Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jon Kyl Gets Called Out

President Obama tried to warn these fools, but as usual they didn't listen.

Elections have consequences BITCHES!

Alan Grayson FTMFW!!! (Again)

I don't even need to commment, the eye in the sky don't lie.


White House Busting Back At Glenn Beck.

Evidently the White House is not going to stand for Glenn Beck's bullshit anymore. Someone said the other day that he was going to push the wrong button if he started sniffing around Valerie Jarrett and this definitely seems to bear that out. I LOVE it. And I hope they start making it a regular feature of their blog.


Senator Harkin Says We Have The Votes

John Amato over at Crooks and Liars has a really good post about Senator Harken's assertion to The Hill that he has 60 votes for the public option. Instead of trying to cut and paste judiciously I highly recommend you just go over there and prepare to get reinvigorated about the fight for a public option in health care reform!

Chuck Schumer Is Keeping Hope Alive

Senator Schumer went on The Rachel Maddow Show last night to push back on the idea that the public option is dead. He rightly points out that we actually picked up two votes on his amendment from Senators Nelson and Carper that no one thought we would get in committee. I am good with that and I am definitely still hopeful, but I am still pissed about asshole Senators Baucus, Conrad and Lincoln. Thankfully Rachel busted rhetorical caps in their asses prior to Schumer's appearance.

Charlie Crist Has Been Reading Too Much Orson Wells

Charlie Crist seems to think there really are memory holes that he can use to erase his record. Hasn't anybody ever told this guy about the intertubes?

Crist has a serious problem separating fantasy from reality.This goes beyond the typical political hyperbole to downright fraud. He had absolutely nothing to do with Florida’s gains in education. All this was a result of Jeb Bush’s accountability reforms.This would be like Gator backup QB John Brantley taking credit for the win over Kentucky.

When called on this, Crist started seriously backstroking, giving credit to Jeb but adding, "I was education commissioner when he was governor."
Unbelievable! Crist ran for education commissioner in 2000. This was two years after voters approved an amendment abolishing the post of elected commissioner. But the change didn't go into effect until the beginning of 2003, so Crist ran for a post nobody took seriously because it was nothing more than a 2-year caretaker position. It was classic Crist opportunism. Upon assuming office, he put 111 pictures of himself on the department’s web site (I counted them) and used it as a platform to run for Attorney General. He was non-existent in Jeb Bush’s education reforms. He was lampooned by Democrats for not even knowing the passing score on the FCAT.

Crist also made other ludicrous claims in Michigan, taking credit for cutting and balancing the budget, and cutting taxes. In fact, he had no choice but to cut the budget because it’s required by the state constitution. The cutting was a result of plunging revenues, not anything Crist did. Another gem was Crist claiming to be for lower taxes and less government. In fact, he glommed on to the federal stimulus to boost Florida to get him through the Senate campaign. As soon as he leaves office, the budget is going to explode. That's why he's leaving. He's getting out while the getting is good.

Watching Charlie on CNN push his Cover Florida health plan was hysterical. In two years, the program has signed up a grand total of 4,000 people. Like everything else, Charlie got it passed in the Legislature, grabbed some headlines, and abandoned it until dusting it off for a political campaign. If this is the answer to the nation's health care woes, it's time to bring on the death panels.

"Cover Florida is an oxymoran,'' says Beckey Cherney, president and CEO of the Central Florida Healthcare Coalition. "If you held it up as a national model, it would be what you would not do.

This is the same guy who said he prayed away any hurricanes the past two years by the way. We can't afford someone this blatantly dishonest and inept to represent the great state of Florida. We had just that kind of person in the Presidency the previous 8 years, does anyone want a repeat of that?

We must find a way to elect Kendrick Meek as the junior Senator fof the state of Florida.

Treasonous Right Wing Fantasies

I understand that NewsMax is a boil on the ass of America but even they should have higher standards than this. Its all fun and games until somebody gets snatched for making these kinds of dangerous and irresponsible provocations.

Eff Your Apology!

George Stephanopolous had the nerve to post this video (which I fully endorse) of Congressman Alan Grayson hitting the Republicans on the floor of the House over their lack of a real health care reform plan, and then asking if the GOP deserves an apology.

Mind you, I don't remember George asking Sarah Palin or Chuck Grassley for an apology when they pulled that death panel crap out of their ass. Nor Virginia Foxx or Michele Bachmann for the numerous baseless attacks they have launched from the floor of the House. But let me quote from the Republican Bible.

"Isn't he just expressing his right to free speech? Why is the GOP trying to muzzle him? Our founding fathers gave us the freedom to speak our mind and Congressman Grayson should be allowed to do so. Why it is unamerican to suggest otherwise and it is the GOP who should apologize for demanding an apology!!!"

See also, Joe Wilson.

Its stuff like this that shows why George Stephanopolous is a loser. Just a few weeks back he had all but overtaken Meet the Press in Tee Vee ratings. In response to this he books Michele Malkin, Liz Cheney, and John McCain in the weeks since. Needless to say David Gregory is no longer concerned. But hey George you just keep on try to play the role of "centrist" and keep on being 2nd place your whole life.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Reply I Was Hoping For

Twice today in the Senate Finance committee debate over public option amendments Max Baucus hid behind the threat of a filibuster in order to cast a nay vote. I could understand Jay Rockerfeller and Chuck Schumer being caught flat footed the first time he took that tact. But the second time when Max Baucus said words to the effect of "I can count and we don't have 60 votes with a public option in the bill", this simple reply would have turned the argument on it's head.

"Respectfully Mr Chairman, you don't have 60 votes without it"

Those 9 little words would have probably thrown t he proceedings into an uproar and the lead this evening would have been about how serious most Democrats are about having a robust public option. If Baucus wants to grand stand about filibusters then its time to remind him that there are Democrats who are unwilling to vote for cloture for a bill without a public option. The math is clear, if even one, yes one single solitary Democrat in the Senate says they will not for a bill that doesn't include a public option then the bill will never get an up and down vote and bigger than that, assholes like Baucus and Conrad will HAVE to start taking them seriously along with President Obama and the White House.

So the question remains, is there such a Democrat with enough courage to take a stand and say no public option no yea vote? That's what we need to find out!

My List-Updated

Here is my FUCK YOU list.




Bill Nelson, FUCK YOU

Thomas Carper, FUCK YOU

These are so called Democrats on the Senate Finance committee who voted against Jay Rockerfeller's public option amendment.

That is all.

