Tuesday, August 4, 2009




Pres. Obama and Helen Thomas share the same birthday and Ms. Thomas was surprised by the commander-in-chief with birthday cupcakes.

Even though it's his own 48th birthday, President Barack Obama surprises veteran reporter Helen Thomas with cupcakes for her birthday – her 89th! – during a daily White House press briefing on Tuesday.


Democrats Pledge to Push Health Care Through Senate, With or Without Republicans
After numerous delays, three Democrats and three Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee are facing a Sept. 15 deadline to wrap up secretive talks and come up with a plan. But Sen. Chuck Schumer says Democrats have "contingencies" in place if Republicans are not cooperating.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

WASHINGTON -- Frustrated with the pace of bipartisan talks, Democratic leaders on Monday promised to push a sweeping health care bill through the Senate whether they get Republican support or not.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the third-ranking Senate Democrat, raised the prospect of the leadership crafting a bill to Democratic specifications and using a rare legislative procedure to expedite legislation fulfilling President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.

"We will have contingencies in place. These plans will likely be considered as a last resort, but they are on the table," Schumer told reporters on a conference call. He declined to elaborate.

After numerous delays, three Democrats and three Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee are facing a Sept. 15 deadline to wrap up secretive talks and come up with a plan.

"If we cannot produce a bipartisan solution by then you have to wonder if the Republicans will ever to be willing to agree to anything," Schumer said.

Four House and Senate committees have already passed sweeping health care bills, but none has attracted a single Republican vote. That makes it unlikely or impossible that they could attract the 60 votes necessary to advance in the 100-seat Senate.

Schumer said Democratic leaders continue to look at invoking a procedural maneuver that would allow them to pass the health bill with 51 instead of 60 votes. That route is viewed as a last resort since it limits what legislative measures would be allowed and any broad policy initiatives would probably have to be limited.

Schumer wouldn't say what other contingencies were being considered. He accused Republican leaders of trying to hinder bipartisan progress to deny President Barack Obama a political victory.

A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., scoffed at Schumer's complaints. He noted that Schumer himself hasn't committed to supporting whatever the Finance negotiators produce and that other Democrats have also criticized the plan that's taking shape.

"Seriously. How can any Democrat who doesn't support what the bipartisan group of Finance members is working on complain about there not being a bipartisan approach," said McConnell spokesman Don Stewart. "Has Senator Schumer or anyone in the Democrat leadership offered a bipartisan bill?"

Schumer and many other liberals favor a strong new government-run insurance plan that would compete with private insurers, and all the plans passed so far have included that. But Republicans nearly uniformly oppose a new public plan, saying it would drive private insurers out of business, so the Finance negotiators are looking at a system of nonprofit health co-ops instead.

Schumer said negotiations on the Finance bill were continuing.

"No one's drawing any lines in the sand right now but I feel very strongly we need a public option and that fight is continuing," he said.

The Finance Committee negotiators planned to resume their talks Monday under the leadership of Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont. The Senate leaves Friday for a monthlong recess. The House began its break last Friday.

North Korea Releases American Journalists on August 4th, 2009.
By Stephen M. Silverman
Originally posted Tuesday August 04, 2009 03:35 PM EDT

Laura Ling and Euna Lee - Reporters for Al Gore's Current TV detained for illegally entering North Korea and engaging in 'hostile acts'

It's freedom for Laura Ling and Euna Lee who were jailed in North Korea. The two Americans, convicted for what that government deemed "hostile acts," were officially pardoned on Tuesday – August 4th, President's Obama's birthday. Lee and Ling were initially detained by North Korean soldiers on March 17 near the country's border with China. They were sentenced in June to 12 years hard labor for "committing hostilities against the Korean nation and illegal entry."

Happy Birthday, Mr. President
In honor of President Obama's birthday, FOXNews.com has compiled a list of notable events in history that took place on Aug. 4.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Besides the birth of President Obama in 1961, the following are notable events in history:

1693 Dom Perignon invents champagne
1862 U.S. government collects its first income tax
1892 Sunday school teacher Lizzie Borden is arrested in Fall River, Mass.
1910 Philadelphia A's Jack Coombs and White Sox Ed Walsh pitch a 16-inning scoreless tie
1914 Germany declares war on Belgium; Britain declares war on Germany; U.S. declares neutrality
1916 The United States agrees to buy Virgin Islands from Denmark for $25 million
1944 Anne Frank, 15, is arrested by Nazis
1945 Golfer Byron Nelson records most tournament wins (18) in a season
1949 NBL and NBAA merge into the National Basketball Association
1956 Elvis Presley releases the song "Hound Dog"
1977 President Carter establishes the Department of Energy
1981 Oliver North begins working at the White House
1984 Prince's "Purple Rain" album goes to No. 1 and stays there for 24 weeks
1987 Federal Communications Commission votes 4-0 to rescind the fairness doctrine for broadcasters

People who share a birthday on Aug. 4:

Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens
Actors Billy Bob Thornton, Wesley Snipes and Richard Belzer
Journalist Helen Thomas
Musician Louis Armstrong
Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley
Queen Elizabeth
Diplomat Raoul Wallenberg
PLO leader Yasser Arafat
FOX News anchor Bret Baier


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