SDB Evening News Reads for 051811
Posted: May 18, 2011 Filed under: Foreign Affairs, SDB Evening News Reads, Syria, We are so F'd | Tags: Democrats, ER closures, GOP, Newt Gingrich, Obamabots, Ted Rall
Good Evening, hope everyone has had a good Wednesday. Here are your news updates for this late afternoon. A quick round-up of a few things that caught my eye…
Finally, the White House has taken action on the terrifying state of affairs in Syria. US to freeze assets of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and senior officials | World news | guardian.co.uk
Bashar al-Assad is to have his personal assets in the US frozen as part of sanctions against his regime. Photograph: Zohra Bensemra/Reuters
The US is to impose sanctions on the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad for human rights abuses in an escalation of international pressure on his regime.
The penalties announced by the US treasury mark the first time that Assad has been targeted personally by the international community for his government’s crackdown on protesters.
The move freezes any assets of Assad and six senior Syrian officials that are in the United States or otherwise fall within US jurisdiction, and generally bars US citizens and companies from dealing with them.
“The actions the administration has taken today send an unequivocal message to President Assad, the Syrian leadership, and regime insiders that they will be held accountable for the ongoing violence and repression in Syria,” said David S Cohen, the acting undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.
What took them so long? (I felt the same way about Libya as well…it took long enough to get involved.)
This next link made me cringe…but then I caught myself and realized my frustration is pointless. We’re all f’d anyway…
ThinkProgress » EXCLUSIVE: Eric Cantor Promises Oil Speculators That Republicans Will Block Financial Regulations
Yesterday morning, House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) visited the Chicago headquarters of the CME Group, “the world’s largest owner and operator” of private exchanges for derivatives products. CME Group specializes in a number of markets, including trading futures contracts for various blends of crude oil and food commodities. Cantor met with executives, and at one point, gave brief remarks before CME Group employees and various commodity speculators.
Cantor told the audience of speculators that his Republican caucus would “do our part” to block the implementation of financial reforms passed last year as part of the sweeping Dodd-Frank law. He even called out the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the regulators in charge of overseeing derivatives and energy speculation, and promised to stop regulations from going online:
Click that link to ThinkProgress if you want to read and watch the video of Cantor’s speech. I don’t know if it is my incredibly stuffed up allergy head, but damn I just don’t understand why there aren’t massive riots in the streets.
If there were riots, with the cuts that have been imposed on many hospitals, the emergency rooms you once could count on…aren’t necessarily there. Emergency departments are closing their doors: Why? – HealthPop – CBS News
A new study shows that from 1990 to 2009, the number of emergency rooms in the U.S. plummeted from 2,446 to 1,779 – a 27-percent decline. That number includes only ERs in non-rural areas, since rural ERs typically receive federal funding that keeps them open.
What’s killing off America’s emergency rooms? Tight money and a changing marketplace.
For-profit hospitals that aren’t making enough cash and serve patients below the poverty line – with less generous forms of insurance like Medicaid – were the ones most likely to shut their doors, the study showed.
But the poor aren’t the only ones at risk. When emergency rooms close, experts say, it’s a problem for everyone.
Oh…okay. Let’s get vocal about these particular cuts because the poor aren’t the only ones at risk. If you want to read the report about this in JAMA, click here
Mike Luckovich on Newt Gingrich
Well this next link is interesting for a couple of reasons. One, that Gingrich is again walking back to appease the extreme right-wing sect that is the GOP. Two, that Gingrich actually thinks he can say, don’t use my own words against me in this political climate. Hell, if the Dems don’t use the gifts that Newt bestows on them…then there is something wrong in swampland.
Schumer: You’re damn right we’ll use Gingrich’s criticism of Ryan against the GOP – The Plum Line – The Washington Post
On a conference call just now, Dem messaging chief Chuck Schumer vowed that Dems would aggressively highlight Gingrich’s attacks on the Ryan proposal — and the subsequent backlash it provoked from Republicans — to paint the GOP as hostage to extremists and ideologically hell bent on ending Medicare.
