Virgin, patroness of America, born at Lima, Peru 20 April, 1586; died there 30 August, 1617.
At her confirmation in 1597, she took the name of Rose, because, when an infant, her face had been seen transformed by a mystical rose.
As a child she was remarkable for a great reverence, and pronounced love, for all things relating to God.
This so took possession of her that thenceforth her life was given up to prayer and mortification.
She had an intense devotion to the Infant Jesus and His Blessed Mother, before whose altar she spent hours.
She was scrupulously obedient and of untiring industry, making rapid progress by earnest attention to her parents’ instruction, to her studies, and to her domestic work, especially with her needle.
Our Lord revealed Himself to her frequently, flooding her soul with such inexpressible peace and joy as to leave her in ecstasy for hours.
At these times she offered to Him all her mortifications and penances in expiation for offences against His Divine Majesty, for the idolatry of her country, for the conversion of sinners, and for the souls in Purgatory.
Many miracles followed her death.
She was beatified by Clement IX, in 1667, and canonized in 1671 by Clement X, the first American to be so honoured.
In 1602, the Dominican Order permitted her to enter a Dominican convent, without payment of the usual dowry. She donned the habit and took a vow of perpetual virginity.
In spite of the rigors of her ascetic life, Rose was not wholly detached from happenings around her, and her awareness of the suffering of others often led her to protest against some of the practices of the Spanish overlords.
In the New World, the discovery of unbelievable mineral resources was doing little to enrich or ennoble the lives of the Peruvian natives.
The gold and silver from this land of El Dorado was being shipped back to strengthen the empire and embellish the palaces and cathedrals of Old Spain; but at its source there was vice, exploitation, and corruption.
The natives were oppressed and impoverished, in spite of the missionaries’ efforts to alleviate their miseries and to exercise a restraining hand on the governing class.
Rose was cognizant of the evils, and spoke out against them fearlessly.
For 15 years, Rose bore the disapproval and persecution of those close to her, as well as the more severe trial of desolation of soul.
In time, an examination by priests and physicians was indicated, and this resulted in the judgment that her experiences were indeed supernatural.
Rose’s last years were passed in the home of a government official, Don Gonzalo de Massa.
During an illness towards the end of her life, she was able to pray, “Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase Thy love in my heart.”
This remarkable woman died on August 25, 1617, at the age of 31.
Not until after her death was it known how widely Rose’s influence had extended, and how deeply venerated she was by the common people of Lima.
When her body was borne down the street to the cathedral, a great cry of mourning arose from the crowd.
For several days it was impossible to perform the ritual of burial on account of the great press of sorrowing citizens around her bier.
She was finally laid to rest in the Dominican convent at Lima.
Later, when miracles and cures were being attributed to her intervention, the body was transferred to the church of San Domingo.
HH: Mark, there’s another three stories with English overtones and English origin today. The first is that in Jerusalem, excuse me, from Jerusalem, protests over an international aid envoy to Gaza, led by British MP George Galloway, turned violent yesterday, killed an Egyptian soldier, and injured dozens. Now this is a scoundrel. George Galloway is a bounder and a scoundrel. Why is he still walking around in public? MS: Well, the reason is that he speaks to, he is supported broadly by a big swathe of British, and wider European opinion, which is that the Europeans have fetishized the Palestinians as their kind of house pets. No matter how depraved and disgusting what goes on in Gaza is, the Europeans have fetishized them as their cause du jour. And really, I think now, have turned against Israel in ways that are quite vile, and speak very poorly for that, not just for the Continent, which has a bad track record on this, but also for the United Kingdom, which on the whole has a much better track record than the Continentals. And I think this is just sad and wretched, and speaks very badly for where Europe is headed.
5. But wait, there’s more! The U-6 rate rate which combines the basic jobless rate, discouraged workers, part-timers-who-would-rather-be-full-tim ers climbed to 17.3 percent. And the average duration of unemployment rose to a record high 29.1 weeks
Governor, I also want to talk to you about health care.
It is much on everyone’s mind.
There is a new marriage penalty, we found that out today in the Wall Street Journal, in Obamacare.
What’s your assessment of this bill, as much as we know about it?
MR: Well, we don’t know a lot about it, but what we do know doesn’t make us very pleased.
Clearly, if the President’s intention was to get people insured, why that’s something that could be done relatively easily without a huge cost being put on the American people, without new taxes being raised.
But his ambition is much broader than that.
It really is a government takeover of about one-fifth of the U.S. economy.
And that is something which is frightening to people not only in the medical community, but people who rely on Medicare for their source of health care, as well as though who are going to see their taxes go up to pay for this monstrosity.
HH: Now Governor, a lot of people say hey, Massachusetts has the first version of Obamacare.
I point out that the mandate in Massachusetts is done by the state, not the federal government, making the latter unconstitutional and the former Constitutional.
But what other differences are there between the system you helped to work to put into place in Massachusetts, and what President Obama has proposed?
MR: Well, I certainly didn’t take thousands of pages to write about it.
And very clearly, what we said was look, we’re not going to raise taxes on people.
We’re also not going to cut back on Medicare like the President’s plan does.
And our mandate is pretty soft.
It says look, if you choose not to get yourself insured, why you’re going to lose one of your tax exemptions, but it’s going to be a lot less burden than if you just go out and buy yourself some insurance.
And frankly, the system is working pretty well.
Massachusetts continues to be very high cost.
It was before, still is, and that’s a bigger problem.
But this bill in Washington doesn’t solve that problem, and that’s really where the President ought to be focusing.
(I remember seeing a poll which showed RomneyCare popular in Massachusetts. I also remember seeing statistics which showed premiums rising. Why not RomneyCare on a national scale? Or WydenCare? IMO, the worst thing about ObamaCare is that approx. 1/2 of the newly insured will be Medicaid recipients. There’s your public option.)
As the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley typically would be appointed as a member of the conference committee for the health care bill, and he had harsh words for the decision to skip it.
Grassley said Democrats want to finalize the legislation quickly because public support for the bill is falling.
He also referred to tax increases in the bill, saying: “If I come from a party that believes in treating the taxpayers like cows – you got to milk them regularly or they dry up – you obviously want to get the money out of them right now.”
Even when legislation goes through the official conference committee process, it’s not unusual for senators involved to hash out compromises behind closed doors and then vote on the final product in pro forma public sessions.
Pelosi declared Tuesday: “There has never been a more open process for any legislation in anyone who serves here’s experience.”
But Grassley said in the past, at least the major legislation he has worked on, such as the Medicare prescription drug benefit, involved bipartisan conference committees.
He also said that Obama promised change. “Obama made a pledge to do it differently, and he’s not doing it differently.”
The House and Senate still have to iron out six key differences  between their versions of the legislation before Obamacare can be signed into law. But getting past the House and Senate may just be the beginning of the plan’s problems. Not only are the Attorneys General of Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas and Washington jointly investigating  whether Sen. Ben Nelson’s (D-NE) Cornhusker Kickback  violates the Constitution, but multiple public interest law firms are promising to also challenge whether the scheme’s individual mandate  meets constitutional muster.
Now conservative activists are adding yet another post-passage hurdle for Obamacare survive. The Denver Post reports :
Coloradans will likely be asked in November to blunt the impact of federal health-insurance reform with a state constitutional amendment that would attempt to undo some of what Congress is trying to pass.
Jon Caldara of the Independence Institute said Tuesday that he is still working on the language for his proposal, which would then need signatures from 76,047 voters to make the ballot. But he intends to find out in the fall whether voters want to stop the federal government from dictating insurance requirements to Coloradans.
At the same time, a freshman state lawmaker says she’ll push her legislative colleagues to opt the state out of the congressional health care reforms.
The state measures would be two of at least 14 similar plans being advanced by conservatives and libertarians across the country. Courts will likely have to decide whether states have the authority to trump or opt out of a federal mandate, but the proposals underscore how the health-insurance debate is already moving from Washington to state legislatures.
The most flagrant constitutional abuse has become known as the “Cornhusker Kickback,” in which the Democratic leadership bought Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson’s vote by promising to pick up the whole tab in that state, and only that state, for expanded Medicaid coverage.
Whatever happened to “equal protection of the law” and promoting the “general welfare?” Even many Nebraskans, with their Midwestern sense of probity, are uncomfortable about being singled out for special favors.
