Ahmadinejad Demands Apology

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is demanding an apology from President Barack Obama. You have to admit the man has balls.  After repressing his own people, threatening to destroy Israel, denying the Holocaust and stealing an election he thinks he has the moral authority to demand apologies from anyone?  As Jews would say the man has chutzpah.  Barack Obama warned Iran the world was watching and implied the world was judging how they murdered their own citizens in the streets for protesting the stolen election.

That was proper and necessary.  Obama stopped well short of interfering in internal Iranian matters but once the horrific images escaped Iran the was indeed watching and judging.  We judged Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and found him guilty of oppression.  For this the Iranian people deserve an apology.

House Passes Sestak Autism Bill

From Congressman Joe Sestak:

I’d like to see how GOP Senators explain filibustering this bill.

Washington, DC – Today, the House voted to pass legislation authored by Congressman Joe Sestak (PA-07) to mandate the treatment of autistic children of service personnel under the military’s healthcare program (TRICARE). The legislation, which was included as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, is the successful culmination of a two year effort led by Congressman Sestak to provide treatment for the 13,000 autistic children of military personnel and will serve as a model for similar federal and state efforts.

“With this bill’s passage, we have supported the critical needs of many military families and addressed the growing epidemic of autism among children of both military and civilian families. It is unacceptable that 1 in 84 military families are reported to have a child with autism, but receive less than 16 of the 25 minimum recommended hours of therapy,” said Congressman Sestak, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the highest ranking Veteran in Congress.

Under current law, the military’s Extended Care Health Option provides limited coverage to military families afflicted by autism. Only five percent of eligible military children receive care because of excessive delays– as long as two year waiting periods– and arbitrary coverage denials. The amendment passed today will work to fix these problems by:

·       Mandating coverage of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) under TRICARE. Treatment is currently provided through TRICARE’s marginalized ECHO (Extended Care Health Option) program.

·       Requiring that treatment of ASDs be provided only if a health care professional determines that the treatment is medically necessary

·       Ensuring that beneficiaries under the age of 5 who have developmental delays and are at risk for Autism may not be denied access to treatment if treatment is medically necessary.

·       Requiring the Secretary of Defense to ensure that authorized providers of applied behavior analysis or other structured behavior programs are licensed or certified by a state, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, or other accredited national certification board.

·       Requiring the Secretary of Defense to ensure that all employees or subcontractors of authorized providers are also certified and meet minimum qualification standards.

·       Quickly enacting the provisions 180 days after passage.

Autism is a disease that strikes 1 in every 150 American children, and is more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. A new case is diagnosed every 20 minutes, making it the fastest-growing serious developmental disease in the United States. If this escalating trend continues, the prevalence of autism could reach some 4 million Americans within the next decade.

Congressman Joe Sestak entered politics specifically due to his concerns about healthcare for our nation’s children, and has taken a special interest in autism. Since taking office, he has regularly visited facilities for autistic children throughout his District, including the Milagre School, the Child Guidance Resource Center and Carelink. Last year, he was successful in placing an amendment into the House-passed version of the National Defense Authorization Act that enhanced funding and research for autism for military families by increasing it by 100 percent.

“We cannot allow our children with autism to be shortchanged.  With access to the right, medically-necessary, evidence-based therapies, like Applied Behavioral Analysis, these children can make incredible gains, reach their potential, and become contributing members of our society,” said the Congressman.

Born and raised in Delaware County, former 3-star Admiral Joe Sestak served in the Navy for 31 years and now serves as the Representative from the 7th District of Pennsylvania. He led a series of operational commands at sea, including Commander of an aircraft carrier battle group of 30 U.S. and allied ships with over 15,000 sailors and 100 aircraft that conducted operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. After 9/11, Joe was the first Director of “Deep Blue,” the Navy’s anti-terrorism unit that established strategic and operations policies for the “Global War on Terrorism.” He served as President Clinton’s Director for Defense Policy at the National Security Council in the White House, and holds a Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University.  According to the office of the House Historian, Joe is the highest-ranking former military officer ever elected to the Congress.

