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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Huckabee advocated AIDS patients be "isolated"; called homosexuality "aberrant, health risk"

With people like Mike Huckabee considered a possible front runner for the Republican presidential nomination, it should be smooth sailing for the Democrats in '08.
Mike Huckabee once advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposed increased federal funding in the search for a cure and said homosexuality could "pose a dangerous public health risk."

As a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in 1992, Huckabee answered 229 questions submitted to him by The Associated Press. Besides a quarantine, Huckabee suggested that Hollywood celebrities fund AIDS research from their own pockets, rather than federal health agencies.

"If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague," Huckabee wrote.


When asked about AIDS research in 1992, Huckabee complained that AIDS research received an unfair share of federal dollars when compared to cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

"In light of the extraordinary funds already being given for AIDS research, it does not seem that additional federal spending can be justified," Huckabee wrote. "An alternative would be to request that multimillionaire celebrities, such as Elizabeth Taylor (,) Madonna and others who are pushing for more AIDS funding be encouraged to give out of their own personal treasuries increased amounts for AIDS research."

Huckabee did not return messages left with his campaign.

When Huckabee wrote his answers in 1992, it was common knowledge that AIDS could not be spread by casual contact. In late 1991, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there were 195,718 AIDS patients in the country and that 126,159 people had died from the syndrome.


Also in the wide-ranging AP questionnaire in 1992, Huckabee said, "I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk."

Ronald Regan would be proud.

UPDATE: I love when Republicans eat their own...

Welcome to front runner status Mike, courtesy of NewsCorp/FoxNews.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Walter Cronkite: The Troops must leave Iraq

Via Common Dreams:
The American people no longer support the war in Iraq. The war is being carried on by a stubborn president who, like Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon during the Vietnam War, does not want to lose. But from the beginning this has been an ill-considered and poorly prosecuted war that, like the Vietnam War, has diminished respect for America. We believe Mr. Bush would like to drag the war on long enough to hand it off to another president.

The war in Iraq reminds us of the tragedy of the Vietnam War. Both wars began with false assertions by the president to the American people and the Congress. Like Vietnam, the Iraq War has introduced a new vocabulary: “shock and awe,” “mission accomplished,” “the surge.” Like Vietnam, we have destroyed cities in order to save them. It is not a strategy for success.

The Bush administration has attempted to forestall ending the war by putting in more troops, but more troops will not solve the problem. We have lost the hearts and minds of most of the Iraqi people, and victory no longer seems to be even a remote possibility. It is time to end our occupation of Iraq, and bring our troops home.

This war has had only limited body counts. There are reports that more than one million Iraqis have died in the war. These reports cannot be corroborated because the US military does not make public the number of the Iraqi dead and injured. There are also reports that some four million Iraqis have been displaced and are refugees either abroad or within their own country. Iraqis with the resources to leave the country have left. They are frightened. They don’t trust the US, its allies or its mercenaries to protect them and their interests.

We know more about the body counts of American soldiers in Iraq. Some 4,000 American soldiers have been killed in this war, about a third more than the number of people who died in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. And some 28,000 American soldiers have suffered debilitating injuries. Many more have been affected by the trauma of war in ways that they will have to live with for the rest of their lives - ways that will have serious effects not only on their lives and the lives of their loved ones, but on society as a whole. Due to woefully inadequate resources being provided, our injured soldiers are not receiving the medical treatment and mental health care that they deserve.

The invasion of Iraq was illegal from the start. Not only was Congress lied to in order to secure its support for the invasion of Iraq, but the war lacked the support of the United Nations Security Council and thus was an aggressive war initiated on the false pretenses of weapons of mass destruction. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Nor has any assertion of a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda proven to be true. In the end, democracy has not come to Iraq. Its government is still being forced to bend to the will of the US administration.

What the war has accomplished is the undermining of US credibility throughout the world, the weakening of our military forces, and the erosion of our Bill of Rights. Nobel Laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz calculates that the war is costing American tax payers more than $1 trillion. This amount could double if we continue the war. Each minute we are spending $500,000 in Iraq. Our losses are incalculable. It is time to remove our military forces from Iraq.

We must ask ourselves whether continuing to pursue this war is benefiting the American people or weakening us. We must ask whether continuing the war is benefiting the Iraqi people or inflicting greater suffering upon them. We believe the answer to these inquiries is that both the American and Iraqi people would benefit by ending the US military presence in Iraq.

December 7th

Never forget...