This brings us to what could be called the “Gator Grab,” engineered by Florida Sen. Bill Nelson. In exchange for his vote, Nelson managed to preserve Medicare Advantage privileges for Floridians that aren’t available to seniors in other states.
The flagrant vote-buying, which has become known as “cash for cloture,” is such a gross violation of constitutional principles that it’s hard to believe it could stand up in court.
There are other legal questions as well, including whether the Constitution’s enumerated powers give Washington the authority to force supposedly free Americans to purchase health insurance. Also, the measure mandates that states set up insurance exchanges. If they don’t, the federal government would do it for them. This would pose a direct challenge to the constitutional guarantee of state sovereignty and make the states nothing more than the federal government’s serfs.
The founders of the nation worried about the concentration of power, which is why they devised a federal system of government that dispersed it. That system has broken down, and today the concentration of power in Washington poses a threat to individual liberty and national prosperity.
Washington’s fiscal mismanagement has created a national debt that could implode the country. The arrogance and ignorance of national leaders has gotten the United States into ill-conceived wars. Americans think they live in a free country, but the federal government has abrogated the power to throw them in jail for doing something as innocuous as smoking a Cuban cigar.
Now, Washington is poised to enact a health-care measure that will further drain the treasury and undermine the Constitution while increasing by only seven percent the number of Americans covered by some type of health insurance. This is insane.
If the federal system of government has outlived its usefulness, then it’s time to call a constitutional convention to do away with it. If it hasn’t, then members of Congress should download an app of the Constitution to their iPhones or Blackberry’s and, when not engaged in selling their votes, read the document from start to finish.
“Sen. Ben Nelson said Thursday he has asked Democratic leadership to extend to all states the extra Medicaid funding promised to Nebraska in the health care reform bill,” The Associated Press reports.
“The Democrat wouldn’t say who he has spoken to regarding the so-called ‘Cornhusker Kickback’ but that he would see to it that Nebraska doesn’t get a special deal.”
Nelson said if he can’t get similar treatment for every state, “he wants states to be freed from paying the cost of Medicaid expansion.
That could mean eliminating the provision, finding another way to pay for it or allowing states to opt out” (Ross, 1/7).
“eliminating the provision” — And lose Nelson’s vote?
“finding another way to pay for it” — such as?
“allowing states to opt out” — haven’t we heard this one before?
Roll Call: “Nelson has spent the holiday recess trying to explain the provision, even launching a statewide television ad buy to push back against the criticism. …
Some states, nervous about their own budget problems, have protested the expansion.
In response, Senators who drafted the bill inserted a provision allowing that the federal government subsidize each state’s portion of the Medicaid expansion through 2017” (Drucker, 1/7).
CongressDaily: “Nelson was concerned that Nebraska could not afford to foot part of the bill, as states do under Medicaid, to pay for a mandated expansion of the program to those earning 133 percent of the federal poverty level. …
‘I’ve been in serious discussions with Senate leaders and others to secure changes in the bill to treat all states equally,’ Nelson said.
‘At the end of the day, whatever Nebraska gets will apply to all states'” (Edney, 1/7).
On health care, House Democrats assembled on a conference call to plan their negotiating strategy while a handful of key Senators did some strategizing of their own.
Politico reports that Ben Nelson is in “serious discussions” with Democratic leaders to extend the same deal he got on Medicaid to other states, a move that would significantly increase the cost of the bill.
Roll Call notes that “Nelson has spent the holiday recess trying to explain the provision, even launching a statewide television ad buy to push back against the criticism.”
Given that, what if the language is dropped altogether from the final bill rather than being expanded?
Would Nelson still vote for passage?
The senator got some key backing from a fellow Nebraskan Thursday, as Warren Buffet praised Nelson for voting for the Senate bill: ”
“I think he did the right thing. I think he did the courageous thing.”
(Heeding Warren Buffet’s advice has been a real boon for your average American. – sarcasm)
Blumenthal was widely thought to be a likely Lieberman foe in 2012, so his candidacy in 2010 opens the door for other Democrats to eye that race. Murphy appears to be laying a marker for two years from now.
Of course, he’ll first need to get past one of two Republicans — Justin Bernier or state Sen. Sam Caligiuri, who dropped his own Senate bid this year in favor of going after Murphy — in this year’s election. That may prevent him from being too forward about his 2012 plans.
(Will Connecticut elect a Republican or an Independent to replace Dodd? As for Lieberman in 2012, I wonder if he’ll even run in Dem primary. Maybe he’ll just run as an Independent, again. It remains to be seen if he’ll have strong Dem and Repub challengers. Lieberman’s been through this before. So I’m guessing no matter the outcome, he’ll have an easier time dealing with it this time around.)
The paper, “Bad Faith & Broken Promises: Accountability and Transparency Casualties of Health Care Debate,” by policy analyst Matt Patterson, asks House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:
* Is it “honest” to hide the true cost of your legislation with budgetary gimmicks in which three years of new taxes precede the bulk of the spending, making your program seem more affordable than it really is in an artificial budgetary window?
* Is it “open” for the Congressional leadership to “secretly craft the final bill behind closed doors,” far from the prying eyes of the press, the public, and the rest of Congress, or to have important procedural votes in the middle of the night, or pass critical legislation on Christmas Eve, when most sane people are blissfully distracted from the machinations on Capitol Hill?
* Is it “ethical” to buy the votes of recalcitrant members of your caucus with hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars in backroom deals, such as “the inclusion of $100-$300 million in added federal aid for Medicaid recipients in Louisiana, the home state of Sen. Mary Landrieu,” in return for her vote, or the offer to Senator Ben Nelson of “a permanent exemption from the state share of Medicaid expansion” for his home state of Nebraska, in exchange for his vote?
“Despite promises made by Congressional leaders, they have shepherded health care legislation through Congress in a manner that is demonstrably secretive, unethical and dishonest,” says Patterson. “Promise after promise made by the Congressional leadership to conduct an open, bi-partisan process to reform health care has been shamelessly broken. It’s really quite astounding; Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama, don’t even try to pretend to hold to their many and frequent promises to conduct open and fair negotiations to reform American health care.”
Patterson concludes: “The question we have to ask ourselves is: Why have they done this in secret? What is it about this process that they don’t want the public, the press, or even fellow members of Congress to see?”
The former commander of al Qaeda’s military is thought to have been killed in a mid-December airstrike on a command center in Pakistan’s Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan.
Abdullah Said al Libi, the leader of the Lashkar al Zil or Shadow Army, is believed to have been killed in the Dec. 17, 2009, swarm attack in the Datta Khel region in North Waziristan.
The attack was carried out by an estimated five or six unmanned US Predator or Reaper strike aircraft and hit multiple targets, including a safe house, a cave, and a vehicle.
Ten Hellfire missiles were said to have been launched in the strike.
The airstrike was reported to have killed Zuhaib al Zahibi, a senior commander in the Shadow Army, six al Qaeda operatives, and nine Haqqani network fighters.
Zahibi was a “general officer-equivalent” in the Shadow Army, a US intelligence official told The Long War Journal.
Al Libi was a Libyan national who is thought to have served in his country’s military before joining al Qaeda.
In April 2009, al Libi explained al Qaeda and the Taliban’s strategy to retake control of the Khorasan, a region that encompasses large areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Iran.
In the statement, al Libi is identified as the leader of the Qaidat al-Jihad fi Khorasan, or the Base of the Jihad in the Khorasan.
As the top commander of the Shadow Army, al Libi was tasked with running al Qaeda’s military organization in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Elements of the Shadow Army are attached to conduct complex attacks alongside the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, and the multitude of Pakistani jihadi groups.
The Shadow Army also detaches members to serve as embedded trainers with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The US military killed once such commander on Dec. 1, during a raid in Kunar province.
Qari Masiullah was described as the “al Qaeda chief of security for Kunar province” who “ran a training camp that taught insurgents how to use and emplace IEDs that were used in attacks on Afghan civilians, ANSF, and Coalition forces throughout the Nangarhar, Nuristan, Kunar, and Laghman provinces.”
The United States sees the drones as a highly effective weapon in a global hub for militants.
The strikes have killed some prominent al Qaeda militants.
Many al Qaeda and Taliban members fled to northwestern Pakistan’s ungoverned ethnic Pashtun belt after U.S.-led forces ousted Afghanistan’s Taliban government in 2001.
