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Normally I try to ignore Ann Coulter. I mean, no one takes the woman seriously except a few crotchety old farmers in the Midwest who no doubt describe her as “a pistol.” If she was a man, she wouldn’t be able to get on TV. Big mouth guys are a dime a dozen and the line forms somewhere after Limbaugh and O’Reilly.

But a thin, blonde woman? What a hook! A pretty girl spitting venom? Hire her! Ann’s the dominatrix for the conservative Christian movement. A political fluffer who gets the Republican party going, so to speak.

Her job isn’t easy. It’s tough to be constantly outrageous. Everyone’s heard your shtick. You started with Democrats. When you ran out of material you went for the 911 widows and got a bit of mileage out of that. But time drags on and there are still bullets in the gun…

This time she found herself on CNBC Monday night (a sign of her flagging popularity given the channel and time slot) talking with Donny Deutsch, a practicing Jew, when she suggested that Jews needed to be perfected — as Christians.

Hmmm. Strangely, it didn’t go over well. I don’t think Ann realized that Deutsch is Jewish…

Here’s the video:

Interesting to note that Deutsch’s original question had to do with what an ideal country would look like to Ann if all her dreams came true. Would people be safer? Would we be happier? Would there be more tolerance? Would races get along better?

Al Gore got up this morning and picked up a Nobel Peace Prize for his vision of a world in which we learn to live in balance with our environment. Ann Coulter gets up each morning with an image of a future United States that is a never-ending Republican National Convention.

I’ll stick with Al Gore, thanks.

From Shmuel Rosner, Chief U.S. Correspondent, for Haaretz.com, comes a variety of possible responses.

From Reverend Rob Schenck, Christian News Wire: “Anne Coulter may do many things well, but one thing she definitely does not do well is theology or Bible scholarship. Anne’s comments to Danny Deutsch were inaccurate, inappropriate and a disservice to the Gospel. Anne needs to unequivocally apologize for entering an arena where she is inept. It’s time for Anne to humble herself and admit she blew it.

From the secular side, it earned her a SWIAA™ (Stupidest Women in America Award) from HuffPo.

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Al Gore and the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) have won the Nobel Peace Prize for their “efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”

If you haven’t seen An Inconvenient Truth, get a copy.

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Carter: Bush Authorized Torture

According to a CNN interview with former President Jimmy Carter, the United States has tortured detainees and Bush authorized it.

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Huh? Defying the President, Democrats voted on Wednesday to bolster civil liberties safeguards in his anti-terrorism spying program and refused to shield telecommunications companies from pending lawsuits based upon the fact that they turned over confidential customer data to the President.

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In light of all those poisoned and tainted Chinese toys, Tom Allen has cosponsored H.R. 3691, The Safety Assurance for Every (SAFE) Consumer Product Act — which will tighten the regulation of all toys manufactured here or imported from overseas, as well as stiffen the penalties for those who break the rules.

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72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and nearly one in four say the troops should leave immediately, according to a new Le Moyne College/Zogby International survey.

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Fred “doh-DEE-doh” Thompson has hired Howard Baker, Elizabeth Cheney, and George Allen, the former senator from Virginia, to his “National Campaign Leadership Team.”

You remember George Allen from “Macaca” scandal, when he used an ethnic slur to call on S.R. Sidarth, a 20-year-old of Indian descent filming an Allen speech and made that horrific blunder even more delicious by welcoming him to America. Just the mention of the name “Cheney” sends chills… and Howard Baker? Is he still alive?

Fred Thompson’s quoteables read like a dumbed-down Reagan:

On the environment: Solar system is warming, not earth. (Apr 2007) - Thankfully the earth is not part of the solar system. Whew! Dodged a bullet.

On Roe v Wade: Roe v. Wade was bad law and bad science. (Jun 2007) - Well, the man obviously knows about bad science, at least when it comes to the solar system.

But this quote says it all:

On war and peace: I would do essentially what the president’s doing in Iraq. (Jun 2007)

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Give your eyes a break with Maine Democrat’s weekly podcast, The Week That Was October 1, 2007. Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act. Larry Craig Won’t Go Quietly. The Bush Drug Program is a Bust. Stuck in a Time Loop of September 11. Subscribe to the RSS Feed via iTunes for the enhanced podcast: podcast

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If the government runs the health care system in this country it will be a disaster! I hear that a lot — from Democrats and Republicans. Faith in government may be at an all time low, fueled, in part, by an administration that repaid political favors to the loyal with positions like head of FEMA. Presidents used to restrict paybacks to positions like ambassador.

