Monday, March 8, 2010

Political Digest for March 8, 2010

I post articles because I believe they will be of interest, not because I agree with every—or even any—opinion in them.

Neglected by 'lazy' nurses, man, 22, dying of thirst rang the police to beg for water
Just one more push by Obama, Reid and Pelosi and we’ll have this great government healthcare in the US. Excerpt: A man of 22 died in agony of dehydration after three days in a leading teaching hospital. Kane Gorny was so desperate for a drink that he rang police to beg for their help. They arrived on the ward only to be told by doctors that everything was under control.... The tragedy emerged a week after a report into hundreds of deaths at Stafford Hospital revealed the appalling quality of care given by many of the nurses. This week a task force called on nurses to sign a public pledge that they will treat everyone with compassion and dignity.

Rash of Scandals Tests Democrats at Sensitive Time
NYT Excerpt: The ethical woes facing Democrats are piling up, with barely a day passing in recent weeks without headlines from Washington to New York and beyond filled with word of scandal or allegations of wrongdoing. The troubles of Gov. David A. Paterson of New York, followed by those of two of the state’s congressmen, Charles B. Rangel and Eric J. Massa, have added to the ranks of episodes involving prominent Democrats like Eliot Spitzer, Rod R. Blagojevich and John Edwards. Taken together, the cases have opened the party to the same lines of criticism that Democrats, led by Representatives Nancy Pelosi, now the House speaker, and Rahm Emanuel, now White House chief of staff, used effectively against Republicans in winning control of the House and Senate four years ago. The mix of power and the temptations of corruption can be a compelling political narrative at any time. But with voters appearing to be in an angry mood and many already inclined to view all things Washington with mistrust, the risks for Democrats could be that much greater this year. With Election Day still eight months away, there is time to avert a history-is-repeating-itself storyline. But Democrats, who are already on the defensive over the economy, health care and federal spending and are facing a re-energized conservative movement, suddenly have a set of ethical issues to deflect as well. “Speaker Pelosi famously promised the most open, honest and ethical Congress in history,” Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader, said Thursday. “Yet here we go again.”

Sean Penn Hopes His Critics ‘Die Screaming of Rectal Cancer’
Those compassionate liberals always make us feel warm and fuzzy.

Unrest in Democratic Party plays out in Emanuel controversy
Excerpt: White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has become a reluctant central figure in the battle between liberals and centrists in the Democratic Party. A spate of recent reports have portrayed Emanuel, known for his aggressive brand of Washington politics, as either the voice of reason in a weak, liberal White House or the wet blanket preventing President Barack Obama from pursuing the kind of change he promised as a candidate. Emanuel has become the flash point in those arguments as liberals express betrayal over Obama's failure to convince Congress to pass a public option in healthcare reform and close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In recent stories and columns in The Washington Post, Emanuel is described as a political pragmatist, pushing Obama to accept realistic limitations on both issues in order to secure smaller victories over abject failures. Or as the Post's Dana Milbank put it, Emanuel is "the only person keeping Obama from becoming Jimmy Carter." The president, in turn, is depicted as unsure, beholden to liberal groups' desires before ultimately heeding Emanuel's realistic assessment of the political environment and caving to centrists in a fashion reminiscent of the triangulation of Emanuel's other White House boss -- President Bill Clinton.

Dems keep pressure on Stupak over healthcare bill and abortion concerns
Excerpt: Abortion continued to loom Sunday as the thorny issue that could paralyze the momentum of healthcare reform efforts in the home stretch. Across the Sunday morning shows, lawmakers took sides over whether the final healthcare bill contains language that would allow people receiving government subsidized healthcare to obtain an abortion, and a White House official accused abortion opponent Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) of being "misinformed" about the Senate bill. The issue could stall healthcare talks and ultimately the final vote, as it did last November when Stupak held up the chamber’s initial version of the bill and demanded the inclusion of an amendment barring federal funds from being used for abortions in exchange for the votes of 64 Democrats, most of whom had indicated that they would not otherwise have voted for the overall measure. On Sunday, Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.), who voted against the House’s healthcare bill, said that once again, if the similar abortion language is allowed into the final version of the bill, the House may not have the votes to pass it.

