Tag Archives: U.S.

Shoshana Johnson Pens Her Story In “I’m Still Standing”

Posted by guest contributor: Shanti

Shoshana Johnson poses for a picture in New York, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010

Shoshana Johnson poses for a picture in New York, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010 (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

“In March of 2003, when Operation Iraqi Freedom was only days old, world headlines were made when a U.S. army convoy was attacked in the city of An-Nasiriyah en route to Baghdad. Several soldiers were killed and others were taken prisoner.

Jessica Lynch became the face and name associated with this tragedy, but another female soldier, Shoshana Johnson, was also wounded and captured in the ambush. A video of Shoshana being interrogated by her captors was soon broadcast on Spanish-language television and then picked up by American media. Shoshana had become the first black female prisoner of war in United States history. She was held for twenty-two days.

When Shoshana returned to the United States, she received numerous awards for her valor, including the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Prisoner of War medals. She appeared on news networks and national television shows such as Oprah, Ellen, The Tonight Show, and Larry King Live, but she was bound by a military gag order. She was unable to discuss what really happened in Iraq — until now.

Shoshana holds nothing back in this harrowing account of an ordinary woman caught in an extraordinary circumstance. She reveals decisions made by higher-ups that may have led to the capture, describes the pain of post-traumatic stress disorder, and shares the surprising story of how a specialist in a maintenance company ended up on the front lines of war.

Divulging personal emotions and frustrations while raising fresh political issues, I’m Still Standing is the never-before-told and much anticipated story of the headline-making ambush, capture, and rescue described with the exceptional bravery and candor of a single mom and soldier who became an American hero. Source

CNN’s Larry King Live ~ Transcript of Interview with Shoshana Johnson aired February 2, 2010

KING: We welcome Shoshana Johnson back to LARRY KING LIVE. She is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She and other members of the 507th Maintenance Company were taken captive March 23, 2003. She was held prisoner 22 days. Author of a terrific new book I’m Still Standing; From Captive US Soldier to Free Citizen, My Journey Home.”

Before we get into this, what do you make of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell controversy?

SHOSHANA JOHNSON, FORMER POW: Silly. If men and women want to serve in our military, I really don’t care who they want to sleep with. It’s all about serving your country.

KING: So you would repeal it?

JOHNSON: Yes, definitely.

KING: It’s been seven years since you were a POW. Do you think about it a lot?

I'm Still Standing by Shoshana JohnsonJOHNSON: Still. Very much so. The conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq is still in the media, so it’s hard to forget.

KING: How were you caught?

JOHNSON: During an ambush, vehicles were disabled. Basically, it seemed like the whole city of Nazariyah came out and participated in the ambush. I was shot and — shot and caught, basically.

Read the entire transcript here
Read a sample chapter

Shoshana Johnson tells her side of the story to Matt Lauer of The Today Show

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Shoshana Johnson actually said she wanted to tell her story, because there were a lot of distortions and half truths about the details of her capture. She wanted to set the record straight. I appreciate Shoshana’s resolve and passion for not only surviving the trauma of being a POW, but her courage and drive to THRIVE.~Shanti

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Filmmaker Who Broke ACORN Story Arrested For Attempted Bugging Of Landrieu’s Office

Posted by: Audiegrl

James O'Keefe

James O'Keefe


A conservative activist who posed as a pimp to target the community-organizing group ACORN and the son of a federal prosecutor were among four people arrested by the FBI and accused of trying to interfere with phones at Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office.

Activist James O’Keefe, 25, was already in Landrieu’s New Orleans office Monday when Robert Flanagan and Joseph Basel, both 24, showed up claiming to be telephone repairmen, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s office said Tuesday. Letten says O’Keefe recorded the two with his cell phone.

In the reception area, Flanagan, the son of acting U.S. Attorney Bill Flanagan in Shreveport, and Basel asked for access to the main phone at the reception desk.

After handling the phone, Letten’s office said, they asked for access to a phone closet so they could work on the main phone system. The men were directed to another office in the building, where they are accused of again misrepresenting themselves as telephone repairmen.