Clean Energy Week

While the coal, oil and gas industries continue flooding our media with disinformation about global warming, the single most serious threat confronting us on a national security scale, the Obama Administration is actually moving forward.  The initiatives to combat this foe, one far worse than Islamic terrorism, will cost us pennies if we deal with them now compared to complete devastation should we not.

The White House is commemorating this as Clean Energy Week:

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, on the third day of Clean Energy Week, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu addressed key administration clean energy initiatives and highlighted the President’s commitment to sign comprehensive energy and climate legislation.  In Washington, Secretary Donovan addressed the HOPE VI Green Building and Energy Efficient Development Conference, a gathering of public housing officials, energy experts, developers and architects, and encouraged continuing innovation in developing energy-efficient, affordable housing.  In San Francisco, Secretary Chu attended the Edison Electric Institute Annual Convention to announce new Recovery Act funding for clean energy projects.  

HOPE VI is a HUD-developed program that revitalizes severely distressed public housing and rebuilds the housing to create energy-efficient, mixed-income communities.  HOPE VI grants, first awarded in 1993, have given 248 communities a combined $5.9 billion to redevelop their severely distressed public housing and to create mixed-income communities.  The program has also been credited with transforming neighborhoods and improving the quality of life for families who lived in the old developments that were often crime-ridden and drug-infested.  HOPE VI recipients have the opportunity to replace the old public housing with new housing using the latest green innovations that can save both the housing authority and residents’ energy expenses over time.      

“President Obama is committed to passing comprehensive energy and climate legislation that will generate millions of jobs, reduce the threat of deadly pollution and restore America’s role as a global leader in the clean energy industry,” Donovan said.  “Increasing energy efficiency among American’s affordable housing stock is a central goal of both HUD and the Obama Administration, because it will not only create jobs, but will also lower operating costs for residents, public housing authorities and taxpayers.”

In San Francisco, Secretary Chu addressed the Edison Electric Institute Annual Convention to announce a total of more than $154 million for State Energy Programs in California, Missouri, New Hampshire and North Carolina.  Each of the states is receiving 40 percent of their total State Energy Program funding authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The funding will go toward clean energy initiatives such as training workers for clean energy jobs, increasing energy efficiency in buildings across the states and increasing renewable energy projects.

“This funding will provide an important boost for state economies, help to put Americans back to work, and move us toward energy independence,” said Secretary Chu. “It reflects our commitment to support innovative state and local strategies to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy while insisting that taxpayer dollars be spent responsibly.”

Today, Chu also announced that as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Department of Energy is soliciting applications for $3.9 billion in grants to support efforts to modernize the electric grid, allowing for greater integration of renewable energy sources while increasing the reliability, efficiency and security of the nation’s transmission and distribution system.

Other events that have taken place during Clean Energy Week:

      ·    Energy Secretary Chu visited Ford’s Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn,

           Michigan, to announce $8 billion in conditional loan commitments for the development

           Of innovative, advanced vehicle technologies that will create thousands of green jobs

           while helping reduce the nation’s dangerous dependence on foreign oil.

·     Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Governor Jon Corzine visited Atlantic City to issue five exploratory leases for renewable wind energy production on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore New Jersey and Delaware, as well as discuss the president’s commitment to a comprehensive energy plan.

·     Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt held an event highlighting the numerous “green” initiatives at the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City.  Last week, the Center received the Closing the Circle Award from the White House for its environmental stewardship.

·     Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, and Van Jones, Special Advisor for Green Jobs at the Council, visited Charlottesville, Virginia, to demonstrate the development of the city’s innovative revolving loan program for energy efficiency upgrades.

·     EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson joined Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper to tour and hold a press conference at Highlands Gardens Village, a smart growth development community. Jackson commended the residential, office and retail development as a model for urban planning and energy efficiency and highlighted a new federal partnership to advance sustainable communities across the nation.

     ·     Commerce Secretary Gary Locke held a town hall at the Detroit-area United Solar

           Ovonic manufacturing plant. He was joined by workers and local business owners to

           discuss the challenges they face and the administration’s efforts to help businesses

           meet those challenges.

