Daily Archives: March 26, 2010

Speaker Nancy Pelosi Celebrates Signing Health Care Bill and Her 70th Birthday!

Posted by: Audiegrl

Surrounded by Democratic House members and other guests, U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) signs the revised Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act during an enrollment ceremony March 26, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The House passed the bill that completed heath care reform by a vote of 220 to 207. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images North America)

While some members of Congress have been targeted by health-care law opponents, at least one Democrat got a nice surprise from the public Friday. Bloggers at the liberal website Daily Kos sent thousands of roses to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, to celebrate her birthday and her role in passing health-care legislation.

Thanks to the community at Daily Kos, and others who joined in, Speaker Pelosi received thousands of roses this morning for her 70th birthday,” Pelosi’s staff wrote. “She sent half of the roses to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and is distributing the other half to hill staff to thank them for all their hard work on the health reform legislation.” They’ve posted photographs of the flowers on Flickr. Today Pelosi posted a video thanking the gift-givers.

44D’s Note: Special thanks to Brainwrap who spearheaded the effort, the Daily Kos community, and others who joined in. Speaker Pelosi received thousands of roses this morning for her 70th birthday. Just remember at least 216 soldiers or family members or caregivers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center had their day brightened quite a bit by your (and the Speaker’s) thoughtfulness, compassion and generosity. Well done 🙂

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President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Robert Gates Join To Announce START Nuclear Treaty Negotiations With Russia

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama delivers remarks to the press during a conference with (L-R) Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the White House March 26, 2010 in Washington, DC. Clinton, Gates and Mullen answered questions about the new START Treaty with Russia. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America)

President Obama opens today’s press briefing with an announcement of the new START treaty with Russia, “the most comprehensive arms control agreement in nearly two decades.” Following the President were Secy. of State Hillary Clinton, Secy. of Defense Robert Gates and Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen.

Read the Transcript

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South Korean Navy Ship sunk off North Korea

cross-posted from T-Time

Breaking News

South Korean navy ship sinks in waters near North Korea

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Military officials say a South Korean navy ship has sunk off an island not far from North Korea.

An official with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul said early Saturday that the ship sank some four hours after it began taking on water. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, in line with department policy.

The official said at least 58 of the 104 crew members have been rescued. There was no immediate confirmation of casualties. A rescue operation was still under way.

The cause of the sinking was not immediately clear.

update: South Korean Navy Ship SINKS Near North Korea After Explosion

South Korea’s military scrambled naval vessels to the western waters near the disputed maritime border with rival North Korea late Friday after an explosion ripped a hole in the bottom of a military ship, officials and news reports said.

Earlier Friday, North Korea’s military threatened “unpredictable strikes,” including a nuclear attack, in anger over a report that South Korea and the U.S. were preparing for possible instability in the totalitarian country.

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Violence Erupts Over Health Care Bill

Posted by: Bluedog89

The Monroe County Democratic Committee in Rochester, New York, is vandalized by anti-health care legislation protesters. Photo courtesy WHEC.

CNN~Shots fired at a congressman’s campaign headquarters. Windows smashed at Democratic offices across the country. A coffin placed on a lawmaker’s lawn. Hate-filled voice mail messages left on members of Congress’ phone lines.

Those are just some of the incidents reported since the House passed historic health care reform legislation Sunday — a bill that became the law of the land.

The issue has unleashed a deep-seated anger from those worried about a government takeover of health care, and what they deem as the process being “rammed through” Congress.

James Leach, with the National Endowment for the Humanities, said that while many of the acts may be protected under First Amendment rights, “that doesn’t mean that they’re morally justified.”

“And we have to think of ourselves as, ‘what kind of people are we?’ ” Leach said. “Are we one people working together with rival thoughts, or are we enemies within? And I think there’s something that’s been let loose in American politics that has to be thought about.”

That anger was visible in unruly protests by health care activists at the Capitol over the weekend.

Republican House members encouraged protesters outside and inside the House gallery, some of whom carried messages like “Vote no or else” or “If Brown won’t stop it, a Browning will” — a reference to newly elected Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown accompanied by a silhouette of a pistol.

But the anger has boiled over into physical and verbal threats. Windows have been smashed at Democratic offices in at least three states, and federal agents are investigating whether a cut gas line at the home of a Virginia congressman’s brother was related to the lawmaker’s yes vote.

Republicans have the right to be angry over the Democrat’s health care bill, but “resorting to violent measures is exactly the wrong way to send a message,” Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Thursday night.

Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-New York, confirmed Thursday that his district office in Queens received an envelope containing white powder and a threatening letter.

Later Thursday, Weiner told CNN that initial tests indicated the powder was not a biological agent, but that he still was awaiting final word from the New York Police Department. Workers at the office turned over their clothes for testing and were given protective suits before being allowed to go home a few hours later, Weiner said.

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are now looking into the threats, and at least 10 House Democrats have been given extra security.

The voice mail has been vicious toward Michigan’s Bart Stupak, who switched his vote to seal the deal for the bill. He has released one of the voice mails.

“Stupak, you are a lowlife, baby-murdering scumbag, pile of steaming crap. You’re a cowardly punk, Stupak, that’s what you are. You and your family are scum,” an unidentified caller said. “That’s what you are, Stupak. You are a piece of crap.”

“Go to hell, you piece of [expletive deleted]” another caller said.

On Sunday, Democratic Rep. Russ Carnahan of Missouri had a coffin placed on his lawn, said his spokeswoman, Sarah Howard. She said Tea Party protesters at his office in St. Louis had a coffin with them and later brought it to his house. The coffin was later removed, she said.

Democratic congressional leaders have demanded Republicans join them in condemning a spate of threats and vandalism that has followed Sunday’s vote on the health care system overhaul.