They were arrested later by the U.S. Marshal’s Service. Details of the arrest were not available. A fourth man, Stan Dai, 24, was also arrested, but Letten’s office said only that he assisted the others in planning, coordinating and preparing the operation.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

Federal officials did not say why the men wanted to interfere with Landrieu’s phones or whether they were successful. Landrieu, a moderate Democrat, declined comment Tuesday. She has been in the news recently because she negotiated an increase in Medicaid funds for her state before announcing her support for Senate health care legislation.

Bill Flanagan’s office confirmed his son was among those arrested, but declined further comment.

An FBI criminal complaint charging the men was unsealed Tuesday, and a magistrate set bond at $10,000 each after they made their initial court appearances wearing red prison jumpsuits.

Much more on the breaking story @ TPM

UPDATE: What Is The Pelican Institute?

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Hat tip Media Matters

With O’Keefe arrest, Breitbart develops new-found appreciation for “facts”

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The Death of U.S. Political Democracy For The People

Posted by: LibbyShaw

Will the Senator from Wal-Mart please yield to the Senator from Halliburton? The Congressman from Black Water has 5 minutes remaining before the Congresswoman from United Health may speak.

Mark your calendars, folks. January 21, 2010 is the day the radical and activist Supreme Court of the United States delivered the U.S. Democracy into the hands of the corporate sector and special interests groups. According to an article in the New York Times corporations, lobbyists and unions can now legally purchase their candidates of choice.

“We have got a million we can spend advertising for you or against you – whichever one you want,’ ” a lobbyist can tell lawmakers, said Lawrence M. Noble, a lawyer at Skadden Arps in Washington and former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission.

The decision yesterday will usher in unimaginable numbers of Swift Boat attack ads. Corporate fat cats can now threaten and bully politicians to do their bidding or else.

“It will put on steroids the trend that outside groups are increasingly dominating campaigns,” Mr. Ginsberg said. “Candidates lose control of their message. Some of these guys lose control of their whole personalities.”

“Parties will sort of shrink in the relative importance of things,” he added, “and outside groups will take over more of the functions – advertising support, get out the vote – that parties do now.”

Front row: Associate Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Antonin G. Scalia, and Clarence Thomas. Back row: Associate Justices Samuel A. Alito, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor.

Some have called the SOTUS decision a power grab that is intellectually dishonest.

In opening the floodgates for corporate money in election campaigns, the Supreme Court did not simply engage in a brazen power grab. It did so in an opinion stunning in its intellectual dishonesty.

Many of those commenting on the decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission have focused on the power-grab part. I agree with them. It was unnecessary for the court to go so far when there were several less-radical grounds available. It was audacious to seize the opportunity to overrule precedents when the parties had not pressed this issue and the lower courts had not considered it. It was the height of activism to usurp the judgments of Congress and state legislatures about how best to prevent corruption of the political process.

“If it is not necessary to decide more, it is necessary not to decide more,” a wise judge once wrote. That was Chief Justice John G. Roberts — back when — and dissenting Justice John Paul Stevens rightly turned that line against him.

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Republicans naturally and predictably love this recent ruling. But of course they would. Republicans embrace and fully support authoritarian forms of government. And the sad truth of the matter is the GOP has always worked for the corporate sector.

It is devastatingly unfortunate that Republican voters have never been able to understand the hard, cold and mean reality of those they elect into office. Politicians take an oath to serve the people in their districts but many merely give their constituents nothing but empty rhetoric. If one were to closely examine one’s Republican lawmakers’ voting records one would find who their elected officials really work for.

My guess is the teabaggers will wraps it head around the reality of the SCOTUS decision like we progressives have, for the only one imperative we do share in common is a collective outrage over the corporate takeover of the U.S. government and its legislative process by special interest groups and corporations.

But unfortunately teabaggers, unlike progressives, are far too easily led astray by the likes of Dick Armey, one of the numerous behind the scenes leaders of the teabagger movement. Armey’s main mission is to promote the interests of the health care industry. He and his organization, Freedom Works, uses teabaggers as its tools.

Republicans and teabaggers alike have been led to believe that the government is the root of everything evil while progressives know that government is the only force that can and will protect us from the evils of self-serving greed mongers of the corporate sector.

