Saturday, July 25, 2009

President Obama's Weekly Address, July 25, 2009 (Video and Transcript)

Health Insurance Reform Will Strengthen Small Businesses

download .mp3 |download .mp4 (58.5 MB) | read the transcript | youtube

The White House Council of Economic Advisers released a major report on the subject in conjunction with this address -- read the report as a web page, in pdf form. And thhrough Slideshare below.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

This is why Rachel Maddow is on of the smartest journalists on television (Video)

....this clip is about President Obama, Sgt. James Crowley and Professor Henry Gates...

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In case you missed it: President Obama introduces "Race to the Top" (Video)

President Obama gives remarks at the Department of Education on “Race to the Top,” a competition to get states to implement school reforms that produce real results. The $4.35 billion fund will reward eligible states for their accomplishments, and create incentives for future improvements. July 24, 2009.President Obama gives remarks at the Department of Education on “Race to the Top,” a competition to get states to implement school reforms that produce real results. The $4.35 billion fund will reward eligible states for their accomplishments, and create incentives for future improvements. July 24, 2009.

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FLOTUS, Michelle Obama looked gorgeous today for the National Design Awards (pictures, video and transcript)

First Lady Michelle Obama smiles as she arrives in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, July 24, 2009, to speak during the annual National Design Awards.

The First Lady celebrated the 10th anniversary of the National Design Awards at the White House today. The awards are part of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and recognize design excellence, innovation and public impact. The awards were launched at the White House in 2000 as an official project of the White House Millennium Council. Earlier in the day, the Cooper-Hewitt celebrated the awards with free public programs exploring design. The programs were moderated by White House officials, and were held at museums around the Mall.

read the transcript | youtube

First Lady Michelle Obama speaks during the annual National Design Awards, Friday, July 24, 2009, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. At left is Smithsonian Institution Secretary G. Wayne Clough.

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The Obama Family Vacation Diggs on Martha's Vineyard

Blue Heron Farm: Obamas To Reportedly Rent Vineyard Vacation Home From Republicans

Here is the info on the Obama Family Vacation Diggs:

President Barack Obama and the First Family will rent the bucolic Blue Heron Farm off South Road in Chilmark for their vacation during the last week of August.

The 28.5-acre property some five hundred yards down Cobb’s Hill Road, spans the Chilmark and West Tisbury town line and overlooks Town Cove, the westernmost finger of the Tisbury Great Pond.

While the mechanics of renting the property were still ongoing at press time, the Gazette has learned that a rental agreement for the farm will comprise three leases, one to be held by the Obamas, another by the Secret Service and a third by a White House entourage.

The amount of the rental has not been disclosed, but up-Island properties similar to Blue Heron Farm rent for between $35,000 to $50,000 per week.

It is understood that the Obamas have treated the transaction as a standard Vineyard summer rental, from payment terms right down to questions about bringing the family dog. read more here...

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Obama on the Gates situation at Press Briefing in White House; Invites Sgt. Crowley and Henry Gates to White House for a Beer (Video and Transcript)

THE PRESIDENT: Hey, it’s a cameo appearance. Sit down, sit down. I need to help Gibbs out a little bit here.

I wanted to address you guys directly because over the last day and a half obviously there’s been all sorts of controversy around the incident that happened in Cambridge with Professor Gates and the police department there.

I actually just had a conversation with Sergeant Jim Crowley, the officer involved. And I have to tell you that as I said yesterday, my impression of him was that he was a outstanding police officer and a good man, and that was confirmed in the phone conversation — and I told him that.

And because this has been ratcheting up — and I obviously helped to contribute ratcheting it up — I want to make clear that in my choice of words I think I unfortunately gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge Police Department or Sergeant Crowley specifically — and I could have calibrated those words differently. And I told this to Sergeant Crowley.

I continue to believe, based on what I have heard, that there was an overreaction in pulling Professor Gates out of his home to the station. I also continue to believe, based on what I heard, that Professor Gates probably overreacted as well. My sense is you’ve got two good people in a circumstance in which neither of them were able to resolve the incident in the way that it should have been resolved and the way they would have liked it to be resolved.

The fact that it has garnered so much attention I think is a testimony to the fact that these are issues that are still very sensitive here in America. So to the extent that my choice of words didn’t illuminate, but rather contributed to more media frenzy, I think that was unfortunate.

What I’d like to do then I make sure that everybody steps back for a moment, recognizes that these are two decent people, not extrapolate too much from the facts — but as I said at the press conference, be mindful of the fact that because of our history, because of the difficulties of the past, you know, African Americans are sensitive to these issues. And even when you’ve got a police officer who has a fine track record on racial sensitivity, interactions between police officers and the African American community can sometimes be fraught with misunderstanding.

My hope is, is that as a consequence of this event this ends up being what’s called a “teachable moment,” where all of us instead of pumping up the volume spend a little more time listening to each other and try to focus on how we can generally improve relations between police officers and minority communities, and that instead of flinging accusations we can all be a little more reflective in terms of what we can do to contribute to more unity. Lord knows we need it right now — because over the last two days as we’ve discussed this issue, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but nobody has been paying much attention to health care. (Laughter.)

I will not use this time to spend more words on health care, although I can’t guarantee that that will be true next week. I just wanted to emphasize that — one last point I guess I would make. There are some who say that as President I shouldn’t have stepped into this at all because it’s a local issue. I have to tell you that that part of it I disagree with. The fact that this has become such a big issue I think is indicative of the fact that race is still a troubling aspect of our society. Whether I were black or white, I think that me commenting on this and hopefully contributing to constructive — as opposed to negative — understandings about the issue, is part of my portfolio.