The top Republican in the House, Minority Leader John Boehner, condemned the threats and vandalism, telling reporters Thursday that it “should not be part of a political debate.”

“There are ways for people to channel their anger, and they should do it in a constructive way,” he said.

Liz Mair, a Republican consultant, said protesters “are unfortunately crossing a line.”

“When we’re talking about violence, vandalism, threats, that crosses a legal line, in addition to being in plain old bad taste,” Mair said. “And I think that there’s a lot that is in plain old bad taste that is going on.”

Democrats aren’t the only ones being targeted.

Rep. Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives, said Thursday that a bullet had been fired through a window at his campaign office in Richmond, Virginia.

A Richmond police spokeswoman confirmed to CNN that a bullet was fired at the congressman’s office. “We are investigating the circumstance surrounding it,” spokeswoman Karla Peters said.

Cantor also said that he had received threatening messages but that he would not publicly release the messages out of concern that doing so would only incite further violence.

He also accused Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland — a member of the Democratic House leadership — of “fanning the flames” of violence by using threats that have been made against Democratic members “as political weapons.”

“Enough is enough,” Cantor said. “It has to stop.”

Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse hit back against Cantor’s claims.

“We disagree with the charge made by Rep. Cantor today that Democrats are using acts of violence for political gain,” he said. “Let’s be clear: Calling on Republican leaders who have contributed in part to this anger by wildly mischaracterizing the substance and motives of health reform to condemn these acts is entirely appropriate.”

Another Republican — Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida — said in a news release Thursday that she received what appeared to be a death threat on her district office’s voice mail.

“Just wanna let you know I have 27 people that are going to make sure that this b**** does not live to see her next term. Goodbye,” the voice mail said, according to the release.

Brown-Waite said she contacted both the Capitol Police and the Hernando County sheriff, and they are “looking into the matter and subpoenaing telephone records.”

At least one of the threats aimed at lawmakers appears to be racially based.

House Democratic Majority Whip James Clyburn, who is African-American, said he has received a fax in his office with a picture of a noose drawn on it and had threatening telephone calls at his home.

“We’re giving aid and comfort to these people, and this stuff gets ratcheted up,” Clyburn told CNN. “We in this Congress have got to come together in a bipartisan way and tamp this foolishness down. It doesn’t make sense. That’s not what a democracy is all about.”

Democratic officials and liberal Web sites are also upset that Sarah Palin used an image of crosshairs in a Facebook post this week listing 20 vulnerable Democrats who voted for the legislation. She plans to target them this election year with money from her political action committee.

Palin’s political “hit list” includes: Which Democrats has she singled out?
The list includes: Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ), Harry E. Mitchell (AZ), Gabrielle Giffords (AZ), John Salazar (CO), Betsy Markey (CO). Allen Boyd (FL), Suzanne M. Kosmas (FL), Baron P. Hill (IN), Earl Pomeroy (ND-AL), Charlie Wilson (OH), John Boccieri (OH), Kathy Dahlkemper (PA), Christopher Carney (PA), John M. Spratt, Jr. (SC), Tom Perriello (VA), Alan B. Mollohan (WV), and Nick J. Rahall II (WV).

Palin’s team is fighting claims that she is encouraging threats of violence. One House member mentioned her Facebook posting during a Wednesday meeting on safety concerns, a Democratic source told CNN’s Dana Bash. Mention of the map brought audible groans to the room, the source said.

An adviser to Palin responded by pointing to several instances in which the former Alaska governor has urged supporters to focus their energies on civil debate and action at the ballot box, not extremist activities.

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President Obama in Iowa City: We’re Not Going Back, This Country’s Moving Forward

Posted by: Audiegrl

On Thursday afternoon the President was in Iowa City, the place where he first announced his plan for health reform back in May of 2007.

THE PRESIDENT: …On Tuesday, after a year of debate, a century of trying, after so many of you shared your stories and your heartaches and your hopes, that promise was finally fulfilled. (Applause.) And today, health insurance reform is the law of the land all across America. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Yes we did! Yes we did! Yes we did! Yes we did! Yes we did! Yes we did! Yes we did!

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we did. Yes, we did. Just like the campaign that led us here, this historic change didn’t start in Washington. It began in places like Iowa City, places just like this, with Americans just like you.
It began when people had the courage to stand up in town hall meetings and talk about how insurance companies were denying their families coverage because of a preexisting condition.

It began when folks wrote letters about how premium hikes of 40 and 50 and a hundred percent were forcing them to give up their insurance.

It began when countless small business owners and families and doctors shared stories about a health care system that works better for the insurance industry than it does for the American people.

So this is your victory, because when the special interests sent an army of lobbyists to Congress, they blanketed the airwaves with millions of dollars of negative ads, you mobilized and you organized and you refused to give up. And when the pundits were obsessing over who was up and who was down and how is this affecting the Obama administration and what’s going on over in the House, you never lost sight of what was right and what was wrong. You knew this was not about the fortunes of one party — this was about the future of our country. (Applause.) And today, because of what you did, that future looks stronger and more hopeful and brighter than it has in some time — because of you. (Applause.)

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Nancy Pelosi Hosts Women’s History Month Celebration In Honor Of Hillary Clinton

Posted by: Audiegrl

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)(R) participate in Women's History Month Celebration at the US Capitol on March 25, 2010 in Washington DC. The event was held to honor Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during Women's History Month Celebration. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America)

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s full remarks

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Photo of the Day: Musée d’Orsay

The Musée d’Orsay (in English: The Orsay Museum) is a museum in Paris, France, on the left bank of the Seine, housed in the former Orsay railway station. It holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography, and is probably best known for its extensive collection of impressionist masterpieces by popular painters such as Monet and Renoir. Many of these works were held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume previous to the museum’s opening in 1986.

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