Good News: Pakistan arrests American-born al-Qaida
Read him his rights. Get him a good team of taxpayer-paid lawyers. He’ll be back trying to kill you and your kids before the next president takes office. Where is FDR when we need him? Excerpt: The American-born spokesman for al-Qaida has been arrested by Pakistani intelligence officers in the southern city of Karachi, two officers and a government official said Sunday, the same day Adam Gadahn appeared in a video calling for Muslim violence. The arrest of Gadahn is a major victory in the U.S.-led battle against al-Qaida and will be taken as a sign that Pakistan is cooperating more fully with Washington. It follows the recent detentions of several Afghan Taliban commanders in Karachi. Gadahn — who has often appeared in al-Qaida videos — was arrested in the sprawling southern metropolis in recent days, two officers who took part in the operation said. A senior government official also confirmed the arrest. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information. Gadahn grew up on a goat farm in Riverside County, California, and converted to Islam at a mosque in nearby Orange County. He moved to Pakistan in 1998, according to the FBI, and is said to have attended an al-Qaida training camp six years later, serving as a translator and consultant for the group. He has been wanted by the FBI since 2004, and there is a $1 million reward for information leading to his arrest or conviction. The 31-year-old is known by various aliases including Yahya Majadin Adams and Azzam al-Amriki. He has posted videos and messages calling for the destruction of the West and for strikes against targets in the United States. The most recent was posted Sunday, praising the U.S. Army major charged with killing 13 people in Fort Hood, Texas, as a role model for other Muslims. A U.S. court charged Gadahn with treason in 2006, making him the first American to face such a charge in more than 50 years. He could face the death penalty if convicted. He was also charged with two counts of providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Biden to try to boost Middle East peace prospects
Glad they are sending the first string in. Excerpt: An Israeli cabinet minister, commenting on Joe Biden's visit, pointed to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's description of the September 11 attacks in the United States as a "big fabrication" as cause for concern. "What we have here is a madman, and crazy people can do only crazy things," Industry and Trade Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer told Israel Radio. "The Americans ... must see how they can create a reality in which they stop the madman."

Iran to Send Russian Pilots Home
Fly the Friendly Skies. Excerpt: The Iranian ministry of road and transportation announced on
Saturday that the Russian pilots flying for Iranian airlines would be sent back home in the next two months. "The Iranian ministry of road and transportation has specified a two-month deadline and after the end of the time, all Russian pilots should leave the country," Iranian Road and Transportation Minister Hamid Behbahani told FNA. "When our country enjoys abundant professional and specialized pilots, there is no need for us to import pilots from foreign countries for our flights," Behbahani added.

Iran's Ahmadinejad: Sept. 11 attacks a 'big lie'
Agrees with Obot Ex-Green jobs Czar Van Jones and the Pentagon Shooter.

EDL stands up against fascists in Britain
Excerpt: Since everyone who stands up for human rights and freedom against Islamic supremacism and violence is branded a racist nowadays, it's useful to look at the evidence. Here is a group that is so racist that it has featured a Sikh speaker, has a youth group that bears the slogan, "Black, White and Brown Unite," and says: "We welcome members from all over the political spectrum, and with varying views on foreign policy, united against Islamic extremism and its influence on British life. Everyone from those whose ancestral roots are in pre-Roman Britain to immigrants just arrived yesterday will be welcomed into the EDL with open arms as long as they are willing to stand up with us for English values and against Islamist hate."...

Hayward (Muslim) Men Out On Bail After Admitting They Came To SF To Shoot Gay Folks
Didn’t get the memo. Excerpt: Three Hayward men are scheduled to be arraigned on assault and hate crime charges in San Francisco next week for allegedly shooting a man they thought was gay with a BB gun….The three men, Shafiq Hashemi, 21, Sayed Bassam, 21, and Mohammad Habibzada, 24, the driver, were arrested.

Jordanian newspaper: "How Can (the Jews), Being Unclean, Claim Possession of His Mosque, to Defile It with Their Stench and Their Filthy Deeds?!"
Excerpt: Al-Mutarajjam at Translating Jihad notes: "Quite often we will hear Muslims claim to be anti-Zionist but not anti-Jewish. However, in this essay the author shows that Islam is intrinsically anti-semitic, regardless of what 'the Zionists' do."

Jewish lobby behind U.S. Armenia genocide vote
Excerpt: Jewish lobbyists contrived a U.S. congressional vote that labeled the World War One-era massacre of Armenians by Turkish forces as genocide, a London-based Arabic-language newspaper claimed on Saturday. Pro-Israel lobbyists had previously backed Turkey on the issue ? [sic] but changed tack in retaliation for Turkish condemnation of Israel's policies in the Gaza Strip, the Al-Quds Al-Arabi daily said in an editorial.

GOP Lawmaker Demands Recall of Car That Drove Him to Gay Club
Satire. Excerpt: Anti-gay California State Sen. Roy Ashburn today demanded a sweeping recall of the vehicle that drove him to a gay nightclub this week. Sen. Ashburn, a Republican who has consistently voted for anti-gay legislation, said that the car drove him to the club "against my will." "If we are recalling cars for problems with their brakes and power steering, then surely we should be recalling vehicles that force their drivers to go to gay nightclubs," Sen. Ashburn said.
The state senator said not only did the car drive him to the gay nightclub, but it forced him to enter the club and party there for hours, resulting in his later arrest for DUI.

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