Monthly Archives: March 2010

President Obama Signs Largest Reform Of Student Aid In 40 Years

Posted by: Audiegrl

A Great Battle Pitting the Interests of the Banks and Financial Institutions Against the Interests of Students

President Barack Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 during a signing ceremony at Northern Virginia Community College March 30, 2010 in Alexandria, Virginia. (Photo by Pete Souza, White House)

Today at Northern Virginia Community College, President Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, the last step on health reform that provided fixes for some elements and which improved upon the core health reforms by increasing tax credits for the middle class, investing in community health centers, and strengthening efforts to fight waste and fraud.

But the legislation also include another major priority of the President’s that was often overshadowed by the health reform debate, as he explained: “But what’s gotten overlooked amid all the hoopla, all the drama of last week, is what happened in education — when a great battle pitting the interests of the banks and financial institutions against the interests of students finally came to an end.” The President was referring to reform of student loans to make higher education more affordable, allowing students to get loans without relying on large banks as unnecessary middlemen, and saving American taxpayers $68 billion in the coming years.

The President explained that the government will reinvest the savings back into education by upgrading community colleges, increasing Pell Grants, and making it easier for responsible students to pay off their loans. Brian Levine from the Middle Class Task Force explains how the Income Based Repayment program will benefit students and help borrowers avoid unmanageable debt burdens here. The Act will also invest savings in Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions.

Joined by Dr. Jill Biden, who spoke on the boost for community colleges in a video here earlier today, the President explained that this law takes another important step to invest in the country’s future through education:

For a long time, our student loan system has worked for banks and financial institutions. Today, we’re finally making our student loan system work for students and our families. But we’re also doing something more.

From the moment I was sworn into office, I’ve spoken about the urgent need for us to lay a new foundation for our economy and for our future. And two pillars of that foundation are health care and education, and each has long suffered from problems that we chose to kick down the road.

With the bill I signed last week, we finally undertook meaningful reform of our health care system. With this bill, and other steps we’ve pursued over the last year, we are finally undertaking meaningful reform in our higher education system. So this week, we can rightly say the foundation on which America’s future will be built is stronger than it was one year ago.

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Filed under Change, Dr. Jill Biden, Education, Pres. Barack Obama, Students, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube, Young Men, Young Women

During Passover, President Obama And First Lady Michelle Host Second Annual White House Seder

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama and the First Family mark the beginning of Passover with a Seder with friends and staff in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House, March 29, 2010. That’s Lisa Kohnke of the Office of Public Engagement to the President’s right at the table, and Deputy Communications Director Jen Psaki to his left, who you may know from such White House blogs as this one.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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Filed under First Lady Michelle Obama, Judaism, Pres. Barack Obama

Why are Republicans Mad Now?

Viral email posted by: Betsm

This says it all about our party, my fellow Republicans:

We had eight years of Bush and Cheney, but why only now is it that you get mad!?

You didn’t get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.

You didn’t get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate energy policy.

You didn’t get mad when a covert CIA operative got ousted.

You didn’t get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.

You didn’t get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.

You didn’t get mad when we spent over 600 billion(and counting) on said illegal war.

You didn’t get mad when over 10 billion dollars just disappeared in Iraq.

You didn’t get mad when you found out we were torturing people.

You didn’t get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.

You didn’t get mad when we let Bin Laden escape.

You didn’t get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

You didn’t get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.

You didn’t get mad when we gave a 900 billion tax break to the rich.

You didn’t get mad when TARP was first enacted.

You didn’t get mad when the deficit hit the trillion dollar mark.

You only got mad when our government decided that people in America deserved the right
to see a doctor if they are sick.

Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, stealing our tax dollars to make the rich richer, are all okay with the Grand Old Party, but helping other lower or middle class Americans…oh HELL NO!