     ·    Labor Secretary Hilda Solis visited Memphis to tour the Sharp Solar facility, visit HOPE

           VI public housing and announce $500 million in grants to train workers for green jobs.  

           She also visited West Memphis, Arkansas to visit the Arkansas Delta Wired Grant

           program at the Mid-South Community College (MSCC) campus and tour the Workforce

           Technology Center, a facility that provides green jobs training.

 

Pennsylvania Meets ARRA Milestone Early

From the inbox, something is going well in PA despite the severe budget impasse in Harrisburg.

Washington, DC – Vice President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that transportation projects funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) are putting people to work and building a foundation for the country’s long-term economic strength.

As part of the Administration’s effort to infuse Recovery Act funds swiftly into the economy, states are required under ARRA to obligate 50 percent of their highway funds by June 29, 2009.  Working in coordination with the U.S. Department of Transportation, all 55 U.S. states and territories successfully beat this deadline at least 10 days ahead of schedule.

Nationwide, to date, $19 billion has been obligated to fund over 5,300 approved for highway and other transportation projects nationwide.  Of those, 1,900 projects are already underway.  Already in Pennsylvania, the state has put to work $447.6 million in highway funds – or 62.3 percent – of the funds required under the Act.

“Our number one priority with the Recovery Act is getting folks back to work – and there is no better way to do that in these early days than by putting shovels in the ground and jump-starting projects like these that create jobs and boost local communities,” said Vice President Biden.  “By delivering on these projects ahead of schedule and under-budget, we have been able to do even more than we expected — create more job opportunities more quickly, with more dollars left over to put toward more projects that put people back on the job.”

As of today, Pennsylvania’s largest ARRA-funded project is the SR60 Interchange Reconstruction in Allegheny County. This $13.8 million project will include the installation of two new signals, signal work and signing in Robinson and North Fayette Townships. When completed, this project will improve traffic safety through the replacement of a cloverleaf-type ramp with a diamond-type configuration and adding a collector/distributor lane.

Across the country, many transportation projects funded by the Recovery Act are coming in under budget and ahead of schedule.  Reports continue to show that contractor bids to build and repair transportation networks are coming in substantially below the original engineering estimates.  In some cases, thanks to fierce competition for the work, bids are 10, 20 and even 30 percent lower than expected.  That means states are able to stretch taxpayer dollars, completing additional projects and creating even more jobs.

“Every state not only met the 120-day deadline, they beat it,” said Secretary LaHood.  “This is a testament to the fact that we’re putting money out there quickly and helping to get the economy back on track.”

President Obama signed ARRA on February 17, 2009, and funding was made available on March 3. ARRA funding for highway projects may be used for restoration, repair, construction, and other activities under the Surface Transportation Program. Each proposed project must be approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Governors must certify that proposed projects meet certain conditions and that the state will use ARRA funds in addition to, not in replacement of, state funding of transportation projects.

Priority is given to projects that are projected to be completed within three years, are located in economically distressed areas, or will maximize job creation and economic benefits.

War against God indeed

In a predictable, yet troubling sign that Iran has NO intentions of ever joining the modern era or for that matter any semblance of humanity, in its cleric or ruling class, we find this lovely nugget from the folks @ MSNBC.COM:

Iranian cleric says ‘rioters’ (protesters) should be executed

Oh, and this cleric’s name is: Ayatollah Ahmed Khatami

They say it is a war against God and I would agree, except that what they fail to realize is that God or whatever higher power you believe in is very much on the side of the people who have finally had enough of the swine and bullies of Iran ruling their lives as if they have permanent fiat and divine writ.  Iran may well be the last vestige of the middle ages of last century or eon and perhaps a hold over from the one before that.  

Execute the protestors, how trite, how cliche, how desperate, and how utterly despicable.  No doubt, since a lot of the protesters are women, who’ve been put to death more than enough for past reasons of their clergy’s capricious rationale.  