So, yes. Government run health care would be a disaster — right now. Because government-run anything has proven to be a disaster.

Privatizing health care is not the answer. Privatizing means someone is making money. Privatizing means no checks and balances. For example:

Tens of thousands of Medicare recipients have been victims of deceptive sales tactics and had claims improperly denied by private insurers that run the system’s huge new drug benefit program.
Ninety one audit reports reviewed by The New York Times, include:

- improper termination of coverage for people with H.I.V. and AIDS,
- backlogs of ignored claims and complaints,
- failure to answer telephone calls from consumers, doctors and drugstores

Since March, Medicare has imposed fines of more than $770,000 on 11 companies for marketing violations.

A review of companies revealed:

UnitedHealth, which serves more than six million Medicare beneficiaries, denied claims without giving any explanation.

WellPoint took an average of 27 minutes to answer a single phone call and had a backlog of approximately 354,000 claims.

Sierra Health Services canceled drug coverage for 2,300 Medicare beneficiaries with H.I.V./AIDS for nonpayment of premiums when beneficiaries had the canceled checks to prove it. Peter O’Neill, a vice president of Sierra, said this particular drug plan, which attracted people with very high drug costs, would not be offered in 2008.

The list goes on. Because it’s private, the problem is not in one location but many companies refusing to cooperate. Because it’s private, there are no checks and balances. Services and procedures are not standardized among companies. People are poorly trained. The road to accountability is long and paved with individual lawsuits.

Claims are denied or placed on the back burner with the hope that the patient will simply die of old age or seek medical treatment on their own. Calls are not returned no matter who you are - patient or doctor. Ultimately, plans that are not as money-making are simply no longer offered, leaving those denied coverage without any option.

Candidates promoting health care as a platform include Barack Obama, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton.

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U.S. Representative Tom Allen is supporting H.R. 3648, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act. The act would prevent any dollar amount of “forgiven mortgage debt” from being considered taxable income. The bill is retroactive to January of 2007.

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SCHIP provides health insurance for children from families who aren’t dirt broke, but not wealthy enough to afford private insurance. What does insurance run for a family of four? Over $12,000 a YEAR. The SCHIP probram was recently expanded to try and cover the growing number of uninsured kids. Plenty of parents are also uninsured.

President Bush vetoed the renewed and expanded SCHIP bill as expected this week. I think my favorite part was listening to him question the poverty of the children involved…

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The House is looking to make America’s outsourced thug army, Blackwater, accountable. Democrats called the 389-30 vote an indictment in connection with a recent shooting incident. Senate Democratic leaders said they planned to follow suit with similar legislation.

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Senator Craig met with senior Republicans in the Congressional men’s room (lower floor) where he exchanged a series of toe-taps and hand signals indicating that despite having humiliated his family he will serve out his third term, which expires at the end of 2008. He doesn’t plan to run for office again.

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The White House today reiterated its position that the United States does not condone torture and offered to attach electrodes to the genitalia of anyone who wants to dispute it.

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Well, this is kind of a bummer…

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Maine Senator Susan Collins warns against “September 10th thinking”. Rudy Giuliani suffers from 9/11 Tourette’s Syndrome. Thomas Friedman from the New York Times is positively clairvoyant in his ability to divine a September 12th.

The nation is stuck in a time loop of terrorism. Afraid? Good. Because the threat is real. Terrorism is going to kill us all… by keeping us from dealing with real problems like universal health care, global warming, and AIDS. By keeping us fighting tooth and nail over who has the best invisible friend… killing each other over gay marriage… or spying on each other. By insuring that we spend every cent we have plus trillions we don’t have on weapons and war.

The real problems facing us require a commitment to see more than a day ahead and a day behind.

While we live in the perpetual police state of September 11th, we do so alone. The rest of the world has gone into the future — without us. Perhaps that’s why they are trying to do something about global warming. Maybe that’s why everyone else has universal health care.

We’re too busy arresting (and subsequently killing) a sick, 45 year old Arizona woman at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport because she got irate after missing a flight. Seriously, we need to kill more innocent housewives in the name of terrorism. This is the year 2007. A woman’s place is in the morgue.