From there they have orchestrated insurgencies in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Pakistan has not objected to drone strikes that have killed militants fighting the Pakistani state, such as Pakistan Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud.
But Pakistan does oppose strikes on strategic regional assets such as the Afghan Haqqani militant group, which had ties with Pakistan’s ISI spy agency and would give it leverage in Afghanistan if the country is gripped by chaos again.
“the Afghan Haqqani militant group” — we would be absolutely nuts and suicidal NOT to target this group! I really do appreciate the Pakistani military and they and the civilian population are suffering. But, really, how can they expect us to do otherwise? We cannot succeed in Afghanistan without destroying Haqqani.
Despite all the hurdles, a bipartisan group of senators is forging ahead on a bill to cut carbon emissions by utilities, refineries and factories over the next four decades by 17 percent from 2005 levels.
Senator John Kerry, who is leading the effort, expects to be recovered from surgery and back in Washington when the Senate reconvenes on January 20, to huddle with independent Senator Joe Lieberman and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, according to a spokeswoman. The two are key to winning support from moderates and conservatives.
One Senate staffer said 17 pro-nuclear senators have had input into what could become a major provision of the bill aimed at luring Republican votes. “That part (nuclear power) ironically is in fairly good shape at this point.”
While nuclear power plants do not emit the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, the industry has been weighed down by prohibitively high construction costs and controversy over nuclear waste storage.
Expanding domestic oil and gas drilling is another important goal for Republicans and that component of a climate bill is “still 100 percent in flux,” said the Senate source.
While producing more oil and gas here will do nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it would reduce dependence on foreign oil and potentially lure Republican votes.
On the sidelines of the U.N. climate meeting in Copenhagen, Kerry left open the possibility that the core of the climate bill could be scrapped. That is the “cap and trade” system for reducing carbon emissions through ever-dwindling pollution permits that could be traded on a new exchange.
A carbon tax and a “cap” without the “trade” component are among possibilities. But for now, Kerry, Lieberman and Graham are sticking with cap and trade, aiming to quell nervousness over the scheme by including tougher market controls.
2.Het ontstaan van de moderne tijd wordt voornamelijk gekenmerkt door twee belangrijke principes:
3.The emergence of the modern period is mainly characterized by two important principles:
Cogito ergo sum Cogito ergo sum
4.1.Cogito ergo sum, ik denk dus ik besta.
5.1.Cogito ergo sum, I think, therefore I exist.
6.Sinds René Descartes mag aan alles worden getwijfeld.
7.Since René Descartes everything should be doubted.
8.Niet de schepping noch een institutionele religie wordt als dé bron van zekerheid beschouwd.
9.Not the creation or an institutional religion is regarded as the source of security.
10.Aan alles mag en moet soms worden getwijfeld.
11.Everything can and must sometimes be questioned.
12.Alleen het denken kan de zekerheid verschaffen. Only thinking can provide the security.
13.En omdat het denken niet gezuiverd is van misverstanden en bijgeloof, is telkens de vraag wat denken zelf eigenlijk is.
14.And because thought is not purified from misunderstandings and superstitions, is always the question of what thinking itself is.
15.Al een aantal eeuwen worstelt de westerse wetenschap, onder leiding van de filosofie, met deze vraagstelling.
16.Already a number of centuries struggling Western science, led by the philosophy, these questions.
Maar de radicaliteit van de plicht om te twijfelen, bracht de Duitse monnik Maarten Luther voort.
17.But the radicalism of the duty to doubt, took the German monk Martin Luther continued.
18.Luther spijkerde zijn stellingen die het gezag van de moederkerk in twijfel bracht op een katholieke kerk.
19.Luther nailed his theses to the authority of the mother church in doubt brought in a Catholic church.
20.En zo werden de christelijke middeleeuwen definitief aan de deuren van de kerk vastgespijkerd.
21.And so the Christian Middle Ages were definitively nailed the doors of the church.
22.Daardoor kwam het christelijke Europa in vuur en vlam terecht.
23.This brought Christian Europe ablaze right.
Doodsbang voor hervorming Dead Bang for reform
24.De fundamentalistische pleitbezorgers van de islam zijn doodsbang voor de dag waarop op de deuren van hun moskeeën de twijfelzaaiende stellingen van het denken worden vastgespijkerd.
25.The advocates of fundamentalist Islam are terrified of the day the doors of their mosques doubt hateful allegations of thought are nailed down.
Hiervoor hoeft het westen zich niet te verontschuldigen.
This does not excuse the West.
26.Sterker nog, de leider van de vrije wereld moet dit proces van het denken aanmoedigen.
27.Indeed, the leader of the free world should encourage this process of thought.
28.Dit deed de voorganger van meneer Obama wel. This was the predecessor of Mr. Obama is.
29.Hij subsidieerde allerlei instituten die dat proces konden bespoedigen.
30.He subsidized many institutions that could accelerate that process.
31.Precies in dat klimaat kwamen de moslimsgeleerden in hun ‘Arab Human Development Report’ tot de conclusie dat de culturele en politieke toestand van de Arabische wereld ondraaglijk achter is gebleven.
32.It is in this environment came the Muslim scholars in their ‘Arab Human Development Report “concludes that the cultural and political situation of the Arab world has fallen unbearable.
Deze voortdurende onzekerheid over de ultieme grondslag van het bestaan is niet altijd een zegen.
33.This continuing uncertainty about the ultimate basis of existence is not always a blessing.
34.De nieuwe religies, zoals het nazisme en het communisme, probeerden eeuwige zekerheid te verschaffen aan de moderne mens.
35.The new religions such as Nazism and Communism, tried eternal assurance to the modern man.
36.Maar het denken van het Avondland dorst naar vragen en verlangt naar een innerlijke crisis.
37.But thinking of the Occident thirst for questions and calls for an internal crisis.
38.Dit is de ware kracht van het Westen, meneer de president.
39.This is the true power of the West, Mr. President.
Het volk als grondslag The people as a basis
40.2. 2. Niet God, maar het Volk is de ultieme grondslag van de politieke en juridische machtsuitoefening.
41.Not God, but the people is the ultimate basis of political and legal domination.
42.De goddelijke soevereiniteit werd ingeruild met de volkssoevereiniteit.
43.The divine sovereignty was traded to the popular sovereignty.
44.De moderne democratie is gebaseerd op het principe van de volkssoevereiniteit.
45.Modern democracy is based on the principle of popular sovereignty.
46.De macht, in de moderne tijd kan niet worden gelegitimeerd met een verwijzing naar God, religie of een kerk.
47.The power, in modern times can not be legitimized with reference to God, religion or a church.
De periodieke verkiezingen vormen de legitimatiebasis van de macht.
48.Periodic elections are the basic legitimacy of power.
49.Dit principe valt vaak niet uit te leggen in moslimslanden.
50.This principle is often difficult to explain in Muslim countries.
51.Zie de gebeurtenissen in het islamitische Iran.
52.See the events in the Islamic Iran.
53.En zelfs in de staten waar men niet rechtstreeks op basis van de wetten van Allah regeert, heersen de eeuwige presidenten.
54.And even in States where not directly based on the laws of Allah reigns eternal reign presidents.
55.Het Egypte waar Obama sprak, wordt al decennia lang geregeerd door één familie.
56.The Egypt where Obama spoke, has been ruled for decades by a family.
Vreemde waardering Foreign valuation
57.De president sprak een vreemde waardering uit voor de Egyptische islamschool: ‘Ik heb geleerd uit de geschiedenis dat we de beschaving te danken hebben aan de islam.
58.The president spoke a strange appreciation for the Egyptian Islamic school: “I’ve learned from history that we owe civilization to Islam.
59.Het was de islam – bijvoorbeeld op plekken als de Al-Azhar University – die eeuwenlang het licht van het leren droeg, en zo voor de Europese Renaissance en Verlichting de weg vrij maakte.’
60.It was Islam – in places such as the Al-Azhar University – for centuries the light of learning was wearing, and thus the European Renaissance and Enlightenment paved the way. ”
Ik begrijp helemaal niks van deze zin.
I understand nothing of this sentence.
61.De belangrijkste Middeleeuwse moslimsfilosofen zoals Alfarabi, Avecina en Averroes hadden werkelijk niks met Al-Azhar.
62.The most important medieval Muslim philosophers such as Alfarabi, Avecina and Averroes had really nothing to al-Azhar.