Update: If 2 out of the three asshats who voted against Schumer's amendment had voted yes then it would have moved out of committee. And that includes Max Baucus who SAYS he is for a public option but just can't find a way to vote for it. Blanche Lincoln can cancel christmas. She is toast!

Max Baucus Is A Pussy!

Allow me to paraphrase what Max Baucus just said in closing of the Senate Finance Committee hearing on Jay Rockerfeller's public option amendment:

It is my job to get a bill through with 60 votes and because nobody has proved to me that a bill with a public option in it can get 60 votes I must vote against it.

What a sorry assed coward muthafucka. If Rockerfeller's amendment loses by one vote I can promise you that with every little bit of power I wield I am going to put all my efforts into making sure this is Baucus' last term. I don't give a damn if a Republican beats him. If it takes digging up dirt, contributing money, leaving comments on Montana blogs, I don't give a damn. How in the hell can any real leader say its their job to vote against the interests of the American people because they are scared of losing???

Does Trent Franks Represent You?

I know there are reasonable Republican voters out there who simply have a different ideology than President Obama. That is all fine and good. But how many times can elected Republicans say shameful and despicable things before you decide that enough is enough? Do you REALLY wanted to be associated with jack asses like Congressman Trent Franks? Because if you continue to support the Republican Party the you are supporting him as well. Just know that.

More ACORN Bullshit

Just keep banging that drum wingnuts. Evidently they never learned the lesson of the boy who cried wolf.

Ezra Hits Grassley For Parsing His Words

Do Republicans think nobody is watching them while they are shoveling all this bullshit?

Judgement Day

I can't wait to hear the Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee who are against a public option try to explain why today when two public option amendments come up. I hope Jay Rockerfeller and Chuck Schumer both hold their feet to the fire and make them announce to the world that they are more concerned with the health insurance companies than Americans who can't afford health insurance.

Stay tuned for updates throughout the day...

Republicans/Conservatives Do Not Live On The Same Planet As The Rest Of Us

Jon Stewart takes a look at what is most important to Republicans and their wingnut base compared to what is important to the rest of us.

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The shot at Tucker Carlson is an added benefit ;)

Stick A Fork In Him

Everything else being equal, I don't think women in New Jersey are going to be too eager to vote for Chris Cristie after seeing this video of him defending the health insurance companies' "right" to deny coverage for mammograms. Its not just that breast cancer is such a major worry for most women, its also his curt and dismissive attitude towards the woman asking him the question, herself a cancer survivor. Now its just a matter of Jon Corzine really making this exchange widely available in state.

She Will Not Be Your Appeaser

Rachel Maddow tears Republican staffers a new one for attempting to get her to do a correction on a story she did about their patently false fearmongering over veterans health care. She had to remind them that she is more of a progressive than she is a Democrat.

And by the way, whichever Democrats are bending over backwards to kiss Buyer's ass just so he can kick them in the balls deserve to lose their next election.

Michael Bay Strikes Again

Any chance he can improve on the original?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cowards On Facebook

I can only hope that the Secrets Service is going to show these cowards just how unfunny it is to joke about killing the President of the United States.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

For Pete's Sake, Is Anybody At GITMO Guilty?

I was pretty sure there were before but I am beginning to have my doubts...

Wah Wah Wah Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

Remember the newest faux outrage over a school having kids sing songs that indoctrinated praised recognized President Obama's contributions so far? Yeah, turns out that it seems to have been a victimless crime and that the parents of the kids were given prior notice and nobody has objected before or since.

I guess when it comes to right wing faux outrage as Jay Z would say its "on to the next one".

*Apologies for posting a video featuring Greta Van Susteren

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Why The Public Option Isn't Dead

If you want to know, go read Steve's and Greg's take on this NYTimes piece.

Good stuff!!!

The Picture Gets Clearer....And Uglier

Rachel Maddow carried the new and breaking details tonight about the circumstances of the Census worker's death in Kentucky that is believed to be a result of foul play. Its getting harder not to just come out and say that he was targeted because of his work with the Census.

Shoot It To Me Straight

Its pretty apparent that White House counsel, Greg Craig has been offered up as sacrificial lamb over President Obama's failure to keep the closure of GITMO on his own self imposed timeline. Now the truth is the real failure came from the White House when Republicans and their wingnut allies in the blogosphere and on talk radio took to the airways to fear monger over bringing GITMO detainees to America in order to make sure they faced justice. Not only did the White House not attempt to counter this ridiculous messaging, they didn't even support the Democrats in Congress who tried to do so on their behalf.

Now I remember one of the members of Congress who was most forceful in pushing back on the right wing bullshit was Congressman Jim Moran. It turns out that he isn't happy about how Craig is being treated and he doesn't mind telling it like it is.

"Those of us on the Hill who wanted to defend the administration's policy because we knew we had the facts on our side got no back up, no support, no information," Moran said, speculating that the Obama team simply didn't want to spend political capital on the issue.

That became clear to Moran and others in Congress in May, when the war funding bill was moving through Congress and Republicans took to the airwaves to decry the plan to shudder the prison. "We were at the Alamo, and the cavalry was galloping in the other direction," said Moran, "I think it was a political decision. I don't know who made it, but I very much doubt it was Greg Craig."

Other key appropriators who were trying to fund the effort, such as defense subcommittee chairman Jack Murtha, D-PA, and Appropriations chairman David Obey, D-WI, couldn't and wouldn't fight the Republican machine without Obama's help.

"They talked to the White House and the White House wasn't willing to stand alongside them," said Moran. The thinking among Democrats was, "If we can't take advantage of Obama's credibility on this issue, we probably are not going win."

Now the administration is trying to press the reset button on Guantánamo, but Moran argued the damage is done and it is now nearly impossible to sell the idea of moving the prisoners to U.S. soil.

"This is their first major fuck up, and it's an enormous fuckup, because now that you've lost ground you're not going to be able to recover it," said Moran.

Moran is harsh here but exactly on point also. To me this situation along with the fight over the stimulus bill showed that the White House was somewhat gun shy on their own legislative agenda. This signaled to he right wingers that as long as they were loud and as long as they were repetitive, they could make President Obama and his White House back away from issues they saw as politically difficult. It will be interesting to see where we go from here because Moran doesn't seem very hopeful about the closing of GITMO anymore. And honestly considering how he himself put his ass on the line only to get sold out by he White House, can you blame him at all?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Consider The Game Changed

If liberals and progressives, both in Congress and as regular citizens, do not scream this information out loudly and repeatedly until somebody pays attention, then we don't DESERVE a public option in health care reform. Its all right there for the taking, but we have to actually get the word out.