Best case scenario? We’re living in the past. A day late and a dollar short… Worst case scenario? We’re living every day like it’s our last, which sounds romantic, but face it… if today was my last day? I don’t think you’d find me flossing or helping my fellow man. I’m picturing something more like a room with a dozen cheesecakes, several bottles of champagne and fat pants. Cigarettes might be involved as well. And not the light ones. Sorry.

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“We can’t be like Democrats… the party of big spending”

Why is it that Mitt Romney doesn’t explode into antimatter in this ad?

What does a deficit look like to you? Petty cash? Do you realize that the degree of debt into which this country has been plunged by a Republican President has saddled every American family of four with a personal debt of $100,000?

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Give your eyes a break with Maine Democrat’s weekly podcast, The Week That Was September 24, 2007. LIHEAP Funds Mark the Return of Winter. Federal Deficit Surge. Bush Plans to Attack Global Warming in 200-300 Years. Blackwater USA: Mercenaries in the USA. Subscribe to the RSS Feed via iTunes for the enhanced podcast: podcast

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Nothing ruins a day spent swimming at the lake faster than a killer amoeba that enters the body through the nose and attacks the brain where it feeds until you die. Best part? The symptoms are similar to a headache. Hypochondriacs, start your engines!

Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER-ee-uh FOWL’-erh-eye) has only killed 23 people in the United States, from 1995 to 2004. Roughly 2-point-something yearly. But this year there have been six cases reported. Six. Three in Florida, two in Texas and one in Arizona.

What’s behind the spike? Global warming. This little heat-loving amoeba flourishes in warmer water.

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Blackwater’s hoping that recent bad publicity over the shooting of over 20 Iraqis who got too close to one of their SUVs won’t hurt their chances of providing mercenary services within America’s borders.

They provided services after the Katrina disaster — services that were felt by some to be a “god send.”

For example, inside the recovery office, employees had a code. If workers felt uncomfortable or didn’t feel safe, they were supposed to call out loudly for a “blue form.” That was a signal for one of the Blackwater guys to come over and stand close by. Their mere presence did a lot to calm rattled homeowners who were frustrated with the FEMA process.

I’m sure the presence of a heavily armed individual who was definitely (a.) not police and (b.) not U.S. military did a lot to “calm” those rattled homeowners disenchanted with FEMA’s stellar service.

Just stay away from their cars…

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In light of the growing list of immediate and dire circumstances of unabated global warming — a list that includes the end of American baseball and a plague of hungry bears — President Bush called on the world’s “top emitters” of greenhouse gases (whoever they are) to think in terms of really “long-term goals” if they plan to play a part other than spectator at the twilight of humanity.

Said Bush, “By setting this goal, we acknowledge there is a problem…”

How true.

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This is amusing if you pretend the footage is from another country… like Myanmar, instead of Texas. Of course, for those of us in New England, Texas is kind of like Myanmar…

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Virtually every Senator with a pulse took a moment Thursday to rubber stamp an $850 BILLION dollar increase in the federal deficit without so much as a peep.

Susan Collins? Olympia Snowe? Where were you guys? How come I didn’t see one of those self-congratulatory press releases on your websites, like, “Senator Collins Announces Fiscal Apocalypse for Mainers, Americans.” Or “Olympia Snowe: Deficit Madness.”

The vote was an unbelieveable 94 to 1. So little opposition that it speaks of something more sinister. Did Dick Cheney provide “coffee” and “donuts” Thursday? Democrats, did a Republican offer you a free cup of “coffee” before the vote? Can we get a look at the security footage?

The rubber-stamping included yet-another “stop-gap spending bill”…. a little $9 billion-dollar emergency reserve of mad money for the President’s war in Iraq. And, as if it couldn’t get worse, “emergency authority” to tap further into a $70 billion “bridge fund” to provide new infusions of money for the occupation while the Congress works on appropriations bills for the Department of Defense and other agencies.

So, we know who the “94″ were… virtually every bum in the Senate, but one. Who is the one? Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold. The only — and apparently last — honest man in the Senate.

Ironically, the same day Representatives Tom Allen (D-ME) and John F. Tierney (D-MA) introduced legislation that would establish an independent Commission on Wartime Contracting to investigate the fraud, abuse, mismanagement and waste of American taxpayers’ funds while restoring accountability over … oh, please…

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