Archive for January 2010

US Christian group arrested in Haiti on child trafficking charges


By GottaLaff

This is not exactly what true Christianity is about:

Haitian police detained 10 members of a US Christian group after they allegedly tried to leave the country with more than 30 children who survived the country's devastating earthquake. [...]

Police had arrested five men and five women with US passports, as well as two Haitians, as they tried to cross into the neighboring Dominican Republic with 33 children late Friday, Haitian authorities said. [...]

The Americans were members of an Idaho-based charity called New Life Children's Refuge, said Social Affairs Minister Yves Christallin, adding: "This is an abduction, not an adoption." [...]

Patricia Vargas, head of an international center caring for the youngsters, said that officials at the Haitian Institute of Social Welfare, which deals with adoptions, told her "most of the kids have family."

Some of the older children had spoken to aid workers and "say their parents are alive, and some of them gave us an address and phone numbers," she said.

The US embassy confirmed that ten US citizens were being held for "alleged violations of Haitian laws related to immigration."

At least they were caught. This time.

UPDATE, via an e-mail alert from the Associated Press:

Haiti prime minister says US Baptist group knew it was wrong to take children out of country.

They knew.


Source: White House to paint grim fiscal picture


By GottaLaff

So, "Source" says the White House will paint a grim fiscal picture. Source who? They never give their last name. Neither does that ubiquitous scamp, "Sources", come to think of it.

At least "Anonymous Sources" provides both a first and last name:

The White House will predict a record budget deficit in the current fiscal year and more big shortfalls for the next decade in its upcoming budget proposal, a congressional source told Reuters on Sunday.

Oh, now I recognize the name! "Congressional Source". Why didn't they just say so?

In its budget proposal to be released on Monday, the White House predicts a record $1.6 trillion budget deficit for the fiscal year that ends September 30, the Capitol Hill source said.

According to the estimate, deficits will narrow to $700 billion by fiscal 2013 before gradually rising back to $1.0 trillion by the end of the decade, the source said.

Oh, so now it's "The Source" and "Capitol Hill Source". Playing footsie with us are you?

Deficits are expected to rise again toward the end of the decade due to the increasing cost of retirement and healthcare programs as the "baby boom" generation retires. [...]

The grim forecast could help build support for a bipartisan commission proposed by the White House that would recommend ways to address long-term budget problems.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a call coming in from "Some Say" on line 2.


Fact checking the fact checkers


By GottaLaff

My pal Celtic Diva has kindly given me permission to cross post her blog entries when I see something that bears repeating.

This sure does (Please go to her place to read the whole thing.):

Politifact boasts a 2009 Pulitzer Prize win and they felt the need to take up President Obama's offer of "neutral fact-checking" of the issues discussed at today's retreat. Perhaps they are having an off day but it sure didn't take me very long to find some glaring errors in one of the claims made by Representative Price...fact-checking the fact-checking, if you will.

Here's the email I sent them asking them to correct their errors:

To whom it may concern at

Rep. Tom Price, Georgia (R) accused the Obama Administration of repeatedly stating that the GOP offers "no ideas." Your article claims that is true, when several parts of your "fact-checking" are glaringly inaccurate.

-- Your article uses as one piece of evidence a speech the President gave at a labor picnic in Cincinnati, September 7, 2009. According to you:

At a picnic with labor officials in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Sept. 7, 2009, Obama complained that the critics of health care reform -- he didn't identify them as Republicans, but it was clear he was referring to them -- were not offering their own solutions. He said, "I've got a question for all those folks: What are you going to do? What's your answer? What's your solution? And you know what? They don't have one. Their answer is to do nothing. Their answer is to do nothing."

However, the actual transcript of the speech tells a different story--he was very specific as who he was addressing--the special interests who benefit if there is no health care reform:

And because we're so close to real reform, the special interests are doing what they always do-trying to scare the American people and preserve the status quo.

But I've got a question for them: What's your answer? What's your solution? The truth is, they don't have one.

