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ERITAS News Service
Formerly Mr_Blog's Left Turn
A Seattle-based journal of Left-wing musings on local, national and world affairs, as well as baseball, pop culture and technology.
Posted November 29, 2009
Secret Service investigating party crashers
McConnell, Boehner not on guest list
The U.S. Secret Service is promising a thorough investigation today, following the embarrassing disclosure that a pair of uninvited publicity seekers succeeded in entering last Tuesday's White House state dinner for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India.
Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. John Boehner, the leaders of the Republican minority in the Senate and House respectively, made it past White House security and mixed with politically relevant people.
Photographs posted on their Live Journal page -- Boehner in black tie, and McConnell attired in a beautiful, red Indian style gown with gold trim -- show the lawmakers chatting with other guests including the First Dog, Bo, and being served cocktails by Vice President Biden.
Security concerns were further raised by photos showing them in the receiving line, greeting the President, First Lady Michelle Obama and Prime Minister Singh. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said there was never any danger to the First Family or their guests. "All guests were screened at the front gate for metal objects and teabags," said Gibbs.
"The only direct interaction was when John Boehner asked the President directions to the little boys' room," Gibbs said, adding that McConnell and Boehner were not seated at dinner in the main tent. Rather, they had sandwiches at a card table, set up for them in the historic White House Rec Room.
The party crashers are drawing extra media scrutiny due to their being among the subjects of an upcoming reality TV program, CSPAN's Unreal House Members and Senators of Washington DC. "Our camera crew followed them as they shopped and got dressed to go to the dinner -- but we didn't think they'd actually get in," said Byron Sheep, CSPAN spokesman.
"We intended for this to be a comedy show about a couple of people who oppose everything the president stands for and want him to fail. Yet still want to be part of the pomp and circumstance, and whine about not being invited," Sheep said.
Posted November 25, 2009
GOP slams Obama on pardon
Annual Turkey-based post
The senior House Republican said today his party was right to oppose the Obama administration's decision to bring accused terrorists to the U.S. for trial, shortly after the President issued a pardon for a member of the terror cell al-Tryptophan.
Tahm Turqi abu Wattle had been held at Camp Butterball since 2004, classified as a juicy and crispy enemy combatant. Civil liberties groups have claimed Camp Butterball detainess are subjected to interrogation methods -- such as trussing, brine-boarding and being poked with instant-read thermometers -- that amount to torture.
"We told you so," House Minority Leader John Boehner said today on Michael Savage's Savage Nation radio program. Republicans had earlier predicted terrorists could manipulate American courts or escape from custody.
"We told you we never should have brought Turqi to American soil. We told you he'd find a way to get released, and we were right," Boehner said.
"A gibletist jihadist from Turkey has been loosed on the American homeland. We'll be hit with gravy of mass waistlines, and President Obama will be to blame," Boehner said.
Savage said the president doesn't understand the threat. "A man with such low body fat and rippling six-pack can't comprehend the carbohydrate threat of stuffing," Savage said.
Senator Joe Lieberman (Connecticut for Lieberman Party-CT) took to the Senate floor to express his disgust for the pardon. "I predicted that bringing this seasoned terrorist to our soil would give him a stage for his beliefs, and he took advantage of it. He wants Islam to gobble up America! All he talked about was gobble-gobble, gobble-gobble!"
Lieberman went on to say that al-Tryptophan likely is plotting to lull Americans to sleep in front of the TV so they will miss the end of the Big Game.
Posted November 21, 2009
Stupak offers compromise
Coverage of premature ejaculation treatment could delay abortions "by as much as 6-7 minutes"
Anti-abortion congressman Bart Stupak today notified fellow Democrats that he is willing to modify his controversial health care reform amendment restricting abortion funding.
The Michigan 1st District representative hopes to improve chances his restrictions will be in the final version of reform after reconciliation with the version that will come out of the Senate, which is about to begin floor debate.
Stupak's amended amendment would add the guarantee for all Americans of universal coverage for treatment of premature ejaculation.
"Guaranteeing access to P.E. treatment would limit abortions by as much as 6 to 7 minutes, each, but doesn't further restrict women's reproductive rights," he said.
"This represents pro-life Americans extending a hand of compromise to pro-death Americans, the kind of compromise abortion foes are all about," Stupak said magnanimously.
However, his compromise is drawing the ire of one leader of the pro-life movement. Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry said delaying ejaculation interferes with conception. "Putting it off by 6 or 7 minutes, that's delaying the creation of sacred life and therefore unacceptable," said Terry.
"Besides, without premature ejaculation I wouldn't have the anger and self-loathing that drives my anti-abortion crusade," Terry said.
