12382/

In case you don’ think they are serious, take a look a t the Wiki link and see how many positions they are seeking in the 2010 election. A few can become a voting block pretty quickly.

At the same time, some over at the Black Agenda are advocating ending the sheep stroll for the Democratic party and going Black, Red And Green.

Black American Politics in the 21st Century: Is It Time For A New Plan?

Wed, 07/14/2010 – 09:28 — Bruce A. Dixon

[We all love and respect our ancestor and freedom fighter Frederick Douglass. But in the 21st century, nobody is trying to imitate his haircut or wear his 19th century clothes. So why is 21st century black America still stuck with Frederick Douglass’s political strategy, 140 years later? And how’s that old stuff working out for us, anyway?…]

http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/black-american-politics-21st-century-it-time-new-plan

The Green Party has their own list, and want you to support their local candidates.

Keep a repugnant law on the books, just so the very arrogant and powerful can play God. Then, when the international community calls you on the carpet, blame them and the defenders of the victims.

We have our own problems with the death penalty here in the USA, but for this kind of torture even the Humane Society would have your ass in jail and the key thrown away.

Just who gets to throw these stones anyway? You gotta wonder what it does to the throwers as well. It’s government sponsored Milgrams, only with real consequences:

Attorney of Iranian Condemend(sic. Condemned) to Be Stoned Faces Arrest

Edward Yeranian | Cairo

26 July 2010

Iran has reportedly issued an arrest warrant for the attorney of Sakineh Ashtiani, whose stoning sentence has enraged many in the West.  Iranian authorities apparently detained the wife and brother-in-law of attorney Mohammed Mostafaei, when they were unable to locate him

http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/Attorney-of-Iranian-Condemend-to-Be-Stoned-Faces-Arrest-99249949.html

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Politico is reporting:

Democrats Pull Plug on Climate Bill

By DARREN SAMUELSOHN & CORAL DAVENPORT | 7/22/10 1:01 PM EDT

Updated: 7/22/10 2:29 PM EDT

[Senate Democrats pulled the plug on climate legislation Thursday, pushing the issue off into an uncertain future ahead of mid-term elections where President Barack Obama’s party is girding for a drubbing. …]

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0710/40109.html

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Geena Davis and Alexandra Gleysteen have both been appointed to the State’s “Commission on the Status of Women”, by Governor Schwarzenegger. The appointments are pending CA Senate confirmation.

I’ll just say to whomever is editing Wikipedia for these two, Geena’s page definitely needs revising to better reflect her activities as a woman’s advocate. Alexandra needs inclusion. Better bios were found on the “appointed” link.

They certainly deserve Senate confirmation.

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It’s always nice when people agree with and say exactly what  you think; especially when they say it so well over at the Confluence:

My $0.02 on Shirley Sherrod

By Wonk the Vote

UTube and all the other media videos deserve the same scrutiny as your local grown fruit.

Ask these questions: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, HOW, and WHY!!! if you can’t answer those questions, you don’t know what you are watching. If you don’t know what you are watching, you can’t make a decision. That sure as heck means you don’t go riling people up and firing them cause, you, Freda, are suffering from information deficit syndrome.

Now, you’d a thunk all those gal’ durned Harvard Grads would know that stuff by now.

Either, they really are a bunch of doofuses, or ?

Try this on:

1) As Wonk alludes, we are a long way from realizing the ageist and misogynist elements of this story. WHO, right now is being asked to take early retirement, or let go in the greatest numbers? Who as a group has earned the highest salary in the last few years, and thus has the greatest impact on the bottom line? If you can’t remove someone because of tenure, what other tactics are used? This is a long running storyline.

2) Liberals, and I am one, should spend a little time pondering a pattern of dispensability of the more liberal political elements and civil rights “Old Guard” on the part of the Obama administration. Van Jones wasn’t the only other example. In case you still don’t get it. Obama is NOT A LIBERAL! He is not on your side. Whatever is wanted must come from you and your actions.

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BP Oil Poisons the Gulf of Mexico’s Food Chain

By Dahr Jamail*

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Update -At 2:15 ET Carte Goodwin was sworn in as an appointed member of the Senate. Shortly thereafter the Senate resumed consideration of, and approved  H. R 4213, entitled the “American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010”. The document downloads under “Text of Legislation” HERE, as 412 pages. There appear to be attendant amendments that I am still reading through. However, you can read them for yourself by following the links on the above mentioned page.

I’ll Have more in a bit. The bill goes back to the House this week, but is expected to pass:

Unemployment Filibuster Broken

Months-Long Unemployment Standoff Ends With Vote By New West Virginia Senator

By MATTHEW JAFFE

July 20, 2010

Boosted by the swearing-in of new West Virginia Sen. Carte Goodwin, the Senate today voted to restore and extend jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, ending a lengthy stalemate.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/unemployment-filibuster-broken/story?id=11205700

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If you haven’t yet done so, The Gray Panthers urge you to SPREAD THE WORD to reinstate and extend unemployment insurance and contact you Senator TODAY:

In Unemployment Benefits Extension, a Logistical Headache for States

Overtaxed State Agencies Struggle to Keep Up

By ANNIE LOWREY 7/19/10 6:00 AM

[People seeking unemployment benefits wait in the lobby of an Employment Development Department office in California. (EPA/ZUMAPRESS.com)

On Tuesday, the Senate plans to vote on a federal extension of unemployment benefits, blocked by Senate Republicans for an unprecedented two months. The swearing-in of Carte Goodwin, the temporary replacement for the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), will give Democrats the crucial 60th vote to overcome a GOP filibuster and restore unemployment insurance to 2.5 million Americans….]

http://washingtonindependent.com/91871/in-unemployment-benefits-extension-a-logistical-headache-for-states

For more on Carte Goodwin try HERE and HERE.