So at the end of the conversation there was a discussion about — my conversation with Sergeant Crowley, there was discussion about he and I and Professor Gates having a beer here in the White House. We don’t know if that’s scheduled yet — (laughter) — but we may put that together.

He also did say he wanted to find out if there was a way of getting the press off his lawn. (Laughter.) I informed him that I can’t get the press off my lawn. (Laughter.) He pointed out that my lawn is bigger than his lawn. (Laughter.) But if anybody has any connections to the Boston press, as well as national press, Sergeant Crowley would be happy for you to stop trampling his grass.

All right. Thank you, guys.

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Mika Brzezinski's agenda in regards to Henry Gates did not work on morning joe (Video)

Yes, she is on morning joe, and tried to strum up bullshit about the Professor Henry Gates situation. Eventually, it blew up in her face. And Mike Barnicle was in truly Boston style. Harold Ford, Jr. stepped it up here. Got to give him and Carlos Watson a bravo. Mika was out of her element.

Apparently Mika got up this morning with the intent of doing a Rev Wright Coverage as it related to the Professor Gates situation. She seem to be fully on board in wanting to believe what ever Sergeant James Crowley wrote in his report and as equally ready not to believe Professor Gate's account of what took place. Now in my personal feelings, this was a situation that got out of control but Mika and Barnicle had another goal in mind and that was to promote a negative conversation on race that eventually back fired. And thank god for Carlos Watson and even Harold Ford, oh and do not let me forget Eugene Robinson, who seemed to be the most heated by this situation but the person who really seemed to silence Mika and Barnicle was Dylan Ratigan; who hit Mika with racial profiling facts and statistics that she didn't want to take into account or acknowledge because it would have taken away from the coverage she was trying to promote and before the show was over she appeared to be a beaten woman. She even invited Miami Police Chief Johnt Timoney for back-up but he refused to be pulled into this controversy she was trying to escalate. read more here....

Mika tries it with Eugene Robinson

Miami Police Chief, this is all stupid

Dylan Ratigan sets it straight on racial profiling

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Obama tells schools to clean it up or miss the money

Harsh words, but so true....

President Obama is leaning hard on the nation's schools, using the promise of more than $4 billion in federal aid — and the threat of withholding it — to strong-arm the education establishment to accept more charter schools and performance pay for teachers.

The pressure campaign has been underway for months as Education Secretary Arne Duncan travels the country delivering a blunt message to state officials who have resisted change for decades: Embrace reform or risk being shut out.

"What we're saying here is, if you can't decide to change these practices, we're not going to use precious dollars that we want to see creating better results; we're not going to send those dollars there," Obama said in an Oval Office interview Wednesday. "And we're counting on the fact that, ultimately, this is an incentive, this is a challenge for people who do want to change."

On Friday, Obama will officially announce the "Race to the Top," a competition for $4.35 billion in grants. He wants states to use funds to ease limits on charter schools, tie teacher pay to student achievement and move for the first time toward common academic standards. It is part of a broader effort to improve school achievement with a $100 billion increase in education funding, more money for community colleges and an increase in Pell Grants for college students. read more here.....

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Roland Martin, "Obama not here to satisfy Lou Dobbs" (Video)

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David Shuster dogged out Liz Cheney on Countdown (Video)

Shuster is right, she picks and chooses the shows that will be soft towards her, like morning joke or joe. She is pathetic, a liar and a right winged nut job.

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Obama stands by Professor Henry Gates remarks at press conference (Video)

Look, Professor Henry Gates has every right to be angry here. This is a man who was coming home from China, while working on another PBS documentary. He could not get into his home, in Cambridge, MA, so he jimmied the backdoor lock of his home and broke into his own house. Someone saw this, called the Cambridge Police Department. Now the argument is what went down in Professor Gates home that he had to be arrested for disorderly conduct.

I can tell you what happened, it got heated. Gates and the police officer. The police officer should have put on his customer service hat, yes PO-POs you need training on this, talked to Gates calmly, asked for ID, verified it, apologize and the police officer and his colleagues should have LEFT.

How can you justify arresting a prominent, reknown Harvard University scholar for disorderly conduct? And one who walks with a cane? It takes TWO to get disorderly.

President Obama explained it RIGHT last night. And any American in this country would side with Gates about being arrested for breaking in his own home. By the way, the police department threw out the charges because of the public outrage of this whole incident and legally they don't have a leg to stand on.

Lastly, of course, the Cambridge Police Department is upset that President Obama, "called them out" on national television. If the Cambridge Police Department is so confident of its actions, why were the charges even dropped? And we must remember, that we do have a scholar who knows the law in the White House, his name is Barack Obama.

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G. Gordon Liddy on Hardball a SOLID BIRTHER!!!! (Video)

After watching this, the man has lost his MIND. Chris Matthews is just amazed. At this point trotting these birthers on television is just showing the public how disengaged the Republican Party is with the rest of the country.

Liddy Lied: There is no Deposition from Obama's step-grandmother

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U.S. image has improved with Barack Obama as President

Again, we are fighting two fronts here.

One, domestically which was left in tatters after George W. Bush and cronies left town. The other, internationally, which George W. Bush practically destroyed our image and good will abroad. Illegal Iraq War which was contracted out to the tune of billions of dollars ring a bell, anyone?

President Barack Obama's popularity has boosted America's image abroad even though deep suspicions about the U.S. persist in the Muslim world, according to a poll released Thursday.