November 17, 2009
Palin book goes to #1
"Remainders bin never this full, this fast"
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is a #1 author today, thanks to her memoir Going Rogue debuting today at the top of the remainders bin of the national retail bookstore chain Borders.
"The remainders bin has never been filled up this full, this fast before," said Marcia "Marci" Frandle, assistant manager of the Borders in Montpelier, Vermont.
Frandle said customers who lined up to be first to buy Palin's book from the remainders bin have been patient and orderly. "We've sold three copies today, give or take," she said.
The impressive debut of Going Rogue presages robust retail sales this holiday season. "This could be the boost the White Elephant Party sector has been waiting for," commented Jane C. Penney of the Spiegel Catalog, Chicago, Illinois 60609.
In a related story, Palin has had no official response so far to charges that Going Rogue contains numerous factual errors.
Palin critics including liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America cites among the growing list of inaccuracies:
On p. 216, she denies she once shot a wolf from a helicopter in Reno just to watch him die;
On pp. 293-5, she describes her more than 45 years of work in Calcutta ministering to the poor, orphans and lepers;
Devotes all of chapter 11 to "the most formative period of my life," relating how she was sent to prison by a military court for a crime she didn't commit. Escaping from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground and wanted by the government, she survived for a time as a soldier of fortune.
However, Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck rose to Palin's defense. On his Glenn Beck Program, the conservative pundit praised Palin "for the bravery she showed after a tragic skydiving accident ended her professional tennis career."
"She could have given up, but instead she overcame her injuries to become the first bionic woman politician," Beck said.
In a further related story, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) denied rumors she has been offered the leadership of a new conservative party with members drawn from the ranks of disaffected Republicans.
"I would never support such a move, and it's not going to be called the White Elephant Party," Bachmann said.
Posted November 11, 2009
Lou Dobbs to Univision
CNN host Lou Dobbs surprised his viewers this evening, informing them tonight's edition would be the last for his long-running Lou Dobbs Tonight program.
Surprise turned to shock when Dobbs announced he had inked a production deal with Univision.
"I'm sad to leave my CNN friends, but excited to be taking my campaign against multilingualism and illegal immigration straight to the source at Univision," said Dobbs, referring to viewers of the world's #1 Spanish language network.
"I know I'll make lots of nuevos amigos there," he added.
"Univision has several exciting concepts for Dobbs," said Vice President for Programming Juan Dormez y Vous. The network will develop reality and light drama programs featuring the news anchor, in addition to a nightly business-focused broadcast, Lou Dobbs' Mucho Dinero.
Dormez y Vous said Dobbs will don the traditional full skirt, blouse and shawl, competing every week on So You Think You Can Flamenco. "And he will have a regular cameo in a new murder mystery series, Homicido, Le Escribia. Dobbs will play the victim," Dormez y Vous said.
"There will even be something for kids, called No Puede Hacer Eso en Television. Green slime will be dumped on Dobbs whenever he says 'no comprendo'," he said.
But the biggest project for Dobbs will be Sobreviviente, a new version of Survivor. The 12 week series will follow Dobbs as he is pushed out of a truck somewhere in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, makes his way to the U.S. border while avoiding criminals and fighting hunger and the elements, and finally makes an unsuccessful attempt to cross into Texas.
The value of the Univision contract was not disclosed. A spokesman for Dobbs said the deal would make him a multi-millionaire -- although it could not be confirmed if that is in dollars or pesos.
November 10, 2009
Stupak's amendment cuts medical costs
Bars coverage for all procedures
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) today asked his Democratic colleagues to stay united on health care reform legislation, and support the current version of the legislation even if they have objections to the abortion-restricting amendment he authored.
The version that passed the House 220-215 on Saturday contained an amendment offered by Stupak prohibiting funds for abortions in a public insurance plan, as well as any private plan purchased in a public exchange. This has angered over 40 liberal members, who say they will not vote for any House-Senate compromise containing Stupak's language.
Stupak called on disaffected progressives not to be hasty, urging: "Don't throw the fetus out with the bathwater." He said his purpose was to ensure federal dollars didn't support a legal medical procedure he objects to on religious grounds.
That, he explained, is also the key to providing affordable coverage for all Americans. "My amendment slashes health care costs, abortion proponents never mention that fact," said Stupak.
Stupak said a section of his amendment prohibits federal funds or coverage purchased on a public exchange from paying for any kind of medical procedure. "This is out of respect for the beliefs of some Christian Scientists -- I mean, come on, they pay taxes too," he said.
Refusing to recognize illnesses means they would no longer exist -- solidifying America's position as having the world's best medical system, and saving taxpayers trillions of dollars, Stupak said.
