Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Senator Al Franken

His first presser as the junior Senator from Minnesota.

Who Cares?

Vanity Fair has a piece up on Sarah Palin that is, of course, very unflattering. Honestly I couldn't care any less about her. I just hope that they put her up in 2012 so we are ensured 4 more years.

Good Luck On Reconciling With Your Wife

No commentary needed on this one.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford says he "crossed lines" with a handful of women other than his mistress — but never had sex with them.

The governor says he "never crossed the ultimate line" with anyone but Maria Belen Chapur, the Argentine at the center of a scandal that has derailed Sanford's once-promising political career.

During an emotional interview at his Statehouse office with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Sanford said Chapur is his soul mate but he's trying to fall back in love with his wife.

He says that during the other encounters he "let his guard down" with some physical contact but "didn't cross the sex line." He wouldn't go into detail.

Down Goes Coleman, Down Goes Coleman

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Al Franken AND they order that Governor Pawlenty sign the certification.

It’s over (for now, anyway, and possibly for good): The Minnesota Supreme Court has just tossed Norm Coleman’s appeal, ruling that Al Franken is the rightful winner of the Senate race. The decision is here.

The conclusion:

For all of the foregoing reasons, we affirm the decision of the trial court that Al Franken received the highest number of votes legally cast and is entitled under Minn. 32 Stat. § 204C.40 (2008) to receive the certificate of election as United States Senator from the State of Minnesota.

Now lets have no illusions here. Having 60 votes does not in any way insure that the Democrats in the Senate will now grow a back bone. In fact it might lead to even more posturing from the ConservaDems. However the value added that Franken brings is that along with his vote he is bringing his mouth and his spine. He won't be having that buddy buddy system bullshit either with the Republicans or with obstructionists in our own party. And if there was ever someone I felt was going to speak truth to power not only on the floor of the Senate but also on all the cable news shows its Franken. We finally have a bully in the bully pulpit!!!

Lets get it on!

Hell I don't even like this song but for some reason I feel like hearing it now.

Activist Judges

Chuck Todd throws the conservative talking points right back at Joe Scarborough.


Monday, June 29, 2009

In Which He Presumes And Proceeds To Speak For God

Just when you thought Mark Sanford couldn't come off as any more of a self serving prick.

So in the aftermath of this failure I want to not only apologize, but to commit to growing personally and spiritually. Immediately after all this unfolded last week I had thought I would resign - as I believe in the military model of leadership and when trust of any form is broken one lays down the sword. A long list of close friends have suggested otherwise - that for God to really work in my life I shouldn’t be getting off so lightly. While it would be personally easier to exit stage left, their point has been that my larger sin was the sin of pride. They contended that in many instances I may well have held the right position on limited government, spending or taxes - but that if my spirit wasn't right in the presentation of those ideas to people in the General Assembly, or elsewhere, I could elicit the response that I had at many times indeed gotten from other state leaders.

Their belief was that if I walked in with a real spirit of humility then this last legislative term could well be our most productive one - and that outside this term,
I would ultimately be a better person and of more service in whatever doors God opened next in life if I stuck around to learn lessons rather than running and hiding down at the farm.

Isn't it covenient that he never heard from God when he was all too happy to condemn and judge President Clinton?

At this point I hope he DOES stay so that the hypocrisy of the GOP can be exposed for the next year and and half as Democrats hold him up as the standard bearer for the Republican Party all over this country.

And there is going to be a special place in hell reserved for him whenever he leaves this earth.

And That's The Bottom LIne....

...Because Josh at TPM said so!

Ok cheesy ode to Stone Cold Steve Austin out of the way, Josh Marshall of the aforementioned TPM fame, has a post up that really boils it all the way down when it comes to the question of whether health care reforme gets passed this year with a public option in tact...

And that's this: the opposition to a so-called 'public option' comes almost entirely from insurance companies who have developed monopolies or near monopolies in particular geographic areas. And they don't want competition.

Note, I'm not saying more competition. I'm saying any competition at all. As Zack Roth explains in this new piece 94% of the health care insurance market is now under monopoly or near-monopoly conditions -- the official term of art is 'highly concentrated'. In other words, there's no mystery why insurance costs keep going up even as the suck quotient rises precipitously. Because in most areas there's little or no actual competition.

