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The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was defeated late on the evening of Thursday, July 29th.  The bill would have provided $7.4 billion in aide to those who were made sick by the toxic debris of the September 11th attacks.

Worried about potential GOP amendments to the bill, Democrats decided to suspend the rules before the consideration of the bill, which also changed the required number of votes from a simple majority to a two-thirds majority in order for the bill to pass.  This led to Republicans voting ‘No’ at an overwhelming clip to a bill that would have provided health care to those affected by the 9/11 attacks.  And collectively America sighs.

This procedural faux pas has Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) pissed off.

And he will not yield.

Sources: 1, 2

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I suppose if you made me guess a state that this man would be running for governor of…

Alabama, it’d be awfully embarrassing for this guy to be in charge of a Bojangles, let alone your entire state.  What a jackass.

Awesome.

From the producers of Sherlock Holmes comes Darwin: Evolution of a Madman. Is it crazy that I actually want to see Hollywood make an action-adventure about a swashbuckling Darwin? Awesome.

This is the cartoon drawn by Lars Vilks that pissed extremist Muslims off in 2007. Seriously.

You may know Lars Vilks as the Swede who published a series of drawings depicting Islam’s prophet Muhammad as a dog. Apparently having nothing better to do, Islamic extremists around the globe threatened him with death, one organization even going as far as offering $150,000 for his murder. Of course, this reaction was exactly what he predicted and only furthered his point, which was that everyone in the world should be entitled to freedom of speech, regardless of how offensive it might be (I’m offended by the Bible’s condemnation of women and homosexuality – should I riot and attack anyone that preaches it?).

Recently, you may have heard about Vilks giving a presentation on free speech at Uppsala University in Sweden, where almost immediately he was assaulted by protesters who amount to little more than savages. Fortunately, only his glasses were broken before police stepped in. You can watch the entire ten minute insanity below.

In the final minutes of the film, the fools cheer with “unrestrained jubilation” at the announcement that the presentation will stop due to security reasons – perhaps not realizing that they only furthered the point of what Vilks was trying to convey: religion is dangerous to free speech (and society). Religion deludes the mind. You cannot possibly view this video and come to the conclusion that these folks are not completely delusional due to their religious beliefs.

They bullied to get their way with threats of violence and to “take him out,” meanwhile only furthering the resentment of their religion around the world for the hundreds of millions who already believe Islam to be a religion of hate, violence, and bigotry (which, for the vast majority of Muslims, it is not).

Days after this, Vilks home was set fire, windows were smashed, and bottles of gasoline were thrown in. Thankfully, it did not burn to the ground.

Sometimes, all I can do is sigh and shake my head.

Holy hell – this is why I love Florida Congressman Alan Grayson (well, one of many reasons – how about this speech?). If there were politician trading cards, I would be collecting Grayson.

Grayson is introducing a bill called ‘The War Is Making You Poor Act’ – you can see his official website for it right here, where you can also sign a petition saying that you support the bill (or really, what it is that the bill stands for – we are wasting too much money on these wars). His introduction on his site says that the US government’s budget next year “allocates $159,000,000,000 to ‘contingency operations,’ to perpetuate the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. That’s enough money to eliminate federal income taxes for the first $35,000 of every American’s income each year, and beyond that, leave over $15 billion that would cut the deficit.”

Watch the video and please pass it on.

We could very well see this man as our President someday.

Thursday, May 20, 2010, marks one month since BP’s oil rig exploded in the Gulf Coast, killing 11 people and unleashing one of the worst environmental disasters our nation has ever seen.

Since then, millions of gallons of oil have gushed into the ocean, poisoning marine life and threatening hundreds of miles of coastal waters, beaches and estuaries from the mouth of the Mississippi to the Florida Keys.

This is the clearest picture we could have of our failed national energy policy — which extends over many decades and administrations. Yet, shockingly, our elected officials in the Senate continue to drag their feet on enacting the policies that would bring the real change we need to shift our country from dirty to clean energy sources, while creating jobs and cutting our dependence on oil.

This oil disaster is threatening marine life and habitat in a region that accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. production of shrimp and oysters, as well as millions of pounds each year of red snapper, grouper, bluefin tuna and other fish. Fishing has been shut down from the Mississippi River to the Florida Panhandle — an area of 46,000 square miles, or roughly the size of the state of Pennsylvania. These closures are devastating to thousands of Gulf Coast families who depend on this bounty for their livelihood. Many of these people are still reeling from the trauma of Hurricane Katrina five years ago.

I am glad that President Obama announced that he would appoint an independent commission to look at the causes of the blow out and determine what we must do to prevent this from ever happening again. This is an important first step in addressing the national tragedy and coming up with real solutions to prevent future drilling disasters.

But it is not enough.

Right now, the Senate has legislation on the table that would help move us in a new direction and put America back in control of its energy future. The American Power Act, drafted by Senators Kerry and Lieberman, is not perfect– but it is a significant step toward cutting our dependence on fossil fuels, limiting carbon pollution, and encouraging businesses to shift to clean energy sources.

Unfortunately, the full Senate continues to stall — weighed down by too much infighting and too many special interests. That’s why we need the president to assert his voice and leadership by letting the Senate — and the American people — know that he is serious about getting clean energy and climate legislation passed this year.

Source: Huffington Post

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