THE AMERICAN JOURNAL

House may try to pass Senate health-care bill without voting on it

After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate’s health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might instead attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it. Instead, Pelosi (D-Calif.) would rely on a procedural sleight of hand: The House would instead vote on a more popular measure that presumes the health-care bill has passed the chamber. The tactic — known as a “self-executing rule” or a “deem and pass” — has been commonly used, although never to pass legislation as momentous as the $875 billion health-care bill.

Read more: Washington Post

Advertisements

March 16, 2010 Posted by | 398 | | Leave a comment

Obama’s happiness deficit

Here’s a theory about why President Obama is having a tough political time right now: He doesn’t seem all that happy being president.

I know, it’s the world’s hardest job, and between war and the world economy collapsing, he didn’t have the first year he might have wished for. And, yes, he’s damned either way: With thousands of Americans risking their lives overseas and millions losing their jobs at home, we’d slam him if he acted carefree.

Still, I think Americans want a president who seems, despite everything, to relish the challenge. They don’t want to have to feel grateful to him for taking on the burden.

I started thinking about this a few weeks ago when Obama confidant David Axelrod, noting that the president always makes time for his daughters’ recitals and soccer games, told the New York Times, “I think that’s part of how he sustains himself through all this.”

Read more: Washington Post

March 15, 2010 Posted by | 398 | | Leave a comment

Dems start countdown toward health care vote

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democratic congressional leaders showed signs of progress Monday in winning anti-abortion Democrats whose votes are pivotal to President Barack Obama’s fiercely contested remake of the health care system.

Obama expressed optimism Congress would approve his call for affordable and nearly universal coverage as he pitched his plan on a trip to Ohio, while Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, among the bill’s sharpest opponents, said he was “less confident” than before that it could be stopped.

“They’d have to be remarkable people not to fall under the kind of pressure they’ll be under,” DeMint said of rank-and-file Democrats.

The pressure was turned up Monday as the House Budget Committee, on a 21-16 vote, took an essential first step toward the House vote, which could come next weekend. Obama and his supporters labored in the capital and on Air Force One

Read more: AP

March 15, 2010 Posted by | 398 | , | Leave a comment

Hand germs could join fingerprints, DNA in forensics labs

Forensic scientists could soon use hand germs to help identify criminals and victims, a study said Monday.

Researchers led by Noah Fierer of the University of Colorado at Boulder swabbed individual keys on three personal computer keyboards, extracted bacterial DNA from the swabs and compared the results with bacteria on the fingertips of the keyboards’ users.

Read more: AFP

March 15, 2010 Posted by | 398 | , , | Leave a comment

Obama Supports DNA Sampling Upon Arrest

March 14, 2010 Posted by | 398 | , , | Leave a comment

Hurricane Katrina victims to sue oil companies over global warming

The class action suit brought by residents from southern Mississippi, which was ravaged by hurricane-force winds and driving rains, was first filed just weeks after the August 2005 storm hit.

“The plaintiffs allege that defendants’ operation of energy, fossil fuels, and chemical industries in the United States caused the emission of greenhouse gasses that contributed to global warming,” say the documents seen by the AFP news agency.

The increase in global surface air and water temperatures “in turn caused a rise in sea levels and added to the ferocity of Hurricane Katrina, which combined to destroy the plaintiffs’ private property, as well as public property useful to them.”

Read more: Telegraph UK

March 6, 2010 Posted by | 398 | , , , | Leave a comment

John Patrick Bedell: Did right-wing extremism lead to shooting?

John Patrick Bedell, whom authorities identified as the gunman in the Pentagon shooting on Thursday, appears to have been a right-wing extremist with virulent antigovernment feelings.

If so, that would make the Pentagon shooting the second violent extremist attack on a federal building within the past month. On Feb. 18, Joseph Stack flew a small aircraft into an IRS building in Austin, Texas. Mr. Stack left behind a disjointed screed in which, among other things, he expressed his hatred of the government. (For more on this incident, click here.)

Read more: CS Monitor

March 6, 2010 Posted by | 398 | , | 1 Comment

Obama calls ‘entrepreneurship summit’ with Muslims

The White House on Friday announced a “summit on entrepreneurship” to build economic ties with the Islamic world, part of President Barack Obama’s outreach to Muslims.

The White House said it has invited participants from more than 40 countries over five continents for the April 26-27 conference in Washington.

“The summit will highlight the role entrepreneurship can play in addressing common challenges while building partnerships that will lead to greater opportunity abroad and at home,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

Obama first spoke of the entrepreneurship conference in his signature June 4 speech in Cairo to the Islamic world.

In the closely watched address, Obama said the United States was seeking a “new beginning” with the Islamic world to rebuild relations that had sharply deteriorated over the past decade.

Read more: AFP

March 5, 2010 Posted by | 398 | , , | 1 Comment

White House Postpones Picking Site of 9/11 Trial

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Friday that a decision on where to prosecute Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four accused of conspiring in the Sept. 11 attacks would not be made “for weeks,” following a flare-up in the debate about whether that trial should take place in civilian court or before a military commission.

Adriano Machado/Reuters

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. originally wanted a civilian trial in Manhattan for Sept. 11 suspects.

Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Republicans want military commissions at the prison on Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

The White House sought to dampen speculation that a decision on where to hold a trial might be imminent. That speculation was fanned by a report Friday that aides to President Obama might recommend that he pull the prosecution out of civilian court and send it back to a military commission, where the Bush administration had planned to hold it.

Read more: NY Times

March 5, 2010 Posted by | 398 | | Leave a comment

Indonesian students protest Barack Obama’s visit

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Scores of Islamic students staged protests outside Jakarta’s parliament and in at least three other major Indonesian cities on Friday against President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to this predominantly Muslim country.

The students carried banners branding Obama as an enemy of Islam and an imperialist in downtown Jakarta as well as in the provincial capitals Padang, Yogyakarta and Surabaya.

They also threw shoes at large pictures of Obama’s head. An Iraqi journalist was sentenced to a year in prison for throwing his shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush during a news conference in Baghdad in 2008.

Protest organizer Ahmad Irhamul Fikri, spokesman for the Coordinating Board for Campus Proselytizing Institute, said bigger rallies will be staged next Friday in more Indonesian cities ahead of Obama’s March 20-22 visit.

Read more: AP

March 5, 2010 Posted by | 398 | , | Leave a comment