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Obama Medical Plan For Vets Spurs Outcry

President Obama's plan to generate extra budget money by forcing veterans to pay for some medical treatments through their private insurance is generating a firestorm among Republicans, Democrats and veterans, who argue that it's unconscionable to pass along the costs of war to those injured serving their country.

The administration for weeks has circulated on Capitol Hill a plan to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in savings by tapping veterans' private insurance for service-related injuries and ailments that for decades the government has been obligated to pay. On Monday, the president and his aides discussed the plan with veterans groups, who said the president told them it would generate $540 million.

It got an angry response.

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Created by Nemo 41 weeks 5 days ago – Made popular 41 weeks 5 days ago
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5

Real Capitalists Nationalize

Sorry, zombie banks. The laws of the market dictate that we should own your ass. — By Kevin Drum

The titans of Wall Street may not have done a bang-up job of running the American financial sector over the past few years, but would a bunch of politicians in Washington, DC, do any better? We're probably about to find out—and to understand how we got here, and why it suddenly doesn't seem like such a bad idea, you've got to start at the beginning. The very beginning.

In America, it's the stock market that gets all the headlines. If you're sentient enough to fog a mirror, you know that stocks have dropped by half in the past 18 months. It's been a disaster for 401(k)s and pension funds across the country.

But the fact is that this is a sideshow.

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Created by Nemo 41 weeks 6 days ago – Made popular 41 weeks 6 days ago
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4

Full Horror of Gitmo Inmate's Beatings

Former British resident Binyam Mohamed arrives back in Britain tomorrow after his release from Guantanamo Bay. British and US lawyers claim that sustained beatings - which have only recently stopped - have left him with severe psychological and physical problems. Defence correspondent Mark Townsend reports

Binyam Mohamed will return to Britain suffering from a huge range of injuries after being beaten by US guards right up to the point of his departure from Guantánamo Bay, according to the first detailed accounts of his treatment inside the camp.

Mohamed will arrive back tomorrow in the UK, where he was a British resident between 1984 and 2002. During medical examinations last week, doctors discovered injuries and ailments resulting from apparently brutal treatment in detention.

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Created by Asia 44 weeks 4 days ago – Made popular 44 weeks 4 days ago
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4

The Hard Cases: A New Kind of Preventive Detention?

Will Obama institute a new kind of preventive detention for terrorist suspects?

The last “enemy combatant” being detained in America is incarcerated at the U.S. Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, South Carolina—a tan, low-slung building situated amid acres of grassy swampland.

The prisoner, known internally as EC#2, is an alleged Al Qaeda sleeper agent named Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri. He has been held in isolation in the brig for more than five years, although he has never stood trial or been convicted of any crime.

Under rules established by the Bush Administration, suspected terrorists such as Marri were denied the legal protections traditionally afforded by the Constitution. Unless the Obama Administration overhauls the nation’s terrorism policies, Marri—who claims that he is innocent—will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.

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Created by Asia 44 weeks 4 days ago – Made popular 44 weeks 4 days ago
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3

Michael Moore Asks Bankers to Help Prove Bailout Is ‘Swindle’

Filmmaker Michael Moore, who says the Wall Street bailout is “the biggest swindle in American history,” is asking bankers to help him make a movie proving it.

The 55-year-old Michigan native posted an open letter on his Web site yesterday seeking volunteers to “step up as an American and do your duty of shedding some light” on the almost $1.1 trillion in losses and writedowns globally. Moore also sent the letter to people on his e-mail list.

While some bankers may be tempted to get involved with the filmmaker who pilloried former President George W. Bush’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the U.S., they should think before they contact Moore, said Davia Temin, chief executive officer of crisis-management firm Temin & Co.

“When you’re in a firestorm, you don’t stand up,” she said. “You duck. I’m sure Moore will keep names confidential, but these things have a way of boomeranging when you tell a friend because you’re excited about being on a movie set.”