The survey of two dozen nations conducted this spring by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that positive public attitudes toward the United States have surged in many parts of the world since Obama's election.

Positive opinions about the United States have returned to higher levels not seen since before President George W. Bush took office in 2001. The Bush presidency marked a steep decline in U.S. popularity overseas, notably after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, because of a perception that the post-9/11 war on terrorism was targeted at Muslims.

"The image of the United States has improved markedly in most parts of the world, reflecting global confidence in Barack Obama," the center said in its annual Pew Global Attitudes Report.

The only exception was Israel, where attitudes toward the U.S. have dipped since Bush left office.

The improvements "are being driven much more by personal confidence in Obama than by opinions about his specific policies," Pew reported. read more here....

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Lord, Sweet Jesus, give us strength as a nation, this is too much

This is the Republican Party. America is not like the Republican Party. This is shameful, disgusting and racist to the core. When will the leaders of the Republican Party have the BALLS to stand up to this and denounce it? Lastly, I don't like showing images like this, but this needs to be seen and ACTION needs to be taken.

This is being emailed and routed from a neurosurgeon, yes a doctor (wow, some doctors are racists!!!) in Florida and a delegate for the AMA. AMA, we are waiting for a statement.

Now, Tea Party activists trafficking in racist imagery are pretty much dog bites man. But McKalip isn't just some random winger. He's a Florida neurosurgeon, who serves as a member of the American Medical Association's House of Delegates.

He's also an energetic conservative opponent of health-care reform. McKalip founded the anti-reform group Doctors For Patient Freedom, as well as what seems to be a now defunct group called Cut Taxes Now. Last month he joined GOP congressmen Tom Price and Phil Gingrey, among others, for a virtual town hall to warn about the coming "government takeover of medicine." And in a recent anti-reform op-ed published in the St. Petersburg Times, McKalip wrote that "Congress wants to create larger, government-funded programs for health care and more bureaucracy that ration care and impose cookbook medicine."

Asked about the email in a brief phone interview with TPMmuckraker, McKalip said he believes that by depicting the president as an African witch doctor, the artist who created the image "was expressing concerns that the health-care proposals [made by President Obama] would make the quality of medical care worse in our country." McKalip said he didn't know who created it.

Read more, here.


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"This is completely racist..", about the birthers from the Morning Meeting (Video)

These right winged nut jobs need to be looked at and put on blast, this is part of the Republican Party and this is DANGEROUS.

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Ed Schultz throws Lou Dobbs in the Psycho Talk Group (Video)

YES, Lou Dobbs is a psycho!!!

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Jon Stewart, The Daily Show takes on Lou Dobbs (Video)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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Political HumorJoke of the Day

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Pitching Health Care for POTUS (Video)

Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton pitches health care and POTUS presser to Dylan Rattigan, Morning Meeting.

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Chris Matthews slams the birthers as "lunatics" and "not about documentation but pigmentation" (Video)

Again, this is a distraction for the Republican Party, especially when you have prominent republicans, including some members of congress pushing this birth certificate crap. Again, let the Republicans continue because it was this action during the campaign that turned the American public's stomach and pushed the middle, independents to Barack Obama. Willie Brown is right, "the Republican Party is in shambles." Joan Walsh was spot on in this segment.

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Sotomayor picks up the support of Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

We all have been trying to tell the Republicans that "elections matter", meaning when you won like Barack Obama and the Democrats did, you have a MANDATE. Well, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) got the message and will vote to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

But Graham stood out when he said that presidents deserve deference on their choices for the court. He said as much Wednesday.

"I would not have chosen her if I had made this choice as president, but I understand why President Obama did," Graham said. "Elections matter."

The Republicans botched the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor up pretty badly. Instead of showing any leadership, the D.C. Republicans let the likes of Pat Buchanan, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh who are supporters of their party call her every name in the book but the Mother of Jesus Christ. The Republican Party let all that nastiness, race bating, racist and bigoted remarks towards Judge Sonia Sotomayor linger out there that by the time questioning came around, it was relatively timid.

Don't think that the Latino community will not forget what came out of these right winged extremists mouths, they will remember. The Latino vote was critical in 2008 and the Republican Party lost is 2-1. Their performance and language during this process will only confirm that the door to the Latino community will be bolted shut for a very long time.

Judge Sonia Sotomayor will be the next Associate Supreme Court Justice and the first of Hispanic descent. And that is just how it will go down.


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First Grandmother speaks about life in the White House (Video)

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

President Obama's Press Conference at the White House (Full Video and Transcript)



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In case you missed it: President Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Press Conference (Video and Transcript)


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Chris Matthews calls out Lou Dobbs and King Rush on pumping the birthers (Video)

I agree with Rudy Giuliani for once, " is a distraction for the Republican Party..." But don't expect them to stop....

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Live Stream of President Obama's Press Conference, 8 PM EST

Live Streaming of this event has ended. I will post the full video, later when available. View the full press conference here.

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Roland Martin, CNN, tells it like it is about the BIRTHERS (Video)

CNN's Martin: Birther's "I want my country back" comment means "How is this black guy all of the sudden running the country?"

Diary on Daily Kos

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U.S. on track to leave Iraq 2011 (Video)

President Barack Obama (R) and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki conduct a joint press conference in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC, July 22, 2009.

President Barack Obama said Wednesday that despite continuing violence in Iraq, the U.S. is on schedule to remove all troops by the end of 2011.

Standing in the Rose Garden alongside Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Obama said the nations were in the midst of a "full transition" that would be based on mutual interest and respect.