63.Om nog maar te zwijgen van Europa. Not to mention Europe.
64.Hiermee wil president Obama zeker het ego van zijn Egyptische speechschrijfster Dalia Mogahed strelen.
65.This is certainly the ego of President Obama his Egyptian speech writer Dalia Mogahed caress.
Het Westen als vijand The West as an enemy
66.Obama heeft op de echte fundamentalisten nooit indruk gemaakt: het Westen was en is de vijand.
67.Obama has the real fundamentalists never impressed: the West was and is the enemy.
68.Maar met dit soort vreemde uitspraken maakt hij evenmin indruk op de intellectuelen.
69.But this strange sort of statements he makes no impression on the intellectuals.
70.De rest van zijn tekst is nog slechter dan de twee alinea’s die ik hier heb becommentarieerd.
71.The rest of his text is even worse than the two paragraphs that I’ve commented.
President Obama richt zich voornamelijk tot de fundamentalisten.
72.President Obama focuses the fundamentalists.
73.Stelt u zich eens voor dat de Amerikaanse persdiensten zich op een neerbuigende wijze zouden richten op de ideologie van de Sovjetunie.
74.Imagine that the U.S. press services on a condescending way, focus on the ideology of the Soviet Union.
75.Maar dat doen zij niet. But they do not.
De Amerikaanse presidenten richtten zich tot de burgers van de Sovjetunie die naar vrijheid en vrede dorsten.
76.The American presidents turned to the citizens of the Soviet Union who thirst for freedom and peace.
77.Ook Obama moet zich richten tot de moslims, waarvan velen niet gelovig zijn.
78.Obama also must address the Muslims, many of whom are not religious.
79.Bovendien moet hij de wens voor vrijheid en democratie ter sprake brengen.
80.Moreover, the wish for freedom and democracy to raise.
81.Hiervoor heeft Obama zijn hoofddoekbrigade in het Witte Huis niet nodig.
82.This has been Obama headscarf brigade in the White House not necessary.
Mijn volgende blog zal gaan over het zwijgen van linkse intelligentsia over Obama.
83.My next blog will be about the silence of leftist intelligentsia over Obama.
“Obama headscarf brigade in the White House” — Oh, that was classic!
This is one of the starkest paradoxes of American politics: that George W. Bush – whatever his other flaws – was ingenuous to a fault, while the herald of a new politics, Barack Obama, was insincere to the point of cynicism, especially about the process issues that were so central to his new-politics appeal.
He punked voters into believing he represented a new way of doing business, before immediately embracing the old practices on behalf of a very old agenda of state aggrandizement.
The public’s dawning awareness of this accounts for the rapidly closing window for health care and other major initiatives.
The Democrats’ race against time – and their inability to command popular support – makes the process uglier than ever.
Sen. Ben Nelson is on roughly his fourth explanation for the Cornhusker Kickback, the enormous Medicaid payoff for his vote, each more implausible than the last.
It’d be instructive to see his panicked strategy sessions about the wave of revulsion to his deal in Nebraska and even among his fellow Democratic senators.
Pls view this video. I think it’s very important. I think O’Reilly makes a good point. I don’t want to make the same mistake that some on the left made in regards to “W” And Karl Rove calls out Gore and others on statements they made. IMO, Gore’s speech did enormous damage to our country and we still haven’t recovered. I will never trust Gore about anything ever.
But now that critics have raised the profile of Nebraska’s state exemption, the best way to address it is to expand the deal to all 50 states (and eligible territories) and pass an even higher Medicaid tax on upper income groups to pay for it.
“an even higher Medicaid tax on upper income groups”
Is this what Obama Reid Pelosi are discussing behind closed doors?
Cordray wrote yesterday to Ohio’s congressional delegation, urging the members to remove language in the proposal that would stick the federal government with the bill for expanding Medicaid coverage in Nebraska and a few other states.
The language emerged during wheeling and dealing over provisions of the massive health-care legislation in late December. Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat, agreed to support the Senate bill after his state was spared the cost of expanding Medicaid. Nelson now says that he intended for all states to get relief.
“Given all the effort we put in every day to protect taxpayer funds that go to pay for Ohio’s Medicaid program, I must in good conscience oppose the notion that Ohio taxpayers would be required to fund those same costs for the people of an entirely different state,” Cordray wrote.
Cordray’s letter came after the two Republicans vying to replace him, Mike DeWine and Dave Yost, criticized him for his silence on the matter.
Thirteen attorneys general, all Republicans, wrote to the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate at the end of December suggesting they would face a legal challenge if the Nebraska exemption was in final legislation.
Cordray would not say whether he would join such a lawsuit.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says concessions made to Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson to win his vote on the health care overhaul bill were a “rip-off” for his state and is urging California lawmakers to vote against it.
In an interview airing Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, Schwarzenegger says giving extra Medicaid benefits to Nebraska to secure Nelson’s vote, critical to Senate passage of the measure, was “like buying a vote.” In Sacramento, he says, “it is illegal to do that, to buy votes.”
Schwarzenegger was one of the few Republicans to express support for health care reform, but last week protested the deal that gave Nebraska more Medicaid money but not other states.
Nelson said he is asking the Democratic leadership to extend to all states the extra Medicaid money Nebraska would receive under the bill. The House and Senate are now negotiating the final version.
There is no perfect answer to these problems other than providing a lot more federal money for Medicaid expansion.
So far the Senate has provided extra money to win the votes of key senators, most notoriously by granting Nebraska full federal funding in perpetuity for all newly eligible people it enrolls.
Ideally, that should be done for all states, as Senator Ben Nelson, under fire for his special deal, has recently suggested.
That is not apt to happen.
But surely Congress could find at least a little more money to ease the problems of California and other states that have already expanded their Medicaid rolls and now face crushing deficits.
“a little more money” — are you kidding me?! In order for all 50 states to get the same deal as Nebraska, we’re talking a lot more money. Obama promised HC bill would be “deficit-neutral.” Obama-Reid-Pelosi would have to convince Blue Dogs and the CBO would have to score this thing all over again.
Question: If CornHusker Kickback not extended to all 50 states, then does Ben Nelson withhold his 60th vote?
Republican opposition to health care reform has been dubbed obstructionist, but the legislation passed by the U.S. Senate gives GOP opponents, and Democratic ones too, reason to speak out.
The legislation is loaded with special provisions and exceptions that have S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster and 13 other attorneys general threatening legal action.
Specifically, the states’ legal officers are in opposition to what McMaster calls the “Cornhusker Kickback” that would mean the federal government pays 100 percent of the tab for Medicaid expansion in Nebraska. McMaster says the provision was nothing more than a way to get Nebraska Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson to vote for the health care bill. Nelson’s vote assured the bill would pass.
The attorneys general say, “We believe this provision is constitutionally flawed. As chief legal officers of our states we are contemplating a legal challenge …
… All other states would not be similarly treated, and instead would be required to allocate substantial sums, potentially totaling billions of dollars, to accommodate H.R. 3590’s new Medicaid mandates. In addition to violating the most basic and universally held notions of what is fair and just, we also believe this provision of H.R. 3590 is inconsistent with protections afforded by the United States Constitution against arbitrary legislation.”
The attorneys general also foresee challenges under the due process, equal protection, privileges and immunities clauses, and other provisions of the Constitution.
S.C. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who voted against the bill, cites other exceptions:
“In the state of Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield will be exempted from paying certain taxes.
*** In the state of Florida, seniors who enjoy the benefits of participating in Medicare Advantage will be protected from losing that coverage, a benefit not provided to seniors in other states.” ***
(Why aren’t Repubs screaming about this?!)
“The legislation is loaded with similar provisions,” Graham says. “It’s certainly not the way we should be legislating on an issue as important as health care, which comprises one-sixth of our national economy.”
“President Obama is leading an extreme, left-wing crusade to bankrupt America,” McCain says in the new ad, I stand in his way every day.”
Asked about McCain’s new ad Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. Joe Lieberman said “You know, every now and then, John McCain and I disagree.”
“I don’t agree with that,” Lieberman added referring to McCain’s attack on Obama for record federal spending in the last year.
“I think that the president understands the importance of bringing our government back into balance.
Look, he came in at a most difficult economic time, inheriting a national debt that had doubled in the preceding eight years.”