From Ezra Klein:

According to Congress Daily, the CBO says attaching the public plan to Medicare rates will save even more money than originally thought:

In a bid to wrangle concessions from the Blue Dog Coalition on healthcare reform, House leaders Thursday released CBO estimates for liberals' preferred version of the public option that show $85 billion more in savings than for the version the Blue Dogs prefer.

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D., a Blue Dog co-chair, said any possible new momentum toward a public option tethered to Medicare rates is, in part, "because of the cost issue" and the updated CBO score.

The original House bill required the public plan to pay providers 5 percent more than Medicare reimbursement rates. But as part of a package of concessions to Blue Dogs, the House Energy and Commerce Committee accepted an amendment that requires the HHS Secretary to negotiate rates with providers. That version of the plan will save only $25 billion.

In total, a public plan based on Medicare rates would save $110 billion over 10 years. That is $20 billion more than earlier estimates, a spokesman for House Speaker Pelosi said.

There is absolutely no way for someone who calls themselves a fiscally conservative Democrat to argue against a public option at this point. And if they try it exposes them for the corporatist hypocrites that they really are.

Get Right

President Obama, President Sarkozy, and Prime Minister Brown going after Iran this morning.

An Epidemic?

I am certainly happy that our law enforcement officials and anti terrorism apparatus are rolling these guys up, but it is a little disconcerting that it seems like these folks are trying to get it popping all at the same time.

Spraying The Field

SNL is back at it and they made sure to spread around the funny.

Hitting The Right Pressure Points

Greg Sargent is reporting that Health Care For America Now has commissioned a poll of the Blue Dogs' districts to show them that their constituents not only want health care reform but also a public option:

Health Care for America Now, the major umbrella pro-reform group, has commissioned a big new poll of 91 conservative House swing districts — including many Blue Dog and rural ones — that finds the public option has solid majority support among those voters.

poll and its accompanying memo — which is being circulated among House Dems and was sent over by a source — also send a strong warning to conservative Dems that if health care fails, the resulting damage to the President will rebound on them.

The poll, by respected Dem pollster John Anzalone, finds that 54% of these swing district voters support the public option, and makes the case that these voters emphatically don’t want a “trigger,” the compromise of choice in some quarters:

The public option shouldn’t be considered in isolation. Including a public option is essential to implementing an individual mandate. Voters also already prefer the implementation of a public option, and do not see a need for a trigger. There’s over-whelming opposition to an individual mandate when the only choices are private insur-ance, but there’s net support for a mandate when people have the choice of a public option. And swing district voters are convinced private sector healthcare has failed to make health care affordable, and prefer the public option now rather than waiting on a trigger option.

It also says that failure to get reform done will be courting disaster, and could rebound specifically on swing-district Dems as it did in 1994

Now that is good of course but as we all know the Blue Dogs aren't necessarily opposed to health care reform or a public option because of some misguided belief that their constituents are against a public option or health care reform. With that in mind there was another nugget in the polling that caught my eye.

The risks of inaction to Democrats in swing districts increases if voters perceive opposition stems from ties to the insurance industry, as 74% are concerned that the health insurance industry will have too much influence over reform.

I remember there being a lot of concern trolling back when several liberal and progressive groups went after blue dogs and ConservaDems with ads tying them to money from health insurance lobbyists. President Obama's Chief Of Staff Rahm Emanuel thought it was counterproductive among other things that can't be repeated. But it turns out that this is just the pressure point that strikes a chord with their constituents. According to this poll, the more their opposition to health care reform, a core plank of the Democratic Party, the more their constituents will turn on them.

We are on the home stretch and its time to turn up the heat on those bought and paid for Democrats in Congress. We need to let them know that if they continue on the path of opposing the public option we WILL expose them as being puppets of the health insurance industry. We have to do whatever needs to be done to make sure this bill goes through with a robust public option reflecting the will of the people, including those that live in swing districts.

Iran Has A Second Nuclear Facility

I am not quite sure what to make of this yet other than its obvious both that Iran has been lying for years and that we have also known they were lying for years about whether they were building another nuclear facility. It doesn't appear clear whether or not this is evidence that they are trying to build a nuclear weapon or not, but it for damn sure doesn't look good at all. Looks like the rubber is going to hit the road when the P5+1 meets with Iran next week, I guess we had better all be paying a little closer attention to those meetings.

Update: Adam Sewer's take, "Don't Panic"

Considering that the instinct in some quarters to panic over the revelation that Iran has a second secret nuclear program, the Obama administration seems to have played this one pretty well. American intelligence appears to have known about the plant for some time, which was part of the reason Iran came forward in the first place. By improving relations with Russia by dismantling the missile shield and making nuclear non-proliferation a focus of the G-20 summit, the president has succeeded in putting the U.S. on high ground diplomatically and embarrassing Iran: first because of the deception, and second because the deception failed. The sanctions that the right has been clamoring for for months can now be applied with more international support.

Update II: Thanks to reader Africana for pointing me towards this Mark Lynch post.

It also demonstrates to the Iranians the quality of Western intelligence and the difficulty of deception and denial -- especially in the atmosphere of (quite warranted) mistrust of their intentions. That may reduce their reasons to oppose the intrusive inspections and monitoring regime which Gary Sick argues is the most likely reasonable negotiated outcome. Such an outcome would be far more in the interests of the U.S., Iran, and Iran's neighbors than any plausible outcome of a military strike, and has to be the target of the engagement process.

So despite what I expect to see swarming the media in the next few days -- wanna bet that John Bolton or John Bolton-equivalent oped is already in production over at the Washington Times Washington Post (sorry, it's hard to tell the difference on foreign policy issues sometimes) -- I actually think that this public revelation makes war less rather than more likely. The timing of the announcement, immediately following the consultations at the UN and the G-20 and just before the Geneva meetings, makes it seem extremely likely that the Obama administration has been waiting for just the right moment to play this card. Now they have. It strengthens the P5+1 bargaining position ahead of October 1, changes Iranian calculations, and lays the foundations for a more serious kind of engagement. So now let's see how it changes the game.

More Of This Please

I don't know what has gotten into Jello Jay but I hope he keeps eating it for breakfast.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I know its way too early to say anything definitive, but you will excuse me if I allow for the fact that this...

Census Worker Found Dead In Kentucky

...might have something to do with this:

Just sayin

George Stephanopolous Clowns Himself

George Stephanopolous is once again having John McCain on his show this weekend to criticize President Obama's Afghanistan policy. He has been getting his ass kicked all over the blogosphere and twitter for having that crotchety old bastart on again after he lost last year. In a response to Greg Sargent he said among other things that:

McCain is the leading GOP voice on Afghanistan.