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Created by admin 45 weeks 5 days ago – Made popular 45 weeks 5 days ago
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4

Financial Crisis: Toxic Plans for Toxic Assets

Exit Paulson, enter Geithner with the latest "no banker left behind plan" - aka whatever Wall Street wants, Wall Street gets. Yet, the reception was underwhelming. The Dow plummeted 382 points while investors took shelter in bonds and gold. AP reported that "the new bank rescue plan landed with a thud on Wall Street" as investors worried that no end to the crisis is in sight. Editorial and op-ed commentaries were near unanimously negative and some especially critical.

At a February 9 congressional briefing, lawmakers greeted Geithner with laughter and sarcasm, but most of it is just politics. Bailout opponent Brad Sherman (D, California) asked for details and a dollar amount, but instead got generalities about what he announced the next day - a plan to:

-- "clean up and strengthen the nation's banks;" in other words, spend hundreds of billions more to recapitalize insolvent ones;

-- create a Public - Private Investment Fund to shift toxic assets from them to the public;

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Created by Kevin 45 weeks 6 days ago – Made popular 45 weeks 6 days ago
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4

The Stimulus Goes Green

The $789 billion recovery package wasn't all enviros hoped for. In some cases, it was more.

The stimulus package passed by Congress is one of the biggest spending bills in US history, and environmentalists are crowing that they got a decent share. Roughly $60 billion of the $789 billion package will be devoted to spending on clean energy, environmental projects, and scientific research. "Overall, this will be by far the biggest investment in new green technologies that we've ever seen from the federal government," says Gene Karpinski, head of the League of Conservation Voters. "And that's good for our economy and for our environment."

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Created by Kevin 45 weeks 6 days ago – Made popular 45 weeks 6 days ago
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4

The Stimulus Plan: A Detailed List of Spending

The House approved the economic stimulus plan Friday afternoon with a vote of 246 to 183, followed by the Senate with a vote of 60 to 38. Want to know what's in it? You could read the 1,071-page gorilla that passed today. Or you could let us do the work for you. We’ve dissected the beast in two charts – one for spending below, and one for taxes.

The appropriations section of the bill details spending in excess of $311 billion for programs ranging from Pell grants for college students to clean water in central Utah to nearly $100 billion in new transportation and infrastructure projects.

Here’s our earlier chart comparing the differences between the House, Senate, and conference versions of the bills.

To see a certain category of spending provisions, click on one of the following:

  • Accountability
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Created by Kevin 45 weeks 6 days ago – Made popular 45 weeks 6 days ago
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6

Will U.S. Attend The Durban Conference on Racism?

Obama’s Policy Shift on Durban Racism Conference Draws Concern, Criticism.

(CNSNews.com) – When diplomats meet at the United Nations in Geneva on Monday to continue hammering out plans for an international conference on racism in the spring, representatives of the United States will take part for the first time in years.

The major policy shift, announced by the State Department over the weekend, is the strongest indication yet that the Obama administration could end up participating in the Durban Review Conference, also known as “Durban II.”

Doing so would undercut a campaign calling on democracies to boycott the event, which opponents say will be used by Islamic states and their allies to attack Israel, undermine Western counter-terrorism initiatives and endanger free speech.

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Created by admin 46 weeks 1 hour ago – Made popular 46 weeks 1 hour ago
Category: Politics   Tags:
6

Freedom Of Speech At Stake In New York

Satellite TV Peddler to be Sentenced in New York for Letting Customers Get Station Run by Hezbollah.

Javed Iqbal was born in Pakistan and moved to the United States when he was a teenager three decades ago.

He earned his living running satellite TV companies, including the HDTV Corporation, which he started in 2000. Through this company, he allowed some of his customers to get Al-Manar, a station run by Hezbollah.

On August 23, 2006, agents from the Joint Terrorism Task Force came to his home on Staten Island before 6:00 a.m. and knocked on his door, and he let them in. His wife was home, and their three young kids were asleep. Some of the agents kept Mrs. Iqbal in a room away from her children for four hours.

The others started to interrogate Mr. Iqbal. He had been in the hospital just two days before for a panic attack, but they initially wouldn’t give him his medication.

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Created by admin 46 weeks 2 hours ago – Made popular 46 weeks 2 hours ago
Category: Politics   Tags:

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