(There’s nothing wrong with criticizing Reagan and the Bushes on increasing our “national debt.” But you have to be honest about Obama’s contributions, as well.)
Lieberman also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that he thought Obama might mention “some tough medicine for our economy” during his first State of the Union address expected next month. “We need it and I hope there’ll be bipartisan support in Congress for doing that,” Lieberman said of the fiscal belt-tightening some observers expect Obama to push for in the second year of his presidency.
McCain, appearing side-by-side with Lieberman Sunday while the two senators are on an overseas Congressional visit, defended his hard-hitting ad against Obama.
“The president promised that he would stop the wasteful spending. He has not vetoed these pork barrel bills. We have increased the debt and deficit dramatically,” McCain told King.
“The spending is out of control and it’s not been brought under control,” the Arizona Republican also said Sunday. “And that’s what I’m fighting because we’ve laid a debt on our children and grandchildren that is unconscionable.”
the United States has to actually DO some things. Those things are easy, proper, inexpensive, and non-violent, just like the Green Movement itself. Here a few such actions: First, provide aid to the families of the political prisoners, and of the dissident martyrs. This should be accompanied by public calls for the release of the prisoners and an end to torture and all human rights violations in Iranian prisons; Second, provide modern communications devices to dissidents. In the Cold War we sent fax machines to Soviet dissidents; today’s freedom fighters need modern telephones and servers; Third, bring an end to the regime’s successful jamming of radio and tv broadcasts into the country (nowadays, BBC, VOA, PARS and Farda are effectively off the air, while Iranian broadcasts on the same Hotbird satellite–including no less than seventeen tv channels–broadcast with no difficulty. Iranians need to know what is going on in their own country, and they need to hear encouraging words from the West. Simple, proper and non-violent, but effective measures against an evil, violent regime that is killing its own people and ours every single day. Faster, Please.
Find in southern France puts humans in Europe 200,000 earlier AFP – Experts on prehistoric man are rethinking their dates after a find in a southern French valley that suggests our ancestors may have reached Europe 1.57 million years ago: 200,000 earlier than we thought. What provoked the recount was a pile of fossilised bones and teeth uncovered 15 years ago by local man Jean Rouvier in a basalt quarry at Lezignan la Cebe, in the Herault valley, Languedoc.
In what is more bad news for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, 60 percent of Nevadans say they do not approve of Reid’s efforts to push the bill through Congress. That number includes 27 percent of Democrats who do not approve of Reid’s actions. The paper’s pollsters found that a broad majority of state residents just don’t like the legislative maneuvering Reid and his fellow Democrats engaged in to get the bill through the Senate. Sure, Reid’s “Negro” comments put him in hot water this weekend, but it’s Obamacare, not racial politics, that’s bothering most Nevadans.
Meanwhile, Democrats continue to negotiate over other provisions that could change the cost of the health care bill by billions of dollars, such as Sen. Ben Nelson’s deal to cover the cost of Medicaid expansion in Nebraska with federal funds.
In the wake of complaints from everyone from Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Nelson says he is trying to extend the deal to all 50 states, in spite of the enormous cost it would place on the federal government.
“in spite of the enormous cost” — and how to pay for it?
Someone, pls ask Ben Nelson — will you still vote to get HC bill back onto the Senate floor if same deal NOT extended to all 50 states?
In the meantime, negotiators are looking to extend to all states a version of the special deal that saved Sen. Ben Nelson’s home state of Nebraska from the bill’s increased Medicaid costs.
Nelson himself is pushing for this change, which would cost $25 billion to $30 billion over 10 years.
One solution: somewhat more modest across-the-board Medicaid relief to all states.
“$25 billion to $30 billion over 10 years” — And pay for this how ???
This negotiation will be unusual because almost everything the House and Senate agree to will be subject to the consent, or at least acquiescence, of Nelson and Joe Lieberman, the last two senators to commit to vote for the bill last month.
Visiting senior US senators told their Israelis hosts on Sunday that they disapprove of the Obama Administration’s attempt to pressure Israel by threatening to withhold aid, and vowed they would never let that happen.
Senator John McCain told a Jerusalem press conference that he expects President Barack Obama to explicitly announce that his administration is not planning to alter America’s policy regarding financial aid to Israel.
Senator Joe Lieberman promised that even if Obama did try to use US financial aid as leverage, Congress would never approve such a measure.
McCain and Lieberman were also joined by senators John Thune and John Barrasso.
The visit by the senior and powerful lawmakers came just days after Obama’s special Middle East envoy George Mitchell caused a diplomatic storm by suggesting in an interview with Charlie Rose that the US may withhold financial aid if Israel did not meet more Arab demands.
“Theoretically of course, the withdrawal of loan guarantees could be an act of pressure, but Israel doesn’t really need loan guarantees,” says Peter Medding, an expert on US-Israel relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “But if they try to do it, as they did very unsuccessfully in the early 1990s, it would have to come from the White House. I don’t think it’s Obama’s style, and I don’t think it fits the circumstances. If anything, they’ve been trying to persuade Abbas to come to the party, and are still waiting for him. ”
Certainly, Senators John McCain (R) of Arizona and Joseph Lieberman (I) of Connecticut agree with this view, as the two expressed during a press conference in Jerusalem.
“Any attempt to pressure Israel, to force Israel, to the negotiating table by denying Israel support will not pass the Congress of the United States,” said Senator Lieberman.
Senator McCain added: “We disagree, obviously, with that comment and I am sure that you will see the administration in the future say that is certainly not the administration’s policy.”
The downside of that is that when you do that, all those deals are under intense scrutiny. I mean, everything you do and everything that you are involved in that process, all of a sudden people are going to be asking a lot of questions, why did he get all this special treatment? Keep in mind, Mary Landrieu got several hundred million dollars for Louisiana. MARY AGNES CAREY: Right, and nobody’s talking about it. Vermont got more money, I mean there were some limits placed on that. I think when people look at the Nebraska deal, they say now wait a minute, forever the federal government picks this up? Is that fair? But it gets to the heart of how difficult it is to get consensus on this Bill. Ben Nelson kept those talks going. The pressure was on him. All the attention was on him, and we are going to see this revisited, just because the Senate passed its package with 60 votes, to get that again could be tougher and it could be tougher in the House as well where it passed, depending upon what they come up with in this conference package.
A rising star in theoretical physics offers his awesome vision of our universe and beyond, all beginning with a simple question:
Why does time move forward?
In January, Caltech physicist Sean Carroll will release his much-anticipated debut book, From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time.
SciFi buffs will grok out on his thesis that our perception of time is informed by entropy — the level of disorder in a system.
The basic laws of physics work equally well forward or backward in time, yet we perceive time to move in one direction only—toward the future and
that the movement from low to high entropy as the universe expands establishes the direction in which time flows.
To account for it, we have to delve into the prehistory of the universe, to a time before the big bang.
Our universe may be part of a much larger multiverse, which as a whole is time-symmetric.
Time may run backward in other universes.
Some universes, he argues, don’t experience time at all;
once a universe cools off and reaches maximum entropy, there is no past or present.
Here’s how Carroll describes his thesis:
“Microscopic laws of physics are essentially time-reversal invariant, but macroscopic thermodynamics exhibits a profound time-asymmetry;
entropy typically increases in closed systems.
This intriguing feature of the real world has a cosmological origin:
the entropy of the early universe was fantastically small.
After a century of effort, it has been difficult to explain this arrow of time without assuming time-asymmetric boundary conditions.
Jennifer Chen and I have suggested a simple scenario in which increasing entropy is natural, based on the idea that the entropy can increase without bound (there is no equilibrium state) and that the way entropy increases is by creating universes like our own.
In our picture, any generic state first evolves to an empty de Sitter phase;
the small temperature of de Sitter allows for fluctuations into a proto-inflationary configuration, which grows and reheats into a conventional Big-Bang spacetime.
The same thing happens in the far past, but with a reversed arrow of time.
On ultra-large scales, therefore, entropy is growing without bound in the asymptotic future and past.”
I’ve tried to compress one of Sean Carroll’s talks into a 10 minutes video, so to some people it might be a little hard to follow, while to others it might still be a little too shallow. If you’re interested in this topic, I urge you to watch the entire one hour talk over here:
NEW HAVEN — The sweet deal worked out in the health care bill for U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., that caused an uproar across the country may be extended to all 50 states.
