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nellie On November - 27 - 2009


I hope everyone enjoyed their fun and food food food yesterday!

Since Black Friday is traditionally a slow news day, I thought I’d post a few stories that might have been missed this week. These are some of my favorite items that didn’t get the royal treatment by our mainstream media.

The items themselves might be less important than the alternative view of the week that a reader might get if these stories were more prominent. We had a pretty good week—despite what our major outlets seem to want us to think.

Planetarians, here’s a thread where you can post your favorite underreported stories the rest of us might have missed!

Republicans look to old wire fraud case to fight new climate change bill
Senior Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are looking to a closed federal wire fraud conviction in California to bolster their argument against climate legislation.

Local food, Washington, Nov. 18, 2009
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that more than $5 million will be awarded to 16 organizations to increase access to healthy, affordable local foods.

United We Serve
Washington, Nov. 24, 2009
The Corporation for National and Community Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the White House joined together to launch the United We Serve: Feed A Neighbor initiative today to help combat hunger this winter. The new initiative raises awareness of hunger issues and equips American with the resources to mobilize against the hunger crisis.

Statement from Under Secretary Blank on New Home Sales in October 2009
The Commerce Department’s U.S. Bureau of the Census today released new home sales figures for October 2009. Sales of new single-family houses rose 6.2 percent in October, compared with private-sector expectations of 0.5 percent. Sales have risen 30.7 percent above their low in January of this year, and the supply of unsold homes relative to sales has fallen 46.0 percent below its peak in January.

Recovery Act funding will upgrade the electrical grid, save energy and create jobs
At an event in Columbus, Ohio this afternoon, Secretary Chu announced that the Department of Energy is awarding $620 million for projects around the country to demonstrate advanced Smart Grid technologies and integrated systems that will help build a smarter, more efficient, more resilient electrical grid.

Secretary Chu Announces $45 Million to Support Next Generation of Wind Turbine Designs
U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the selection of Clemson University to receive up to $45 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for a wind energy test facility that will enhance the performance, durability, and reliability of utility-scale wind turbines. This investment will support jobs and strengthen American leadership in wind energy technology by supporting the testing of next-generation wind turbine designs.

HHS Launches New Blog: Health IT Buzz
Dr. David Blumenthal, HHS’ National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, today announced the launch of Health IT Buzz, a new blog that will allow readers to learn more about health information technology (health IT) and provide a space for consumers, providers, policymakers, and technology experts to share their ideas and concerns regarding health IT. The blog is available at http://healthit.hhs.gov/blog/onc .

President Obama Establishes Interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force
Attorney General Eric Holder, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairwoman Mary Schapiro today announced that President Barack Obama has established by Executive Order an interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to strengthen efforts to combat financial crime. The Department of Justice will lead the task force and the Department of Treasury, HUD and the SEC will serve on the steering committee.

Liberal coalition buys ads, praises Lincoln for vote on healthcare bill
Health Care for America Now has launched new television ads praising the two Democratic senators from Arkansas and giving quiet support to Ben Nelson, the centrist Democrat from Nebraska.

President Barack Obama signed an executive order Nov. 9 aimed at hiring more veterans to work in the federal government
A governmentwide Council on Veterans’ Employment will be chaired by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Kiddie Lit: Setting a Partisan Tone
When President Obama announced plans to give a speech to the nation’s schoolchildren in September, it set off a frenzy among conservative commentators who deemed it, in the words of Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer, an attempt to “indoctrinate America’s children to his socialist agenda.”

For Bills in Congress, How Long is Long?
Long bills are written by both Democrats and Republicans. The second longest bill to appear in Congress over the past ten years was authored by Republican Rep. Don Young [R, AK-1]. It’s a mere 68 words shorter than the House health care bill. Of the 10 longest bills in the past ten years, five were written by Democrats and five were written by Republicans.

Categories: News & Politics

45 Responses so far.

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  1. bitohistory says:

    Nellie, Thought best to use your news post. Have you seen this story about Amy Goodman of Democracy Now? This does not bode well for Can/Am relations. I’m hoping it was just an isolated incident by some overzealous border guard.

    Any thoughts?

  2. Questinia says:

    I’d be interested in finding out what sorts of jobs will be offered vets in the gov.

    They should open up more VA hospitals. I’d work in one part time if there was one closer to where I live.

    (and if they didn’t do random drug testing….. kidding!)