One of the people who has taken shots at Stephanopolous, Steve Benen, gets at how bogus that is of an argument.

But there's no reason to assume that McCain is the "leading GOP voice on Afghanistan." Not only are there plenty of other Republicans who approach the issue with the same perspective, but McCain has never demonstrated any particular expertise on Afghanistan -- on the contrary, he has a record of confusion on the war. During the presidential campaign, for example, McCain was both for and against sending additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan. His most noteworthy contribution to the debate was arguing in 2003 that "we may muddle through in Afghanistan," whatever that means.

If McCain is a "leading" voice on the conflict, it's only because the media keeps calling on him to talk about it. It's entirely self-fulfilling -- the media gives McCain the stage, and justifies the decision by pointing to how often he's on the stage.

But you see, Stephanopolous will never have to address his faulty logic behind inviting McCain on again. People will just assume that because McCain was a prisoner of war that he actually speaks for the Republicans on any military issue. The truth is there are some Republicans (probably for shady reasons) who are against sending more troops which McCain is decidedly for. And McCain was a leading voice on getting us into the war in Iraq. How he maintains any credibility on military issues says a lot about pundits like Stephanopolous.

On My Tee Vee

Just now Mike Stark of firedoglake was on MSNBC went up against wingnut Tim Carney over this latest faux controversy of these school kids singing a song praising President Obama and Stark straight up smashed Carney, especially when he went to that favorite right wing move of feigning indignation over Stark using the term teabagger.

I am crossing my fingers hoping that somebody posts a video of the exchange because it was a beautiful thing. Truly

And Then There Were 60

Paul Kirk is your new junior Senator from Massachusetts:

Governor Deval Patrick today named Paul G. Kirk Jr. to serve as interim US senator, making the announcement in the presence of the immediate family of the late Edward M. Kennedy.

"He is a distinguished lawyer, volunteer, and citizen, and he shares the sense of service that so distinguished Senator Ted Kennedy," Patrick said at a news conference at the State House. "Paul will not seek the open seat in the special election coming up in January. But for the next few months, he will carry on the work and the focus of Senator Kennedy, mindful of his mission, and his values, and his love of Massachusetts."

The late senator's widow, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, and one of his sons, Ted Kennedy Jr., watched from the audience as Patrick introduced his selection.

"This appointment is a profound honor," Kirk said. "I accept it with sincere humility."

Kirk, a longtime Kennedy family friend, reiterated that he would not run in the special election and said he planned to keep the late senator's staff.

I am still not sold on this move, but again it had damn well better equal 60 votes against a filibuster or the Democrats are screwed.

You Maaaaaaaaaaaad


Reminded me of this

I am not a Max Baucus fan but the fact that he was laughing at Jon Kyl while calling him out for delaying made my damn day.

Hi Hater

Tavis Smiley, professional Obama playa hater, has finally severed ties with his financier pimp Wells Fargo after minority media outlets were provided proof that they had targeted minorities for high rate mortgages.

Smiley commented on his business partnership with Wells:

Smiley said his relationship with Wells Fargo was a “package deal.” In return for the company helping to finance his radio show, he went on the road for Wells Fargo. He said he owns his own radio and television show and while it frees him from network control, it also requires him to come up with his own financing.

TWI reported that the seminars appeared on the surface as a way to help black borrowers build wealth — but they were actually just the opposite. A little-noticed explanation of the “Wealth Building” seminar strategy was contained in a lawsuit recently filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

According to the suit, Wells’ plan for the seminars all along was to target black borrowers for higher-cost subprime mortgages, not for wealth-building, the suit
charged. And the seminars were a part of the bank’s overall illegal and discriminatory practice of steering black and Hispanic borrowers into riskier and more expensive loans, the suit said.

After TWI’s article on Thursday,
The Root headlined a post: “Tavis, You Got Some ‘Splainin To Do.” Jack & Jill Politics ran a photograph of Smiley standing a podium during Smiley’s “State of the Black Union” event this year, surrounded by Wells Fargo logos, and offered this:

He has never said jack about predatory lending, and now, we have an idea WHY.

Yeah the same guy who has been riding President Obama's ass for supposedly not doing enough to help the black community or promising to do enough, was affirmatively aiding and abetting Wells Fargo to target that same community and drive minority mortgage holders off a financial cliff. What ever shred of relevance this clown had before all of this became public should be buried forever after this.

President Obama's Speech At The U.N.

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It Is Time To Start Calling Bullshit, Bullshit!!!

From Laura Rozen:

The report said the U.N. fact-finding mission investigating Israel's conduct during the January 2009 war found evidence of Israeli war crimes. Israel has denied the allegations and said the report's mandate was biased -- an opinion echoed by U.S. officials.

The Obama administration is ready to use the U.S. veto at the U.N. Security Council to deal with any other "difficulties" arising out of the report, the White House official said Wednesday. The administration also has made clear to the Palestinian Authority that Washington is not pleased with a P.A. petition to bring the report's allegations against Israel to the International Criminal Court.

Last week, the State Department said the U.S. had "serious concerns" about the report by the Gaza fact finding commission, which had been headed by South African jurist Richard Goldstone.

Now here is the deal, if our government is going to cover for Israel at the U.N. then we should never vote for not a single prosecution of war crimes EVER again with the ICC. If the inference here is that the UN is biased against Israel then we should also pull out of the UN. You simply can not have it both ways anymore.

A blind man can see that Israel's behavior was reprehensible in the Gaza strip earlier this year. By taking the posture that we will veto any action against Israel based on actual evidence collected by UN investigators we have cemented our legacy as enablers of Israel and as being biased against Arabs and Muslims. Can you imagine the US vetoing an action that the UN proposed taking against Palestinians or Lebanese or Syrians?

Hell no you can't.

We can keep saying that no man is above the law but it is now very apparent that at least one nation is. Thanks to us that is.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jon Stewart On Values Voters And Tom DeLay

You really have to watch this all the way through to the end lol.

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Now THAT'S Karma

The right wingers have been going after ACORN with impugnity since last year. With recent revelations about bad actors getting caught up in gotcha journalists Republicans in Congress felt like they finally had ACORN right where they wanted them. And so, as is the norm these days, they jumped first and asked questions later in order to try to either

A)Put Democrats on the spot on whether they would vote against ACORN which has been a big time Democratic supporter or

B)Defund ACORN which they feel will give them an advantage nationally in voter registration efforts.

