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Ted Kennedy Tapes Ad for Chris Dodd

By    |   Sunday, 28 June 2009 04:06 PM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Ted Kennedy Tapes Ad for Chris Dodd
2. GOP 'Attack Machine' Hounds Obama
3. U.S. 'Unequivocally Opposed' to Parole for Spy Jonathan Pollard
4. Obama Snubs Big Three Networks at Press Conference
5. Studies Find Conservatives More Easily Disgusted
6. We Heard: Pepsi, ACORN, David Letterman, FCC Chairman


1. Ted Kennedy Tapes Ad for Chris Dodd

Sen. Ted Kennedy has come to the aid of his embattled friend Sen. Christopher Dodd with a new TV ad highlighting the Connecticut Democrat's efforts on healthcare reform.

"Quality healthcare as a fundamental right for all Americans has been the cause of my life, and Chris Dodd has been my closest ally in this fight," Kennedy says in the 30-second ad.

"Today more than ever, we have a real opportunity to bring healthcare reform to Connecticut and all across America, and I believe that with Chris Dodd's leadership, our families will finally have accessible, affordable healthcare."

Kennedy has been battling brain cancer and for the most part remains home in Hyannis Port, Mass. Dodd has been managing healthcare reform in Kennedy's absence and working closely with his staff, the Boston Herald reported.

Dodd was first elected to the Senate in 1980 and has been re-elected four times, but he faces a tough fight in 2010.

Dodd has been criticized for his role in a bill protecting bonuses that executives at American International Group Inc. received after the insurance giant accepted federal bailout funds.

He has also caught heat over two mortgages he received from Countrywide Financial Corp. at alleged below-market rates. Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, proposed a program in 2008 to assist subprime lenders like Countrywide, and initially refused to release documents relating to the mortgages.

The New Haven Register in his home state went so far as to called Dodd "a lying weasel."

A Quinnipiac University survey last month disclosed that Dodd trailed former Republican Congressman Rob Simmons, who has announced his candidacy for Dodd's seat, by a margin of 45 percentage points to 39 points.

Editor's Note:

2. GOP 'Attack Machine' Hounds Obama

Four prominent Republicans in Congress have been outspoken in leading the opposition to President Barack Obama and his policies.

The four and their GOP colleagues have "begun pitching policy alternatives, though shrunken minorities in both houses make it difficult for their ideas to gain traction," Katherine Skiba writes in U.S. News & World Report.

"Their attack machine, though, has been roaring practically 24-7."

Skiba cited these Republicans:

Rep. John Boehner of Ohio. The House Minority Leader in February held the 1,100-page stimulus bill and charged that not a single member of Congress had read it as the vote neared.

"What happened to the promise that we're going to let the American people see what's in the bill for 48 hours?" he asked as he dropped the stack of papers to the floor.

The YouTube spot capturing his gesture soon had nearly half a million viewings.

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. The Senate Minority Leader's declaration that Obama's $3.5 trillion budget proposal "spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much" was parroted by other Republicans in Congress.

He and Boehner meet weekly and target "areas where they perceive Obama as weak: spending, record deficits, pork projects in the $787 billion stimulus, and closing the Guantanamo Bay prison," Skiba observes.

Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia. The House Minority Whip made sure that no House Republican voted for the stimulus bill. He is promoting an "entrepreneurial insurgency" by proposing alternatives to Obama policies.

Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana. The chairman of the House Republican Conference has been critical of Obama's "socialist" policies and attacked the president for shaking the hand of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling Chavez an "anti-American, socialist dictator."

Editor's Note:

3. U.S. 'Unequivocally Opposed' to Parole for Spy Jonathan Pollard

The American intelligence community remains opposed to an early release from prison for Jonathan Pollard, an American convicted of spying for Israel.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence announced on June 17 that one year ago, U.S. intelligence chiefs sternly rejected parole for Pollard, a civilian intelligence analyst who was caught and jailed nearly 24 years ago for spying on behalf of Israel's Bureau of Scientific Relations.

During President George W. Bush's visit to Jerusalem last year to mark the 60th anniversary of Israel's independence, Pollard's case was reportedly on the unofficial agenda, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

At the Senate committee meeting last year, the panel asked Vice Admiral Mike McConnell, who was then director of National Intelligence:

"During the 1998 Wye River [Maryland] Summit [on Mideast Peace], then director of Central Intelligence George Tenet threatened to resign if Mr. Pollard's life sentence was commuted. Are you opposed to the release of Mr. Pollard?"

Speaking on behalf of the U.S. intelligence community, McConnell responded: "We are unequivocally opposed to leniency for Mr. Pollard . . . Additional classified information, previously submitted to the [Senate Select Committee on Intelligence] during the years of this matter, remains valid as to the grave national damage caused by this individual.

"Clemency for Pollard will undermine U.S. security practices and complicate U.S. counterintelligence programs."

Pollard is serving a life sentence but can be paroled after 30 years if he has a clean record in prison. The earliest he can be freed is November 2015.