It was Obama's first meeting with al-Maliki at the White House. He met with him in Iraq in April. U.S. concerns over the slow pace of political, religious and ethnic reconciliation in Iraq were expected to dominate President Barack Obama's talks at the White House with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. read more here...

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Birther talk on morning joe....(Video)

Again, the birther crew and the nut case republicans are shown to be wackos...from first read:

"Speaking of the conservative base, is anyone else stunned that a member of the United States Congress wouldn't unequivocally say that Barack Obama was born in the United States? ... Why are elected officials feeding this conspiracy theory? As the Morning Joe crew noted today, what do these conspiracy theorists think -- a single mother, 47 years ago, secretly had the president in Indonesia and then hours later decided to get a Hawaii birth announcement because she thought he'd be president?"

".....making the conservative base look stupid"....indeed.....what a losing argument, but keep at it!!!!! you just continue to turn folk AWAY!!!!! and the look on joe scarborough's face says it all!!!

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In case you missed it: President Obama's remarks on F-22 funding and health care (Video)

President Obama gives remarks in the Rose Garden, praising the consensus that continues to build for health reform. Before he begins, though, he makes a point to praise the Senate for their vote against $1.75 billion for unnecessary F-22 fighter jets, having built another bipartisan consensus for fiscal discipline and changing the way Washington works. July 21, 2009.

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James Carville justly criticizes Liz Cheney on her defense of the birthers (Video)

From Larry King, CNN....Liz Cheney saying people are uncomfortable? Please, this is about defending racists Liz Cheney, racists, who are pathetic and encouraging them continues to keep the Republican Party in the weeds. When was the last time ANYONE questioned the last 43 presidents and their birth certificates? Think about that one.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hee-Haw Time Tonight at the White House (Pictures)

Alison Krauss with Union Station at the White House

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In case you missed it: Crazy Azz Birthers....Is this what the Republican Party is relegated to? (Video)

From Chris Matthews, how Matthews makes the Birther, A CONGRESSMAN admit Obama is a U.S. about conspiracy nut cases out there....

And earlier from Rick Sanchez, CNN

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FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY: Sell out Senators to the insurance lobbyists

OK, we are going to be talking health care until this thing gets PASSED. And we are calling out all these senators who have taken boatloads of CASH from the health care and insurance industries, who are NOW trying to slow down legislation, take it easy, don't want public option, etc.

Over at TPM these senators are cleverly and lovingly called the Gang of Sickos!!! In honor of Michael Moore. So, let's see who is on the list. The senator in the number one slot is none other than Ben Nelson.

Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska, the ringleader of the group, has raised more than $2.2 million in campaign contributions from the health, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries over the course of his career according to Blumenthal, averaging more than $700 per day since taking office in January 2001. Public Campaign Action Fund (PCAF) gives a slightly lower career total of just over $2.0 million for Nelson, and provides extensive detail on his ties to the health, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries. Before entering politics, as PCAF notes, Nelson spent his career as an insurance executive, as an insurance company lawyer and, early in his career, as Nebraska's state insurance regulator. As PCAF also notes, a number of Nelson's former Senate staffers have moved on into lucrative careers as health, insurance and pharmaceutical industry lobbyists. Comments may be addressed to Senator Nelson via his Senate contact page (Nebraska residents only) or by direct e-mail at: (CRP: Ben Nelson).

Good ol', Brother Ben. Are we surprised? Remember he did not want to work with the Obama Administration in reconstructuring the student loan fiasco, which banks in this country have taken advantage and left many students with loans after leaving college equivalent to purchasing a HOME. for real. So, no one should be shocked at Brother Ben wanting to keep his cash cow in check, by calling for SLOWING DOWN the Health Care Debate. A debate that we, the public have been having for 25 years or more.

Next, our lovely Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. Well, she came right out and NO TO PUBLIC OPTION. Even though she has supported this in the past. What do you expect from a senator bought and sold by the very industry this country is angry at and demand change. But the most pathetic thing about all of this is that Louisiana residents have some of the WORST HEALTH CARE in this country for its residents. After Katrina, you would think that Landrieu would carry a populist tone on this particular point, but no, money talks and bullshit walks.
Democrat Mary Landrieu of Louisiana has raised more than $1.6 million in campaign contributions from the health, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries over the course of her career, averaging more than $300 per day since taking office in January 1997. PCAF provides extensive detail on Landrieu's ties to the health, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries. Like Nelson's former staffers, several of Landrieu's have also gone on to work as health, insurance, and pharmaceutical industry lobbyists. Landrieu's opposition to the public option was attacked in a TV ad from MoveOn aired in her home state. Landrieu is also listed as one of the twenty most corrupt members of Congress by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Comments may be addressed to Senator Landrieu via her Senate contact page (Louisiana residents only) or by direct e-mail at: (CRP: Mary Landrieu).

Now, Ron Wyden of Oregon. I was not hip to the skip on this particular senator, but I have seen him pop up on television and radio for the past week solidly. Wyden even offered to stay in D.C. during his summer break in August to work on health care with the President. Ummm, or does he not want to hear what his constituents, his voters got to say TO HIM!! Oregon is a pretty independent state, but one that is hurting from job loss. Remember, with job loss comes health care loss, so Wyden's wishy-washy stance needs to be firmed up. We are watching this person very closely, since he is raking in the dough from the big dogs at the health care and insurance industry.
Sicko #3: Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon has raised more than $1.4 million in campaign contributions from the health, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries over the course of his career, averaging almost $300 per day since taking office in February 1996. Comments may be addressed to Senator Wyden via his Senate contact page (Oregon residents only) or by direct e-mail at: (CRP: Ron Wyden).

