Well, this is great news! For years, the likes of Blackwater, Halliburton, KBR and others have operated with carte blanche to do whatever they wanted, without fear of being prosecuted or litigated in Iraq and in the United States. Perhaps now, that will finally change. This is a start…
A federal judge says military contractors can be sued by soldiers and others who allege they were harmed by improper waste disposal while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus ruled last week in Maryland that military contractors including Halliburton Co. must face lawsuits alleging the soldiers were exposed to toxic emissions and contaminated water when they burned waste in open pits.
Titus is overseeing 43 lawsuits filed in 42 states on the issue. The contractors sought to have the lawsuits dismissed.
Titus said the courts must treat lawsuits against such contractors with caution to protect military missions abroad. But he said courts must be prepared to decide such cases if people were harmed.
The Republicans in congress plan on doing nothing between now and the mid-term elections. This has always been their plan. No legislative agenda is planned.
They don’t want ANYTHING passing, That means a jobs bill will have to be postponed until after the mid-terms. So much for the GOP being on the side of America. Their only interest is corporate prosperity. This, in my opinion is the message that should constantly be reiterated across America.
With Congress back in session today, here’s the sad reality.
Since Republicans have thrived politically with their strategy of consistent, unified, and aggressive opposition, there is no reason to expect that to change in the weeks ahead. The Senate filibuster has proven the indispensable weapon in killing, weakening, slowing, or discrediting virtually every element of the Obama agenda.
Virtually all of the 372 bills passed by the House but not taken up in the Senate will die with the end of the 111th Congress. The relatively brief (albeit painful and ugly) period of legislative productivity has largely ground to a halt.
NO, he can’t. President Obama can’t reverse the unemployment numbers by Election Day. He can’t get even a modest new stimulus bill past the Party of No, and even if he could, there would be few jobs to show for it until (maybe) 2011. Nor can he rewrite the history of his administration. Its signal accomplishments to date are an initial stimulus package that was overrun by the calamity at hand and a marathon health care battle as yet better known for its unseemly orgy of backroom wrangling than its concrete results. While that brawl raged, the White House seemed indifferent to the mounting number of Americans being tossed onto the Great Recession scrapheap.
And so the odds that Obama’s party will survive the midterms seem less than Indiana Jones’s in the Temple of Doom — as we are reminded hourly by the Beltway herd flogging the latest polls. The Democrats are facing a “historic” rout, an earthquake, a tidal wave — well, you know the drill. End of story.
Unless it’s not. On Labor Day, the fighting Obama abruptly re-emerged, a far cry from the man whose Oval Office address on Iraq days earlier was about as persuasive as a hostage video. Speaking to workers in Milwaukee, the president finally started giving voice to the anger of America’s battered middle class. And he even let loose with a little anger of his own. The unspecified “powerful interests” aligned against him, he said, “talk about me like a dog.”
That inelegant line — “not in my prepared remarks,” Obama explained — landed because it was true and because he said it with a grin. Americans like their warriors happy, not petulant (cf, “You’re likable enough, Hillary”).
NBC’s Meet the Press, CBS’s Face the Nation, Fox News Sunday, CNN’s State of the Union, and ABC’s This Week are the five major Sunday talk shows that aim to bring “a diverse group of voices” that “reflect the cultural, economic, and political landscape” of the U.S. However, according to a new study published by George Mason University School of Law this month, the Congressional guests featured in 2009 were anything but diverse, failing not only to represent the demographics of the American population but also the diversity of Congress. In fact, according to the study, the congressional voice was disproportionately represented by one type of guest in 2009: “white, male, senior, and Republican”:
In 2009 the talk shows told us (by their selection of Congressional guests) that the people who matter are disproportionately white, male, senior and Republican — disproportionate not just when compared to the American population overall, but also when compared to the population of Congress itself,” concluded a study published this month in The Green Bag, a quarterly journal supported by the George Mason University School of Law.The study, of the five network Sunday shows from February to December 2009, found that while 14.6 percent of members of Congress were minorities, just 2.5 percent of the Congressional TV guests were minorities; and that while 16.9 percent of members were female, 13.5 percent of the guests were female.
The study also singled out “the 49 white, male U.S. senators in office six-plus years” who represented 9.2 percent of the Congressional populace, but 61.4 percent of the TV guests.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is never shy about bashing the “lamstream media,” concocting conspiracy theories about its bias, and pioneering a media strategy that keeps her as far away as possible from tough questions. Palin’s speakers contract stipulates that journalists are only allowed to record the first three minutes of her remarks, and that all other recording devices, including cell phones, be banned. Palin’s paranoia about the press was on full display Sunday at an event in Missoula, MT, during which she worried there were journalist “moles” in the audience:
During her talk, Palin at times deviated from her awe-filled words of faith to take swipes at the media – at one point proclaiming that “moles” were in the audience texting about her belief in prayer and taking it all out of context, as per usual.
Palin also said, “Be careful. There may be some media that sneaked into the room.” In response, the editor of The Missoulian, which reported Palin’s comments, said her reporter had credentials to cover the speech and “didn’t sneak in or out.” Palin’s comments are “intended to create distrust of the professional journalists…who take their jobs very seriously and work hard to accurately and fairly report the news,” editor Sherry Devlin said. (HT: GOP12)
Here’s what you may have missed from this week’s Sunday political talks shows:
THE VIEW FROM THE WHITE HOUSE: Goolsbee offers a less-than-rosy take on the jobless rate, and warily notes Boehner’s choice of words. Axelrod eyes Voinovich’s promise to break a Republican filibuster on tax breaks for small businesses, and maintains hope that the public will come around on health care reform. Napolitano casts the DHS in evolutionary terms.
JUST OUTSIDE: Orszag argues that his column on the tax cuts was misinterpreted and dismisses the idea that Obama is socialist. Hoyer remains optimistic that Democrats will hold the House.
ON THE RIGHT: Boehner grudgingly concedes that he’d vote for a partial extension of the Bush tax cuts, while Gingrich urges all Republicans to do the same.
Newt thinks the GOP’s midterm gains could exceed those made in 1994. Armey and Lott disagree on the proper insurgent-establishment dynamic. NEAR GROUND ZERO: Rauf regrets causing controversy, but worries moving the proposed Islamic center would strengthen radicals.
FROM NOWHERE: Pointing to tobacco ties and health risks, Schieffer pushes Boehner to quit smoking.
Last week people began to question the appropriateness of charging people such high prices to attend a 9/11 commemoration. After such concerns were raised, Glenn Beck said he would donate his speaking fee to the Special Operations Warrior Fund (SOWF), a charity provides aid to the families of special operations soldiers who were killed or injured in combat. However, Beck did not disclose what his speaking fee would be. In addition, Beck stated that Sarah Palin would receive no speaking fee.
Palin and Beck often demand transparency from liberals and the Obama administration. In particular, Beck often tells his audience to “follow the money” behind liberal organizations, and assumes the worst when no information is available. However, it seems Beck and Palin do not hold themselves to the same level of transparency on fundraising. Thousand of people paid their hard-earned money to attend the Palin-Beck 9/11 event, and now it is entirely possible their funds could be used to promote political causes or, even worse, the personal careers of Beck and Palin.
So there are no racists in the tea party movement, huh? By the way, where were these people when George W. Bush was stepping all over the Constitution and running up the debt? Not to mention the unprecedented expansion of government agencies.