It's something everyone can understand that if you have only one widget maker, widgets will get really expensive, and probably decline in quality. And the widget makers will pour lots of money into Congress or whatever the law-making power is, to keep their monopoly in place because their monopoly ensures locked in profits. It's market theory 101 (or perhaps, rent-seeking 102, depending on your perspective.)

Put even shorter, if there is no public option in the health care reform bill then the monopolistic insurance companies will have won, if it does have a public option then everybody else in the country wins.

Its really that simple.

Peak Wingnut Will Never Come

John Cole made famous the term "Peak Wingnut". It refers to some mythical level of wingnuttery which will be the limit to their wackiness. However every time we think we have met Peak Wingnut, they do something to prove they have more batshit crazy in reserve. Sometimes the kinds of rhetoric the wingnuts engage in is dangerous. But other times its just plain hilarious. Today is such a day for the latter.

That paragon of journalistic integrity, Fox Nation, thought they had discovered an amazing find. They thought they caught on a website an article about Tom Ridge taking on Rush Limbaugh for some of his recent comments and basically daring him to a fist fight. And in order to make sure their "fair and balanced" readers were well informed, they decided to link to said blog post. But there was only one problem. The post was satire.

From ThinkProgress

On his radio show, Limbaugh responded to Ridge, saying, “I must have missed something, because I remember that Colin Powell endorsed the Democrat, Barack Obama, at a strategic point in the campaign in 2008.” The blog, Elective Decisions, which features “the satire of Chris Davis,” then wrote up a post saying that Ridge responded to Rush by challenging him to a fight:

So this morning, Ridge went back on Washington Journal, responding to Limbaugh’s rhetoric. “I’m so sick of Rush Limbaugh. He’s the reason we lose elections. He needs to get the hell out of the Republican Party. As far as I’m concerned, he isn’t a Republican anymore. The man’s running. The man’s hiding. He’s too scared to face me!”

Ridge continued his rant, threatening Limbaugh. “Meanwhile, he sits there in his ‘Southern Command Post,’ and destroys the Republican Party! I’d like to just have three rounds in a boxing ring with that guy so I could shut him up! I’m caling (sic) you out, Limbaugh. Let’s see if you have a big enough set of marbles to back up your crap!”

Though the “Elective Decisions” blog is clearly marked as “satire,” the Fox Nation linked to the post and promoted it as if it were based on reported facts:

Now I was gonna post some of the more than 100 wingnut comments at FoxNation from idiots totally buying the story but it took me a little too long to format this post and they have now taken it down. Bummers...

Ricci Ruling

In a 5-4 decision the Supreme Court decided for the plaintiffs with the conservative wing all voting for the plaintiffs and the 4 more liberal justices all dissenting.

I am far from being a legal scholar but I will say that this doesn't seem like it will be the "ammunition" that conservatives were hoping for to use against Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

Also I admit my unfamiliarity with these things but I was struck that in addition to Justice Antonin Scalia writing the majority opinion, you had several "concurences" written by other conservative justices as if they all needed to help out and speak out to justify the decision. Now again maybe that's normal, I don't know.

What was most odd to me was that Justice Alito's concurrence seemed like nothing more than an attack on the dissent rather than illuminating anything having to do with the merits of the case. And it wasn't very compelling reading or reasoning either, at least for this layman.

The other thing that struck me was how strong Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg's dissent was. She raised issues about the case that had not been discussed at all in our drive by media. I guess the most compelling argument was this one.

As a result of today’s decision, an employer who discards a dubious selection process can anticipate costly disparate treatment litigation in which its chances for success—even for surviving a summary-judgment motion—are highly problematic. Concern about exposure to disparate-impact liability, however well grounded, is insufficient to insulate an employer from attack. Instead, the employer must make a “strong” showing that (1) its selection method was“not job related and consistent with business necessity,” or (2) that it refused to adopt “an equally valid, less discriminatory alternative.” Ante, at 28. It is hard to see how these requirements differ from demanding that an employer establish “a provable, actual violation” against itself. Cf. ante, at 24. There is indeed a sharp conflict here, but it is not the false one the Court describes between Title VII’s core provisions. It is, instead, the discordance of the Court’s opinion with the voluntary compliance ideal. Cf. Wygant, 476 U. S., at 290 (O’Connor, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment) (“The imposition of a requirement that public employers make findings that they have engaged in illegal discrimination before they [act] would severely undermine public employers’ incentive to meet voluntarily their civil rights obligations.”).