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Filed under Birthers, Creepy right-wing antics, Deathers, Partisan Politics, Republicans, Tea Party Protestors, Tenthers

Happy Easter From the Religious Far-Right: “Christian” Militia Suspected Police-Killing Plot

Posted by: Audiegrl

Written by Frank Schaeffer

Frank Schaeffer

NYT Best-selling Author Frank Schaeffer

Happy Easter from your local, friendly, right wing, “deather,” “birther,” Sarah Palin-loving “Real Americans” waiting for the return of Jesus. To prevent socialism, communism and Obama the Anti-Christ from “taking away all our freedoms,” lucky for us the far right gun owners and other assorted “freedom lovers” are standing tall.

As a former religious right instigator I feel ashamed that I did my bit to contribute to this news story albeit in the 1970s when I helped start the Protestant anti-abortion movement that in years since morphed into a war on America from the right.

According to AP Sources:

WASHINGTON — People familiar with the case against seven suspects arrested by the FBI this weekend say the case revolves around a plot to kill police officers.

Two law enforcement officials tell The Associated Press that members of the group in the Midwest had planned multiple attacks on police officers or other law enforcement personnel as a way of acting out their hatred for the government.

The officials said the raids and arrests stopped the plot before such attacks could be carried out. The officials are speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the case publicly.

The plot allegedly was hatched by members of a Christian militia group called Hutaree. The charges are expected to be unsealed when some of the suspects appear in court later Monday.

(By DEVLIN BARRETT (AP) March 29, 2010 The Associated Press)

Here is what’s on the Hutaree Militia homepage:

As Christians we all are a part of the Souls of the Body of Christ, the one true church of Christ… This is the belief of the Hutaree soldier, as should the belief of all followers in Christ be.

We believe that one day, as prophecy says, there will be an Anti-Christ. All Christians must know this and prepare, just as Christ commanded. Luke 22:35-37…This clearly states the reason for the training and preparation of the Hutaree.

Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment. The only thing on earth to save the testimony and those who follow it, are the members of the testimony, til the return of Christ in the clouds…

The Hutaree will one day see its enemy and meet him on the battlefield if so God wills it. We will reach out to those who are yet blind in the last days of the kingdoms of men and bring them to life in Christ. Daniel 11:32-35, “Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. 33, “And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. 34, “Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join them by intrigue. 35 “And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.”

You can find the news we find in some of the places we have in the information sources section. Also you can get gear from some of the choice places we have on gear links…

Go to the “gear” linked to their page and you’ll find the evangelical fish symbol on a catalog for military weapons. Go to “other links” and you’ll find mainstream right wing evangelical organizations and other far right groups including:

Worthy Christian News

WorldNetDaily – A Free Press for a Free People

Jack Van Impe Ministries

Real Truth Magazine

Times of Noah – Current Events and Bible Prophecy

Christian Apologetic Web Site; Countercult; Evangelism

Also… a whole lot of links to news about the Middle East and Europe where crazy evangelicals think that “Armageddon” will originate and or the Anti-Christ.

People who have been reading my book Crazy For God will know that I think the media and politicians play down just how dangerous the religious right has become. And figures like Sarah Palin tied to right wing extremists are rarely asked to justify their ties.

So where are the Christian leaders tonight? Are they doing anything to rein in their extremists?

No. They can be found where they always are: bashing gays, trying to take away choice from women, telling everyone else how to live a moral life, trying to “repeal” health care reform, but never standing up to their own domestic terrorists.

Frank Schaeffer is a writer and the author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back

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Filed under Birthers, Creepy right-wing antics, Deathers, Pres. Barack Obama, Republicans, RNC, Tea Party Protestors, Tenthers, Uncategorized

Photo of the Day: Bengal Tiger

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FBI/ATF raid “Christian militia group” in three states- arrests made in suspected police-killing plot

cross-posted from T-Time

FBI agents conduct raids in Mich., Ohio, Ind.

“Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment.”

