Shocker: Muslims Did Russian Bombings!

From those tireless protectors of the faith at the Associated Press:

Chechen rebels say responsible for Moscow bombings

March 31, 2010

MOSCOW (AP) — A Chechen militant leader has claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings on Moscow’s subway that killed 39 and wounded scores of others.

Doku Umarov, who leads Islamic militants in Chechnya and nearby regions of Russia’s North Caucasus, says in a statement posted on a pro-rebel Web site that the attacks were an act of revenge for the killing of civilians by Russian security forces.

Umarov’s statement posted Wednesday said the attacks on Russian cities will continue.

Russian authorities have said that the bombings, the first terror attacks in Moscow in six years, were carried out by militants from North Caucasus…

What a stunning development.

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Pence: Obama’s Drilling Is “Smokescreen”

A press release from Congressman Pence, via GOP.gov:

Pence Calls President’s Drilling Announcement “Smokescreen”

Washington, DC—U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference and the American Energy Solutions Group, issued the following statement today regarding President Obama’s announcement on oil and gas exploration:

“As usual the devil is in the details.  Only in Washington, D.C., can you ban more areas to oil and gas exploration than you open up, delay the date of your new leases and claim you’re going to increase production.

“The President’s announcement today is a smokescreen.  It will almost certainly delay any new offshore exploration until at least 2012 and include only a fraction of the offshore resources that the previous Administration included in its plan.

“Unfortunately, this is yet another feeble attempt to gain votes for the President’s national energy tax bill that is languishing in the Senate.  At the end of the day this Administration’s energy plan is simple: increase the cost of energy on every family in America and trade American jobs overseas at a time when millions of Americans are looking for work.”

What he said.

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Obama ‘Clears Way’ For Offshore Drilling

From a surprisingly un-outraged Associated Press:

Obama clears way for oil drilling off US coasts

By Philip Elliott, Associated Press Writer

March 31, 2010

WASHINGTON – Reversing a ban on oil drilling off most U.S. shores, President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced an expansive new policy that could put new oil and natural gas platforms in waters along the southern Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and part of Alaska.

Speaking at Andrews air base outside Washington, Obama said, "This is not a decision that I’ve made lightly." He addressed the expected outcry from disappointed environmentalists by saying he had studied the issue for more than a year and concluded it was the right call given the nation’s voracious thirst for energy and the need to produce jobs and keep American businesses competitive.

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Obama Fails To Lower Water Levels In NE

From a fallen sky Associated Press:


Easterners scatter, sewers fail as the waters rise

By Eric Tucker, Associated Press Writer

March 31, 2010

CRANSTON, R.I. – Flooding on a scale rarely seen in New England forced hundreds of residents from their homes Wednesday, overwhelmed sewage systems and isolated communities as it washed out bridges and rippled across thoroughfares from Maine to Connecticut.

As three days of record-breaking rains tapered to a drizzle, forecasters warned the worst of widespread flooding was still ahead as rivers and streams had yet to crest — for the second time in a month.

In Rhode Island, which bore the brunt of the storm, residents were experiencing the worst flooding in more than 100 years. Stretches of Interstate 95, the main route linking Boston to New York, were closed and could remain so for days.

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‘Capitalist Healthcare Makes Women Die’

From the CPUSA’s People’s World (formerly the Daily Worker):

http://www.therealcuba.com/PHOTO2.jpg

Female patient (with flies) in a Cuban hospital, via The Real Cuba.

How capitalist health care lets women die

by: W. T. Whitney Jr.
March 30 2010

A yearlong debate on health care reform centered on costs and on methods for extending insurance coverage. Lobbying, congressional posturing, and media focus on deal making were boundless. Missing was any notion of health care serving people rather than interests.

In particular, the issue of staving off of death was left for another day. The fact that the U.S A. ranks 46th in the world on infant mortality and 34th in life expectancy sparked little interest in the centers of power.

On March 12, nine days before the House of Representatives passed its health care reform bill, Amnesty International (AI) released a report on skyrocketing death rates affecting U.S.

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‘People’s Movement Asserts New Power’

From the CPUSA’s People’s World (formerly the Daily Worker):

JobsRallyMar19 2010 009

People’s movement asserts new power

by: Bruce Bostick
March 30 2010

I think we all can agree with Vice President Biden. Passing the health care reform bill was "a big f—–g deal!" The fight absolutely is not over, but the people’s movement has just captured a pretty big hill! While it is not the expansion of Medicare to all that many of us had set as our goal, it is a massive victory, one that will bring relief to millions in our depressed capitalist economy. It is, in fact, the biggest step forward for health care in our nation since the passage of Medicare 45 years ago.

At that time, President Lyndon Johnson was able to ride the wave of the civil rights and free speech movements to get that bill through Congress.

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Pro-Healthcare Dems Won’t Suffer At Polls

From the DNC’s Politico:

Gang of 34 may dodge payback

By: Alex Isenstadt
March 29, 2010

In the days after the House passed landmark health care legislation, the 34 Democrats who voted against the measure were targets of sharp criticism within their own party, and from organized labor and liberal groups vowing to punish them by withdrawing support or, worse, running primary election challengers against them.

But for all the threats and gnashing of teeth, the vast majority of those members aren’t likely to pay a heavy political cost for their apostasy…

Add it all up and the odds are long that many — or even any — of the gang of 34 will be denied the Democratic nomination.

“So much of this primary talk is overblown.