But unfortunately for them they ended up casting too wide of a net.

The congressional legislation intended to defund ACORN, passed with broad bipartisan support, is written so broadly that it applies to "any organization" that has been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency. It also applies to any of the employees, contractors or other folks affiliated with a group charged with any of those things.

In other words, the bill could plausibly defund the entire military-industrial complex. Whoops.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) picked up on the legislative overreach and asked the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) to sift through its database to find which contractors might be caught in the ACORN net.

Lockheed Martin and Northrop Gumman both popped up quickly, with 20 fraud cases between them, and
the longer list is a Who's Who of weapons manufacturers and defense contractors.
The language was written by the GOP and filed as a "motion to recommit" in the House, where it passed 345-75.

reaching out to its members to identify other companies who have engaged in the type of misconduct that would make them ineligible for federal funds.

Now all year political junkies have noticed that Republicans have tried to position themselves as strong on national security again. Putting aside for the moment the fact that they took us into the war in Iraq under false pretenses, they seemed to really feel that by advocating torture and abuses of our Constitution that people would just flock to them in droves in the midterms next year. Hell there has even been talk about trying to get Dick Cheney to run for President in 2012. Well even if they had an ice cube's chance in hell of such a turnaround I don't think defunding almost the entire Military Industrial Complex is going to be helping that cause.

Now as a progressive I believe there is definitely a need and a place for our military. But there is no doubt that defense contractors have gamed the system to maximize their profitablilty. A lot of that gaming having to do with pretty much bribing Republicans and some corporatist Democrats to protect their interests. Our system of military procurement is severely broken and nobody has been willing to truly take it on. Maybe, just maybe, the Republicans have now done us a favor that no Democrat would have ever had the stones to pull off. And all because they were trying to score cheap political points against an organization that does a lot of great work in some of he worst neighborhoods in our country. And if we can get our military procurement problems under control that will have a tremendously positive effect on our long term deficits and debt.

Talk about a hidden benefit.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Speaker Pelosi FTMFW

Looks like the Blue Dogs got played by the Queen B:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is nixing a deal she cut with centrists to advance health reform, said a source familiar with negotiations.

Pelosi’s decision to abandon the agreement that was made with a group of Blue Dogs to get the bill out of committee would steer the healthcare legislation back to the left as she prepares for a floor vote.

Pelosi is planning to include a government-run "public option" in the House version of the healthcare bill. She wants to model it on Medicare, with providers getting reimbursed on a scale pegged to Medicare rates.

"The speaker is full-steam ahead," said a senior Democratic aide.

Blue Dog Democrats, many of whom represent rural districts where Medicare reimbursement rates are low, vehemently oppose tying the public option to Medicare.

Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) and a group of fellow Blue Dogs had negotiated a deal with Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) in July that would remove the link to Medicare. Under that plan, officials with the government-run plan would negotiate individually with providers.

That move, which drew howls of protest from liberal members, prevented the bill from getting stuck in committee. But Ross returned from the August break saying he couldn't support a public option under any circumstances, essentially withdrawing his support for the deal.

Pelosi is now effectively withdrawing her support. In leadership meetings last week, she said the public option in the House bill should be linked to Medicare

A week ago or so some prominent liberal bloggers/journalists cast aspersions on Speaker Pelosi because of some fundraiser she was supposed to attend as if that "proved" she was selling us out on the public option. I hope those people have the decency to come out and admit that they were probably wrong. Especially since the evidence was weak and the allegations were reckless. We have enough irresponsible rhetoric thrown around by the wingnuts, we don't need any more of that kind of stuff coming from friendly fire.

Not Sure If This Is Good News

The Hill

The Massachusetts Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would allow Gov. Deval Patrick (D) to fill his state's vacant U.S. Senate seat by interim appointment.

The measure, passed 24-16, now heads back to both chambers for a routine procedural vote. If approved a second time, it would then head to the governor, whom lawmakers expect to sign the bill quickly.

The idea to revise state law and return Senate appointment power to the governor was first pitched by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) in the weeks before his death.

I certainly hope that since President Obama and the White House pushed so hard for Massachusetts to change their law so that Governor Patrick can name Senator Kennedy's successor that they are reasonably assured that no Senate Democrats are going to support a Republican filibuster of health care reform. If not, this may go down as one of the worst political moves in the history of this country. With that seat open the Democrats would have had cover to pass health care reform through the Senate with reconciliation. Not only that, but reconciliation would have forced an even stronger public option and guaranteed that the bill was truly deficit neutral.

Now with the Democrats once again having 60 seats in the Senate they pretty much have to push the bill through with normal procedures and all 60 Senate Democrats banding together to overcome a Republican filibuster. If not then Republicans will use it as proof that the Democrats are pushing something on the American people that not even all of our own members can support. On the flip side just to get all 60 Democrats to stay together there may have to be so much watering down of the bill that its not even reform anymore.

I am going to keep my fingers crossed that the White House is going to be able to herd cats in the Senate but I am more than just a little bit nervous about this development.

Rachel Talks Afghanistan

I have been meaning to post on the pissing match that is going on right now between President Obama and his White House and the Pentagon over our strategy and resources in Afghanistan but I got side tracked. Spencer Ackerman has a bunch of great posts at his blog on it starting with this one, and Rachel Maddow did a great job talking through it last night with Rajiv Chandrasekaran.

Oh, That Silly Newt...

Newt Gingrich is starting up a new website aimed at outreach to the Hispanic community and he is even going to use what he previously called "the language of the ghetto" as well.

No, seriously.

Who Did We Have To Torture?

Surely we couldn't have broken up a terror plot with out torturing somebody:

DENVER – Counterterrorism officials are warning mass transit systems around the nation to step up patrols because of fears an Afghanistan-born immigrant under arrest in Colorado may have been plotting with others to detonate backpack bombs aboard New York City trains.

Investigators say Najibullah Zazi, a 24-year-old shuttle van driver at the Denver airport, played a direct role in a terror plot that unraveled during a trip to New York City around the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. He made his first court appearance Monday and remained behind bars.

Zazi and two other defendants have not been charged with any terrorism counts, only the relatively minor offense of lying to the government. But the case could grow to include more serious charges as the investigation proceeds.

Now to be sure its still early in the investigation but this is just another case that shows how far out of the mainstream Dick Cheney is. To hear him tell it there is no way we could possibly track down terrorists without torturing somebody. I'll bet he is some where now mad as hell just because the FBI proved him wrong.....again. I can only hope the people he has convinced that they need to be scared of their own shadow and President Obama will now start to realize just how full of shit he is.

