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Thursday, April 2, 2009
With Critics Like These, Who Needs Supporters?
As President Obama vows to move ahead with health reform, his most visible opponent has become Richard Scott – ousted head of the world's largest health care company, payer of $1.7 billion in overbilling charges, and author of the nation's biggest health care fraud scandal. Proving the old birds-of-a-feather maxim, Scott's Conservatives for Patients' Rights has hired CRC, the p.r. firm that gave us Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, to help. “He hopes people don’t Google his name,” said John E. Hartwig, a former deputy inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services, who investigated Scott's abuses.
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When in Doubt, Slash and Burn and Misinform
With Dawn Johnsen, truth-speaking nominee for the Office of Legal Counsel, facing a possible Republican filibuster, right-wingers have turned their mud-slinging attention to Harold Koh, President Obama's choice for legal adviser to the State Department. Will mud bury two nominees brave enough to use the words "illegal" and "torture"?
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Wednesday, April 1, 2009
In London, Simple Truths
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An Excellent Question
Conservative attacks are mounting against Dawn Johnsen, President Obama's progressive nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel, who has blasted Bush arguments in defense of torture as "outlandish" and "shockingly flawed." Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (Dem.- R.I.) calls out the hypocrisy of GOP charges of partisanship given the "long dark days of degradation" of the office. “Now suddenly they come forward with concerns,” he said. “Where were you when those incompetent, ideological opinions were being issued?”
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Human Rights Attack
Lev Ponomarev, a prominent Russian human rights activist critical of the government, was attacked Tuesday. Amnesty International has urged Russian authorities to investigate, as has For Human Rights.
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Breaking The Bank
There are bankers hanging in effigy and police pelted with fruit and Easter bunnies hopping through police cordons, but amidst the G-20 protests in London one iconic moment stands out – angry protesters breaking into the heavily guarded, bailed-out Bank of Scotland, and spray-painting it with "Thieves." Every now and then, symbolism is all.
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I Wanna Hold Your Hand
It's a small matter, I know, but still: It's refreshing to see pictures of the Obamas en route to Europe – not the usual stolid, wooden, frozen-smiled pair of strangers, but a vibrant caring couple, clearly in this together. Young people seeking a family role model, take note.
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Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Let Them Eat Cake
Hundreds of French workers, angry about proposed layoffs at a Caterpillar plant, are holding company executives hostage in their office, the third time this month workers facing cutbacks have held their bosses captive to demand negotiations. The workers, irate that the company failed to show up at two earlier negotiating sessions, are allowing food to be brought in; no word on the menu.
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Why Jim Hightower Shouldn’t Be the Only One Debating John McCain on Afghanistan
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So Many Miscreants, So Little Time
With GM chairman Rick Wagoner booted from power and the wave of populist rage still rising, the Service Employees International Union, SEIU, has helpfully suggested the next deserving candidate for swift justice – Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis. Why should he be fired? Let us count the ways...
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