(I apologize for formatting but pdf and I are not friends)

I have to say that this argument is a strong one to suggest that this was not the correct ruling on this issue and implies that as Justice Ginsberg stated it probably should have instead been remanded to a lower court for further clarification. Truly any business or municipality now finds itself between the proverbial rock and a hard place. If they use a hiring or promotion practice that convincingly statistically shows a racial bias they question is do they be proactive in order to try to be Title IX compliant and risk another expensive Ricci type case? Or do they keep the status quo and not only potentially allow discrimination to go on but also open themselves up to a similarly expensive lawsuit from minority employees or prospective employees who feel they have been discriminated against?

It seems this ruling offers more questions than answers.

But all in all its good news for John McCain!

Only Rapper To Rewrite History Without A Pen

Official video for Jay Z's DOA (Death of Autotune)

A multimillionaire but still the hardest in the game.

This is definitely Attackerman bait

Almost Admirable: Game Over

You already know where I stand on the Mark Sanford sex scandal and you already know where I stand on those who would so easily try to forgive him because he appeared to "come clean" of his own accord. It was already apparent before now that such a notion was pure fantasy, but now this comprehensive story in The State put the final nail in his political coffin.

Shortly after 5 a.m. Wednesday, Smith went to the airport. Shortly after 6 a.m., she met a surprised Sanford. Smith was the only media member there.

Sanford said he had just arrived from Argentina. He also said he had not been on the Appalachian Trail.

When asked who he had been with in Argentina, the governor cut off the interview.

By 7:30 a.m., thestate.com had broken the news that Sanford had not been on the Appalachian Trail, but in Argentina.

In their morning meeting, State editors decided to immediately inform the governor and his inner circle about the e-mails. .

A reporter called a Sanford staffer, saying the paper had e-mails that outlined an affair between the governor and Maria. Unless Sanford would address the issue privately, The State would have no choice but to ask him — with TV crews filming — if he knew Maria at his press conference that afternoon.

The names of two other women tumbled into the newsroom.

Fearful Sanford’s staffers did not get it — that the paper would ask publicly what Sanford’s relationship was with Maria — a State editor called Davis, Sanford’s former chief of staff.

Davis, a Beaufort lawyer, recently had been elected to the state Senate. When called, he quickly said he no longer worked for Sanford.

The editor said he knew that but wanted to talk with Davis. Sanford had landed from Argentina, and the paper had e-mails about an affair with a woman in Argentina.

The editor told Davis why he thought the e-mails were genuine. They mentioned Coosaw, the Sanford plantation, and Sanford’s love of digging holes; they quoted Bible verses and contained details about Sanford’s known schedule.

And more names of women were coming in over the transom. The total was at three and counting.

“Women?!” Davis responded, sounding incredulous. “Women?!”

The editor repeated that the paper would ask Sanford publicly about Maria with TV cameras running. Jenny Sanford and the couple’s four sons should be spared that image, and it was up to Davis to ensure Sanford’s staffers “got it.”

Davis, who said he was in Beaufort, promised to call Sanford’s staff and call back.

When he called back, Davis said he was driving to Columbia.

Now actually there are some ethical questions you have to ask about "The State" too here. Why were they so intent on giving the Governor a heads up? Why did they go out of their way to make sure Sanford's staff "got it". And even if you buy that they were trying to protect his wife and kids, once the cat was out of the bag, why didn't they ask any questions about the other 3 names that had come into the news room?

Regardless I think its apparent now that Sanford was doing anything noble. He was just taking advantage of the opportunity to come clean that The State granted him when they gave him his "heads up".

Sunday, June 28, 2009

David Ignatius Gets It

Very good segment on the "Chris Matthews Show" with David Ignatius explaining the justification for a public option in healthcare reform. I bet Tweety will now come off a lot more informed as well on the subject.

Village VS The Blogosphere

Nico Pitney and Dana Milbank squared off today on David Kurtz's "Reliable Sources" show on CNN.