However, Stupak's approach is opposed from the right as well as the left. House Minority John Boehner objects to Stupak's bill, saying Americans need a minimum level of health insurance. "Insurance should at least pay for the poisonous snakes some charismatic Pentecostal sects use in faith-based disease prevention," Boehner said.
November 6, 2009
Hoffman in deal for campaign memoir
Already finished with "Going Vague"
Unsuccessful New York Republican/Conservative Party congressional candidate Doug Hoffman signed a deal late Thursday to write a memoir of his campaign experience and rise to prominence. Observers say the book deal guarantees Hoffman will continue to be a visible figure in national Republican politics.
Hoffman turned in the manuscript for the book, "Going Vague," this morning. It was co-written by former Texas congressman Dick Armey and will hit bookstores November 17.
"Going Vague" covers the final ten days in Hoffman's campaign for the open congressional seat in New York's 23rd District -- what he had for breakfast, his reaction to a matinee screening of the Michael Jackson movie 'This Is It,' and what he had to do to win the endorsement of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Supporters are likely to savor Hoffman's recollections of his masterful interview with the editorial board of the Watertown Daily Times, whom he succeeded in tricking into thinking he is a clueless hack with no knowledge of the issues.
In an advance preview of "Going Vague" for the New York Times Sunday Book Review, critic Janet Maslin calls the book "a fast-moving eighteen pages."
Posted November 3, 2009
Foxx moves to preempt health reform terror
Saying America has more to fear from a government-managed health insurance option than terrorism, Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) today introduced sweeping legislation that would place health care reform on a national terror watch list, among a host of security measures.
Foxx's bill, nicknamed the USA PATIENT Act, has veteran Washington insiders buzzing due to its inclusion of funds for:
A Health Legislation Security Administration, a superagency with TSA-like powers. HLSA would screen everyone entering the Capitol, to prevent members of Congress from carrying in reform proposals.
Members of the Progressive Caucus, such as Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-OH, would be on a special Public Option Watch List and required to take off their shoes when screened.
Coverage for Americans lacking insurance would be contracted to Black Cross, a new division of Xi, the international security firm formerly known as Blackwater. Black Cross claims adjusters would have immunity from prosecution, but would be paid on commission.
Makes interfering with a health insurance claims department a violation of FAA regulations. Violators would be violated and then detained in a shipping container without food or water.
Establishes a color-coded Public Option Terror Alert System. Black would denote Elevated risk of a Public Option, while High risk of a Public Option is indicated by Black. A Low risk of a Public Option is Black. It is the same color-coding sequence Foxx used a year ago to alert constituents to the election of Barack Obama.
Foxx also called on the White House to immediately launch attacks on Kucinich with unmanned drones.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (Connecticut For Lieberman-CT) said he is supportive of Foxx's legislation. Noting the estimated cost of the PATIENT Act is $800 billion over ten years -- $71 billion less than a Democratic plan if it includes a robust Public Option -- Lieberman commented, "See? It IS better to do nothing."
November 2, 2009
Lieberman offers health reform plan
"Private option" would give Treasury to insurance companies
Sen. Joe Lieberman introduced his own health care reform proposal today, one relying on private insurance and cost-cutting. The measure is the Connecticut Indepublican's first move since announcing his opposition to any Democratic bill containing a government-run public insurance option.
Lieberman calls his bill "the private option."
Under Lieberman's plan, the U.S. Treasury would be transferred to a consortium of the nation's largest health insurance companies led by Wellpoint and United Health. Giving all the public's money directly to health insurance companies would lower costs by cutting out the middleman, according to Lieberman.
"Insurance companies are currently saddled with the enormous cost of collecting thousands of metric tons of cash from our doctors offices, hospital rooms, ERs and piggy banks," he explained.
"This is an expensive proposition. Twenty cents of every health care dollar currently pays for picking up that dollar from wherever it is, and moving it to the joint insurance industry vault at the United Health Group in Minnetonka, Minnesota," said Lieberman.
"The private option will end this practice. By giving the entire U.S. Treasury to the insurance companies, you're paying them when you pay your taxes. Now that's what I call introducing efficiency into a system," he said.
Lieberman's proposal is already receiving positive comments from both sides of the aisle. Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) says there is much to like about the private option. "My wife is on the board of Wellpoint, and I can't tell you the number of times she has thrown out her back from lifting bags of cash. A private option means she wouldn't have to risk her health like that anymore."
House Minority Leader John Boehner echoed Bayh's support. "The current system isn't just expensive, it's also wasteful. When they move the cash they don't always have enough bags, and some of it inevitably falls out of the wheelbarrows. Ending that waste, it should be at the top of our list," Boehner said.
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