In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Monday, March 8, 2021

Capitol Hill Blue needs your help

Capitol Hill Blue will celebrate its 15th year on the World Wide web on October 1.

I’m hoping it won’t be the last anniversary for the web site that has become the oldest political news site on the Internet.

But times are hard and we find that revenue from the ads don’t begin to cover the expense of keeping this web site up and running.

We’ve instituted some cost-saving measures, including moving to smaller, less-expensive servers, and cutting back on the subscriptions to syndicated content but we still come up short each and every month.

Like most news web sites, Capitol Hill Blue has never made money. The ads only pay for part of the expense. For the last 14-plus years, I’ve made up the difference out of my own pocket and I’ve spent well over $100,000 doing so.

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Why CIA torture techniques backfired

Prolonged stress from the CIA’s harsh interrogations could have impaired the memories of terrorist suspects, diminishing their ability to recall and provide the detailed information the spy agency sought, according to a scientific paper published Monday.

The methods could even have caused the suspects to create — and believe — false memories, contends the paper, which scrutinizes the techniques used by the CIA under the Bush administration through the lens of neurobiology. It suggests the methods are actually counterproductive, no matter how much suspects might eventually say.

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2010 Census time again

Ten years ago I was a member of Reader Rant and we had a thread to discuss how we would fill out our Census forms. Those of us who got the extended forms agreed to give only the information of who we shared our homes with.

It was an active thread but since I can no longer enter Reader Rant I would like to bring this subject here on CHB.

The purpose of the census is to count the number of people living within Congressional Districts. No description of these people is necessary.

Sandy

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A tax by any other name is still a tax

Memo to President Barack Obama: It’s a tax. Obama insisted this weekend on national television that requiring people to carry health insurance — and fining them if they don’t — isn’t the same thing as a tax increase. But the language of Democratic bills to revamp the nation’s health care system doesn’t quibble. Both the House bill and the Senate Finance Committee proposal clearly state that the fines would be a tax.

And the reason the fines are in the legislation is to enforce the coverage requirement.

“If you put something in the Internal Revenue Code, and you tell the IRS to collect it, I think that’s a tax,” said Clint Stretch, head of the tax policy group for Deloitte, a major accounting firm. “If you don’t pay, the person who’s going to come and get it is going to be from the IRS.”

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Feds issue terror warnings to stadiums, hotels

Counterterrorism officials have issued security bulletins to police around the nation about terrorists’ desire to attack stadiums, entertainment complexes and hotels — the latest in a flurry of such internal warnings as investigators chase a possible bomb plot in Denver and New York.

In the two bulletins — sent to police departments Monday and obtained by The Associated Press — officials said they know of no specific plots against such sites, but urged law enforcement and private companies to be vigilant. These two bulletins followed on the heels of a similar warning about the vulnerabilities of mass transit systems.

The bulletin on stadiums notes that an al-Qaida training manual specifically lists “blasting and destroying the places of amusement, immorality, and sin… and attacking vital economic centers” as desired targets of the global terror network.

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Sen. Robert Byrd injured in fall at home

Robert Byrd, the longest serving senator in history, has been taken to a hospital after a fall at home in the Washington suburbs.

Spokesman Jesse Jacobs says the 91-year-old West Virginia Democrat apparently stood up too fast and fell and that his caregiver called an ambulance “out of an abundance of caution.” He said that Byrd is being examined but that at this point there is no indication that he will be admitted.

Byrd has been in frail health in recent years and was hospitalized in May and June with dangerous infections. But he returned to the Senate in July to vote and earlier this month gave his first floor speech in months, where he talked about the passing of Sen. Edward Kennedy.

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Rhode Island Republican quits over Joe Wilson

The chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Hispanic Assembly and member of the Republican Central Committee says he has quit the GOP because he was embarrassed by South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson’s outburst during President Obama’s address to Congress on Sept. 9.

Wilson shouted “You lie,” when President Obama said illegal immigrants would not receive benefits under his health care plan.

Ivan Marte tells The Providence Journal that Wilson’s behavior was “shameful” and “uncivilized.”

Marte says he has been disenchanted by the GOP since Gov. Don Carcieri ignored his advice concerning the 2008 executive order
cracking down on illegal immigration.

State party chairman Giovanni Cicione says Marte’s contributions to the party were valued and he’s disappointed by the resignation.

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Obama issues warning on health care scare tactics

The Obama administration warned insurance companies Monday they face possible legal action for allegedly trying to scare seniors with misleading information about the potential for lost benefits under health care legislation in Congress.

“As we continue our research into this issue, we are instructing you to immediately discontinue all such mailings to beneficiaries and to remove any related materials directed to Medicare enrollees from your Web sites,” said a notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

Teresa DeCaro, an agency official, sent the notice to all companies that sell private Medicare coverage and stand-alone drug plans to seniors. The warning came as President Barack Obama’s health care legislation is moving toward key tests in a Senate committee over the next several days, and with public polls showing widespread skepticism among seniors.

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Anna Nicole Smith’s doctors were warned

A Los Angeles pharmacist told Anna Nicole Smith’s internist that the drugs the internist prescribed to the model after her son died were “pharmaceutical suicide,” according to unsealed documents written by state officials.

Smith’s doctors were warned about prescription drugs by three pharmacists, according to unsealed affidavits obtained Monday by the Los Angeles Times.

The pharmacist refused to fill the prescriptions and later recalled thinking, “They are going to kill her with this.”

The documents are part of an investigation of the role that Smith’s doctors, psychiatrist Khristine Eroshevich and internist Sandeep Kapoor, had in her overdose death in February 2007.

The physicians and Smith’s boyfriend and attorney Howard K. Stern pleaded not guilty May 13 to conspiring to illegally provide her with controlled substances. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for next month.

In court papers filed last week, prosecutors said they plan to call the model’s bodyguard and Larry Birkhead, the father of her daughter, Dannielynn, as witnesses.

The documents also cite evidence that both physicians crossed professional boundaries by having sexual contact with their famous patient. Calls to attorneys representing Eroshevich and Kapoor were not immediately returned Monday.

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Work starts on revising health care bill

Senators challenging the latest proposed health care overhaul already have won concessions that include reducing a penalty for Americans who don’t buy insurance, and hundreds of other changes are up for debate as a powerful committee takes up President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.

The Senate Finance Committee — the last of five panels to have a say before the full Senate debates legislation — will consider a 10-year, nearly $900 billion plan Tuesday by Chairman Max Baucus. The Montana Democrat has spent months striving for bipartisan common ground. Senators have filed 564 amendments, some of which would make major changes to his carefully crafted framework.

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