We are where we are today b/c the corporate sector has been enabled to run rough shod over the American people. We are broke. There are no jobs. We lost homes. We lost retirement savings. Meanwhile on Wall St. the fat cats who can now purchase politicians get richer by the minute.

Elections have consequences. The nice guy or girl candidate with whom to have a beer could very well be an anti-political democracy devil in disguise who has every intention of throwing the middle and working classes to the lions.

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Oh, and Prince Alwaleed, grandson of the King of Saudi Arabia and the largest individual shareholder in Citigroup and second biggest shareholder in News Corp (Murdock’s FOX “News”) doesn’t like Obama’s tax on the banks.

Who would have thought?

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Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief” Video highlights

Thanks to everyone who joined us for a night of great music and a show of support for the people of Haiti

Posted by: Audiegrl

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President Obama Signs Legislation

President Obama Signs Legislation Providing Immediate Tax Deductions for Haiti Charitable Contributions January 22, 2010.

President Obama Is Making It Easier for Americans to Support Haiti
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In the days since the earthquake in Haiti, Americans have shown their generosity with millions of dollars in donations. Tonight, President Obama signed a bill into law that makes it easier to give. This legislation will allow taxpayers to receive the tax benefit from donations made to the Haiti effort in this tax season, rather than having to wait until they file their 2010 tax returns next year. Specifically, cash donations to charities for the Haitian relief effort given after January 11 and before March 1 of this year may be treated as if the contribution was made on December 31 of last year so that the contribution can be deducted from 2009 income. This measure applies to monetary donations, not goods or services.


Clinton Bush Haiti Relief FundUNICEFAmerican Red Cross

WFP:  World Food ProgrammePartners In Health Oxfam America
Yéle Haiti

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Democrats Cast Blame At Each Other Over Senate Campaign

Posted by: Audiegrl

U.S. Senate Democratic nominee Martha Coakley gives a concession speech January 19, 2010 at the Sheraton Boston

Associated Press/Laura Kellman~The buck stops … Well, it was hard to tell just where the buck stopped Tuesday when it came to the Democratic party’s loss of the Massachusetts Senate seat that had been held by Edward M. Kennedy for nearly half a century.

Days before Republican state Sen. Scott Brown officially captured the seat over Democrat Martha Coakley, Washington to Boston began dodging blame and pointing fingers at each other.

Cool-headed analysis of what was driving independents from Coakley to Brown? No. The issue was who botched Democrat Martha Coakley’s Senate campaign more: her state people or national Democrats.

Most spoke the classic Washington way, under the cloak of anonymity. But President Barack Obama’s senior adviser took precise, public aim at Coakley’s camp as Brown closed in on the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s seat.

I think the White House did everything we were asked to do,” David Axelrod told reporters. “Had we been asked earlier, we would have responded earlier.”

But the signs had been there. In the bluest of blue states, the election was seen, at least in part, as a referendum on Obama, on health care reform, on the Democratic majority that had controlled two of three branches of government for a year.

And the Republican candidate was surging.

What of Obama himself?

Surprised and frustrated,” reported White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, promising more presidential reaction Wednesday. “Not pleased.”

Democrats could agree on the obvious: Somebody had taken the seat for granted, had underestimated the public’s anger over the economy, over the Democrats’ health care overhaul, over plain old arrogance in Washington.

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Discoveries: The First Women in Antarctica

Posted by: Audiegrl

Forty years ago, a pioneering research team from Ohio State made history as the first U.S. women in Antarctica

Terry Tickhill (light hat) and Eileen McSaveney (red headband) use a hand augur to drill Lake Vanda, Wright Valley, Antarctica, during the 1969-1970 field season. Water collected during this effort was used to date the lake. The green tent in the background was of the same type as the field crew used for housing during their work in Wright Valley. (Credit: Lois Jones)

Terry Tickhill (light hat) and Eileen McSaveney (red headband) use a hand augur to drill Lake Vanda, Wright Valley, Antarctica, during the 1969-1970 field season. Water collected during this effort was used to date the lake. The green tent in the background was of the same type as the field crew used for housing during their work in Wright Valley. (Credit: Lois Jones)

January 11, 2010~~In the spring of 1969, Terry Tickhill Terrell was 19 and an undergraduate chemistry major at Ohio State University, bored with her lab work and restless. She had never traveled more than 250 miles from the Barnesville, Ohio, farm where she grew up.