Read the links and the whole article.

This is an eye opener and gives everyone full understanding what money will do and how it can buy votes. Don't think for one minute that these senators are not under pressure, THEY ARE. They are reminded by their lobbyists friends that checks have been written and pressured by the mounting number of Americans, their constituents that we want health care reform. In the end, if these senators want to continue to remain relevant, meaning keep their jobs, they better listen to us, the voters because how they GOT THAT JOB is a job that can be easily taken away by the power of the voting booth.

I hope these senators remember that.

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How can you be arrested for burglary, when you are entering your OWN HOME?

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Lou Dobbs stoking the birthers flameless fire (Audio)

He is just giving the birthers more fuel for a flameless fire. He should know better, but what do you expect from a complete idiot. And he asks for a birth certificate to be produced? Where the fuck was Lou Dobbs at during the campaign? In a damn cave? The birth certificate was produced, LOU. This reeks of racism at its highest.

On the July 17 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, guest host Kitty Pilgrim debunked claims that President Obama does not have a valid birth certificate and is therefore ineligible to be president. Pilgrim said that CNN "found no basis" for such claims and cited "overwhelming evidence that proves that his birth certificate is real, and that he was born in Honolulu," including Obama's birth certificate posted online by Pilgrim, a regular correspondent for Lou Dobbs Tonight, issued the categorical rebuttal two days after Dobbs, for whom she was substituting, repeatedly claimed on his radio program that Obama needs to "produce a birth certificate" and cast doubt on the "peculiar" birth certificate posted by "purporting to validate the president."


Michael Steele continues to show his brillance, this time on health care (Video)

h/t Think Progress

Scarborough is right to put his finger on exploding costs as one of the major problems about our current system that needs to be addressed. And he’s also right that Steele’s “plan” doesn’t deliver a solution. Looking at each of Steele’s four points:

1) Portability is a key feature of Obama’s health care plan. Anyone who enters into the new national health insurance exchange would be able to purchase insurance that stays with them, even if they switch jobs.

2) Steele says he’s for co-ops, by which he presumably means “association health plans.” AHPs wouldn’t help cover the uninsured, but would increase the costs of coverage and would allow selected small businesses to operate outside state regulations.

3) Steele’s tax proposal would mean that young and healthy workers would opt out of employer plans for cheaper coverage, meaning employers could no longer meet participation requirements to purchase insurance. The whole insurance system would slowly unravel, leaving even more people without care.

4) Steele’s proposal of tort reform addresses only 0.46 percent of total health care expenditures.

Since he concedes he doesn’t do policy, Steele shouldn’t show up on MSNBC and pretend like he can.

And he showed his policy wonkishness on CNN!!!!!

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Why is it so hard to pass health care reform? The players are on the take, that is why. (Video)

The reason many Senate Democrats and Republicans don't want health care reform, don't want public option, simple, they are heavy recipients of big donor dollars from the health care industry and insurance companies. That is why.

We are asking, trusting these very people who have taken big money from an industry that is not servicing the American public fairly, to do the right thing by us. The reason they do not want to offer any public option is that it will challenge and force their cash cows, the insurance industry and health care industry to play fairly with the American public.

Money talks, bullshit walks, the DC Congress is smelling the MONEY.

As liberal protesters marched outside, Sen. Max Baucus sat down inside a San Francisco mansion for a dinner of chicken cordon bleu and a discussion of landmark health-care legislation under consideration by his Senate Finance Committee.

At the table on May 26 were about 20 donors willing to fork over $10,000 or more to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, including executives of major insurance companies, hospitals and other health-care firms.

"Most people there had an agenda; they wanted the ear of a senator, and they got it," said Aaron Roland, a San Francisco health-care activist who paid half price to attend the gathering. "Money gets you in the door. The only thing the other side can do is march around and protest outside."

Again, does anyone believe that we have honest brokers, players here? We don't. It will take the anger, force and will of the public to get health care reform passed. It will also take this very sentiment to get rid of the many compromised senators in Washington, DC.
As his committee has taken center stage in the battle over health-care reform, Chairman Baucus (D-Mont.) has emerged as a leading recipient of Senate campaign contributions from the hospitals, insurers and other medical interest groups hoping to shape the legislation to their advantage. Health-related companies and their employees gave Baucus's political committees nearly $1.5 million in 2007 and 2008, when he began holding hearings and making preparations for this year's reform debate.

Top health executives and lobbyists have continued to flock to the senator's often extravagant fundraising events in recent months. During a Senate break in late June, for example, Baucus held his 10th annual fly-fishing and golfing weekend in Big Sky, Mont., for a minimum donation of $2,500. Later this month comes "Camp Baucus," a "trip for the whole family" that adds horseback riding and hiking to the list of activities.

I have a problem with Max Baucus. The man is compromised. He has big money flapping in his face, while pressure from his own constituents continues to mount. Baucus is the problem, the obstructionist here. He is soiled, tainted and has taken millions from the very entity the American public demands a change in.

Will he play fair? Will he become an honest broker for the public? I don't trust the system. I don't trust him.

And this airing in Montana......


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President Obama on the Today Show with Meredith Viera (Video)

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D.C. Democrats the clock is ticking on you.

I am calling out the D.C. Democrats because they are the MAJORITY PARTY. This is the party that can make the difference in your life, your family's life, your parents life, your neighbor's life, our lives, that is if they have the courage to renounce lobby interests for their campaign and personal coffers.