The DOL has published a list of products we all want to think twice about purchasing. However, as you read the list you will see some of the difficulties in following through on this kind of a determination.  Take cotton for example; Benin, Burkina Faso, China, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are on the no-no list. Where did your last tee shirt come from? Do we have anywhere near enough inspection? See the list HERE:

ILAB News Release: [07/19/2010]

Contact Name: Gloria Della Clarisse Young
Phone Number: (202) 693-8666 or x5051
Release Number: 10-0914-NAT

US Labor Department publishes updated list of products made with forced or indentured child labor

[WASHINGTONThe U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs today announced the publication of a final list of products that federal contractors must certify under Executive Order 13126 are not produced with forced or indentured child labor. The list will appear in the July 20 edition of the Federal Register….]

http://www.dol.gov/ILAB/regs/eo13126/main.htm

As an older adult, around age 55?, my father had Whooping Cough and let me tell you, it wasn’t fun.  It is very hard to breath during the coughing attacks. He thought that he had been vaccinated as a child, leading us to believe that the vaccine had lost effectiveness. Check with your doctor about vaccines. Personally, if I were traveling to CA in the future, I’d check with my doctor about getting the vaccine as well.

Vaccine urged as whooping cough epidemic grows

By Bobby Caina Calvan

bcalvan@sacbee.com

Published: Monday, Jul. 19, 2010 – 12:37 pm

Last Modified: Monday, Jul. 19, 2010 – 1:02 pm

[State health officials today urged more Californians to get vaccinated for whooping cough, as the disease grew to epidemic proportions…]

http://www.sacbee.com/2010/07/19/2900460/vaccine-urged-as-whooping-cough.html

Border security and Immigration reform are two separate issues.  The former is used as a ploy to prevent the latter from happening. Ruben Navarrette shows how the two issues rotate around each other:

Politicians posture over U.S.-Mexico border

Ruben Navarrette Jr.

[“What do you mean I’m out of money?” says the bumper sticker. “I still have checks left!” In the immigration debate, some folks use the same logic to raise the issue of border security.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/06/29/EDAP1E6NQ5.DTL

You may remember that President Obama issued an Executive Order on May 22, 2010 directing the institution of a “ National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling”. The Commission released it’s final report today.  I guess it will be my evening read:

Final Recommendations of the Ocean Policy Task Force Announced

Posted by Phil Larson on July 19, 2010 at 02:23 PM EDT

Obama Administration officials today released the Final Recommendations of the Ocean Policy Task Force, which would establish a National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes (National Policy) and create a National Ocean Council (NOC) to strengthen ocean governance and coordination.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives/oceans

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Truthout has published a photo essay by independent journalists on the current state of the Gulf. The photos and statistics continue to stun. If we want to change our future, the time is now:

The Source of Our Despair in the Gulf

by Dahr Jamail and Erika Blumenfeld

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On my travels through FaceBook today, I came across an astounding announcement over at the National ACLU site. It isn’t yet on their webpage. It said:

ACLU Nationwide: BREAKING: Obama shockingly adds abortion coverage ban to new insurance pools for women with pre-existing conditions. More soon.2 hours ago

http://www.facebook.com/aclu.nationwide?v=wall&story_fbid=142916209053423

Looking for any source, I found two.

Earned Media, a rightist site reported:

Administration Reiterates That No Federal Funds Will Be Used for Abortion

“Despite Claims by Republican Groups, High Risk Pools will not pay for Abortion”

http://www.earnedmedia.org/dfloa0715.htm

Then there was NARAL:

Pro-Choice America Speaks Out!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 15, 2010

Statement on Obama Administration Policy Excluding Abortion Coverage from High-Risk Pools

[Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called the Obama administration’s decision today to exclude abortion coverage from newly created high-risk pools wrongheaded and inexplicable….]

http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/news/press-releases/2010/0707152010_obamaexcludeabortionhcr.html

Bemusedly, I looked for any announcements from the White House, but there was only one up to the time of this blog, an Executive Order on March 24th.

Now I don’t know about you, but I thought it was pretty clear from the Order in March, even if you didn’t grasp all of the nuances of the , so recently in our memory, that existing conditions for women were never part of the final deal. That’s just one more reason the Act was so heinous for women. In March, over at the Confluence, people were having this kind of discussion about it.

RH Reality check had the best discussion of today’s debate HERE.

So, what is with these groups? Are they really so slow on the uptake? Or is something else going on? If Nancy (I don’t believe in abortion, but I run NARAL and spent big bucks to get Obama elected and drop kick Clinton) is screaming, it must be about something else? Koolaid withdrawals? The start of a new battle?

Hey what do I know, I’m just one of those low information working class voters, with dial-up. Someone out there in blog land, enlighten me.

No enlightenment thus far. Maybe it’s as mundane as basic “Velveteen Rabbit” legaleze. It’s not real until you rub it’s fur off and pull its eyes out, and the PA kurfluffle is a first test. If that’s the case why not present it like that instead of pretending it’s some new horribleness?

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