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Tuesday, Jul 07th

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Healthcare lobbyists: 6 for each member of Congress

Anyway, here are some startling lesser-known facts, pulled together by two diligent Bloomberg News reporters, Lizzie O'Leary and Jonathan Salant:

Every one of those 534 members of Congress now has six (6!) lobbyists working on them -- and that's just for healthcare.

A total of 3,300 lobbyists have registered to drive the sizzling healthcare issue in Washington -- three times the brigade of lobbyists representing the entire defense industry.

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Health Care Protester Exposed As Operative For Congressman's Opponent

But towards the end of the Wisconsin Democrat's health care forum something a bit peculiar happened. A woman who initially identified herself as "just a mom from a few blocks away" who was "not affiliated with a political party" was outed by a reporter as a GOP operative who worked for Kagen's election opponent John Gard as well as the Republican Party of Wisconsin and the Republican National Committee.

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HR 2749: Totalitarian Control Of Our Food Supply

A new food safety bill is on the fast track in Congress-HR 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009. The bill needs to be stopped. HR 2749 gives FDA tremendous power while significantly diminishing existing judicial restraints on actions taken by the agency. The bill would impose a one-size-fits-all regulatory scheme on small farms and local artisanal producers; and it would disproportionately impact their operations for the worse.

HR 2749 does not address underlying causes of food safety problems such as industrial agriculture practices and the consolidation of our food supply. The industrial food system and food imports are badly in need of effective regulation, but the bill does not specifically direct regulation or resources to these areas.

To read a detailed account of the bill, go to: http://www.ftcldf.org/news/news-15june2009.htm (Read the section on tracing. That is NAIS, isn't it? ­ highly disguised yet triggered by the word "trace." ) Alarming Provisions:

Some of the more alarming provisions in the bill are:

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AP Sources: Senate Group Omitting Public Option

After weeks of secretive talks, a bipartisan group in the Senate edged closer Monday to a health care compromise that omits a requirement for businesses to offer coverage to their workers and lacks a government insurance option that President Barack Obama favors, according to numerous officials.

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TVNL Comment:  Insurance companies and Big Pharma get their way. What a shock.

On eve of debate, House Democrats say CIA lied

"These notifications have led me to conclude that this committee has been misled, has not been provided full and complete notifications, and (in at least one case) was affirmatively lied to," Reyes wrote in a letter Tuesday to Michigan Rep. Peter Hoekstra, the committee's senior Republican. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press.

Reyes said in the letter that he is considering opening a full investigation.

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Franken Named Winner of Minnesota Senate Race; Coleman Concedes

Democrat Al Franken won Minnesota’s disputed U.S. Senate seat as a loss at the state Supreme Court prompted Republican Norm Coleman to concede.

“I congratulate Al Franken” on his victory, Coleman said at a news conference outside his home in St. Paul.

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Congress Ignores WH Veto Challenge Over Fighter Jets

Congress is moving forward with plans to fund the construction of additional Lockheed Martin F-22 fighter jets, even though the Obama administration has said the president would veto such a move.

A Senate panel on Thursday approved $1.75 billion to build seven more F-22s and the House of Representatives voted in favor of a Defense Department funding bill that would allocate more funds for the planes, the New York Times reported. Both chambers are also asking for a report from the administration on possibly exporting the planes to Japan and other allies.

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