Another poll is out. Either side can show a poll touting their position, but one thing that has REMAINED the same is that the public wants health care reform, period. Another thing that is constant is that the public TRUSTS President Obama to get the job done in regards to health care reform, OVER the Republicans. Emphasis below mine's.

Americans are showing more confidence in their ability to get and afford the health care they need, according to a poll released Tuesday.

Whites, though, are likelier to feel that way than minorities. And large numbers of people are worried about whether they will have future health coverage, with nearly one in four concerned that family medical bills will drive them into bankruptcy.

The survey, conducted by the nonpartisan Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, showed the public overwhelmingly considers President Barack Obama's drive to overhaul health care a crucial weapon in the battle to end the country's economic problems - one of the rationales he has used in his health care campaign. Eighty-five percent said it is important that Obama make reshaping health care part of his efforts to restore the economy.

You won't hear morning joke or joe tout or quote this poll. Why? Simply because he has his own agenda and it is one of framing for the Republicans. You won't hear too many news media types, if there are any, recite this poll. Why? Well, that is not their agenda.

The public don't care for these politicians in Washington, DC. Many believe and feel they are out of touch, don't know what is really happening out here or what is going on. When you live in your own bubble, fueled by swanky cocktail parties, lobbyists patting you on the back, loving to look at yourself on television with your favorite quote, feeling you have some power, why should you listen to whiny constituents back home?

That is one of the main problems here. We need to be heard.

President Obama's agenda for health care won't pass unless these politicians are forced to hear us, acknowledge us. They forget that we put them in the position of prestige and the occasional sound byte. They forget that we put them in the position of perks, opportunity to have some of the best and cheapest health care affordable in this country. They forget that we matter.

It is time that they know who we are.

We are the voters. We are the ones who put them in office. We are the ones who have pounded pavements, wrote checks, worked their campaigns because we believed in them, these politicians.

This AP article says it all. If heath care is not passed in this country, there is going to be hell to pay. Republicans can forget it and those Democrats running for office in 2010, who did not have the courage or conviction for the public on health care reform and more importantly, the public option, they can forget it too.

See, hard core Democrats are going to vote the line, but the ones that made the difference are those that CROSSED THE LINE to stand with us in 2008. The independents, the moderate Republicans, the first time voters, the disenchanted voter, the ones who did not believe in change, the minority voter, the gay voter, the women who have had it, the ones who believed that the Democratic Party would stand for something and bring the very needed change we need in our lives.

Democrats in D.C., if you don't do the right thing, if you destroy your own bill, if you shoot yourselves in the foot, you will have no one to blame but yourselves.

The time to be heard and for change is now, not later. We have been arguing about health care for over 25 years. The debate don't need to be slowed down. The argument don't need a time out. We need a plan, we need action and the American public needed this yesterday, not tomorrow.

Lastly, President Obama is calling on bloggers to keep the pressure on congress, that is something that must continue to happen or we can FORGET about any health care legislation being passed in this country. The money is NOT ON OUR SIDE and the health care industry and insurance companies are spending 1.4M a day to silence your voices. You know what to do. Call these D.C. Democrats in congress and let your voices be heard.

House of Representatives
United States Senate

Cross-posted @ Daily Kos

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Monday, July 20, 2009



This includes calling these senators, Blue Dogs in the House, and let them KNOW that if they don't pass this health care legislation, that their days will be NUMBERED in Washington, DC with their "cushy jobs".

In a reflection of a legislative strategy that has left no stone unturned, President Barack Obama on Monday called on like-minded bloggers to help his administration keep the heat on lawmakers to pass health care reform.

"It is important just to keep the pressure on members of Congress because what happens is there is a default position of inertia here in Washington," the president said during an invitation-only conference call. "And pushing against that, making sure that people feel that the desperation that ordinary families are feeling all across the country, every single day, when they are worrying about whether they can pay their premiums or not... People have to feel that in a visceral way. And you guys can help deliver that better than just about anybody."

In a roughly 25-minute session with a handful of prominent progressive bloggers, the president also asked for help combating disinformation about his health care plan.

"I know the blogs are best at debunking myths that can slip through a lot of the traditional media outlets," he said. "And that is why you are going to play such an important role in our success in the weeks to come." read more here.....

Contact information for the Senate

Contact information for the House of Representatives

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Rachel Maddow picks apart Pat Buchanan's argument, point by point (Video)

One thing about Rachel Maddow, that can not be disputed is that she is one of the smartest and intelligent journalists on television right now. She allowed Pat Buchanan to literally hang himself with his racist diatribe when he appeared on her show last week. Tonight she picked him apart point-by-point with FACT. And MSNBC, yes, you do have a resident racist on your network, next what are you going to do about "Uncle Pat"?


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President Obama meets Apollo 11 Astronauts (Video)

President Barack Obama stands alongside the first man on the moon Neil Armstrong (2nd R), and fellow Apollo 11 crewmembers Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin (L) and Michael Collins (2nd L) during a meeting on the 40th anniversary of NASA's first human landing on the moon in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, July 20, 2009.

Apollo 11 Tribute @ WH

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Chuck Todd is right the media, "created this drama that Obama's struggling to get health care reform done" (video)

The media has created this, full KNOWING that the public wants health care reform. Again, the Obama Administration can not be asleep at the wheel on this and I expect more calling out and toughness from President Obama moving forward, as we heard from him today. Along with a more populist theme coming from this White House.

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GOP trying to reverse the tide (Video)

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Free Health Clinics Getting Hit Hard

With the unemployment rate rising at a rapid pace, with Americans losing their health care through employment, as COBRA payments are not only unaffordable but a joke, more Americans are going to free health clinics and the funding for these facilities is at an all time low.