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Biden: Redistribution Is ‘Just Being Fair’

From Yahoo Finance’s Tech Ticker:

Joe Biden on Taxes: You Call It "Redistribution of Wealth," I Call It "Just Being Fair"

by Aaron Task
Mar 30, 2010

… There’s also the issue of whether these tax cuts, in conjunction with the health care reform bill signed last week, represent a redistribution of wealth in America, as many claim.

"It’s a simple proposition to us: Everyone is entitled to adequate medical health care," Biden says. "If you call that a ‘redistribution of income’ — well, so be it. I don’t call it that. I call it just being fair — giving the middle class taxpayers an even break that the wealthy have been getting."

The top quintile of Americans earned 55.7% of pretax income and paid 69.3% of federal taxes in 2006, according to the most recent CBO data.

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NYC: Buying ‘Good Conduct’ Doesn’t Work

From a fact-free Associated Press:

A U.S. flag flies over the entrance to the ACORN Community High School in New York City, Friday Sept. 18, 2009.

NYC pays poor for good conduct, with mixed results

By SARA KUGLER
Tuesday, March 30, 2010

NEW YORK — An experimental anti-poverty program that pays poor New Yorkers for good behavior like getting health insurance and attending parent-teacher conferences has had mixed results.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s pilot program began in 2007 and the first analysis was released Tuesday.

In two years, 2,400 participating families were paid a total of $14 million raised from private donations. Payments averaged about $3,000 a year per family.

The city said participants improved on several targets. More people established bank accounts, stopped using costly check cashing services, and saw the dentist.

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Jobs For America NOW – New Soros Front

From the CPUSA’s Peoples World (formerly the Daily Worker):

Time for big, bold federal jobs program

by: Tim Wheeler
March 30 2010

WASHINGTON – Jobs for America NOW is organizing meetings with lawmakers while they are home for the Easter recess to urge them to pass Rep. George Miller’s $75 billion jobs bill that would create or save as many as one million jobs when they return to the capital.

The actions come on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the enactment of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) that created millions of jobs during the Great Depression.

"We’ve got a dozen groups planning events on or around April 8, the 75th anniversary of WPA," said Germonique R. Ulmer, a spokesperson for Jobs for America NOW.

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NASA Ordered To Probe Toyota Problems

From Louisville’s Business First:

Feds enlist NASA in Toyota probe

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Tuesday that NASA engineers have joined investigators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to examine the “sudden acceleration” problems reported in some Toyota models.

The National Academy of Sciences will conduct a separate investigation of acceleration and electronic vehicle controls across the entire automotive industry, the department said in a news release.

“We are determined to get to the bottom of unintended acceleration,” LaHood said in a news release. “For the safety of the American driving public, we must do everything possible to understand what is happening.”

Toyota (NYSE: TM) has recalled around 8 million vehicles for braking and acceleration problems over the past several months.

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WP: States’ Objections Equal Segregation

From a truly despicable Washington Post:

Under shadow of 1957, Arkansas stays out of health-care fight

By Peter Slevin
Tuesday, March 30, 2010; A06

LITTLE ROCK — As 14 states move forward with a lawsuit to block President Obama’s new health-care law, calling it an unconstitutional infringement on state sovereignty, Arkansas is nowhere to be found.

"They tried it here in Arkansas in ’57 and it didn’t work," Gov. Mike Beebe (D) told reporters recently. "I think you got to tell people the truth. And if I understand the law, the truth is the federal government can’t just be defied by the state governments."

There are memorials here to the events of 1957, when a previous Arkansas governor rejected federal authority and tried to prevent nine black students from attending all-white Little Rock Central High School.

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Premiums To Rise 17% For Young Adults

From a suddenly awakened Associated Press:

[The child] Nils Higdon, 24, poses for a photo at his Chicago home, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.

Health premiums could rise 17 pct for young adults

By CARLA K. JOHNSON (AP)

March 29, 200

CHICAGO — Under the health care overhaul, young adults who buy their own insurance will carry a heavier burden of the medical costs of older Americans — a shift expected to raise insurance premiums for young people when the plan takes full effect.

Beginning in 2014, most Americans will be required to buy insurance or pay a tax penalty. That’s when premiums for young adults seeking coverage on the individual market would likely climb by 17 percent on average, or roughly $42 a month, according to an analysis of the plan conducted for The Associated Press.

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3.3 Million Student Loan Records Exposed

From the tech security site, Dark Reading:

Violation Of Sensitive Data Storage Policy Led To Exposure Of Info On 3.3 Million Student Loan Recipients

Removable media device stolen from Educational Credit Management Corp.’s (ECMC) headquarters contained Social Security numbers, names, addresses, dates of birth of people who had received federal student loans

By Kelly Jackson Higgins
Mar 29, 2010

A removable media device containing personal data on 3.3 million people was stolen from the Minnesota headquarters of federal student loan guarantor Educational Credit Management Corp. (ECMC) last week — and the data should never have been copied onto the device in the first place.

ECMC, which handles and insures more than $11 billion worth of student loans for the U.S. Department of Education, discovered on March 23 that the device had been stolen.

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Global Warming Not Slowing Gulf Stream

From BBC News:

Gulf Stream ‘is not slowing down’

By Richard Black
Monday, 29 March

The Gulf Stream does not appear to be slowing down, say US scientists who have used satellites to monitor tell-tale changes in the height of the sea.

Confirming work by other scientists using different methodologies, they found dramatic short-term variability but no longer-term trend.

A slow-down – dramatised in the movie The Day After Tomorrow – is projected by some models of climate change.

The research is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters…

Between 2002 and 2009, the team says, there was no trend discernible – just a lot of variability on short timescales.

The satellite record going back to 1993 did suggest a small increase in flow, although the researchers cannot be sure it is significant.

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