“It looks as though we may end up having that all states will get roughly the same benefit that Nebraska would have gotten,” U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., said Monday in a visit to the Hospital of Saint Raphael.
In exchange for his vote on the Senate version of the health care bill, Nelson negotiated that the federal government pick up 100 percent of the cost of taking on new Medicaid recipients in Nebraska.
“In the long run, the other states may be actually grateful that Senator Nelson insisted on that provision,” Dodd said. Several governors had threatened to sue over the deal, including Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell.
Dodd did not think only Nebraska should have that advantage, something with which Nelson also agrees.
Dodd, who announced last week he would not seek a sixth term in the Senate in the light of his dropping poll numbers and other things, said he hoped negotiations between the House and Senate on a compromise health bill will be wrapped up in a week or so.
But the narrow margin of victory in both legislative bodies prompted Dodd to say ultimate passage of health care reform continues to be “hanging by a thread. It’s one or two votes. That’s all it would take.”
“In the meantime, negotiators are looking to extend to all states a version of the special deal that saved Sen. Ben Nelson’s home state of Nebraska from the bill’s increased Medicaid costs. Nelson himself is pushing for this change, which would cost $25 billion to $30 billion over 10 years. One solution: somewhat more modest across-the-board Medicaid relief to all states.”
This basically tracks with what I’m hearing.
The Medicare Commission remains unsettled, and the way the excise tax is valued might change.
In particular, it may be tied to actuarial value rather than total cost, or it may account more directly for age.
The precise mix of insurance regulations might shift as well, as the House has a stronger set than the Senate does.
But broadly speaking, people aren’t expecting much in the way of surprises.
another “$25 billion to $30 billion over 10 years” — I’d call that a surprise!
In the House/Senate negotiations, Democrats want to make three major changes to the health-care bill, all of which cost money.
First, they want to weaken the excise tax, which means less revenue.
Second, they want to increase the subsidies, which means more spending.
And third, they want to extend some version of the Nebraska deal federalizing the Medicaid expansion to all the states.
That, again, is pricey.
So where does all the new money come from?
Martin Vaughan and Laura Merckler report on one new idea:
Currently, the Medicare tax applies only to wages, without any limits.
The 2.9% tax is divided in half, with workers and employers each paying 1.45%.
The health bill passed by the Senate would raise the worker contribution to 2.35% for individuals making more than $200,000 a year and couples making more than $250,000 a year.
*** Under the proposal now being considered, people making more than those amounts would also pay the Medicare tax on dividends and other income from investments, the people familiar with the talks said. ***
Income from pensions and retirement accounts, including 401(k) accounts, would be exempt.
(Still trying to figure out how to pay for this thing. The question remains, will the Dems lose vote(s) in the Senate and/or the House because of these changes.)
After Coakley finished her answer, she began walking away from the restaurant, and I walked behind her asking why health care industry lobbyists were supporting her at the fundraiser. She didn’t reply.
As I walked down the street, a man who appeared to be associated with the Coakley campaign pushed me into a freestanding metal railing. I ended up on the sidewalk. I was fine. He helped me up from the ground, but kept pushing up against me, blocking my path toward Coakley down the street.
He asked if I was with the media, and I told him I work for THE WEEKLY STANDARD. When I asked him who he worked for he replied, “I work for me.” He demanded to see my credentials, and even though it was a public street, I showed them to him.
I eventually got around him and met up with the attorney general halfway down the block.
“Attorney General, could I ask you a question please?” I said. “We’re done, thanks,” Coakley replied. She walked back toward the restaurant, apparently searching for her car. She remained silent as I (politely) repeated my question.
Coakley staffers told me they didn’t know who the man was who pushed me, though by every indication he was somehow connected to the campaign.
Update: Someone owes me a new pair of pants. I just noticed there’s a large tear in the back of my suit pants.
Update II: The man who owes me a new suit may be the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s Michael Meehan.
When we see these horrific images being beamed to us from Haiti, all else pales in comparison.
I lived in South Florida from the time I was ten years old, beginning in 1967.
My classmates and I enjoyed away games at O.L.P.H. (Our Lady of Perpetual Help). All of the students there were Black and from Haiti. And we had no Black students at our school in N. Miami Beach.
Since then, I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for Haitians.
Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help
O Mother of Perpetual Help, thou art the dispenser of every grace that God grants us in our misery; it is for this cause that He hath made thee so powerful, so rich, so kind, that thou mightest assist us in our miseries.
Thou art the advocate of the most wretched and abandoned sinners, if they but come unto thee; come once more to my assistance, for I commend myself to thee.
In thy hands I place my eternal salvation; to thee I entrust my soul.
Enroll me among thy most faithful servants; take me under thy protection and it is enough for me: yes, for if thou protect me, I shall fear nothing; not my sins, for thou wilt obtain for me their pardon and remission; not the evil spirits, for thou art mightier than all the powers of hell; not even Jesus, my Judge, for He is appeased by a single prayer from thee.
I fear only that through my own negligence I may forget to recommend myself to thee and so I shall be lost.
My dear Lady, obtain for me the forgiveness of my sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance and the grace to have recourse to thee at all times, O Mother of Perpetual Help.
A lot of years have gone by and there have been many changes on the Catholic scene in and around Miami.
While some of the displaced Catholics have not yet found new spiritual homes, there are also successes.
“Last year, I wrote 75 Christmas cards. This year, I wrote 200 to all my new friends,” said Blanca Cortez, whose mostly Hispanic Opa-locka church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, closed. Cortez now attends St. James in North Miami along with about 200 members of her old church.
“It still hurts to see the building empty, but people treat us like old friends and there are two Spanish Masses to attend. ”
An adage says that Sunday morning church service is the most segregated hour in America, and that has largely played out in the newly merged churches where different cultural groups have been added. Worship is generally in separate languages at separate times, except for on special occasions such as Christmas. Yet, many of the affected churchgoers say simply using the same building and often having the same priest has brought cultural exchange.
St. James in North Miami has a large Haitian congregation and “even though we don’t speak their language, they like our songs, we like their songs, and we’re united through music,” Cortez said.
Not every church merger has gone as planned. At St. Philip Neri in Bunche Park and St. Francis Xavier in Overtown, two historically black churches built in response to segregation, many members have gone separate ways after the churches closed.
“Most members are still scattered,” said the Rev. John Cox, pastor of Holy Redeemer in Liberty City, the remaining historically black Catholic church in South Florida.
In dealing the remaining issues described by Democratic officials, negotiators:
-Are considering extending the Medicare payroll tax, which now applies only to wages, to some of the investment earnings of couples making more than $250,000 a year and individuals earning more than $200,000.
-Seem likely to drop the House-passed income tax boost on individuals making more than $500,000 a year and couples making over $1 million.
-Might jettison a House-approved requirement for large businesses to provide health coverage for their workers.
-Could include more federal money to help states pay for an expansion of the federal-state Medicaid insurance program for the poor. That issue flared after Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., the critical 60th vote for the health care bill in the Senate, got a deal for the federal government to pay the full cost of Medicaid expansion in his state permanently, while other states would have to pick up part of the tab after a few years.
After casting his vote, Nelson came under fire, accused of selling out or taking a bribe for his yes vote. The Senator insisted Friday that was not what happened, saying the events have been taken out of context.
“There’s no pot of money coming to Nebraska,” he said.
During negotiations, Nelson said, he sought an opt-out clause for states to enact when the federal government’s plan for expanded Medicaid kicks in in 2017. The CBO didn’t complete a fiscal analysis on the opt-out clause in time for the vote so someone chose to put in a $100 million line item to Nebraska instead. Nelson said the line item was basically a placeholder for the opt-out clause so it could be dealt with in conference, adding that the actual cost of the Medicaid expansion in Nebraska will be around $45 million.
To confuse the matter, other states did ask for immediate Medicaid assistance and the line item for Nebraska was lumped in with those, then singled out for criticism.
“I’m not seeking a pot of money. I’m just trying to see that all states are treated the same,” he said.
The issue has become incredibly partisan, he said, but states should be able to decide on their own if they want to pick up the extra costs of Medicaid in 2017.
“Nebraska isn’t going to get something that the other states aren’t going to get.”
Should an opt-out clause be implemented and states choose to enforce it, they will have to find an alternative to Medicaid. By then, Nelson said, the insurance exchanges created under healthcare reform will be up and running and may well provide an affordable solution.