Notice as I mentioned last week, Dana Milbank still won't actually tell the audience what the question was because he knew that it would undermine his whole argument. And it looked like he wanted to gag when he had to admit that it was in fact a legitimate question. I can't say for sure that the audience would say Pitney got the better of the exchange because Milbank did what Villagers are most famous for, as soon as someone calls them out they point to another shiny object in the room. It went from being about the question and the process by which it came to be asked, to Milbank taking issue with what someone else on HuffPo which literally publishes hundreds if not thousands of columns every day, said to criticize him. And then he comes with a bullshit false equivalence hypothetical question. So maybe people at home watching thought it was a draw but for people who really are into politics and political writing I think Milbank just got exposed as a jealous hypcrite. At least from where I am sitting.

(h/t John Cole.

Update: Milbank made my point for me better than I ever could.

Per Nico Pitney:

The only thing that surprised me was when Dana turned to me after our initial sparring and called me a "dick" in a whispered tone (the specific phrase was, I believe, "You're such a dick").

They're Scared

Its apparent to me after reading this Washington Post article about liberal and progressive groups targetting ConservaDems over a public option in healthcare reform that the Democratic obstructionists are very very afraid. Why else do you have so many people trying to diminish what folks like Change Congress are doing? If it wasn't having an effect I imagine the response would be "no comment". But by trying to make the claim that they are wasting money its a classic tell for anyone paying attention. So with the aid of a Washington Post cohort people like Senator Feinstein launches attacks on these organiziations.

Funny DiFi if it "didn't move you even a wit" why did you come out and clarify your remarks against the public option a week ago?

Now is the time to push the pressure up even further and continue to support the people on the frontlines trying to push this through with full Democratic support.

There is no health care reform without a public option. Its really that simple.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lush Monkeys

This is hilarious...

Well Played Sir!

It has been exceedingly irritating to watch people who make fun of Sarah Palin end up apologizing to her after she throws a snit fit. I was really hoping that Dave Letterman was going to tell her to get bent and take her faux outrage and shove it where the sun don't shine.

Sadly some how some way Letterman was forced to apologize....twice no less.

So I was very interested to see how the latest bullshit bruhaha would go after Senator John Kerry said last week that he wished it had been Sarah Palin that went missing rather than Mark Sanford.

And predictibly Palin's The Petty did not dissappoint.

Obviously that meant a moment of truth. Would Senator Kerry stand his ground or would he end up grovellig like all the rest?

I will show you better than I can tell you:

Kerry's spokeswoman now tells The Sleuth the senator really didn't mean what he said, though his clarification would hardly qualify as an apology.

"We stand corrected, the truth is every Democrat hopes Governor Palin is in the public eye for a long, long time, especially on the 2012 presidential ballot," Kerry spokeswoman Jodi Seth says. "Lately it's been Vice President Cheney that everyone hopes would lose the cameras and go for a long leisurely hike on the Appalachian Trail. And good grief, if anyone thinks John Kerry is afraid of strong, smart women, they sure haven't met his brilliant wife and two independent daughters. It sounds like getting crushed these last two election cycles cost some of these Republicans their sense of humor."

That did my heart some good by God!

"Almost Admirable" Revisited

I know a lot of Villagers, not surprisingly most of them men, are trying their best to excuse South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford for sleeping around on his wife simply because he admitted to it in a press conference. A press conference he HAD to have after he went AWOL for almost a week and an enterprising journalist on a haunch caught him flying back into town from Argentina. You know from my earlier post that I am not buying that particular line of bullshit at all. And now I want all of those "forgiving" MSM types to read this tidbit from a New York Times article on Sanford's wife, Jenny.

Through a spokeswoman, Mrs. Sanford declined requests to be interviewed for this article, but told The Associated Press she learned of her husband’s affair early this year when she found a letter he had written. She told him to end the relationship, but he repeatedly asked permission to visit the woman in Argentina in the months that followed.

“I said absolutely not,” Mrs. Sanford told The A.P. “It’s one thing to forgive adultery. It’s another to condone it.”

Then, last week, when the governor told her he needed time alone to write, she had specifically warned him not to see his mistress. She said she was devastated when he went to meet her in Argentina.