One day, after reading an article in the school newspaper about a graduate student who had just returned from Antarctica, Terrell decided that that was where she wanted to go.

I couldn’t understand why all this awful lab work was important,” Terrell said. “So I walked into the Polar Studies office and said: ‘I want a job in Antarctica.’ The room fell dead silent. The secretary took pity on me and said: ‘There’s a group of women going this year. Dr. Lois Jones is in her office right now, and I’ll call her.”‘

The secretary was referring to geochemist Lois Jones, the leader of the four-woman Ohio State team scheduled to leave in October for four months in Antarctica. Terrell wanted to be a part of it.

Dr. Jones said, ‘We have everyone we need, but tell me about yourself,”‘ Terrell recalled. “I said, ‘I’m a chemistry major. I grew up on a farm. I am a hard worker.’ She asked if I’d done any camping. I said, ‘I’m an outdoor person, and took outdoor cookery at 4H.’ The next day she called me up and said: ‘One of the ladies is unable to go. I need a cook and field assistant.”‘

In addition to Terrell and Jones–who passed away in 2000–the team also included Kay Lindsay and geologist Eileen McSaveney. McSaveney, the other surviving member of the group, had graduated from the University of Buffalo and came to Ohio State for graduate work in landscape changes and glacial geology.

One day, Lois asked me if I would be interested in going to Antarctica as one of her field assistants,” McSaveney said. “I said yes without any hesitation–many fellow geology grad students were involved in polar work. Also, my fiancé, Mauri, had already been to Antarctica that year. Going to the Antarctic didn’t seem an unusual thing to do.”

At the time, neither woman thought much about the fact that their forthcoming journey would mark the triumphant end to a decade-long struggle. Until then, no one could convince the U.S. Navy to rescind its long-standing policy against transporting women onto the Antarctic continent.

The Navy, which had established McMurdo Station, the main American base in Antarctica, as a military outpost in 1956, had been adamant in its refusal to allow women there. Moreover, the National Science Foundation (NSF), which funded the program, did not challenge the Navy’s position.

The U.S. Navy was in charge of field operations and they regarded Antarctica as a male-only bastion,” McSaveney said. “Eventually they agreed to allow women to go, but specified an all-female field team.”

Now, as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of that pioneering expedition, about a third of Antarctic scientists are women. Hundreds of women have worked in the program, some of them leading research stations and heading major expeditions. More than 50 are working at the South Pole during the 2009-2010 summer season.

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‘Hillary Effect’ Cited for Increase in Female Ambassadors to U.S.

Posted by: Audiegrl

Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Washington Post/Mary Jordan~~In the gated Oman Embassy off Massachusetts Avenue, Washington’s first female ambassador from an Arab country, Hunaina Sultan Al-Mughairy, sat at her desk looking over a speech aimed at erasing misconceptions about her Muslim nation.

A few blocks away inside a stately Dupont Circle mansion, India’s first female ambassador in more than 50 years, Meera Shankar, huddled with top aides after her prime minister’s state visit with President Obama.

Nearby, in a century-old residence with its own ballroom, Latin America’s only female ambassador in Washington, Colombia’s Carolina Barco, dashed back from talking up free trade on Capitol Hill to showcase her country’s culture and food.

There are 25 female ambassadors posted in Washington — the highest number ever, according to the State Department.

This is breaking precedent,” said Selma “Lucky” Roosevelt, a former U.S. chief of protocol.

Women remain a distinct minority — there are 182 accredited ambassadors in Washington — but their rise from a cadre of five in the late 1990s to five times that is opening up what had been an elite’s men club for more than a century.

A key reason is the increase in the number of top U.S. diplomats who are women, what some call the “Hillary effect.”

Hillary Clinton is so visible” as secretary of state, said Amelia Matos Sumbana, who just arrived as ambassador from Mozambique. “She makes it easier for presidents to pick a woman for Washington.”