UPDATE: 9 militia members charged in police-killing plot

Read the: Indictment

DETROIT (AP) – Nine suspects tied to a Midwest Christian militia that was preparing for the Antichrist were charged with conspiring to kill police officers, then attack a funeral using homemade bombs in the hopes of killing more law enforcement personnel, federal prosecutors said Monday. The Michigan-based group, called Hutaree, planned to use the attack on police as a catalyst for a larger uprising against the government, according to newly unsealed court papers. U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said agents moved on the group because its members were planning a violent reconnaissance mission sometime in April.

Sedition… look it up

WASHINGTON — Nine members of a Michigan-based Christian militia group have been indicted on sedition and weapons charges in connection with an alleged plot to murder law enforcement officers in hopes of setting off an anti-government uprising.

In court filings unsealed Monday, the Justice Department accused the nine people of planning to kill an unidentified law enforcement officer, then plant improvised explosive devices of a type used by insurgents in Iraq to attack the funeral procession.

Eight of the defendants were arrested over the weekend in raids in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. A ninth remained at large, the Justice Department said. The indictments against them were returned last Tuesday. The defendants were identified as members of Hutaree, described by federal prosecutors as an anti-government extremist organization based in Lenawee County, Michigan, and which advocates violence against local, state and federal law enforcement. The group saw local and state police as “foot soldiers” for the federal government, which it viewed as its enemy, along with participants in what they deemed to be a “New World Order,” according to the indictment.

“This is an example of radical and extremist fringe groups which can be found throughout our society,” Andrew Arena, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge in Detroit, said in a statement. “The F.B.I. takes such extremist groups seriously, especially those who would target innocent citizens and the law enforcement officers who protect the citizens of the United States.”

Read the: Indictment

Original story:

ADRIAN, Mich. (AP) – The FBI said Sunday that agents conducted weekend raids in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio and arrested at least three people, and a militia leader in Michigan said the target of at least one of the raids was a “Christian militia” group. Federal warrants were sealed, but FBI spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold said there had been activity in two southwest Michigan counties near the Ohio state line. She wouldn’t say whether they were tied to the raids in the other states.

Michael Lackomar, a spokesman for the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia, said one of his team leaders got a frantic phone call Saturday evening from members of Hutaree, a Christian militia group, who said their property in southwest Michigan was being raided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“They said they were under attack by the ATF and wanted a place to hide,” Lackomar said. “My team leader said, ‘no thanks.’ “

The team leader was cooperating with the FBI on Sunday, Lackomar said. He said SMVM wasn’t affiliated with Hutaree, which states on its Web site to be “prepared to defend all those who belong to Christ and save those who aren’t.”

“We believe that one day, as prophecy says, there will be an Anti-Christ. All Christians must know this and prepare, just as Christ commanded,” the group’s Web site said.

from: AP

more here:  Raids target Christian militia in Midwest

Video from Hutaree “Christian militia” (CCR- Colonial Christian Republic)

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Filed under ATF, Crime, Domestic Terrorism, FBI, Uncategorized

Terror bombings hit Moscow

cross-posted from T-Time

Two suicide bombings kill dozens in Moscow metro

MOSCOW (AP) — Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up on Moscow’s subway system as it was jam-packed with rush-hour passengers Monday, killing at least 37 people and wounding 102, officials said.

The head of Russia’s main security agency said preliminary investigation places the blame on rebels from the restive Caucasus region that includes Chechnya, where separatists have fought Russian forces since the mid-1990s.

The first explosion took place just before 8 a.m. at the Lubyanka station in central Moscow. The station is underneath the building that houses the main offices of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, the KGB’s main successor agency.

A second explosion hit the Park Kultury station about 45 minutes later.

Emergency Minister Sergei Shoigu said the toll was 37 killed and 102 injured, but he did not give a breakdown of casualties at each station, according to Russian news agencies. AP

more here: Moscow bombing: who are the Black Widows?

Obama condemns Moscow bombs as heinous terrorism

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