In my earlier blog post I asked these journalists to imagine if it was their wife who did the cheating. But now I would ask them to imagine it was their daughter who was married to Mark Sanford. And after she specifically asked him not to see his mistress while he "needed time alone" he not only went, but planned to be there for 10 days initially and couldn't even find 2 minutes to call his sons for Father's Day.

What he did was disgusting and the people trying to pooh pooh it are just as disgusting in my opinion.

Update: I personally don't think that anybody who watches "Morning Joe" for more than five minutes takes anything Mike Brzezinski says seriously. However on the off chance that a few people do MediaMatters absolutely ANNIHILATES her false equivalency and erroneous contrast between how Republicans and Democrats are treated when they engage in sex scandals.

I swear, she must have been adopted.

Rudy Poot Candy Ass Congressman Rodriguez

Talk about living down to the reputation of Democrats as cowards.

After all the arms had been twisted, only two four Democrats gave their leadership an unpleasant surprise at the end of the climate change vote -- and are firmly in Pelosi-Obama doghouse:

Texas Rep. Ciro Rodriguez and Rep. Alcee Hastings from Florida, according to House sources.

UPDATE: House leadership sources add two more who reportedly said "yes" and voted "no" -- Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.) and Solomon Ortiz (D-Tx.)

Rodriguez had told leadership that he was a likely yes -- but then cast a quick "no" vote and practically sprinted from the chamber, frustrating floor managers whose shouts of "Rodriguez!" rang through the House as the final anxious votes were cast.

At one point, New York Rep. Anthony Weiner bounced from a huddle of leadership members and began calling the rep's name, like a wayward toddler, as he scanned the Speaker's lobby and the adjacent balcony.

"He cast his no and then ran the hell out of there," said a member of the whipping team, still steaming after the vote. "We tried him at his office and they said he was gone."

Seriously, Cicero did you think hauling ass and hiding out is going to help you win reelection? Is that the kind of Representative you think your constituents want? Hell I am not really that pressed about the no vote, but at least be a man and stand up for your vote.

When he goes to pick up his check for being a member of Congress he ought to wear a mask, because he is stealing right now.

I also watched the vote live on CSPAN and right up until the last moment there were 220 votes to pass the bill. Then right as voting was about to close and after it was apparent the bill would pass, another courage challenged Democrat changed their yea vote to a nay vote.

I would just LOVE to know who that coward was.

I realize that there are a lot more seats in the House but damn, is that REALLY who we want as Democrats these days?!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Make You Sweat

I am a HUGE fan of Congressman Elijah Cummings as most of you know. The way he questions witnesses in Congressional hearings is just a thing of beauty to me.

Dig him going at Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. I saw quite a few other Congress people question him but none of them seemed to pull it all together the way Cummings did.

I just wish he had a little more time. I am going to try to see if there is video of his second round of questioning. I have a feeling that it was worth the price of admission.

Cap And Trade Climate Change Bill...

...just passed the House.

So for all you wingnut Republican Congressman who applaud climate change deniers,


The End

Well not really, literally the end, but the end of Dan Froomkin's time with the Washington Post.

His last column:

Today's column is my last for The Washington Post. And the first thing I want to say is thank you. Thank you to all you readers, e-mailers, commenters, questioners, Facebook friends and Twitterers for spending your time with me and engaging with me over the years. And thank you for the recent outpouring of support. It was extraordinarily uplifting, and I'm deeply grateful. If I ever had any doubt, your words have further inspired me to continue doing accountability journalism. My plan is to take a few weeks off before embarking upon my next endeavor -- but when I do, I hope you'll join me.

It's hard to summarize the past five and a half years. But I'll try.

I started my column in January 2004, and one dominant theme quickly emerged: That George W. Bush was truly the proverbial emperor with no clothes. In the days and weeks after the 9/11 terror attacks, the nation, including the media, vested him with abilities he didn't have and credibility he didn't deserve. As it happens, it was on the day of my
very first column that we also got the first insider look at the Bush White House, via Ron Suskind's book, The Price of Loyalty. In it, former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill described a disengaged president "like a blind man in a room full of deaf people", encircled by "a Praetorian guard,” intently looking for a way to overthrow Saddam Hussein long before 9/11. The ensuing five years and 1,088 columns really just fleshed out that portrait, describing a president who was oblivious, embubbled and untrustworthy.