It's do nothing.

When the insurance companies and others have expensive ad campaigns out slamming the health care legislation without offering solutions, I find the assuption he's addressing the Republicans to be rather dubious.

--Again, Mr. Price claimed the Obama Administration accused the GOP of offering "no ideas." However, according to your own article, the phrase on a White House blog post and repeated by Rahm Emmanuel and Robert Gibbs was "no new ideas."

President Obama was very clear that GOP ideas provided in committee were already incorporated into the health care legislation and some were rejected. Resubmitting those same rejected ideas would make that an accurate statement.

It is NOT the same as saying they have "no ideas."

Quite frankly, I'm surprised by your sloppy fact-checking. I would respectfully request that you correct your "Truth-O-Meter" so that it is actually more truthful.

You can email at if you wish to encourage them to correct their website.

You can view the entire video of President Obama at the Baltimore retreat here.


Chuck Todd "says the unsayable"


By GottaLaff

Via Greg Sargent:

Chuck Todd says the unsayable: The only way for Dems to secure bipartisan cooperation is to completely embrace Republican proposals and nothing more.

Here is the tweet in question:

Moral: Stop making overtures to people who won't reciprocate. They don't want us joining in their reindeer games? Fine. Besides, they cheat.


VIDEO: Scott Brown doesn't know if he supports repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell


By GottaLaff

We all know how much Rushpublics love that whole authoritarian thing. Nothing says GOP better than a firm "NO!" on, well, just about anything the Democrats put forward.

They stick together like glue, even when their glue stick is George W. Bush.

Why, they're so decisive that they can't seem to find it in themselves to veer from a decision once they've made one... even a bad one.

They loves them an immovable stance (not to mention a wide one).

So how do you solve a problem like Scott?

Here he is in all his wishy-washy, non-authoritarian not-knowingness:

During the Senate special election in Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown was criticized for his lack of support for LGBT rights. The Massachusetts Family Institute put out a report card showing that he supports the ban on gay men and women serving openly in the military, a position also noted by MassEquality, a leading state gay political group.

Don't get me wrong. If he's pro-choice (in some circumstances) and ends up being for the repeal of DADT, great.

However, here are a few reasons why I can't get too excited (scroll through posts; because of Blogger's limit on tags, there is none for "Scott Brown", which is why we are going to a different site asap). Here are a few more. Here too.


Doctors Skirt Red Tape to Save Haitian Kids


By GottaLaff

The Hippocratic Oath is alive and well in Haiti:

Doctors skirted a bureaucratic logjam to save the lives of three critically-ill child victims of Haiti's earthquake on Sunday, flying them to U.S. hospitals on a private jet to avoid a military suspension of medical evacuation flights.

A 5-year-old tetanus victim, a 14-month-old boy critically ill with pneumonia and a baby with third-degree burns were sent to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia by the aid group Partners in Health, based in Boston.

The airlift had been in doubt after the U.S. military stopped medical evacuation flights on Wednesday night because of because of an apparent dispute over where seriously injured patients should be taken for treatment.

"This is a good day. These are three children who would have died if they had stayed here," said Luis Ivers, Partners in Health's clinical director in Haiti. "It's the little successes like that that keep us going here."

We need a whole lot more little successes, and we definitely need to keep things going there.


Did Baltimore make a difference?


By GottaLaff

President Obama went to Baltimore and took on the GOP.

Now the headlines seem to have changed.

Coincidence? Check out these three pieces from today's Roll Call:

Brown Insists He Won’t Be Senate’s Deciding Vote

Democrats and Republicans Agree Health Care Reform Isn’t Dead Yet

GOP Says It’s Willing to Look at Obama’s Jobs Plan

To be fair, #2 post also said:

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Sunday that health care reform is not dead and that Democrats are still determined to “shove this down the throats of the American people.”

But it's not dead. He did say that.

Do I sense change, or is it just a figleaf of my imagination?