This Is What A Real Democratic President Sounds Like

I am so tired of Obama’s wimpy cravenness.

I want a real Democrat, one who remembers what it means to be a Democrat.  Someone who admires FDR and not someone who admires Reagan the way Obama does.

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Psychotherapy sessions are crucial – and out of reach for many youths

With a shout out to Andrea James who posted the following link on Facebook

From The Montreal Gazette:  http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Psychotherapy+sessions+crucial+reach+many+youths/4428421/story.html

By DONNA NEBENZAHL

Freelance March 12, 2011

Dr. Pierre-Paul Tellier understands the value of his transgendered patients undergoing psychotherapy before he prescribes them hormones. He also knows what life is like for them. “We try to encourage them to do psychological counselling but sometimes it’s not available or accessible,” Tellier says.

In-depth screening of youths with gender identity issues takes place at the Head & Hands clinic, then guided by his years of experience administering hormones and the results of regular blood tests to monitor the impact of the hormones, Tellier begins treatment. “Some people want to go fast, others want to start slowly,” he says.

The clinic uses a “harm reduction approach” that entails clearly informing patients about protocols and side effects. It has been managing a wait list for the last three years, encouraging waiting clients to seek the counselling needed to proceed with sex reassignment surgery (SRS). While the more affluent can go private, “a lot of young people we see have to suffer and wait,” Tellier says.

The problem right now is access to surgery, says Bianca Aponte, project manager of education at Action Santé Travesti(e)s et Transsexuel(le)s du Québec (Astteq). “The government pays for that surgery but you have to attain various letters, and pay out of pocket for therapy sessions. It might take many sessions at $75 to $150 per hour.”

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CA/Fed clash over medical marijuana clubs

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/03/13/cafed-clash-over-medical-marijuana-clubs/

By David Ferguson
Sunday, March 13th, 2011

It may be the IRS and not the DEA that puts the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana out of business. Alliance founder Lynette Shaw was stunned when the IRS audited her 2008 and 2009 tax returns and disallowed the foundation’s business deductions, then demanded millions of dollars in back taxes.

The IRS is taking advantage of § 280E of the federal tax code, which states that no business deductions will be allowed for companies “trafficking in controlled substances”.

Medical marijuana has been legal in California since the passage of Proposition 214 in 1996, but according to federal law, marijuana is classified as a schedule I controlled substance. Schedule I narcotics are not considered to be legitimate for medical use.

Complete story at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/03/13/cafed-clash-over-medical-marijuana-clubs/

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Paul Krugman – Income Inequality and the Middle Class

Nuke industry spin: Be “reassured” by Japan

From Salon: http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/03/13/nuclear_industry_response

As the crisis unfolds, the Nuclear Energy Institute joins an intense PR battle that has already started

By Justin Elliott

Sunday, Mar 13, 2011

As Japan struggles to contain a growing nuclear crisis — with more than 200,000 people evacuated, an explosion at one power plant, and possible meltdowns in several reactors — the American nuclear industry faces a different challenge: how to position itself in the intense public-relations battle that has already started.

This morning I interviewed a spokesman for the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry trade group, to get a sense of the message being pushed by an industry that, with support from President Obama as well as the Republican Party, has been in the early stages of a renaissance.

The most striking claim made by NEI spokesman Mitchell Singer: Americans should be “reassured” by the crisis unfolding in Japan.

“There hasn’t been any significant release of radiation. So obviously they must be doing something right at this point,” said Singer. While acknowledging that the crisis is still in early stages, Singer argued in our interview, and earlier to the Wall Street Journal, that Americans should be reassured because the industry will learn from the accidents in Japan, where fail-safe systems have themselves failed.

“We share what’s known as ‘lessons learned’ from incidents such as this,” he said.

Continue reading at:  http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/03/13/nuclear_industry_response

Madison Rally Bigger Than Biggest Tea Party Rally

For years the right wing in this country has hammered home the “Liberal Media” meme.  It is a lie.

The media in this country runs the spectrum from conservative to ultra right wing neo-Nazi.  It is all corporate owned including Huffington Post, the Village Voice and all those  free weeklies that feature the hip alternative entertainment.

They exist to sell advertising.  The Arts and Entertainment, Style, Food, Sports, and home sections are advertising disguised as news.

Hell even the “news” can be advertising disguised as news.

I was living on Long Island when we invaded Iraq.  I had gone along with the whole nine yards of jingoism sold to us after 9/11, hell 80-90 percent of the people in this country did.

I had been trying to avoid the site of the WTC but accidentally found myself there one day when a computer class was held at J & R Electronics.  The rage I felt was indescribable.

I was reading the New York Times and Long Island’s Newsday, both of whom hyped the war.

There was a massive demonstration in New York City shortly before the invasion but giving it prominence as a dissenting voice might have caused people to question the rush to war, the story was underplayed, the numbers chopped.

In the 1960s we learned that if we wanted demonstrations covered we needed to break some glass, turn over a cop car or actually fight with the cops, otherwise we had to have at least a quarter of a million people for them to report “100,000 People Gathered”.

I watched the Tea Baggers get coverage when five of them gathered.  No on called them “Terrorists” when they showed up at rallies and town hall meetings carrying guns and trying to intimidate people.

Bloggers have become to the 21st Century what the Alternative/Underground Press was to the 1960s and early 1970s, a source of coverage and a rallying point for an opposition to the corporate propaganda machine.

