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Archive for June 29th, 2009

UPDATE2! The Honduran coup enters the second day

Posted by Charles II on June 29, 2009

Update2: Aporrea reports that Nicaragua, El Salvador, and most amazingly Guatemala have imposed trade sanctions on Honduras. Separately, Chavez will propose suspending oil shipments. I bet those aircraft and minitanks will not work so well without fuel.

The new name for the usurper Micheletti is Gorille…tti (I’ve anglicized it from the actual spelling by Aporrea, “Goriletti.”)

Update!: Al Giordano reports:

Community Radio “Es Lo de Menos” was the first to report that the Fourth Infantry Battalion has rebelled from the military coup regime in Honduras. The radio station adds that “it seems” (“al parecer,” in the original Spanish) that the Tenth Infantry Battalion has also broken from the coup.

We may be witnessing the beginning of the end of a short-lived coup in Honduras.

Kristin Bricker reports:

Congressman Cesar Ham is a Zelaya Ally and Organizer of the Opinion Poll on a New Constitution

Correction: News reports translated by Narco News on Monday that Honduran political leader Cesar Ham had been assassinated appear not to be accurate. This report says otherwise, that Ham is alive and well. We apologize for any confusion caused by our first report, and share in the world’s relief that the reports we initially translated were inaccurate.

(Via Narcosphere commenters)
1. A media report has surfaced to the effect that the head of the opposition party, Cesar Ham, may be alive.
2. Robert Samuels of the Miami Herald reports counterfactually that Hondurans in the US support the coup.

Turkana of DK reported that the guy installed by the coup, Roberto Micheletti, was born in Italy and is therefore unable to hold the office of president. This is apparently incorrect. Via Geekesque, Micheletti is the son of an Italian, born in El Progreso, Honduras.

From Rebelion, a pretty good refutation of the talking points:
* The election that was blocked by the coup was a non-binding referendum which Zelaya believed would show that Hondurans support an overhaul of the Constitution.
* The referendum would have taken place after the election, so would not have affected whether Zelaya could run again
* The Honduran Congress was mostly p–sed because Zelaya had allied with Hugo Chavez
* The “Supreme Court” that ruled against Zelaya on the election was not a superior court, but the highest electoral court.

Radio esDeLosMenos (Radio ELM) has received support from a number of Latin American countries. But…well, it’s not the same. I’m listening to some very nice guitar music on the Mexican RELM, but I was hoping to hear news.

Laura Carlsen reports that the OAS has delivered a sharp, unambiguous repudiation of the coup. Key among the points about which I was concerned is “To declare that no government arising from this unconstitutional interruption will be recognized.” Translation: even if they hold elections, those elections will not be recognized. If the OAS does what it says it will, the coupsters are well and truly f–ked. That doesn’t mean that their objectives have been overturned though. If they can control the November elections, all else is for naught.

A good piece of news. According to TeleSur, Finance Minister Patricia Rodas has arrived in Nicaragua with Calderon.

Posted in Latin America, world news | 2 Comments »

An easy $100K for any wingnut who wants to prove the poor caused the financial crisis

Posted by Charles II on June 29, 2009

Barry Ritholtz has offered up to $100,000 to anyone who can prove, to the satisfaction of a fair debate jury, that the Community Reinvestment Act caused the mortgage crisis.

I should mention… there’s one catch.

You have to put up your own money.

Posted in Good Causes, mortgage crisis | Comments Off on An easy $100K for any wingnut who wants to prove the poor caused the financial crisis

Consumer Reports Debunks Right-Wing Health Care Myths

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 29, 2009

As follows:

Now that health-care reform is a possibility, the forces of opposition are gearing up. Anti-reform campaigns with names like Patients United Now, Partnership to Improve Patient Care, and Conservatives for Patients’ Rights are trying to make meaningful reform sound dangerous. Here are five of the worst fears you might hear—and the facts as we see them under the reforms we recommend.

Fear: Health reform will let faceless government bureaucrats come between you and your doctor.

Fact: Private health insurance already comes between you and your doctor. And because each company sets its own rules, it’s hard to imagine a more bureaucratic system. Some insurers decide which doctors you can see, which hospitals you can visit, and what drugs you can take and still be covered. And they may require copious paperwork before approving a treatment you and your doctor want. Health-care reform would standardize claim procedures to cut down on all of that. And it would protect you from other abuses, like being rejected for coverage or paying exorbitant premiums if you get sick.

Fear: Health reform will take away the good coverage from your job.

Fact: If you’re satisfied with your job-based coverage, you would be able to keep it. Employers who don’t offer insurance would either start to provide it or contribute to a fund that helps employees buy it on their own. Some small businesses would be eligible for subsidies to offset the cost. And every policy would offer at least a standard, easy-to-understand, comprehensive set of benefits like those your congressperson now enjoys.

Fear: Comparing the relative effectiveness of treatments and drugs will lead to rationing.

Fact: This issue flared up because Congress recently approved more funding for “comparative-effectiveness research.” The term refers to studies to evaluate which drugs or treatments work best for different medical conditions and different patients. That’s one more piece of information—based on science, not drug-company advertising or sales reps pushing pills—to help your doctor and you decide what’s right. Consumers Union has long argued for better health-care information. For an example of our work, go to You’ll find free advice based on comparative-effectiveness research into which drugs work best for some two dozen conditions, ranging from heartburn to heart disease. That’s not rationing. It’s just being smart. And if you suffer from one of those conditions, you may find you could choose a better medicine with fewer side effects and save thousands of dollars a year.

Fear: Health reform means a government takeover of medicine as in England and Canada.

Fact: The system we support would look nothing like those in England and Canada. Both of those countries finance health care out of general tax revenues. England goes even further. The government owns and operates most of the hospitals. We support a specifically American reform that would build on the current employer-based insurance while ensuring affordable comprehensive coverage for those who lack it.

Fear: Health reform will be too costly; it will raise your taxes and could even bankrupt the country.

Fact: The real threat to your finances is the health system the U.S. has now. A recent study concluded that today’s $2.4 trillion annual health-care tab would jump to $4.4 trillion by 2018 if nothing is done to rein in expenses. Consumers Union thinks reform is the best hope for getting costs under control. It would cut down on waste, overhead, and price gouging, and reduce inappropriate care and preventable errors. We fully understand why some people are apprehensive about reform: Any change is scary. But we also see the shameful damage caused by the current system. Americans deserve better than this, and can have it.

There you go.

Posted in health care, health issues | 9 Comments »

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