Health Insurance Executives Are Getting A Bad Rap

Gotta love funny or die for this one.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Well At Least We Know His Motivation

I mean just because the filmmaker who made the bogus ACORN videos with the "pimp" and his "ho" said race was a factor in targeting them doesn't mean he is a racist.....does it?

James O'Keefe, one of the two filmmakers, said he went after ACORN because it registers minorities likely to vote against Republicans: ''Politicians are getting elected single-handedly due to this organization,'' O'Keefe told The Washington Post. ''No one was holding this organization accountable.''

I will just let you decide...

Just Too Easy

Water is wet, ice is cold, and Glenn Beck has been caught lying again.



Spencer Ackerman has posted some pictures from the uprising in Iran after the bogus elections. Fair warning, many of the pictures are very graphic in showing the violence perpetrated on the Iranian people.

See, Its Only Racism When The Black Guy Does It

Man Michael Steele is such a blithering buffoon that I was almost at the point of feeling pity for him because he is in so far over his head. But then this step n fetchit, coonin ass Uncle Tom goes on national television to defend the racist assholes who oppose President Obama and in the next breath has the unmitigated gall to cast racist aspersions on President Obama himself. This muthafucka is beyond useless at this point and I can't see how his Momma could even love him. I wonder how he will react when his own kids get to calling him a sellout when they get old enough to google him. Michael Steele carries water for white racists so much that gives house niggers a bad name. Seriously.

David Gregory Must Have Taken A Look At His Ratings

Could it be? Did David Gregory actually perform a feat of journalism today? It would seem he did!

I am not ready to say give the guy a reach around or anything, but I don't mind highlighting when he does a good job. Lord knows its few and far and between so far but here is to hoping this is the sign of things to come for David Gregory and Meet The Press.

Now what would be great is if every liberal and progressive blog could post this video as well as the DNC, the DSCC and other establishment Democratic entities make attack ads out of it and saturate them in the deep south. That is sure to make some heads explode.

Welp, I did my part at least ;)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Reality Check Mate

FoxNews has stirred up a hornets nest with Rick Sanchez and CNN.

The ironic part of this of course is that CNN did cover this story although it definitely was not worthy of the coverage CNN gave it AND because FoxNews lied on them its highly likely that CNN will now cover that story even more aggressively. Thats just how much our mainstream media sucks.

CNN also has an ad going at FoxNews too but I am not sure if they are playing it or not.

Friday, September 18, 2009

All Praises Due To The White Man

Thank God every day that your kids do not attend school in Texas.

I Blame Our Educational System

Man this teabagger video is tough to watch. On the one hand its infuriating the kind of ignorant shit they are saying about President Obama and his legislative agenda. But on the other hand I have to admit that on a certain level I felt sorry for some of these people. When the interviewer near the end starts explaining to them about some of the things that are completely wrong about you can almost see a lightbulb going on over their head. Some of these people have genuinely been brain washed and either don't know how or haven't bothered to look up information on their own and instead simply rely on FoxNews and other right wing sources. If we could just get some of these people in a room and give them unbiased sources of the truth I would bet you that many of them would be ashamed of themselves. But the climate in our country right now is such that its almost impossible to reach these people because the sit in their houses behind closed doors and truly believe that the worst places to look for the truth are the only places that are telling the truth.

Excuse me while I get some aspirin.

(h/t O Dub)

Ruh Roh

This will not end well.

Overriding Western objections, a 150-nation nuclear conference on Friday passed a resolution directly criticizing Israel and its atomic program for the first time in 18 years. Iran hailed the vote as a "glorious moment."

The result was a setback not only for Israel but also for the U.S. and other backers of the Jewish state, which had lobbied for 18 years of past practice — debate on the issue without a vote. It also reflected building tensions between Israel and its backers and Islamic nations, backed by developing countries.

Of delegations present at the International Atomic Energy Agency meeting Friday, 49 voted for the resolution. Forty-five were against and 16 abstained from endorsing or rejecting he document, which "expresses concern about the Israeli nuclear capabilities," and links it to "concern about the threat posed by the proliferation of nuclear weapons for the security and stability of the Middle East."

The result once again exposed the deep North-South divide gripping IAEA meetings.

The United States and its allies consider Iran the greatest proliferation threat, fearing that Tehran is trying to achieve the capacity to make nuclear weapons despite its assertion that it is only building a civilian program to generate power. They also say Syria — which, like Iran is under IAEA investigation — ran a clandestine nuclear program, at least until Israeli warplanes destroyed what they describe as a nearly finished plutonium-producing reactor two years ago.

But Islamic nations insist that Israel is the true danger in the Middle East, saying they fear its nuclear weapons capacity. Israel has never said it has such arms, but is universally believed to posses them.

Here is the deal, it is incredibly unfair for Israel to have nuclear weapons, for everybody to know they have nuclear weapons, but for the international community to continue to look the other way while jacking up arab nations who have nuclear aspirations. Its not that its wrong for the IAEA to be on Iran's and Syria's ass. What is wrong is for them not to be similarly on Israel's ass. The problem of course is that this vote will evoke screams of anti semitism and ultimately it paints the US into the corner of having to defend Israel's right to not have to ever declare their nuclear arsenal, something no other country gets away with, further damaging our image in the Arab/Muslim world. Now the truth is I wouldn't be surprised if I got a comment or two saying I was being antisemetic also for simply saying we should treat everyone the same. Such is the atmosphere now of any major issue dealing with the middle east. I just hope that it doesn't do all that much to hurt efforts at peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

But I wouldn't be too hopeful.

Fired Up, Ready To Go!

The DNC is coming out with an ad meant to fire up the base of the Democratic Party (see liberals and progressives). Seeing as how it doesn't touch on the public option at all I am a little skeptical, but I do like that chant.

Fired up!

Ready to go!

Moving The Goalposts In Our Favor On The Public Option

Sherrod Brown is at it again putting pressure on the ConservaDems to come in on the public option.

I really think if we can get more Democrats to echo his sentiments we can finally get the message back for our side. And his rhetoric essentially mimics the talking points I put forth a week or so ago:

1. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has already said a health care reform bill will not pass the House if it doesn't include a public option.

2. The Blue Dogs in the House have already negotiated on a public option and have not blocked any bill from coming out of committee which includes one.

3. So far there have not been ten Democrats in the Senate who have come out and said they would vote against a bill which includes a public option so any speculation that it wouldn't pass in the Senate is just that, speculation.