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Republicans Delivered the Worst Decade in Modern U.S. History

posted by: LibbyShaw

Republicans ruled for 80% of the last decade, 60% of which Republicans were in total control

At least when W. ran his companies into the ground Daddy’s friends would step up and bail junior out. But Daddy’s buddies are nowhere to be found now that W. and his GOP drove the country straight to hell. Tragically for the American taxpayers, we, our children, our grandchildren and great grandchildren will have to clean up the squalor. It will take generations to undo the GOP’s financial carnage.

A recent article published in the Washington Post reveals that the American worker lost big time during the past decade.

This news should come as no surprise to any hard working middle class American. We have been living the pain for 10 long years.

The past decade was the worst for the U.S. economy in modern times, a sharp reversal from a long period of prosperity that is leading economists and policymakers to fundamentally rethink the underpinnings of the nation’s growth.

It was, according to a wide range of data, a lost decade for American workers. The decade began in a moment of triumphalism — there was a current of thought among economists in 1999 that recessions were a thing of the past. By the end, there were two, bookends to a debt-driven expansion that was neither robust nor sustainable.

The Washington Post also reveals that there has been zero net job creation since December 1999. Conditions have not been this grim for decades. Essentially, the American worker has not had a raise in a very long time.

Middle-income households made less in 2008, when adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1999 — and the number is sure to have declined further during a difficult 2009. The Aughts were the first decade of falling median incomes since figures were first compiled in the 1960s.

Click to enlarge

As we well know, our home values have declined as have our retirement and savings accounts.

What happened?

Economists attribute the decline to economic stagnation, an out of control housing bubble, too much risk and too much debt. Money was invested in mini mansions instead of business investments that would have created jobs and economic growth.

The housing bubble both caused, and was enabled by, a boom in indebtedness. Total household debt rose 117 percent from 1999 to its peak in early 2008, according to Federal Reserve data, as Americans borrowed to buy ever more expensive homes and to support consumption more generally.

An experiment called an unbridled free market economy ended very badly for we the people.

The first decade of the new century was an experiment in what happens when an economy comes to rely heavily on borrowed money.

A big part of what happened this decade was that people engaged in excessively risky behavior without realizing the risks associated,” said Karen Dynan, co-director of economic studies at the Brookings Institution. “It’s true not just among consumers but among regulators, financial institutions, lenders, everyone.”

The experiment has ended badly. While the stock market bubble that popped in 2000 caused only a mild recession, the housing and credit bubble has had a much greater punch — driving the unemployment rate to a high, so far, of 10.2 percent, compared with a peak of 6.3 percent following the last such downturn.

In short, the big banks, enabled by Republican free market ideology, gambled with our money and they lost it. And they lost it big time. As we know we the taxpayer had to step up and bail out the banks so there would not be a complete and thoroughly devastating global economic melt down.

The G.W. Bush era was one in which the GOP rewarded every one of its fat cat sugar daddies, including Halliburton with its no bid contracts for a ginned up war called Iraq.

We the people are dearly paying the price for the Bush era’s unforgivable mistakes.

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I am with Dylan Ratigan on this one. The banks should pay the taxpayers back with interest. Why on earth did Hank Paulson give away our money with no strings attached? What was he thinking?

So next time we hear about the virtues of an unbridled free market economy we need to say no way in hell. Any politician who embraces this voodoo notion of economic devastation should be run out of office on a rail for they are unfit to serve the people.

Speaking of unfitness to serve, why is that Republicans have to blame their short comings on others? Why can’t Republicans ever step up and take responsibility for their mistakes?

Republicans are obviously inept at running the economy and they are also incompetent at keeping our nation safe whether from terrorist attacks or national disasters like Hurricane Katrina. It seems that the only thing Republicans are good at is playing the blame game.

A coordinated, successful attack, with sufficient warning, carried out by 19 terrorists, killing 2,973 people, on the 234th day of an administration… that’s completely and totally and absolutely and so gosh-durn’t the fault of the previous President… who happened to be a Democrat.

HOWEVER, an unsuccessful attack, attempted by 1 terrorist, killing absolutely no one on the 339th day of an administration… that’s completely and totally and absolutely and so gosh-durn’t the fault of the current President… who happens to be a Democrat.