“Newt and I are considered political opposites, but I couldn’t agree more with what he said Sunday about the plan to end Medicare,” Schumer said. “He acknowledged that it is right wing social engineering.”
“It was refreshing to hear such candor from a top Republican,” Schumer continued. “Gingrich was saying what everyone knows to be true: The plan is extreme.”
Schumer added that the fact that Republicans turned so aggressively on Gingrich proves that they have become far more extreme than they were in Gingrich’s heyday — and vowed that Dems would continue pounding away at this theme.
Schumer called Newt a “Republican canary in a coal mine.” Further saying that when a “canary speaks truth, he is snuffed out.” Well, that goes for the left Democrat canaries as well. Just ask Cornel West.
The next opinion piece is from Politico: Opinion: Cancer cuts save money, cost lives – Nancy G. Brinker –
For the past two decades, since the launch of the National Breast and Cervical Early Detection Program, a federal/state partnership to provide screening for working-class, poor and minority women who are uninsured or lack adequate insurance, we have made a real impact on detecting cancers early — which means increasing survival rates. Unfortunately, much of that progress is now at risk.
The struggling economy has created two unfortunate trends that directly affect the women we fight for every day. First, because of high unemployment, many women are now without insurance and must rely on government programs for cancer screenings and other care.
Second, large budget deficits are forcing state and federal policymakers to cut numerous programs — reducing access to critical services when they are needed most.
And third (my addition to this opinion link) the outright attack against women by the PLUBs and Religious Right, Brinker didn’t mention that one.
She goes on to say that many states are cutting funding for screening services offered to women. Her response:
While we may not be in a position to add funds to this vital program, at the very least we must protect and maintain our current commitment. How can we possibly ask the women in our lives to accept anything less?
Accept anything less? WTF…get a bit more pissed off already. Why take this crap with an attitude of “we aren’t in a position to demand it,” I think it is this mindset that is making all these laws against women’s health and women’s rights even more maddening to me. If I could get out and physically organize a group of women to stand up and fight for themselves I would. I would pluck these oppressed women from the population and set them up on the steps of the Capitol and make the assholes who are waging this war against women realize we aren’t going to take it. But when the head of organizations like Susan G. Komen are this cowardly, what the hell kind of message does that send to all those women that are willing to take this protest to the next level.
Suzie Madrak has a quick post that you should check out here: Suburban Guerrilla » Blog Archive » Glenzilla
As many of you know, Sky Dancing is not one to blow off any criticism of Obama just because he is who he is. So with that in mind this next link bothered me. White House shuts out Herald scribe – BostonHerald.com
The White House Press Office has refused to give the Boston Herald full access to President Obama’s Boston fund-raiser today, in e-mails objecting to the newspaper’s front page placement of a Mitt Romney op-ed, saying pool reporters are chosen based on whether they cover the news “fairly.”
“I tend to consider the degree to which papers have demonstrated to covering the White House regularly and fairly in determining local pool reporters,” White House spokesman Matt Lehrich wrote in response to a Herald request for full access to the presidential visit.
“My point about the op-ed was not that you ran it but that it was the full front page, which excluded any coverage of the visit of a sitting US President to Boston. I think that raises a fair question about whether the paper is unbiased in its coverage of the President’s visits,” Lehrich wrote.
You know, the actions of this administration are really disgusting. And I know that this issue is lighting up the right-wing blogs, but dammit. You can’t ridicule Newt for asking not to quote his statements, and then keep the press that is critical of you out of the press pool.
Which leads me to my last link. A big H/T to pdgrey for this link in the comments section of today’s morning reads. It is written by Ted Rall, and I think it is marvelous. Mr. Rall states that he was optimistic when Obama took office, being a liberal cartoonist, he figured he would be able to get a regular gig, like he had before 9/11. However, as he puts it:
I didn’t count on the cult of personality around Barack Obama.
If I could reprint the entire article I would. Just go and read the whole thing…go on, do it!
RISE OF THE OBAMABOTS – Yahoo! News
Rall is my new hero! And if I could say one thing to him, it would be this phrase, said with a large dose of approval…Que cojones!