4. Ted Kennedy's committee passed a bill out of committee in the Senate with a robust public option.

5. The question really should be would ten or so Democrats would really be willing to vote against a bill with a public option that the overwhelming majority of people in America support and the overwhelming majority of Democrats in Congress and the President support?

6. Majority rules in this country as Judd Gregg reminded us a few years back when he was fighitng for reconciliation, so what is wrong with Democrats using it?

7. If over 200 Democrats in the House and over 50 Democrats in the Senate are willing to vote for a health care reform bill with a public option in it, then wouldn't a bill without a public option actually be the fringe ideal?

8. Ask the question of any one interviewing, name ten Democrats in the Senate who have committed to vote against a health care reform bill that includes a public option. Make them name names or admit they don't know of ten Democrats who have committed to do such a thing.

Democrats, Liberals, and Progressives who support a public option should be pushing these talking points relentlessly. The fringe position has to be defined as opposing the public option in the Democratic caucus in order to put the pressure where it rightly belongs. Lets see how many ConservaDems want to answer the question "Are you willing to kill health care reform just to oppose a public option". And whe I say lets see, I mean send letters, emails, tweets, and leave voicemails asking that very question to any Democrats in the Senate who are oppose a public option.

Let's turn up the heat!

Death Of Co Ops

Practically the only person I would ever read at Politico last year (pre Laura Rozen) was Ben Smith. Even if he was sensationalistic from time to time, for the most part he tried to play it down the middle. That is pretty much the only reason that I am willing to link to his post on GOPolitico on health care reform. Well that AND the fact that he makes a powerful point about the CBO scoring of Baucuscare, specifically the effect of his proposed co-ops.

(The proposed co-ops had very little effect on the estimates of total enrollment in the exchanges or federal costs because, as they are described in the specifications, they seem unlikely to establish a significant market presence in many areas of the country or to noticeably affect federal subsidy payments.)

The CBO confirms what liberal co-op critics have charged: That they will neither cover many people nor put downward pressure on costs, the two supposed benefits of the public option.

Looks like Kent Conrad is going to have to go back to United Health Care and ask them to give him another load of bullshit to try to offer as alternative to the public option because when other Democrats get wind of this, the co ops are toast.

Time Magazine Crashed And Burned Edition

There is so much to like about this post from Jamison Foser about the puff piece on Glenn Beck which makes the cover of the new edition of Time magazine. But the ending is really what sums up everything that is wrong with the piece and is wrong with our mainstream media in general now:

At this point, you have to wonder if the article was some kind of performance art, designed to prove the very skepticism about the media it seems to lament. See, this very Time article was the product of a "dishonest, incompetent, conniving media, which refuse to tell the truth." And not because I happen to despise Glenn Beck, but because there simply were not 1.7 million people at last week's protest. Because Time damn well knows there were not 1.7 million people at last week's protest. And because Time refused to say there were not 1.7 million people there. Not only that -- Time also insisted on pretending that only "liberal sources" say there were 70,000 people there, when, in fact, the D.C. Fire Department said there were 70,000 people. That's a dishonest and incompetent refusal to tell the truth. Actually, it's worse than a refusal to tell the truth: It's a dishonest and incompetent false claim.

At the beginning of his article, Von Drehle referred to a recent poll that found "record-low levels of public trust of the mainstream media." Guess what? Articles like this are why nobody trusts the media. When you pretend that obviously false claims about crowd sizes are valid, people won't trust you. When you pretend that only liberals say 70,000 people actually attended last week's protest, people won't trust you. They shouldn't trust you. You aren't trustworthy. You are doing your job dishonestly and incompetently.

And that dishonesty, that incompetence, is what enables Glenn Beck. When Glenn Beck says 1.7 million people were at the protest, and the Washington, D.C., Fire Department says 70,000, and Time runs an article saying conservatives and liberals disagree about the crowd size, that enables Glenn Beck's lies.

No wonder Beck
liked the article so much.

Its worth your time to click on the link and read the whole thing because it is as thorough a take down of this kind of he said she said article as you will find anywhere. But the end result still ends up being the same as so eloquently put by Mr Foser. Its not just that this is a bad piece of journalism, its that it actually harms the readers of Time magazine when they will not call a lie a lie. And it also harms them in that by not calling a lie a lie it could possibly legitimize the lie and needlessly misinform them. It seems that good Villager outlets like Time magazine just will not figure that out until they go out of business, and I am cheering that day on every single day.


Offered without comment.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Where My Florida Ladies At?

For all the women in Florida I think you want to pay some special attention to the Governor's race next year. If you don't go out and exercise your right to vote you may end up losing other rights before you know it.

TALLAHASSEE - A proposed Constitutional amendment that could outlaw birth control pills in Florida looks a lot like federal legislation that state Attorney General Bill McCollum co-sponsored while in Congress.

McCollum, frontrunner GOP candidate for governor, took no stand last week when asked about the "personhood" question that anti-abortion activists are trying to place on Florida's ballot. The proposed amendment to the state Constitution would establish a human being's "personhood" at the start of biological development, which its sponsors define as fertilization.

That would outlaw abortion and, critics fear, might also lead to bans on oral contraceptives and intrauterine devices, because they can prevent a fertilized egg from developing,

Asked about the initiative, McCollum campaign spokeswoman Shannon Gravitte said that McCollum is firmly "pro-life" but "will not be commenting on hypothetical issues … if this proposal ends up on the ballot voters will certainly know where General McCollum stands."

But history draws a connection between McCollum and the "personhood" initiative, since he co-sponsored similar legislation in Congress in 1988. Then-U.S. Rep. McCollum signed on to California Rep. Bob Dornan's House Joint Resolution 529, which would have assigned to "preborn" persons the protections of the Fifth, Thirteenth and Fourteenth amendments governing rights to due process, citizenship and freedom from slavery.

The resolution defined "personhood" to mean "from the moment of conception and without regard to age, health, or condition of dependency."

Paul Dunn, campaign director for Alex Sink, state Chief Financial Officer and McCollum's Democratic rival in the gubernatorial race, called the 1988 resolution "just one example" of McCollum's Congressional record that is "far outside the mainstream."

Now I understand that quite a few women are pro life and against abortions, but are we really living in a world where you don't want to have the option of taking birth control either? I don't think so. And I don't think that kind of thing will fly in Florida either. Bill McCollum is out of the mainstream and its up to the citizens of Florida to drive that point home to him.

