Sarah Palin’s Father Says She Left Hawaii Because Asians Made Her Uncomfortable – Sarah Palin journeyed to Hawaii to attend the first of the four colleges she enrolled in. She and a friend who went with her lasted only one semester. “Hawaii was a little too perfect,” Palin writes in her book. “Perpetual sunshine isn’t necessarily conducive to serious academics for eighteen-year-old Alaska girls.” Perhaps not. But Palin’s father, Chuck Heath, gave a different account. According to him, the presence of so many Asians and Pacific Islanders made her uncomfortable: “They were a minority type thing and it wasn’t glamorous, so she came home.”
Republican Effort to Mock Public Health-Care Option Backfires as Dems Like Idea – When Senators Tom Coburn and David Vitter decided to make fun of Democratic efforts to pass health reform, they probably did not see this coming.
By proposing an amendment that would require members of Congress to register for public health care if the so-called public option were to pass, the two Republicans hoped to further deter their colleagues from voting in favor.
The hitch in their plan: several Democrats took them seriously.
Speaking to MSNBC on Friday night, Sen. Sherrod Brown explained why he offered to co-sponsor the amendment.
“[With] Sen. Coburn, nine times we said we wanted to co-sponsor,” he said. “Usually it takes once and they say yes. I’ve always accepted that; so has everybody I know in the Senate. Nine times we asked to co-sponsor and their office either just said we’ll get back to you or ignored our calls and our emails because it was all a sham. … They clearly don’t like the public option. They were making fun of it. Their whole game is to delay and deceive and to play political games. … And so, it’s just a little partisan game they’re playing.”
Max Baucus Kept Relationship from Justice Department When Recommending Girlfriend – Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) did not disclose to the Justice Department anything about his personal relationship with a woman he recommended to be a United States Attorney, according to a Department official involved in the selection of federal prosecutors.
Blue Cross Pushing Plan to Declare Health Reform Unconstitutional – After months of fierce insurance industry opposition to the bill, Blue Cross is working secretively with conservative front group American Legislative Exchange Council to use the issue of states’ rights as a pretext to declaring health reform unconstitutional.
ALEC has for months worked to spread the notion that all the proposals put forth by President Obama and Democrats — including industry regulations and a public option — violate states’ rights. The group wrote a resolution declaring as much this summer.
A senior executive at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBS’ lobbying group) has admitted to Think Progress she played a vital role in crafting ALEC’s resolution, and insurance lobbyists have since worked in tandem with the group to promote it.
John Cornyn Says Medicaid is a Health Care Gulag – On Fox News Sunday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said of Democrats efforts to reform health care, “It will limit people’s choices to, in many cases, to a government-run program like Medicaid which is essentially a health care gulag, because people will not have any choices but to take that poorly performing government plan.”
Rainforests Turned into Smoldering Ruins – The work of multibillion dollar paper, pulp and palm oil conglomerates has already caused the destruction of 85 percent of Sumatra’s forests. What is left is vanishing at an alarming rate — an area the size of 50 football fields disappears every hour, according to Greenpeace and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
The peat soil of the Kampar Peninsula holds more carbon than anywhere else in the world. Greenpeace estimates that if this whole peninsula, some 1.7 million acres (700,000 hectares), is taken over by plantations, the carbon dioxide released would be the equivalent of 1.6 billion transatlantic flights.
Republicans Ignore Facts More Than Ever – CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released Monday, indicates that two-thirds of all Americans believe global warming is a proven fact. That’s down 8 percentage points since June 2008, with views among Democrats holding steady and Republicans’ belief in global warming dropping 11 points.