  3. Questinia says:

    I’ll bet sales of new homes have gone up because they’ve gone down in price. People are beginning to buy up homes with the idea of flipping as soon as the market improves.

  4. Mogamboguru says:

    Kalima says:
    11/27/2009 at 4:57 PM


  5. KQuark says:

    Nellie great list of news stories. You could actually name the column “News You Will Not See on Huffy” because it’s too positive and does not fit the doom and gloom memes.

    • nellie says:

      Thanks, KQuark. There’s a new group of these buried stories every week. It might be fun to post them on Fridays,

      • escribacat says:

        A professor at my undergrad college had a program called the “Ten Best Censored Stories.” His class researched and picked out the most censored and important stories each year and publicized them.

        • nellie says:

          That’s such a good idea for a college class. I bet his students never forgot it.

          When Air America Radio first started, their entire focus was on unreported news and non-MSM stories. They were so informative. Rachel Maddow had a show in the morning with Lizz Winsted and Chuck D called Unfiltered, Al Franken used to dig up all the facts that Rush lied about, Randi did what she always does. There was even a show on the weekend called Unreported News.

          All of those non-MSM news were so interesting. And gave a totally different idea of what was going on. Now the network isn’t nearly as edgy. They just follow the MSM headlines. It’s really a shame.

  6. bitohistory says:

    javaz, don’t spend all you monies on X-mas. All the Planetarians need to save up for this opportunity:
    Shelly and S’arah both for the low, low price of $549!!!
    --or you coluld just stay home and slam your head against a block wall. LOL

    • escribacat says:

      I’d rather clean the toilets!

    • javaz says:

      Spend all our money?


      We don’t have no stinking money this year!!!


      Escribat(?) wrote something awhile back on our Planet POV about money saving tips, and I am hoping he writes an article about how we all can do Christmas on the cheap.

      Here’s what we’re doing.
      We’re giving candles, because who doesn’t love candles, and we’re not exactly cheaping out on candles, but we are buying candles for folks that are maybe 10 dollars at the most, and Yankee Candles, which are the best and there are coupons so that we can buy them that cheap.

      Then we’re giving 25 dollar gift certificates for movies or stores, depending what the person prefers.

      Gold darnit, I bet we do have neighbors that are very good friends and they are the people that left out Glenn Beck books on their coffee table for us to see when we dog sat their animals.
      They are not even readers!

      Crap, I refuse to buy Sister Sarah for them, but then again, they probably already bought it!


    • BigDogMom says:

      Can you believe that, those two women on the same podium…what has this world come to!

      I think I’ll slam my head up against a block wall thank you!

  7. bitohistory says:

    nellie, Which story in you list has been seen/read 1/4 the time as much as Quitter Palin and her bloody book tour?
    This story on the Iraq inquiry in the U.K. barley seeing the light in the new is disturbing to me:
    After spending $3+ trillion dollars on a highly questionable war, I guess this is just old news. “Let’s not bring up the past, let’s not worry about the cost of the Bush War. Let’s worry about the cost of Obama’s big State Dinner……

    • Kalima says:

      I left 2 links on MB your early morning, one from the Beeb and one from The Guardian.

    • nellie says:

      This is such an important story, and I don’t see it anywhere except in the UK news. The whole world was sold a bill of goods, and too many people suffered for it.

      But then again, Sarah Palin is on her book tour, so let’s not fret over war, right?

      • bitohistory says:

        I hear a little of “BBC-Overnite” on my NPR station and I try to catch the beeb on cable. This is a story!
        Sir Jeremy has been pretty much been blaming Bush and Blair just saying “OK W., If you say so.”

        • Mogamboguru says:

          Tony Bliar may soon find himself before the UN-ICC-court for preparing and participating in a war of aggression, bitohistory. And once Tony get’s tried, he will begin to sing like a songbird, you bet.

          Then, Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Pearle, Rumsfeld et alii are accessories to the crime and can be indicted, while they couldn’t be brought before the court otherwise, as long as the USA don’t sign the ICC-treaty.

          But stay tuned. This is a developing story, which will result in very interesting developments.

          For example: Some say, that Tony “The Poodle” Blaid was so keen on becoming the first president of the UN last month, because that had granted him immunity from prosecution for his crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan.

          Alas, it was not to be… :-)

          • bitohistory says:

            According to the BBC link, Blair and Brown will testify Jan-Feb, 2010. The final report will not be written until 2011. Wish they could call Bush/Cheney. This month( and next) the “spooks” are scheduled to testify next.