As more Americans lose their jobs — and the health insurance that their employers had provided — they are turning to free health clinics, which are also seeing a drop in financial support.

In all, about 4 million Americans are expected to visit the country's 1,200 free health clinics this year. The United States is the only developed nation that does not have a comprehensive national health care plan; most people receive insurance through their jobs. The U.S. unemployment rate stands at 9.5 percent, the highest in 26 years.

"Over the last year, free clinics have seen patient load increase by 40 to 50 percent," said Nicole D. Lamoureux, executive director of the National Association of Free Clinics. "People who just last year had health coverage are now out of work and need to have their health care needs met."


For people like George Anderson, who was laid off nearly a year ago when his book distribution company filed for bankruptcy, health insurance and doctors were unthinkable luxuries. Anderson, 48, who had high blood pressure, and his wife, who contracted pneumonia, the free clinic was a necessity.

"We felt like we were teetering on the edge of a cliff with all the other bills we had to pay for and if we had to pay those hospital bills too, that would have tipped us over," said Anderson, who has since found another job. read more here...

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In case you missed it: Obama blasts critics about his health care plan (Video and Transcript)

He will have to do this on the DAILY....until the bill is passed....from the Children's Hospital in Washington, DC


Obama answers GOP critics

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RNC launches television ad against health care (Video)

Starting today in Arkansas, Nevada and North Dakota targeting the senators in those states.

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RNC Chairman, Michael Steele's speech at the National Press Club (Video)

Think Progress, Michael Steele's Quotes

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McDonald's giving its customers "Hepatitis A", for real

I just finished watching an ad for "sodas and juice drinks", the ad was against any taxes on these SUGAR DRINKS. The ad's main message was that taxing these items will do nothing for health care reform, but the thing is why are they on television already with this statement? I can go on and on about these items and how it contributes to obesity in children. We know this, just pop open a Mountain Dew and it is like pouring sugar in your mouth.

Part of health care reform is PEOPLE REFORM.

People reform is the responsibility of adults to pick and choose the right things to eat, drink for yourselves and your children. McDonald's and sodas, juice drinks are not picking the right things for your health. Eventually, eating and drinking this junk does catch up to you. Being fat or obese is only part of the puzzle, along with this comes high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, etc. Being fat and obese triggers all the above. This is why PEOPLE REFORM is the second part of health care reform. If people in this country don't change their behavior and poor habits, we will continue to pay for diseases that should not be a factor, but became a factor because of the poor choice by the individual.

McDonald's is a delight. When I was growing up, Mickey D's was a treat not an everyday norm, as it is NOW for million of Americans. So, is anyone surprised that Hepatitis A is floating around any McDonald's? I am not.

Food safety lawyer and blogger Bill Marler has been reporting about hepatitis A at McDonald's on his blog. 20 cases are linked to a Milan, IL McDonald's (including 11 hospitalizations). In fact, this isn't the first time McDonald's has given its customers McHepatitis A. I suppose that's part of the value meals? Marler says (of McDonald's): "How Many Times Does Lightening Need to Strike Before You Wake the Hell Up?" and points out they could vaccinate all employees for about $50 apiece.

A worker at the McDonald's in question was diagnosed with Hep A on June 9 (and would have been contagious long before that) but the disease was not reported to the health department until July 10. This was the first of two workers at the McDonald's who tested positive for the disease.

The timing of the diagnosis and reporting is critical because the spread of the disease can be halted most effectively if those who were exposed get vaccinations within 14 days after they were exposed. In other words, the month lag time in reporting this case was not a good thing. The Rock Island County Health Department is offering vaccinations to people who ate at the McDonald's during certain dates.

McDonald's as any public restaurant has a responsibility to inform its customers, community of any health issue, failing to do so just compounds things. It appears that McDonald's is more concerned with its image versus its leadership in doing the right thing for the public.

This alone should give many pause in visiting any McDonald's or any fast food junket, period. Along with taxing sugar drinks, the likes of McDonald's surely should be taxed too. If we can tax cigarettes and alcohol which is known for unhealthy results, the likes of McDonald's should be taxed for the unhealthy food it offers the public.

Is it choice by the public? Yes, but throwing a tax on fast food, like we tax all the rest of the unsavory things that are bad for us, will make a person pause before ordering that Big Mac.


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Obama ready to fight for health care

He will have to fight.

One thing pet peeve I had about the Obama Campaign and now the Administration is the malaise for responding to attacks.

The Michael Jackson death and coverage sucked the oxygen out of the room, while Obama was traveling to Russia, Italy and Ghana. But also, during that time much mischief arose from the Republicans and some Democrats in regards to health care reform.

Being President is a constant battle. The other side will always have something negative to say, expected, but the chatter from his own party makes one pause. It was nice that Obama wanted to show and actually work for bi-partisanship, but when only one half is willing it is not worth it. He finally got that message.

Health care reform will be passed by Democrats, we have the votes, 60 in fact. If Democrats torpedo this bill or water it down or remove any form of public option, it won't be Republicans in trouble going forward, it will be Democrats. Democrats in D.C. you need to go home and listen to your constituents who are struggling with NO INSURANCE, under INSURED, scared to go to a doctor because they can not afford it. Democrats in D.C., you need to wake up and start to listen. This debate does not need to be slowed down, you know the spiraling costs are outrageous and unaffordable, remember Democrats in D.C., do the right thing. Remember that.

