The Taliban's power in Pakistan continues to grow and it now has entire towns under its control. Under US pressure, the Pakistani army is fighting the Islamists - with limited success. Pakistani intelligence says the Americans are doing more harm than good.
Obama to have Harvard professor and arresting cop to the White House for a beer?
What a great last graf in this NYT write-up of the hot mess between House Democrats today: "Racial overtones also appeared to creep into the intraparty dispute. One African-American Democrat pointed out that the seven Blue Dogs who were holding up the bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee were 'a nondiverse group' of white men."
Paul Krugman, in his blog, explains it better here.
The health insurance model is somewhat about spreading risk; someone who is generally healthy isn't going to use as many services as someone who isn't - and that can be as much about the genetic luck of the draw as about one's own personal choices. We all know about the guy from Supersize Me who eats Big Macs every day and he's skinny and his cholesterol is fine. We also know people who eat right, exercise, and still have high cholesterol. The 96-year-old woman who gets her hair done where I do who takes Celebrex, Actonel, a blood pressure pill, a water pill, and about five other drugs, uses more services than I do. The baby with spina bifida uses more services than she does. And so it goes. But the health insurance model falls apart when it becomes a for-profit business. Because once paying for health care becomes a for-profit model, it becomes not about paying for necessary services, it's about NOT paying for anything. The less there is on the "out" side of the ledger, the more of the "in" side of the ledger can go to profits -- and into the pockets of executives and stockholders.
Sunday school teacher and hypocrite-at-large makes amateur porn with young intern.
Another day, another conservative, family-values Rethuglibot scandal demonstrating his superior morality and impeccable family values
In a sworn affidavit, a Tennessee state investigator has said that Stanley admitted to having a "sexual relationship" with a 22-year-old female intern working in his office, and to taking nude pictures of her in "provocative poses" in his apartment.Just another chapter in the the never-ending parade of hypocrisy that is known as the Republican party. Look for Fox "News" to briefly mention the transgressions of Paul Stanley (D).
Fun Fact: Stanley was the sponsor of a bill last session to ban gay adoptions. Because after all, you don't want children in a home without firm, Christian family values.
It's 'we the people', not invisible sky wizards
A freakazoid Congressman thinks it's fine to force American taxpayers of every shade of belief and non-belief on the planet to pay to deface the U.S. Capitol with an endorsement of his personal superstition by spending nearly $100,000 to engrave the words "In God We Trust" and the Pledge of Allegiance in prominent spots at the Capitol Visitor Center.
Faculty at Texas Tech organizing against Gonzalez Faculty members at Texas Tech have begun signing a petition protesting Alberto Gonzales hiring, calling it objectionable and nothing more than a "celebrity hire" who will not be worth his $100,000 salary.
emptywheel: Crazy Pete Hoekstra's pre-emptive disavowal of S-Street:
Crazy Pete Hoekstra, who will use Dick DeVos' almost unlimited funds to run for MI Governor next year, has pre-emptively admitted, but disavowed, C Street.
Hoekstra said he stopped attending meetings about two years ago, saying he'd gotten what he needed out of his visits. While never living at C Street, he was a regular for about seven years at a dinner-fellowship every Tuesday.
"We'd fellowship, we'd pray, we'd talk about Jesus, and we'd eat," Hoekstra said. "In the headiness of Washington, D.C., it's trying to make sure you keep your head screwed on straight."
Now, frankly, I hadn't even realized Crazy Pete was a member of this group, and I could swear I've checked once (he is definitely their "type"). So it surprises me a bit to see Crazy Pete offering up his ties to the group.
Obviously, his upcoming gubernatorial run may be part of that. MI has its share of conservatives who like to advocate authoritarianism in the name of Christ (and the U.P.'s Bart Stupak is one of the Democrats who lives at C Street). But MI still has the remnants of a sane Republican party, it has open primaries, and it has a big number of independents and Dems who would detect the stench of the group.
In other words, it's not necessarily a state where crazy religious ties helps in a state-wide election.
I'm wondering, too, whether Leisha Pickering's suit against Chip Pickering's new gal has anything to do with this. Leisha Pickering has submitted a secret diary in which Chip documented his affair, and named those members of the Family who facilitated his affair.
While former Rep. Chip Pickering of Mississippi allegedly carried on an extramarital affair with Elizabeth Creekmore Byrd, he recorded details of his exploits in a secret diary, including the dates and locations of his adulterous encounters.
Pickering, a Republican, described several assignations he had with Creekmore Byrd inside the C Street House, a Capitol Hill townhouse inhabited by an all-male group of right-wing Republican congressmen belonging to The Fellowship, an evangelical group, according to a person familiar with the diary's contents.
And according to a divorce filing by Pickering's estranged wife, Leisha, the former congressman's diary reveals the identities of several men who enabled his adulterous trysts and helped him cover his tracks.
Pickering resigned in August 2007, just more than two years ago. If the diary precipitated the divorce, then it may end about two yeas ago.
So if someone like Crazy Pete knew that his involvement in yet another hypocritical affair might become public, he might be able to say that he ended his relationship with the group two years ago, setting up a very convenient story just in case anything became public between now and when he tried to run for Governor.
I have no idea whether Pickering's diary time bomb is the reason for Crazy Pete's pre-emptive admission of ties with C Street. But the timing does make me want to see Pickering's diary all the more.
I would like an answer to this myself Ben Bernanke, testifying before Congress couldn't tell Rep. Alan Grayson where half a trillion dollars went. He knows it went to foreign central banks, but beyond that, he has no idea what those banks did with the money.
Late night John Boner: Obama wants to kill your grandma: http://firedoglake.com/2009/07/25/late-night-boehner-barack-obama-wants-to-kill-your-grandma/
'Birther' legal team somewhat less than lawyers in good standing.
D'ya think the 18% of us still unemployed, and the 336,000 families that had their homes foreclosed in June, and the 125,000 families that filed for bankruptcy in June are now convinced the 'recession' is 'nearing an end'?