Nelson said he’s not expecting the final bill to be ready anytime soon, but is adamant about two aspects before he will vote for it when it does arrive.
He insists there be no public option in the bill and that there be sufficient language to prevent federal dollars from being used to pay for abortions.
“There is zero chance (of a public option),” Nelson said. “I’ve made it so clear. It isn’t going to happen.”
If that is not excluded and language preventing abortion funding isn’t included, Nelson said he will not vote yes.
“I’m not giving away that 60th vote. I’ve not been bribed for it.”
In addition to the above two items, Nelson said he also made sure the bill included a one-year study for tort reform, which will focus on Nebraska’s and four other states’ tort reform laws and allow states to enter into interstate compacts so health insurance can be sold across state lines. He’s confident those two items will survive the conference committee in tact.
For now, Nelson said, he’s unsure if the final bill will be something he’s comfortable voting yes for.
“I hope so, but I’m not 100 percent certain of it.”
“For the sake of our citizens who are in Haiti, for the sake of the Haitian people who have suffered so much, and for the sake of our common humanity, we stand in solidarity with our neighbors to the south, knowing that but for the grace of God there we go.” Mr. Obama said that the first waves of U.S. rescue and relief teams were already on the ground in Haiti and were identifying priority areas for assistance. But he also noted that it will take days for all the relief to arrive. “Even as we move as quickly as possible, it will take hours, and in many cases days, to get all of our people and resources on the ground,” he said. In the near term, Mr. Obama also said that the U.S. was pledging $100 million to the relief effort. And he had a message directly for the Hatians waiting for relief: “You will not be forsaken. You will not be forgotten. In this, your hour of greatest need, America stands with you. The world stands with you.”
I hope the living in Haiti will hear his words and be comforted by them
Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted
Now with — although there’s very little transparency, what we see is this $300 million dollar Nebraska deal that they got. How do the members of the Senate justify that? Is it just that’s the way business is always done? MCCAIN: It certainly hasn’t been the way that I’ve done business, and it isn’t the way that we’ve done business when we’ve reached an agreement on other key pieces of legislation. And by the way, there’s never been a major reform enacted by Congress unless it was bipartisan. But this process has deteriorated into — it isn’t just the “cornhusker kickback,” it is the “Louisiana purchase,” it’s the deal that the other Senator Nelson got for Florida on Medicare Advantage, to other states like Vermont. I mean, it’s all the most unsavory thing a process that I’ve observed since I’ve been there. And the American people have figured it out and they’re mad. VAN SUSTEREN: What’s the difference? I guess, in order to solve the problem, I’m sort of curious. What is different? Why suddenly do you say that this is the worst? Is it the new people in power? The fact there is — what is it? MCCAIN: I don’t know. I think part of it is the arrogance of power. I think it’s that they went into the whole process with 60 votes, figuring that they didn’t need to deal with Republicans. And the negotiations that I’ve been involved in, and there have been many, you sit at the table and say, OK, what’s your position, and what’s the other party’s position? And then you reach compromises. That’s how Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill saved Social Security back in 1983. It doesn’t have anything to do with purchasing votes. It has to do with coming together for the good of the country. That’s what the president promised that we would do when he was elected, and clearly, that has not happened, and the American people have figured it out.
The only parties that come off worse than the president and his supporting cast are the MSM, in the tank for Obama throughout the campaign, unwilling to ask even basic questions about Rezko and Ayers, the drug use or Jeremiah Wright.
“How extreme was the infatuation of the press corps with Obama?” the authors have Bill Clinton asking rhetorically on p. 228.
You can read the president’s very vulgar answer to his own question, but suffice it to say – a lot.
“The Clintons talked about Obama’s drug use with some regularity in private, citing it as another example of the willful failure of the press to vet Obama” runs another complaint, this one on p. 161.
Halperin and Heilemann deliver a scathing indictment of everything the press didn’t do in their coverage of the campaign.
Though using the words of principals rather than themselves to blister their Manhattan-Beltway media elite colleagues, Halperin and Heilmann leave no line out of the indictment of the shabby professionalism of their increasingly irrelevant brethren in the newsrooms.
There are so many stories in Game Change that never made it into the daily coverage of the campaign that the press assigned to the contest could fairly be judged to have all been rookies –or simply star struck.
Hillary uses the term “cultlike” to describe Obama followers at one point (p. 265), concluding they had “drunk the Kool-Aid,” a charge that could have been leveled at the MSM given all the stories about Obama that went unreported throughout 2007 and 2008.
(Hillary also believes that Obama cheated in Iowa by importing voters, a charge repeated by Bill on p. 179.)
Game Change leaves the reader feeling soiled by the tackiness of all involved, and very troubled that the MSM is simply out of the business of reporting.
The biggest surprise of many?
Not that Obama had a source inside the negotiations that led to the bankruptcy of Lehman, or that Joe Biden had no idea who Sarah Palin was when she was named VP, or any of the many other jolts..
The biggest surprise is that, try as they might, Obama fanboys Halperin and Heilmann couldn’t protect the president’s carefully constructed image from the consequences of reporting accurately even the least damaging stories from Campaign 2008.
Imagine the impact if the authors had actually looked into
the Rezko ties or
the Ayers’ relationship, much less
the Wright-Obama relationship,
the president’s past law practice,
his academic performance or
any of the still unknown questions
about the 44th president of the United States.
(All valid points. Let’s hope that those of us who did not support Obama are better at moving on than the moveon.org crowd. There isn’t any way that you can hold that office and not be fundamentally changed by it. One can hope.)
… long-term, conservatism could suffer no greater disaster than the death of the individual mandate.
This country will have a national health-care system, and sooner than later.
The cost pressures make that inevitable.
*** If you want that national system to be private, as most conservatives do, then your only hope is the individual mandate. ***
That’s been true in countries such as the Netherlands and Switzerland, and in Singapore, which is often upheld as a conservative model, contributions to health savings accounts are compulsory.
Eliminate those options from the U.S. menu, and you’re ensuring that Medicare, Medicaid or some sort of public option will eventually take over the market, as there’s no constitutional issue with taxation in return for public services.
(It should be noted that in Switzerland, for example, there is no government-run HC. Period. No Medicare. No Medicaid. No nothing. Ezra makes the case. This is exactly why conservatives like Bill Frist favor an individual mandate. And Mitt Romney calls what they have in Massachusetts a “soft” individual mandate.)
(Perhaps Ezra can now address why it’s fair that seniors in three counties in Florida get to keep their Medicare Advantage benefits while seniors in Arizona do not!)
Chicago: Do you think that Ben Nelson can be persuaded to walk back his Nebraska subsidy deal with Harry Reid because of the pending suit by a number of governors of other states which questions the constitutionality of such a deal? And, also in light of the fact that many Nebraskans are very embarrassed and angry at Nelson for his prima donna moves that threatened to destroy the health care bill altogether?
Ezra Klein: My understanding is that the more likely outcome is that he — and Reid — walk it forward: All states get the Nebraska deal to have the Feds fund the Medicaid expansion, not just Nebraska.
“to have the Feds fund the Medicaid expansion”
(ummm. that means us taxpayers. and how to pay for this? and will they lose Nelson’s crucial 60th vote if all 50 states do NOT get the same deal?)
(these attorneys general have focused on the CornHusker KickBack. but what about the Florida Flim Flam and all of these other stinky provisions. how can they be constitutional?)
Congressional leaders are working to merge the separate health care bills passed by the House and Senate.
Medicare Advantage, which is managed by private insurers and offers dental and vision care, supplies for diabetics and other extras, is targeted for cuts in both bills to help finance other aspects of health care reform.
But if Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida has his way, certain Medicare Advantage customers wouldn’t have to worry.
Nelson wants the proposed cuts to exempt an estimated 800,000 Medicare Advantage customers in Florida who live in places where the program is uncharacteristically less expensive than traditional Medicare.
That includes places like South Florida, where Medicare spends a lot but where private insurers managing Medicare Advantage plans have curbed spending by reducing doctor visits and high-tech treatments.
Miami-Dade County, with 171,675 Medicare Advantage participants, and Broward County, with 110,009, appear to qualify, according to a George Washington University analysis of data from the federal Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.
Two counties in New York City (more than 160,000 Medicare Advantage participants), Orleans Parish in Louisiana (14,704 participants), and Baltimore (10,436 participants) also qualify, according to the analysis.