I thought such crap like that went out with the time of French emporers and the famous “Reign of Terror” period, but apparently the word has not gotten to Iran about such things. I don’t give a damn how old, ancient, seemingly impenetrable or allegedly impossible it is to invade or conquer that country.  If the clerics and fools who run Iran want to take an obvious genocidal tack on handling what is imminent change of the social structure itself in Iran, then I think we as a world need to hold those clerics and rulers to account, for we are all human, we are all citizens of Earth and continuing to allow such brutal, mindless, and vile behavior to go completely unchecked is NOT really an option we can afford to do, unless you want more governments like the one currently running Iran to gain support in other spots around the world.  

The world can no longer tolerate the prevalence of such an abusive and brutal zealotry to place so many people under their thumb.  The bullies and the spoiled brats across town are finally being challenged and hopefully overthrown from their undeserved and corrupt places of power and in typical fashion they will scratch, claw, and try to cheat their way back into control.  

It is clear by the reaction of the Iranian government that this election was nothing more than a fraud from the start, now that it is has been borne out as such and their predictable retorts and countermoves, we know that they never intended to give up power and clearly enjoy toying with the peoples’ lives and futures as if they are beyond invincible.  History has shown that such moves are often fatal errors and a harbinger of revolution.  

GOP Leader Demands Sanford Resignation; Sanford Emails Available!!!

(Samford emails to mistress – promoted by PA Eagle Eye)

The latest development in the Mark Sanford sex scandal in which he cheated on his wife and disappeared to South America to be with his mistress during Father’s Day, leaving a state behind in peril is that a prominent GOP leader Glenn McCall has called for Sanford’s resignation from the governor’s post.  

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200…

Not as if that isn’t exciting… now its time for the good stuff that Morgan and I love… the “devil in the details.”  Here is a segment of the emails that a South Carolina newspaper, The State got a hold of and published from Gov. Mark Sanford to his mistress Maria:

“Above all else I love that inner beauty about you. That gift of yours is going to make a tremendous difference in (The State deleted sons’ names) life – and in anyone’s life who is blest to be touched by yours – you need to rest very comfortably in that fact. As I mentioned in our last visit, while I did not need love fifteen years ago – as the battle scars of life and aging and politics have worn on this has become a real need of mine. You have a particular grace and calm that I adore. You have a level of sophistication that is so fitting with your beauty. I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificently gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curves of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of night’s light – but hey, that would be going into the sexual details we spoke of at the steakhouse at dinner.”

Please see the State’s website for more affair emails, which even include some religious references!

http://www.thestate.com/sanfor…

DC Healthcare Rally

Thousands of people are busing to Washington today to rally for healthcare reform.  Forty buses left Pennsylvania filled with activists, union members and people carrying personal horror stories of the nightmares dealing with health insurers.  Congress isn’t exercising political courage trying to deal with the problems bankrupting the country in regard to access to medical care.

Paying for comprehensive healthcare reform isn’t the issue:  this is a red herring.  Passing HR 676 would pay for itself by redistributing healthcare spending so all Americans are covered.  Unfortunately this option isn’t even being discussed in DC.  The compromise, fallback option to single payer is a public option.  Forcing everyone to buy health insurance from private companies is nothing more than making a bad situation worse.  The health insurance industry is the biggest problem and forcing all of us to buy insurance is just another huge welfare program for business.

This appraoch has yet to cover everyone anywhere.  The poor and working poor still cannot afford to pay a third of their meager incomes for insurance.  Anyone thinking a person making minimum wage can afford $374/month for such coverage is insane.  This cannot work and is not the answer.  Taxing health insurance benefits simply makes working people who already are paying for health care to pay more.  This isn’t fair either and ignores the elephant in the room:  Republicans accepting huge contributions from the insurance industry (many corporate Democrats do also) and giant pharmaceutical company PAC’s blocking real reform.

I recorded a compelling story of a woman from the Lehigh Valley telling her story earlier this year.  I cannot find the video (it may be on my other computer) and if I do I’ll upload it.  She will be speaking at the rally in DC today.