SIMILARLY, a complete and total meltdown of the financial system, including a stock market collapse and levels of bankruptcy/foreclosure not seen since the Great Depression on, or around, the 2415th day of an administration… that’s completely and totally and absolutely and so gosh-durn’t the fault of the previous President (and Congress)… who created Acorn, and just happened to be Democrats.

BUT, 10% unemployment and lackluster job growth on the 215th day of an administration… that’s completely and totally and absolutely and so gosh-durn’t the fault of the current President (and Congress)… who want to institute socialism (in the form of Acorn) and happen to be Democrats.

NOW, making a statement from your “brush farm” 144 hours after a dude with bad facial hair is prevented from blowing up an airplane… that’s fighting some serious war on the baddies.

AND YET, making a statement from the beach 72 hours after a dude with bad genital burns is prevented from blowing up an airplane… that’s “pretending the war on terror doesn’t exist“.

If folks really have a desire to destroy what is left of their financial security, go ahead and continue to vote for Republicans. Hopefully most of us won’t have this death wish in November.

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US Envoy Jon Huntsman Criticizes Coverage of Obama China Visit

Posted by Audiegrl

AP/Christopher Bodeen—Washington’s ambassador to Beijing hit out Friday at negative U.S. media coverage of President Barack Obama’s visit to China, saying it failed to take into account important progress on many issues.

Although producing no breakthroughs on key issues, Obama’s first state visit to the Asian giant that ended Wednesday was heralded by both sides as a success.

The trip was the top news story in China, drawing strong interest from the Chinese public who, surveys suggest, are largely positive in their view of the American president.

However, much of the U.S. media coverage was strongly negative, accusing Obama of failing to gain concessions on key issues such as Iran’s nuclear program and climate change, as well as being weak on human rights.

Ambassador Jon Huntsman said the reports missed the fact that the visit had yielded important progress on cooperation in areas such as clean energy, military-to-military exchanges and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons.

I attended all those meetings that President Obama had with Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao,” Huntsman said, referring to the Chinese president and premier.

I’ve got to say some of the reporting I saw afterward was off the mark. I saw sweeping comments about things that apparently weren’t talked about, when they were discussed in great detail in the meetings,” he said.

Huntsman made the comments during a question-and-answer session with Chinese and American students attending an international relations program at elite Peking University.

He said criticism about limited Chinese exposure for Obama’s remarks at a town hall-style meeting with students in Shanghai failed to consider the ubiquity of the Internet and blogging in China, where 350 million people use the Web.

Go check some time and see how messages bounce around from Web site to Web site and blogger to blogger for a very long period of time and you’ll get a sense of what the communication revolution is all about,” Huntsman said.

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John Cornyn’s Serial Lies About the Senate Health Care Reform Bill

Posted by LibbyShaw

Cross posted on Daily Kos, Texas Kaos and The Burnt Orange Report.

This morning I received the following electronic newsletter from Senator John Cornyn on the Senate Health Care Reform Bill.

Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released his 2,074-page health care bill, which Senate Budget Committee analysis shows will cost American taxpayers $2.5 trillion when fully implemented over ten years. (My bold.)

Until we have had a chance to read the full 2,074 page Reid Bill, it’s impossible for Americans to fully grasp what the Majority Leader has cooked up behind closed doors. It is my hope that Sen. Reid will afford all Americans the same courtesy that he had: ample time to study the legislation and deliberate the best way to proceed.

Lie 1 debunked: The proposed Senate bill saves $127 billion over first ten years.

And in the second ten years we will realize even more savings.

Over the second 10 years, CBO projects even greater cost savings–up to $650 billion, with the caveat that after 10 years, their analyses become highly uncertain.

Do you have a problem with saving lives and money, Senator?

Why are Republicans constantly moaning and bellyaching about having to read a long and complex bill? If they are too dumb or lazy to read, why bother running for office? And as far as cooking stuff behind closed doors, isn’t that what you Republicans did since Ronald Reagan?

Come on sore loser, give us a break.

There is more.

What we do know so far, as reported by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), is that this bill will have a wide, negative impact on Americans across the board – from seniors on Medicare to small business owners to future generations of Americans who will be footing the bill. The bill will increase taxes on all Americans by nearly half a trillion dollarsand breaks the President’s pledge not to raise taxes on working families earning less than $250,000—at a time that unemployment is at a 26-year high.