Nelson agreed the costs of the Medicare Advantage program need to be reined in.
But he said current participants shouldn’t face cuts in coverage as part of overhauling the nation’s health care system.
“For those on fixed incomes and tight budgets, these benefits matter, especially when their savings already have been hard hit,” Nelson said.
Nelson clearly tailored his proposal to protect a targeted group of Florida residents, said Brian Biles, the health policy professor who oversaw the George Washington University analysis.
“If they wanted to design a rifle shot, they did a pretty good job,” Biles said.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called Nelson’s amendment a “Florida flim-flam.”
He asked that the provision be modified to apply to every state, but his request was rejected.
“Nelson clearly tailored his proposal to protect a targeted group of Florida residents” — Oh! That sounds fair! — sarcasm
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, what I think is hurting Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate, is the $300 million paid to Nebraska.
I think that so outraged people that it’s sort of — I think that that is something that she probably wished didn’t happen because I bet there’s somewhat of a backlash to her in Massachusetts because it was so appalling.
It looked terrible.
Even if it’s already — always done, that votes are — you know, that things happen to get votes in the Senate, I think — I think that disturbed people.
GINGRICH: Well, I think there’s a general sense that there is something fundamentally wrong about this entire process.
When you look at all the different deals — there was $100 million dropped in one point for a hospital in Connecticut.
I assume that that was for Senator Dodd.
There’s this multi-billion dollar deal that affects a number of other states.
*** You had Bill Nelson got a special deal that I think is literally unworkable for a Medicare Advantage in Florida that didn’t apply anywhere else in the country and didn’t apply to any new Floridians after this year. ***
And you go through — if you really go through the Senate bill with a fine-toothed comb, it’s staggering how many special deals there were.
And that’s part of why this secret negotiation is wrong because we have no idea what’s in, what’s out, what’s been added to this bill in these secret negotiations in the White House.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, that statement sure didn’t help, but I’m going to post the statement on GretaWire because I think it’s so bad, it’s funny.
Anyway, Mr. Speaker, thank you, sir.
GINGRICH: Always good to be with you.
It’s a statement that has just released from the White House. President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Leader Harry Reid today – – they met at the White House for a number of hours.
And the statement is — it’s almost — it’s positively ridiculous.
It says that they made significant progress, doesn’t tell you what it is.
They repeat that they’re making progress, don’t tell you what it is.
They said they met from 10:30 AM until approximately 6:40 AM (SIC), don’t say what happened.
They did say lunch was served.
That was my favorite part of the statement.
But the fact that they issued this statement as to try to tell us what was going on behind closed doors today is absolutely appalling.
I mean, bad enough we don’t get C-SPAN, but they release these statement like we’re idiots!
Riding a wave of opposition to Democratic health-care reform, GOP upstart Scott Brown is leading in the U.S. Senate race, raising the odds of a historic upset that would reverberate all the way to the White House, a new poll shows. Although Brown’s 4-point lead over Democrat Martha Coakley is within the Suffolk University/7News survey’s margin of error, the underdog’s position at the top of the results stunned even pollster David Paleologos.
“But just remember why each of us got into public service in the first place — we found something that was worth fighting for. There was something we thought was important enough that we were willing to stand up in the public square, risk loss, risk embarrassment, because we knew in our hearts that something wasn’t right, that we weren’t in some measure living up to the American ideal, and that we thought that if we got involved and engaged in the democratic process, somehow we could make it a little bit better.”
The argument Obama is previewing here may or may not prevail in 2010.
But it’s a whole lot more persuasive, and a whole lot better for firing up the Democratic base, than any argument that could me made if the bill didn’t pass.
Indeed, protecting the health-care reform bill may give Democrats something that majority parties don’t usually have in midterm elections: A concrete reason to turn out.
“repeal of health-care reform”
what does that mean exactly?
any fair-minded person would have rejected the “Party of No” Democratic talking point by now.
Just look at the Republicans who have signed onto WydenCare.
Senator Judd Gregg comes to mind.
If repealing certain aspects of ObamaCare means improving the legislation I’m all for it.
I’d love to see Medicare and Medicaid and all government-run health care privatized.
Many point the finger of blame at private insurers, but IMO it is the federal government which has let us down all these years.
We entrusted them with the job of providing oversight and they dropped the ball. They let us down.
In the end, I have to look to leadership on this issue.
As much as I love John McCain, I don’t always agree with him.
In the end, if Joe Lieberman feels he can vote for ObamaCare, then I guess I support his decision.
But improving legislation, that’s what legislators do.
So how much would Massachusetts seniors stand to lose?
No one can say exactly, as Medicare Advantage plans vary by company and region — and each plan would be affected somewhat differently.
CBO projections, however, do indicate what the average cuts would be.
Medicare Advantage cuts would total $214 billion in the bill’s real first ten years.
Currently, 10.3 million seniors nationwide are enrolled in Medicare Advantage.
So, that’s an average cut per senior of $2,100 per year for ten years.
Some would have their benefits cut more, some less.
But there’s no question that Massachusetts seniors would experience a big cut in their Medicare benefits.
To be sure, not all seniors would share in these cuts.
Florida seniors — at least those in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties — wouldn’t be subject to them.
The “Gator Aid” deal that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid struck with Florida Senator Bill Nelson would allow South Floridians to continue enjoying the same Medicare Advantage benefits they enjoy today.
Seniors in eleven other counties would also be shielded from the cuts.
But none of those counties are in Massachusetts.
Martha Coakley has said that she would vote for the bill that would impose these cuts in Medicare benefits on Massachusetts seniors.
Scott Brown has said that he would vote against it — and thereby stop them.
Given the razor-thin margin in the Senate by which the proposed legislation could either prevail or not, a vote for Coakley could prove to be a very expensive vote for Massachusetts seniors.
The CBO also projects that, in the bill’s real first ten years, it would cost $2.5 trillion and would raise Americans’ taxes by over $1 trillion.
That’s a high price to pay, particularly for a state that already has a health plan.
Senator Carl Levin is the first senior US figure to publicly rebuke the Pakistani government for its double game of criticizing the US air campaign against the Taliban and al Qaeda while secretly providing support and approval. From The Times of India:
In a public rebuke to the Pakistani leadership on Thursday, a leading US lawmaker, supported by the Obama administration, told reporters after a visit to the region that he was ”very unhappy” with the vocal criticism of the drone strikes from top officials in Islamabad when in private they “not only understand and acquiesce but in many cases support the drone attacks.”
Washington, US Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin, told reporters in a conference call, would prefer “a silence on their part rather than a public attack on us that creates real problems for us in terms of the Pakistani public and helps create some real animosity” against the United States.
“I just think it’s wrong for them, I’ve told them that to their face,” said Levin, who met in Pakistan with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Pakistan’s army chief of staff Ashfaq Kayani.
WANA: Nine back-to-back missiles fired by suspected US drone killed nine people, including one foreigner in North Waziristan tribal region near Afghanistan border on Friday.
According to reports, the missiles first hit a house situated in Mir Ali, in which five people, including a foreign militant, was killed. While one hour after the first attack, unmanned US drones targeted another militants’ compound in Shaktoi area, killing four more people.
The unmanned US plane targeted Zarniri area, which is near the spot where U.S. missiles are believed to have narrowly missed the Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud the day before.
(You gotta give Obama high marks for this! Maybe he really did mean it when he said he would destroy our enemies!)
One key obstacle appeared on its way to a resolution when Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., requested the elimination of an intensely controversial, one-of-a-kind federal subsidy to cover the entire cost of a Medicaid expansion in his home state. That provision in the Senate-passed measure has drawn criticism from governors and others in both political parties from the moment it was disclosed, and even former President Bill Clinton urged that it be jettisoned. In its place, officials said Obama and lawmakers decided to increase federal money for Medicaid in all 50 states, although it was not clear if there would be enough to cover the expansion completely. The increase in the Medicaid program is a key element in the bill’s overall goal of expanding health coverage to millions who lack it.
“Just Another High” is the closing track on Roxy Music’s fifth album titled “Siren”. Roxy Music consist of Bryan Ferry/vocals & keyboards, Phil Manzanera/guitars, Andy Mackay/sax, Eddie Jobson/synths & violins, Brian Thompson/drums etc. The song was written by Bryan Ferry & to me it’s one of his best.