Jon & Kate: People, let it be

 I wasn’t even going to bother adding my two cents, but now that they’ve entered into the public fray of civil court, a few observations are worth making from my point of view.  

I generally do not watch the show, have not watched the show, do not own the book, though I did buy it for a family member at Xmas time.  The same family member has been “religiously” watching the show for almost the entire time it has been on the air, so I get a lot of post-episode highlights in conversation.  I bothered to watch a couple of episodes and what I gleaned from them is this:

-Why did they ever get married in the first place?  I mean I can understand love being blind, love and times and things change and people do, too, but come on, they seem like oil and water to me.  

-I am not surprised that Kate was the one to file for divorce, since she presented on the episodes I’ve seen as someone who has more than just a few control issues and an over abundant need for such structure and rigid routines that the term anal retentive personality just does not cut it.  

-Conversely, Jon really seems to be more happy when he can be laid back, having fun, being himself and not under the intense pressure of not only being a father to 8 children, but also at the controlling behest of Kate and her need for rote routines and perfunctory consistency of expectations that are just a tad above unrealistic.  

-I feel for the kids, I really and truly do and I hope that people keep an eye out and help both Jon and Kate remember how important the kids need to be in this whole process, not as tools of negotiation or advantage, but as precious, developing children, who need to have their needs met and kept supported in this whole ordeal.  I feel I can speak on this topic to some degree because I went through my own divorce and thankfully did not have children to concern ourselves with when separating.  

-I also have some advice for the people who need to religiously follow everything that Jon & Kate do:  Give it a rest!  Find something else to get obsessed over or run up an alley and holler fish!  Go get a tan or enjoy the summer weather, but step away from the show, even if they continue it and give them some consideration.  Would each of you want your messy divorce or family affairs sprawled out and made to be the latest water cooler gossip?  I know I wouldn’t.  So, let us take our lessons here and observations and move on.  

GOP Family Values: Skipping Father’s Day to Get Laid

Mark Foley, Larry Craig, David Vitter, John Ensign and now Mark Sanford.  I don’t want to hear any more moralizing from holier than thous Republicans who can’t keep their pants on.  Enough is enough!  South Carolina Governor stopped screwing his people after the state legislature and courts forced him to accept $700 million in stimulus funds then flew to Argentina for his own personal stimulus with his mistress.  He skipped out on Father’s Day with his wife and four sons to go get laid.

The next Republican to claim moral superiority and who lectures us about morals has to be the stupidest person on the face of the earth.  Hmmm, sorry for the redundancy, all Republicans are morons.

SC GOP Governor Sanford: “I’ve been unfaithful to my wife,”

(GOP favors adultery over family values – promoted by PA Eagle Eye)

The 2012 list of potential presidential candidates for the GOP is evaporating in thin air after South Carolina hard line conservative governor and rising star Mark Sanford stunned the nation and his supporters by admitting that he has been engaged in an affair with an Argentinian woman.  Yes, “FAMILY VALUES” man Sanford has been doing a lot of “screwing” lately, aside from refusing to take stimulus money to help his states workers and families amidst a record 12.1% unemployment rate. Sanford follows GOP Senator John Ensign (R-NV) in just a 2 week span as GOP playboys who have been preaching the choir, but have been not practicing what they preach (and committing adultery behind the curtain).

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITI…

Govonor Samford, a 2012 rising amongst star amongst the GOP for his attempted boycott of the Obama stimulus money recently vanished from his post during these difficult financial times, a “real show of leadership” in a climate with a 12.1 % unemployment rate. Samford screwed his state and working families by refusing to take the stimulus money, but thats not all he was screwing.  Perhaps even more disturbing is the fact that Samford flat out lied that he was “hiking on the Appalachian Trail” when in reality he left the country for Argentina to visit his floozie (a “dear dear friend” according to Samford).  More details on this to come.  “Whose bed have you boots been under” by Shania Twain may be the 2012 rally cry for the Republicans, our preachers of “family values”.  Atleast Eliot Spitzer had the decency to resign!

All of a sudden…. the Palins are looking pretty classy when it comes to family values.