Haaretz observed: "McConnell, and his successor Admiral Dennis Blair, are both U.S. Navy men. It is their arm of the defense forces that the civilian employee, Pollard, robbed. They do not forget, and will not forgive."

Editor's Note:

4. Obama Snubs Big Three Networks at Press Conference

President Barack Obama broke with tradition at his Tuesday press conference by fielding a question from a blogger ahead of the Big Three TV networks.

Obama took his first question from the Associated Press, which is the longstanding tradition.

To again follow tradition, he would have taken the second question from rival news wire Reuters, followed by the major TV networks and then the nation's leading newspapers.

Instead, Obama took the second question from Nico Pitney, from the liberal Huffington Post Web site. Pitney has been gathering information from Iran online during the ongoing turmoil over the disputed June 12 presidential elections there.

Pitney asked Obama if he was betraying the Iranian protesters by not withdrawing an offer to meet with Iranian officials for negotiations. The president "skirted around the question by saying the U.S. government cannot say with certainty that the election was illegitimate," the Washington Times reported.

Obama called on Reuters after Pitney, but then fielded questions from Fox News and USA Today before taking queries from the Big Three TV networks, NBC, CBS and ABC.

The Times stated: "Obama's top communications advisers have said in interviews that they view the media landscape as dramatically different than it was just years ago, with power ebbing away from traditional outlets."

Editor's Note:

5. Studies Find Conservatives More Easily Disgusted

Conservatives are more easily disgusted by squeamish things than are liberals, two university studies have found.

The studies released by psychologists at Cornell, Harvard and Yale Universities "determined that conservatives are more fastidious about the creepier, smellier side of life — reflective of a hard-wired instinct for safety and self-preservation," the Washington Times reported.

Researchers surveyed nearly 200 adults on a "Disgust Sensitivity Scale" originally developed at the University of Virginia.

The rating system gauges participants' reactions to such things as graveyards, maggots, preserved body parts, squashed earthworms and the prospect of eating monkey meat.

They then compared those reactions to their ideological beliefs, and found a correlation between being more easily disgusted and political conservatism, according to the Times.

In another study involving Cornell students, researchers asked them for their views on social issues including gay marriage, abortion and affirmative action. "Participants who rated higher in disgust sensitivity were more likely to oppose gay marriage and abortion, issues that are related to notions of morality or purity," the researchers wrote.

Study leader David Pizarro, an assistant professor psychology at Cornell, said the results of the studies raise "questions about the role of disgust — an emotion that likely evolved in humans to keep them safe from potentially hazardous or disease-carrying environments — in contemporary judgments of morality and purity."

He speculated that the connection between disgust and moral judgment could help explain significant differences in values among Americans.

Editor's Note:

6. We Heard . . .

THAT Pepsi Cola is the code name for a Zionist plot — if you believe several extremist Muslims.

Egyptian cleric Hazem Abu Ismail, speaking recently to a Muslim religious channel in his country, claimed that Pepsi is an acronym for "Pay Every Penny Saving Israel."

"In other words, pay every small coin you receive in order to save Israel," he said, according to a translation provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

He echoed a statement made last year by a Hamas leader in Gaza. Salem Salamah, a member of parliament, said: "There are companies established by the colonialists and occupiers — large companies with branches all over the world, like Pepsi, Pepsi Cola. This is a well-known company. Pepsi is an acronym — Pay Every Pence to Save Israel."

THAT Democrats in Congress have again thwarted efforts by Rep. Steve King to bar the activist group ACORN from receiving taxpayer funds.

The Iowa Republican on Thursday introduced an amendment that would have made the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now and its affiliates ineligible to receive taxpayer dollars under a new grant program intended to increase participation in the Small Business Innovation Research program.

All but one Democrat on the Small Business Committee voted the amendment down, King said in a release.

Last week the Insider Report disclosed that King had introduced an amendment barring the Census Bureau from disbursing taxpayer funds to ACORN, but Democrats immediately squelched that measure as well.

King told Newsmax in early June that he believes ACORN "has completely the face of a criminal enterprise."

THAT David Letterman beat Conan O'Brien in the ratings race for the first week since O'Brien took over for Jay Leno as host of "The Tonight Show."

"Late Show With David Letterman" on CBS averaged 3.46 million viewers per night in the week ending June 19, while "The Tonight Show" on NBC averaged 3.32 million, according to Nielsen Co. data.

O'Brien replaced Leno on June 1.

THAT the Senate on Thursday unanimously approved Julius Genachowski as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

Genachowski is a Democrat and served as Barack Obama's technology adviser during the campaign.

He recently told a Senate panel that he does not support reinstatement of the so-called Fairness Doctrine requiring broadcasters using the public airwaves to give equal time to opposing political views.

Senators also approved Robert McDowell, a Republican, to serve a second term as FCC commissioner.

Editor's Notes:

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Ted Kennedy Tapes Ad for Chris Dodd2. GOP 'Attack Machine' Hounds Obama 3. U.S. 'Unequivocally Opposed' to Parole for Spy Jonathan Pollard4. Obama Snubs Big Three Networks at Press Conference 5. Studies Find Conservatives More...
Sunday, 28 June 2009 04:06 PM
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