When I look back on the Bush years, I think of the lies. There were so many.
Lies about the war and lies to cover up the lies about the war. Lies about torture and surveillance. Lies about Valerie Plame. Vice President Dick Cheney's lies, criminally prosecutable but for his chief of staff Scooter Libby's lies. I also think about the extraordinary and fundamentally cancerous expansion of executive power that led to violations of our laws and our principles.
And while this wasn't as readily apparent until President Obama took office, it's now very clear that the Bush years were all about kicking the can down the road – either ignoring problems or, even worse, creating them and not solving them. This was true of a huge range of issues including the economy, energy, health care, global warming – and of course Iraq and Afghanistan.

How did the media cover it all? Not well. Reading pretty much everything that was written about Bush on a daily basis, as I did, one could certainly see the major themes emerging. But by and large, mainstream-media journalism missed the real Bush story for way too long. The handful of people who did exceptional investigative reporting during this era really deserve our gratitude: People such as
Ron Suskind, Seymour Hersh, Jane Mayer, Murray Waas, Michael Massing, Mark Danner, Barton Gellman and Jo Becker, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau (better late than never), Dana Priest, Walter Pincus, Charlie Savage and Philippe Sands; there was also some fine investigative blogging over at Talking Points Memo and by Marcy Wheeler. Notably not on this list: The likes of Bob Woodward and Tim Russert. Hopefully, the next time the nation faces a grave national security crisis, we will listen to the people who were right, not the people who were wrong, and heed those who reported the truth, not those who served as stenographers to liars.

It's also worth keeping in mind that there is so very much about the Bush era that we
still don't know.

Now, a little over five months after Bush left office, Barack Obama's presidency is shaping up to be in large part about
coming to terms with the Bush era, and fixing all the things that were broken. In most cases, Obama is approaching this task enthusiastically – although in some cases, he is doing so only under great pressure, and in a few cases, not at all . I think part of Obama's abiding popularity with the public stems from what a contrast he is from his predecessor -- and in particular his willingness to take on problems. But he certainly has a lot of balls in the air at one time. And I predict that his growing penchant for secrecy – especially but not only when it comes to the Bush legacy of torture and lawbreaking – will end up serving him poorly, unless he renounces it soon.

Obama is nowhere in Bush's league when it comes to issues of credibility, but his every action nevertheless needs to be carefully scrutinized by the media, and he must be held accountable. We should be holding him to the highest standards – and there are plenty of places where we should be pushing back. Just for starters, there are a lot of hugely important but unanswered questions about his
Afghanistan policy, his financial rescue plans, and his turnaround on transparency.

So classy.

The Washington Post didn't deserve him...

What's Good For The Goose...

I'm one of those who believe that politics is a full contact sport and that Democrats, historically, have not been willing at times play the game in a way maximizes their advantage. Now there are some things that Republicans do, like just making up shit, or trying to play on people's paranoia that I would never want a party I was associated with doing. However on other matters, like questioning members of the opposing party's patriotism, I feel like whatever they do we should be doing better. Recently I took issue with a post that Time's Joe Klein put up at Swampland about some of the ridiculous attacks that John McCain has launced against President Obama. The truth is I agreed with just about everything Klein said in the post (something that is surprisingly happening a lot more often these days) except for one specific part.

He wrote:

To put it as simply as possible, McCain--and his cohorts--are trying to score political points against the President in the midst of an international crisis. It is the sort of behavior that Republicans routinely call "unpatriotic" when Democrats are doing it. I would never question John McCain's patriotism, no matter how misguided his sense of the country's best interests sometimes seems. His behavior has nothing to do with love of country; it has everything to do with love of self.

To which I retorted:

I want to make a few observations.

1. If you realize that Republican pull the unpatriotic smear out of their back pocket at the drop of a dime then I hope that means the next time you hear it from there whether its a week, month year or decade from now you will LOUDLY call bullsh*t.

2. What does it mean when a Senator acts out of love of self rather than love of country. To me it sounds like you just called McCain out for acting unpatriotically but just didn't want to say the word. And I have a problem with that.