Playa Please

I don't have much to add to what Steve Benen has to say about Chuck Grassley's insane and unserious assertation that all the Gang of Six needed was a couple of more weeks to get broad bipartisan support for the Senate Finance health care reform bill and that, get this, he resents how the White House has treated him.

Oh and Greg Sargent puts his jackassery in terms even a kid could understand.

It can not be repeated enough, THIS is the guy that Max Baucus decided it was worthwhile to negotiate with on health care reform rather than using the full Senate Finance committee.


Saw You Coming From A Mile Away

The wingnuts aided and abetted if not led by FoxNews had become apoplectic about the number of "czars" in the Obama administration. Setting aside the facts that Republican President President Richard Nixon was the first one to come up with the word czar to describe one of his advisor, that George W. Bush had 47 so called "czars", that the people who are called "czars" really have official titles that don't include that word, that the media largely are the ones who describes people as czars instead of their official titles, and that more than a few of the people the right wingers describe as czars have been confirmed by the Senate, other than that they might actually have a point. Of course because the wingnuts are shrieking about this bullshit, the mainstream media feels they have to cover it. Well White House Spokesman, Robert Gibbs, was fully prepared for this line of questioning.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs fired back at GOP critics of White House czars on Wednesday.

Gibbs said GOP “silence was deafening” on the issue of czars during former President George W. Bush's administration.

Republicans didn’t raise the issue, he said, when Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) pushed a Y2K czar or when Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) called for a manufacturing czar.

“You've read Sen. Bennett was pushing for a Y2K czar that he didn't think was powerful enough,” Gibbs said. “You've seen Lamar Alexander call for a manufacturing czar."

He also brought up the name of Randall Tobias, a Bush administration deputy secretary of State and “abstinence czar” who resigned after it was discovered his name was on a prostitution-services call list.

“You know, somebody referred to in the Bush administration as the abstinence czar was on the D.C. Madam's list,” Gibbs said. “Now, did that violate the Constitution, or simply offend our sensibilities?”

Gibby FTW!

(h/t Benen)

The Proper Way Of Whacking A Concern Troll

Spencer Ackerman does the honors on Joe LIEberman's concern trolling over the ballistic missle defense shield.

Truly a thing of beauty!

"Freedom" Isn't Free

I have been pushing the issue most of the summer that Democrats and the left should adopt some of the right's vocabulary tricks to help sell health care reform. In particular in selling the public option I felt like the best way to sell it would be to tell the American people that creating a public option gives them the "freedom" to choose between private insurance or public sector insurance. Its a small thing honestly but effective messaging is often about little things. And the word freedom just resonates with most of America. Alas no one on the left really altered their messaging to incorporate more words like "freedom" which the right wingers have been using for years to push their agenda.

Well evidently I am not the only one frustrated by this lack of aggressiveness and foresight by the Democrats. In today's Wall Street Journal, Thomas Frank calls Democrats and the left out for ceding the word "freedom" to the right wingers in the first place.

There are few things in politics more annoying than the right's utter conviction that it owns the patent on the word "freedom" that when its leaders stand up for the rights of banks to be unregulated or capital gains to be untaxed, that it is actually and obviously standing up for human liberty, the noblest cause of them all.

Equally annoying is the silence of Democratic Party leaders on the subject. They spend their careers hearing this fatuous argument from the other side, but challenging conservatism's claim to freedom seems to be beyond their powers. Or beneath their dignity. Or something.

Today they're paying for that high-mindedness. While Democrats fussed with the details of health-care reforms, conservatives spent months telling the nation that the real issue is freedom, that what's on the line is American liberty itself.

Any increase in the size or duties of government, the right tells us, necessarily subtracts from our freedom. Government is, by its very nature, a destroyer of liberties; the Obama administration, specifically, is promising to interfere with the economy and the health-care system so profoundly that Washington will soon have us all in chains.

"What we're going to end up with is higher taxes, bigger government and less freedom for the American people," House Republican Leader John Boehner said on Fox News in July. "We're going to have a real fight for how much freedom we're going to have left in America."

People working the freedom vein were numerous at the large protest that took place in Washington on Saturday. Sponsors included the Institute for Liberty, Let Freedom Ring, Young Americans for Liberty, the Campaign for Liberty, the Center for Individual Freedom, and BureauCrash a.k.a. "the Freedom Activist Network." FreedomWorks, the grass-roots pressure group, prepared a video for the occasion which encouraged people to believe that the administration's many policy "czars" revealed its kinship to the Russian autocracy of old.

That our ancestors could ever have understood freedom as something greater than the absence of the state would probably strike protesters as inconceivable. But they did. You can see it in that famous Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving painting from 1943: "Freedom from Want," an illustration of one of Franklin Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms." Strange though it might sound, this is a form of freedom that pretty much requires government to get involved in the economy in order to "secure to every nation," as Roosevelt put it, "a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants." The idea is still enshrined today in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

I know we are late in the game here but there still is plenty of time for the left to make some slight adjustment on messaging for health care. I can promise you that if we keep associating the public option over and over with the "freedom to choose" people will start to see it in a different light. Its just a matter of actually going out and doing it, now who is coming with me?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Great And Powerful Cos

I wonder if Bill Cosby posting this on his facebook page will alienate him from all of those conservatives who claimed him as their own awhile back when he denounced President Obama over the Skip Gates incident. I am pretty sure it will.

I agree with President Carter that racism is playing a role in recent outbursts against President Obama. During President Obama’s speech on the status of health care reform, some members of congress engaged in a public display of disrespect. While one Representative hurled the now infamous “you lie” insult at the President, others made their lack of interest known by exhibiting rude behavior such as deliberately yawning and sending text messages.

Health care reform is the most important domestic issue facing America today. Disease does not discriminate. African American, White, Asian, Latino, Republican, Democrat, no one in America is immune. So it seems obvious that a debate on health care reform should not include views born solely of partisanship or bigotry.

Various polls prior to the election indicated that between five and ten percent of Americans would never vote for an African American president. That number, of course, only includes those who actually admitted to their prejudice. How many others harbored such feelings but did not respond honestly when asked the question? And how many people oppose Obama’s plan because the President is African American?

In "Birth of a Nation," D.W. Griffith used white actors in black face to portray black legislators as having low intelligence and acting like fools. Today, we have a band of real life congressional fools seemingly bent on blocking any meaningful reform of the health care system. But if we allow even one American to die simply because he or she cannot afford treatment, we are creating a shameful scenario that could aptly be called “Death of a Nation.”

(h/t Koppleman)