From Think Progress: http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/13/main-street-bigger-than-tea-party/

By Alex Seitz-Wald

Police estimated up to 100,000 people turned out in Madison, WI yesterday to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) assault on unions, making it bigger than any protests the city has witnessed, even those during the Vietnam War. The Madison rally is part of a much larger Main Street Movement of average Americans demanding fairness in labor laws, social spending, and taxation that has emerged in Ohio, New Jersey, Florida, Michigan, and elsewhere. But yesterday’s rally in Madison is noteworthy because at 85,000-100,000, it was bigger than the biggest tea party protest, the September 12, 2009 rally in Washington, D.C., which turned out only an estimated 60,000-70,000. A photo of the Madison rally yesterday:

For two years, tea party activists and their allies in the GOP have claimed that the hard-right movement represents the true beliefs of the American people. But the crowd in Madison and numerous polls tell a different story.

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/13-4

Undaunted! More Than 100,000 Wisconsinites Rally “To Take Our State Back!”

by John Nichols

Published on Sunday, March 13, 2011 by The Nation

“Wow! You go away for a couple of weeks and look at what happened!” shouted state Senator Jon Erpenbach, as he surveyed a crowd that organizers estimated at well over 100,000 that had rallied to welcome home Wisconsin’s dissident senators.

Erpenbach and 13 other senators fled the state Capitol in mid-February, when Governor Scott Walker and his Republican allies were using their legislative majorities to strip state, county and municipal workers and teachers of their collective bargaining rights. That move blocked a vote on the legislation for three weeks, before the Republicans finally adopted a “nuclear strategy” to force adoption of the anti-union measure.

While opponents of the bill suffered a momentary legislative defeat, they enjoyed a dramatic political victory — as a mass movement built, attracting hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites to mass rallies in Madison and communities across the state and causing the collapse of Walker’s approval ratings even in Republican-sponsored polls.

That movement now proposes to recall at least three Republican state senators who backed the bill, shifting control of the chamber to the Democrats and restoring a system of checks and balances to what is now one-party government in Wisconsin.

Ultimately, the movement seeks to remove Walker from office. And its plans no longer seem unreasonable, as poll numbers suggest that the governor would be defeated by virtually any Democratic challenger in a new election.

The political dynamics are intense, and even the most optimistic critics of the governor understand that there is much work to do.

But, on Saturday, they celebrated the return of the senators.

It was a remarkable scene.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/13-4

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/economy/150192/wisconsin_updates%3A_dems_return%3B_100%2C000_rally_in_madison%3B_tunnel_leads_from_powerful_bank_to_state_capitol/

Wisconsin Updates: Dems Return; 100,000 Rally in Madison; Tunnel Leads from Powerful Bank to State Capitol

Wisconsin Republicans pushed through a measure stripping state public employees of their collective bargaining rights. Here are the latest developments from Madison.

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/13/us/13wisconsin.html?_r=1&ref=us

For Wisconsin Lawmakers, a Hero’s Homecoming

By A. G. SULZBERGER
Published: March 12, 2011

MADISON, Wis. — They are the unlikeliest of folk heroes.

But this group of once-obscure lawmakers — a dairy farmer, a lawyer and a woman who is seven months pregnant, among others — that fled this capital nearly a month ago, returned Saturday to the cheers of tens of thousands who once again packed the streets in protest.

Many in the crowd wore buttons or held signs bearing admiring nicknames for the group: the “Fighting 14,” the “Fab 14” or, simply, “the Wisconsin 14.” They chanted, “Thank you” and “Welcome home.”

This is, of course, not the standard reception for state legislators, typically as anonymous as they are unglamorous.

“Before all of this occurred, I wouldn’t have known a lot of their names,” said Paul Fieber, a retired state employee carrying a sign declaring, “Our heroes.” “But that has changed for me and a lot of the population.”

The reason for the reception was that the 14 Democratic state senators had returned weeks after fleeing to another state in a dramatic — if ultimately failed — effort to prevent a vote on a bill that would significantly weaken public-sector unions.

Their disappearance — “a really, really weird trip,” in the words of one senator — was one of the most memorable and divisive aspects of the legislative standoff, and it helped escalate a policy dispute into a protracted battle over union rights that seized the attention of the nation.

On Saturday, the senators spoke, sometimes boastfully, about their pride in the outpouring of support, their dismay at the law that passed in their absence and their eagerness to meet the protesters who have backed their actions.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/13/us/13wisconsin.html?_r=1&ref=us

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Pelosi to Boehner: How Much Will DOMA Defense Cost?

From The Advocate: http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/03/11/Pelosi_to_Boehner_How_Much_Will_DOMA_Defense_Cost/

By Andrew Harmon

Posted on Advocate.com March 11, 2011

Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is calling on House speaker John Boehner to make public the estimated cost of hiring private attorneys as part of the Republican leadership’s defense of the Defense of Marriage Act.

“The American people want Congress to be working on the creation of jobs and ensuring the continued progress of our economic recovery rather than involving itself unnecessarily in such costly and divisive litigation,” Pelosi wrote in a Friday letter to the speaker.

Earlier this week, Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, the two Democrats on the five-member House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, voted against authorizing the House to defend the 1996 law in court.

The advisory group’s three Republican members — Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy — all voted to authorize the House general counsel to intervene in multiple federal lawsuits against DOMA as well as retain outside counsel (full text of the vote can be found here).

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder announced last month that the Obama administration concluded that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

Pelosi’s letter, in full:

Continue reading at:   http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/03/11/Pelosi_to_Boehner_How_Much_Will_DOMA_Defense_Cost/

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