See the problem that I have with it is that he really IS acting unpatriotically. He is ONLY trying to score political points and you yourself acknowledge that. But you try to set up this false equivalence of how Republicans treated Dems who spoke truth to power and what McCain is doing now. See the Dems who were smeared by Republicans for questioning Bush before we went to war in Iraq and who denounced the torture we were doing in GITMO and who spoke out against wireless wiretapping really WERE speaking out in the country's best interest. And they WERE speaking truth to power. And yet the media time and again allowed the Republicans to tar and feather them with the "unpatriotic" smear when what they were doing was the most patriotic thing possible.

On the other hand McCain and his cohorts know good and damn well that all of the things they are attacking Pres Obama is bullsh*t. Thats why when the few responsible journalists out there ask them what they want Pres Obama to say instead McCain nor the rest of them can't give a good response. And again I am preaching to the choir here because you have already acknowledged its all politics with them.

So why can't you call it what it is Joe? Why can't you bring yourself to say he is acting unpatriotically when you know that to be the case? I guess yet again IOKIYAR.

Well its one thing for Villagers to stick their heads in the sand and refuse to use attacks on the GOP that the GOP has no problem with using on Democrats on a regular basis, but its something altogether different in my eyes for Democrats to refuse to do it as well. If you want to take the moral high ground I would suggest you go find a monestary. But in the political world, serious changes that we need to have enacted in this country will be decided many times by which side wins in the court of public opinion. And every once in awhile that means we are going to have to get down and dirty with Republicans in the same fashion they have hit us below the belt in the past.

Well now we hear from Steve Benen that the DCCC at least has decided to go there.

Last week, of course, the situation was reversed, and it was House Republicans "voting against funding our troops." This week, the DCCC is unveiling a series of 60-second radio ads targeting seven vulnerable GOP incumbents on their votes. This one, for example, goes after Rep. Lee Terry (R) of Nebraska.

"Around here, we recognize Independence Day with parades ... and picnics ... maybe a few fireworks.

"But July Fourth is about more than that. It's about remembering those who fought for our freedoms. And those still fighting today.

"Congressman Lee Terry used to understand that. When George Bush asked, Congressman Terry voted to fully fund our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, last year he said, quote, 'We must give our military every resource it needs.'

"Seems like Congressman Terry is playing politics now. Last month Congressman Terry voted AGAINST funding for those same troops. It's true: vote number 348 -- you can look it up."

The tone of Benen's post comes off, at least to me, as somewhat apologetic. Honestly that ad does my heart good. I don't think there is a damn thing to apologize for when we start turning the tables on Republicans for the slimy shit they pulled on us for the last 8 years. If you ask me we need MORE of those kinds of ads and then we will get public opinion moving more in the direction we would like.

Every single time a Republican speaks out against closing GITMO I would put out an ad saying that they are smearing prison guards who do a thankless job for not a lot of pay every day by making it seem as if they can't handle these terrorists.

Every single time a Republican speaks out against gay marriage as being a threat to traditional marriage I would compare what they are doing to Jim Crow laws. And I would infer that if we say they can't marry today, will we say they can't vote tomorrow?

Seriously, its time to take the gloves off and go after these scoundrels.

Say what you want about the Karl Rove tactics, but in the end you have to admit they were effective.

Jello Jay Quote Of The Day

Say what you will about Senator Jay Rockefeller's role in helping to authorize or conceal some of the worst abuses to the constituation during the Bush administration years when it came to national security, the guy definitely seems to "get it" when it comes to the fight for health care reform currently underway.

"I think the anger against insurance companies is going to spread," Rockefeller said Thursday. "But a public plan, run by the government, will make sure doctors get paid, hospitals get paid and people get good health care.

"Today, an extra 15 percent, 20 percent or 25 percent [of health-care costs] goes to pay private insurance companies. In a public plan, you just pay for what you get. There are no marketers, no people shuffling paper, no one making television ads."

On Thursday, Rockefeller admitted he expects little bipartisan support.

"There is a very small chance any Republicans will vote for this health-care plan. They were against Medicare and Medicaid [created in the 1960s]. They voted against children's health insurance.

"We have a moral choice. This is a classic case of the good guys versus the bad guys. I know it is not political for me to say that," Rockefeller added.

"But do you want to be non-partisan and get nothing? Or do you want to be partisan and end up with a good health- care plan? That is the choice."