Huge whopper 2 in bold above.

This is a disgusting fear mongering LIE. The vast majority of Americans will not receive a tax increase. The link above will give readers a glimpse into the Republican’s record of lying on just about every piece of legislation proposed by Democrats. Lie, obstruct, scare. Repeat lie, obstruct, scare. That is what the GOP has become.

And there will be a wide negative impact on Americans across the board from Seniors on Medicare to small business owners to future generations? Huh?

Lies 3, 4. 5. That, Sir, is called a bold face lie and you are using scare tactics. The bill is not going to hurt Medicare. Period. It will impact Medicare Advantage which some folks, not all, have. Honestly, I find it disingenuous and hypocritical for Republicans, who have wanted to get rid of Medicare for years, are suddenly concerned about and defending it.

A national public option means competition. Therefore small businesses will finally be able to afford to cover employees, or at least offer plans that their employees can afford. What on earth is wrong with that? And as far as hurting future generations this is all a bunch of fear mongering sewage. If anything we’ll have a healthier population precisely b/c 94% of Americans will have access to affordable health care coverage.

While CBO has not been given time to analyze the Reid bill’s impact on premiums, every other independent analysis to date has found that Reid’s new mandates and taxes will increase health care premiums on American families. The Reid bill increases taxpayer spending and liability for health care over the next ten years—instead of reforming our already insolvent entitlement programs. It will gut the already insolvent Medicare program by $464.6 billion, hurting access to care for seniors. It includes a government-run public option that will, according to CBO, have premiums higher than private plans and cause millions of Americans to lose the coverage they currently have. The largest expansion of Medicaid since it was created means the Medicaid program will be the only coverage option for 60 million Americans. It will also impose $28 billion in punitive taxes on employers who do not comply with Washington’s new job-killing mandates.

I should put this entire excerpt in bold b/c it one pack of lies after another.

Lie 6. The so-called independent analysis comes from the Lewin Group that is tied to big insurance.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that the Lewin Group, a health care research consulting firm, is owned by Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group.

Sure, they are independent.

Huge whopper 7. Cornyn said the bill would gut Medicare.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Alliance for Retired Americans Executive Director Edward Coyle, AFSCME Director of Retiree Programs Steve Regenstreif and the Florida Democratic Party today responded to the lies and misinformation the GOP is spreading about seniors and health insurance reform–including RNC’s lies, which today announced a misleading ad on their “Seniors Bill of Lies.”

Since the health insurance reform debate began, the GOP has attempted to spread lies and misinformation about how health insurance reform will affect seniors. But the truth is, President Obama’s reforms will lower costs, protect choice and provide more options. Seniors in particular will benefit from health insurance reform as it will eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare, will end wasteful subsidies to the insurance companies and close the Medicare Part D prescription drug “donut hole.” For seniors age 50 to 64 who are not yet eligible for Medicare, the reforms proposed by President Obama will ensure that seniors who are between jobs or have a pre-existing condition cannot be denied coverage by the insurance industry.

Indeed, AARP has come forward to debunk the lies spread by Republican lawmakers.

There are many naysayers who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo and will stop at nothing – including lies — to derail health care reform. Many will try to scare Americans with myths and fabrications about proposed health care legislation —tactics they believe will block vital changes to our nation’s broken health care system.

Make no mistake: opponents of health care reform have powerful tools at their disposal, including the ability to spend exorbitant amounts of money on television, newspaper, and radio ads to spread their myths.

AARP is committed to debunking these myths so that our nation can move toward the ultimate goal of quality, affordable health care for ALL Americans. Here are a few of the most popular myths about health care reform, followed by the facts that debunk them.

The link above debunks the lies one by one.

Myth: Health care reform will weaken Medicare and reduce benefits.

Fact: This is a scare tactic used by special interest groups trying to block progress on health care reform. The plain fact is that none of the health care reform proposals being considered by Congress would cut Medicare benefits or increase out-of-pocket costs for Medicare services. In fact, rather than weaken Medicare, real health care reform will strengthen the financial solvency of the Medicare program. Let me make this absolutely clear: AARP does not support legislation that would weaken Medicare benefits.