Olbermann's special comment on NIE report

It speaks for itself.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Colt building one step closer to landmark status

As a native of Hartford, this is good news:
Coltsville's place in Hartford history has long been secure.

Under the blue onion dome occurred a revolution in firearms manufacturing that won the West and helped the Union triumph in the Civil War. It was where Sam Colt and legions of workers flexed the nation's 19th century industrial muscle, and where Colt and his wife, Elizabeth, left a lasting imprint.

With Wednesday's action by National Park Service officials, Coltsville moved closer to gaining a place on the national historic map, a step Connecticut officials hope will spur the long-awaited redevelopment of the one-time manufacturing village into a national park.

More than a year after an unsuccessful first attempt to get federal recognition for Coltsville, backers of the Colt Gateway Project got what they were looking for Wednesday: an important decision en route to designation as a National Historic Landmark.

"We got it," said Rebekah MacFarlane, an official at Colt Gateway LLC. "We're a landmark."

A couple of administrative approvals are needed before Wednesday's decision by the National Historic Landmarks Committee takes effect. But this was the most important step, according to Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez, who was among the local, state and federal officials backing the initiative in Washington, D.C.

"It's a long time coming, and it assures us that we're on the right path," Perez said in a phone call from Washington after the decision. "It's a great thing for the neighborhood." Perez said the committee's approval was unanimous.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Bush: I was just briefed on the NIE report last week

You're kidding me right?

Q Mr. President, thank you. I’d like to follow on that. When you talked about Iraq, you and others in the administration talked about a mushroom cloud; then there were no WMD in Iraq. When it came to Iran, you said in October, on October 17th, you warned about the prospect of World War III, when months before you made that statement, this intelligence about them suspending their weapons program back in ‘03 had already come to light to this administration. So can’t you be accused of hyping this threat? And don’t you worry that that undermines U.S. credibility?

THE PRESIDENT: David, I don’t want to contradict an August reporter such as yourself, but I was made aware of the NIE last week. In August, I think it was Mike McConnell came in and said, we have some new information. He didn’t tell me what the information was; he did tell me it was going to take a while to analyze. Why would you take time to analyze new information? One, you want to make sure it’s not disinformation. You want to make sure the piece of intelligence you have is real. And secondly, they want to make sure they understand the intelligence they gathered: If they think it’s real, then what does it mean? And it wasn’t until last week that I was briefed on the NIE that is now public.

C&L's John Amato saves me the time in debunking Bush's latest misleading statement...
And here’s what Stephen Hadley said yesterday.

Q: Steve, when was the first time the President was given the inkling of something? I’m not clear on this. Was this months ago, when the first information started to become available to intelligence agencies?

MR. HADLEY: You ought to go back to the intelligence community. We will get you an answer on that. There’s two questions: one, when did they first get the information? — you ought to ask that to them — two, when was the President notified that there was new information available? We’ll try and get you a precise answer. As I say, it was, in my recollection, is in the last few months. Whether that is October — August, September, we’ll try and get you an answer to that.
Is it Jan. 2009 yet?

UPDATE: The Washington Post has more:
President Bush got the world's attention this fall when he warned that a nuclear-armed Iran might lead to World War III. But his stark warning came at least a month or two after he had first been told about fresh indications that Iran had actually halted its nuclear weapons program.


Still, the administration understood how explosive the new conclusions would be and kept them tightly held. Hadley said Bush was first told in August or September about intelligence indicating Iran had halted its weapons program, but was advised it would take time to evaluate. Vice President Cheney, Hadley and other top officials were briefed the week before last. Intelligence officials formalized their conclusions on Tuesday and briefed Bush the next day.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Congressman Murphy on Beyond the Headlines

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Before going back to Washington, Congressman Chris Murphy Murphy made an appearance on FOX61's Beyond the Headlinesto give an update on some of the issues he's tackling at the Capitol.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Sunday morning double feature: Staring Congressman Joe Courtney


It seems like the freshman Congressman from the 2nd District was a busy person this week as Joe Courtney made two appearances on the Sunday Morning talk show circuit.

Making an appearance on Connecticut Newsmakers as well as Face the State, the topics Courtney discussed on the shows ranged from his work on the passage of the College Cost Reduction Act (the 2nd district is home to several large universities and colleges including the University of Connecticut as well as Eastern Connecticut State University), and the latest developments regarding the sub base in Groton, to his support for Chris Dodd for president.

Courtney on Connecticut Newsmakers:

Courtney on face the State: