In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Tuesday, December 7, 2021

George Washington got it right

America’s first President, George Washington, warned in his farewell address that a system of government based on politics was doomed to failure:

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.

Usually, when I write about the dangers of partisan political posturing and its destructive effects on our society, those who enjoy the benefits of political division get all huffy and scream that I’m (1) overreacting, (2) ignoring history or (3) failing to face reality.

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Lack of insurance kills more vets than Afghan war

The number of US veterans who died in 2008 because they lacked health insurance was 14 times higher than the US military death toll in Afghanistan that year, according to a new study.

The analysis produced by two Harvard medical researchers estimates that 2,266 US military veterans under the age of 65 died in 2008 because they lacked health coverage and had reduced access to medical care.

That figure is more than 14 times higher than the 155 US troop deaths in Afghanistan in 2008, the study says.

Released as the United States commemorates fallen soldiers on Veterans Day, the study warns that even health care provided by the Veterans Health Administration (VA) leaves many veterans without coverage.

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Congressman’s policy adviser cops fraud plea

A senior policy fellow for Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) has pleaded guilty to defrauding the government and private lenders of nearly $822,000 by using aliases to obtain student loans and more than 90 credit cards.

Ernest B. Moore, who went by Bernard Moore and Bernard Glenn-Moore on Capitol Hill, had a penchant for putting together events with marquee names — and a special legislative interest in sentencing issues and measures like the “Second Chance Act,” which is designed to help nonviolent offenders reabsorb into society.

“Who knew that he was writing that bill for himself?” quipped a former congressional aide who knows Moore.

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Hasan’s behavior worried some, but they said nothing

Nidal Malik Hasan’s overly zealous religious views and strange behavior worried the doctors overseeing his medical training, but they saw no evidence that he was violent or a threat.

Months later, the Army major was accused of a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, that left 13 dead and 29 wounded.

Doctors and staff overseeing Hasan’s training viewed him at times as belligerent, defensive and argumentative in his frequent discussions of his Muslim faith, a military official familiar with several group discussions about Hasan said. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the meetings and spoke on condition of anonymity.

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Obama rejects all recommendations on Afghanistan

President Barack Obama won’t accept any of the Afghanistan war options before him without changes, a senior administration official said, as concerns soar over the ability of the Afghan government to secure its own country one day.

Obama’s stance comes as his own ambassador in Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, is voicing strong dissent about a U.S. troop increase, according to a second administration official.

Eikenberry’s misgivings center on a concern that bolstering the American presence in Afghanistan could make the country more reliant on the U.S., not less. He expressed them in forcefully worded cables to Washington just ahead of Obama’s latest war meeting Wednesday.

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Lou Dobbs out as a CNN anchor

CNN’s Lou Dobbs, a lightning rod for criticism following his transition from a business journalist to an opinionated anchor on such issues as illegal immigration, told viewers on Wednesday that he was quitting his nightly show to pursue new opportunities.

“This will be my last broadcast,” Dobbs said after giving the day’s headlines. Dobbs, who hosts a daily radio show unrelated to CNN, said the network had allowed him to be released early from his contract.

Dobbs was a CNN original, signing on when the cable network started in 1980. For much of that time, he hosted a nightly business broadcast that became one of the most influential shows in the corporate world, and CNN’s most profitable show for advertising revenue.

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Foreclosures dip slightly in October, still up for year

The number of homeowners on the brink of losing their homes dipped in October, the third straight monthly decline, as foreclosure prevention programs helped more borrowers.

But foreclosure filings are still up 19 percent from a year ago, RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday, and rising job losses continue to threaten the stabilizing trend.

More than 332,000 households, or one in every 385 homes, received a foreclosure-related notice in October, such as a notice of default or trustee’s sale. That’s down 3 percent from September.

Banks repossessed more than 77,000 homes last month, down from nearly 88,000 homes in September.

New state programs, like one launched in Nevada in July, that require mediation before banks can seize a property have helped stem foreclosure activity, said Rick Sharga, senior vice president at RealtyTrac.

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Time to get back to news

Capitol Hill Blue has gone through a lot of changes over the past 15 years — some good, some bad.

I’ve experimented with many things. Some have worked, some haven’t.

But one thing that has not changed is my commitment to keep CHB non-partisan and free from the partisan rancor that, in my opinion, ruins too many web sites.

Sadly, that commitment is not shared by some who choose to use both our comments section and our reader blogs to promote a one-sided view of the important issues that our nation faces.

Some use the blogs to promote their own web sites or to sneak in ads for things that have nothing to do politics and government.

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Unions prod Obama to fix airline industry

Three decades of airline deregulation have helped make air travel more accessible to consumers through lower fares.

Now labor unions are questioning whether the industry is paying the price, and the Obama administration is listening.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was holding a forum Thursday to discuss the state of the airline industry, which is mired in a severe economic slump and blamed for using a business model critics say undermines safety. The industry has suffered repeated shocks in recent years, including the 9/11 terror attacks, the SARS virus, volatile oil prices and the current economic downturn.

“U.S. aviation is facing severe economic uncertainty, and an open and frank conversation will help begin a continuing dialogue about the industry’s future,” Transportation Department spokeswoman Sasha Johnson said.

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