Huge whopper 8. Cornyn says the health care reform bill includes a government run public option that will have premiums higher than private insurance. This is where we see just how joined at the hip John Cornyn is with the health care industry.

Fact: CBO Estimates Show Public Plan With Higher Savings Rate.

In total, a public plan based on Medicare rates would save $110 billion over 10 years. That is $20 billion more than earlier estimates, a spokesman for House Speaker Pelosi said.

There is more.

Lie #1: “trouble … for the national debt.” The public option has been deemed a cost-saver by the Congressional Budget Office, $110B for the strongest proposed plan, $25B for the weaker plan (that is in the Senate bill).

Huge whopper 9. Senator Liar, Liar Pants on Fire insists that millions of Americans will lose coverage they already have. As we know by now, this laughable and is pure nonsense. Cornyn as all other delusional Republicans who are 100% pimped out to the health care industry believes if we have a robust public option, folks will be automatically pushed into and it and the poor innocent health insurance companies will lose patients. Please. Cry me a freaking river. Republican lawmakers should be reminded that insurance companies are spending millions upon millions of dollars to fight health care reform. Even Fox Fixed News gets it! Maybe if the health insurance industry put those millions into actual health care instead of denying it and handing out death sentences we wouldn’t have needed major HCR in the first place.

The five largest private insurers and the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans spent a total of $6.4 million in the first quarter, an increase of more than $1 million from the same quarter last year. The industry is working to counter proposals endorsed by the White House that would offer a government health insurance option for millions of Americans.

Besides as Paul Krugman states below, the magic of the marketplace does not work in health care. A public option is less expensive than no public option.

Serious students of health care have known for a long time that the magic of the marketplace doesn’t work in health care; the United States has the most privatized health-care system in the advanced world, and also the least efficient. The pale reflection of this reality in the current discussion is that reform with a strong public option is cheaper than reform without — which means that as we get closer to really doing something, rhetoric about socialism fades out, and that $100 billion or so in projected savings starts to look awfully attractive.

It has also been clear from international evidence that universality is cheaper than leaving a few people expensively without care. That’s reflected now in the projected savings from a strong employer mandate.

Lie 10. John Cornyn implies that health care reform will introduce a new level of entitlement. There they go again with their big ugly entitlement obsession. God forbid should poor folks and the struggling working and middle classes receive something they deserve as everyday hard working Americans.

Lie #2: “it still creates a whole new government entitlement program”. An entitlement program is a government program that people of a certain criteria have a legally enforceable right to get benefits from, meaning the government has to find the funds one way or another. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are entitlement programs.

The public option simply is not an entitlement program. It would be a choice alongside private plans in a health insurance “exchange” or marketplace. And it would be “self-sustaining,” funded primarily by the premiums of its customers, just like with private insurance.

Government subsidies would help those who couldn’t affordable the premiums. But that is true with any of the plans in the health insurance exchange, public or private.

That big bad guvmint run socialized health care is really about choice and competition. And if our esteemed Republican lawmakers have such a problem with big guvmint run single payer socialized taxpayer funded health care, well, why don’t they give up their own?

It must be nice for folks to have a representative in Congress who will actually stand up for his constituents.

John Cornyn has not only been busted as a serial liar on health care reform, he’s also been outed for his heartless cruelty in blocking health care reform.

John Cornyn say he and his staff will be pouring over the bill.

These initial findings are troubling, to say the least. My staff and I will be pouring over the 2,074 pages, assuming we are given the time to do so. You can access the full text of the Reid bill from my web site:http://cornyn.senate.gov/public/?p=HealthCareReformHQ.

Is that right? It seems to me, Senator, that you have been against this bill before it was even written. If you and your staff really poured over the bill you would have never sent me your misleading, disingenuous and fictional newsletter either. Representatives Weiner and Grayson show respect for their constituents. You, on the other hand, continue to ignore the needs of most of yours, Sir, and you continue to insult our intelligence on a daily basis. Texas has the highest number of uninsured residents and yet you and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison simply do not care. Period. The two of you have the finest health coverage tax payer money can buy so to hell with the people of Texas.

Republican Talking Points:

Lie. Obstruct. Scare.

Lie. Obstruct. Scare.

That and this:

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