            • Mogamboguru says:

              The impacts are closing in on them, bitohistory. Sooner or later, they will be brought to justice. Stay tuned.

            • bitohistory says:

              Sounds like this story calls for an email campaign to the TV stations and get this thing on the air. Oh, wait,Tiger Woods has a Boo-Boo 😉

            • Kalima says:

              That’s all well and good but what about the Bush thugs?

        • javaz says:

          Good afternoon Bito and Nellie and great article Nellie!!!


          If I read or hear one more story about Sister Sarah, I’m going to go totally bonkers.
          And it’s not that long of a trip!


  8. Mogamboguru says:

    Boulder, Colorado:

    Reports of a melting and disappearing arctic icecap have been premature, according to the latest sattelite-photorgaphs published by the National Snow And Ice Data Center NSIDC http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/ in Boulder Colorado:


    and here

    as well as by the ROOS-project:


    Take note, that the extend of ice on the arctic Ocean in the meantime has returned to it’s band of natural variation, with a still constantly growing coverage of the Artic Ocean.

    If this development continues only for another four weeks, all earlier ice-losses observed until the lowest level of arctic ice-covering in September 2007 will have been completely recovered.

    • javaz says:


      Glacier National Park in Montana is going through extreme change and it’s not from global cooling!
      Anyone who wishes to see the glaciers at the park should go soon before they are gone.
      We’re heading up there this summer to see what’s left of them.

      Also --


      “Increasing Arctic temperatures, as we all know, are leading to record levels of melting ice. As the Arctic ice shelf continues to melt, water levels in the area are rising. The Ninglick River has overflowed into Newtok, causing concern. The rising river levels combined with the sinking of ground level has flooded the town, making boardwalks linking the buildings necessary for travelling around the village.”

    • escribacat says:

      Mo, this is a quote from the first paragraph in your first link:

      Arctic sea ice reflects sunlight, keeping the polar regions cool and moderating global climate. According to scientific measurements, Arctic sea ice has declined dramatically over at least the past thirty years, with the most extreme decline seen in the summer melt season.

      • Mogamboguru says:

        This is an old paragraph.

        Meteorologists and Geophysicists avoid discussing the current development like the plague, in the faint hope, that it will go away, once they ignore it long enough.

        But it won’t. And instead of struggling, we should be HAPPY about it -- as THIS was, what we all hoped for!

        “Who cures, is right!” -- says an old german adage about physicists. This goes about Climatologists, too: If the Arctic is saved, I don’t mind one bit, which way it was saved.

        (And no, it was NOT CO2 to cause “Global Warming” -- as there is no warming anymore on the globe.)

        • javaz says:

          I would like to believe that our planet is not warming, but that’s not the case, imho.

          And saying that the paragraph is old without supplying a link doesn’t mean much, no offense.

          From reading your past posts on PPOV, am I wrong in thinking that you do not believe in Global Warming, but you believe in Global Cooling?

          I’d very much like to understand your reasons for believing the world is cooling.

          I’m not a very good debater, and I do dislike confrontation, but I am simply interested in your reasons for thinking the planet is cooling down instead of warming.

          Oh, and Hi Mo!

          • Mogamboguru says:

            Hi, Javaz.

            I am preparing an own blogpost dealing with Global Warming / Cooling. It may take a few more days, because I have errands to run this weekend. But stay tuned for the post. You will like it! :-)

  9. escribacat says:

    I love that last one about the long bills. I recall in both the house and senate health care debates, where so many republicans made such a big show of carrying around the big stack of paper representing the bill. Doesn’t it seem like every accusation they level against democrats is something they are guilty of themselves?

    • choicelady says:

      When printed in normal form, the health bill is under 300 pages. Since most of us never read bills, no one really understands that they are quadruple spaced for “mark up” by members of committees. There are very few lines per page, and each line is vastly shorter than an ordinary book would have. So it’s pretty impressive to slog around 2000 pages of paper, but it’s really not much reading at all. And why would we want to overhaul 1/6 of our economy with less detail anyway? BTW -- I DO read bills. I hope you all feel appropriately sorry for me. They are often as boring as you think.

      • nellie says:

        I always wondered why people would expect a major piece of legislation like a health care bill, that included all kinds of provisions for training, community health centers, business regulations for insurance companies, and as you say, covers 1/6 of the economy — why would anyone expect that kind of legislation to fit in a pamphlet.

        What were those summaries students used to buy when they didn’t have time to read the whole book?

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