Six months into his presidency, Barack Obama may have no greater test of his ability to translate personal popularity into a successful legislative agenda than the upcoming two weeks.

With skepticism about the president's health-care reform effort mounting on Capitol Hill -- even within his own party -- the White House has launched a new phase of its strategy designed to dramatically increase public pressure on Congress: all Obama, all the time.

Senior White House aides promise "an aggressive public and private schedule" for Obama as he presses his case for reform, including a prime-time news conference on Wednesday, a trip to Cleveland, and heavy use of Internet video to broadcast his message beyond the reach of the traditional media.

"Our strategy has been to allow this process to advance to the point where it made sense for the president to take the baton. Now's that time," said senior adviser David Axelrod. "I don't know whether he will Twitter or tweet. But he's going to be very, very visible."

Another senior White House aide added: "It's time to raise the stakes on this." read more here....

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Governor Mark Sanford's Op-Ed

You decide. Personally, the man needs to leave GOD out of it. For purely, hypocritical sentiments...

I have struggled with how best to convey my regret in letting so many down, and in that regard I realize this op-ed does not do justice to the process of saying “I am sorry.” A handwritten note or phone call would ultimately be more appropriate, but given the number of people I need to apologize to I write this to begin the journey of trying to get things more right with you and others.

It is true that I did wrong and failed at the largest of levels, but equally true is the fact that God can make good of our respective wrongs in life. In this vein, while none of us has the chance to attend our own funeral, in many ways I feel like I was at my own in the past weeks, and surprisingly I am thankful for the perspective it has afforded.

If you ever have the misfortune of being at this point, whether self-induced as in my case or not, it will give you an indeed amazing perspective on life and on what really matters. I read notes from someone who worked in a sandwich shop I ate at ten years ago, from 7th grade classmates, from state employees and more. While there have been lifetimes of lessons learned over the past weeks, three things most immediately come to mind.

One, forgiveness and grace really do matter. I used to believe that at an intellectual level, now it is at the level of heart. Over my life I have not given enough of either, and yet given all the ways in which my failings have come to light, I write to apologize for, in the most profound of ways, letting you and so many others down. In life it’s always the people closest to us that we hurt the most, and given my standing of public trust, I know I’ve hurt many across our state. I apologize for this, and more than anything would ask for your forgiveness going forward. read more here....

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CBS, Face the Nation, July 19, 2009 (Video)

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) spoke with Harry Smith on the progress of the health care reform bill. Plus, Bob Schieffer, John Glenn, and Douglas Brinkley discuss the life and legacy of Walter Cronkite.

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As we miss the most trusted voice in journalism....

one voice we don't miss or wish was not even on television is David Gregory.

Walter Cronkite's passing was a revelation of things, a reminder of what a real journalist was, a reminder of what we don't have on television today.

There is no real news on television now, since everything is about opinion and framing opinion for the public. Maybe this is the demise of news. Many of these organizations are not run by real news personnel, but the entertainment segment of its flagship. That is why the public don't trust news organizations any longer. These organizations are not straight shooters anymore, not like Walter Cronkite, one who gave you the story straight, honest and factually correct.

NBC has totally lost its luster. Here is David Gregory, moderator of Meet the Press, regarding the Mark Sanford fiasco:

Look, you guys have a lot of pitches.. I get it and I know this is a tough situation... Let me say just this is a place to have a wider conversation with some context about not just the personal but also the future for him and the party... This situation only exacerbates the issue of how the GOP recovers when another national leader suffers a setback like this. So coming on Meet the Press allows you to frame the conversation how you really want to... and then move on. You can see you have done your interview and then move on. Consider it.

What happened to asking hard questions, Mr. Gregory? But instead, inviting a Governor or staff member on his show to frame the conversation the way THEY WANT? David Gregory, Mark Sanford not only had an affair, but the man went AWOL from a state where NO ONE KNEW WHERE THE HELL HE WAS!!! He was totally irresponsible, totally neglected his duties and totally was wrong, but he is invited on Meet the Press in an attempt to CLEAN UP what he did by framing it his way?

This is why the public don't trust the media and this is why the media is a joke.

Read it all here.

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Republicans attempting to kill health care reform by delaying it

And there are some Democrats doing, it TOO!!

Remember, by not getting a health care reform passed, this is a major talking point for the Republicans. And don't think people won't listen, they will.

President Obama's Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Peter Orszag, accused Senate Republicans on Sunday of trying to kill health care reform by dragging out the legislative process.

Appearing on CNN's State of the Union, Orszag labeled the attempts to push back the health care reform timeline as a "typical Washington bureaucratic game of if you don't have a better alternative just delay in hopes that that kills something."

"We want to get this done by August and we think we can," he added. "There are those that are advocating delay just as a desperation move to try and kill this."

Orszag stressed that not everyone calling for delay had sinister motives. The moderate Democrats in the Senate and Blue Dog Democrats in the House, he said, were "actively participating in the debate and that is great." This past week, Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) Mary Landrieu (La.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.), along with Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) and Maine Republican Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins signed a letter asking to slow down the health care reform debate. read more here....

Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu takes big money from health care insurance lobbyists, period. We don't need to slow down a debate that we have been having for over 25 years, we need strong legislation favoring the American public. That is what we need, not slowing this debate down, for what? So, it is a red herring to be used against anyone in favor for health care reform or the public option in 2010 or 2012? I sure as hell don't see the Republicans offering ANYTHING in regards to health care, unless they are allowing their lobbyists buddies to write the legislation.

Health care reform is needed and must go through. I believe it will, but what kind of bill will it be? That is the argument right now.

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