This is one of those moments where we need to print this out and pass it around to every single Democrat in Congress. There need not be any illusions that there is anything they can do to garner bipartisan support for true health care reform. The Republicans will never allow it to happen under Democratic rule if they have anything to say about it. Its time for the "good guys" to wake up to that reality and get er done on their own!

(h/t TPM)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Some Nobody

I would venture to say that 99% of Americans don't have a clue who Michael Savage is. But evidently he has carved out some kind of niche right wing hate audience on the radio. And because MediaMatters has been documenting his hate speech evidently he decided to threaten them, kinda standard fare for right wing extremists these days. Well evidently MediaMatters isn't intimidated at all.

MediaMatters does great work and I am very happy to see that they won't allow anyone to use fear tactics on them.

This Is Getting Old

Does anybody take either of these two idiots seriously any more?

Dumbass is too nice a term for them.

On A Lighter Note

I actually meant to post this earlier but got caught up with the Michael Jackson story.

We can all use a few laughs right now.

"A conservative mind, with a liberal penis" Jon Stewart.

Governor Mark Sanford's Affair
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran


"'Its long but it bends towards justice' Thats what Mark Sanford said!" Jon Stewart

Hard Corps
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

In Tribute

RIP Mike

Happens in 3s

After losing Ed McMahon earlier this week and Farrah Fawcett earlier today, TMZ is reporting Michael Jackson has passed today. Details soon....


Coming Around

I am definitely not saying that this makes everything right and that now liberals and progressives should line up behind him, but this is encouraging news.

Speaking moments ago to a large and animated crowd of union organizers and health reform advocates in a brewing house just North of the Capitol, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) said he supports a public insurance option.

"Schumer has it right about having a public component," Specter said.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has taken a lead role on negotiations over the public option in the Senate Finance Committee, and earlier this year proposed a compromise: the committee's health care bill should include a public plan, he said, but one that competes on a level playing field with other insurers. Such an entity wouldn't be able to use its sheer size to set prices the way Medicare does--but it could nonetheless incur savings in a host of other ways, and in so doing drive down the cost of health insurance in the private market.

Perhaps more importantly, though, the Schumer proposal is in line with the principles of the major reform campaign Health Care for America Now--and, as such, just about every major health care and labor organization in the country.

I don't know if this is in response to Congressman Joe Sestak's rumblings about challenging him in the primaries but its good to see Specter tacking to the left no matter what the reason.

Now if we could just put some heat on Landrieu, Conrad, and Nelson!

Almost Admirable?!

Really Joe Klein?

The Mark Sanford case is a bit different from the others, and almost admirable. Not for him the usual "I made a mistake" dodge, not for him the exploitation of a staffer or a child. This is a guy who clearly fell in love, and seems unable to hide it very well.

Riddle me this Joe. If YOUR wife was carrying on a sexual relationship for over a year and you found out about it and then SHE flew to Argentina so she could get it in with "Rico" one last time on Mother's Day weekend and didn't tell you nor anybody else. And if she ended up having to stand in front of cameras and tell the world that she cheated on you for over a year.....would you find THAT "almost admirable"?

What a load of bullshit is being shoved down our throats. The same Village idiots who wanted President Clinton strung up and beaten because he got head a couple of times are now oh so forgiving and understanding of Governor Sanford because he was "in love".

Yeah well tell that shit to the wife he committed himself to for life.

Tell that to the kids he couldn't even find the time to call on Father's Day while he was with his mistress.

We are talking about a guy who was most recently seen trying to deny his state badly needed stimulus funds. We are talking about a guy who was as holier than thou as you can get when he was voting for President Clinton to be impeached. We are talking about a guy who has spoken out against empathy in recent weeks.

The victims in this story are Jenny Sanford and her kids, not the bastard who ruined their lives.

I won't even get into the Bill Clinton analogies but its absolutely fucking AMAZING that Republicans can totally fuck over their wives and kids and the Villagers NEVER hold it against them. From Newt to Rush to Ensign to Vitter to now Sanford, you damn near have to pull teeth to get MSM types to mention their past transgressions. Hell every single time, and I mean EVERY SINGLE TIME, Joe Klein mentions Newt Gingrich he makes it a point to say he is smart/briliant/very intelligent. But does he ever mention he is a sorry son of a bitch who cheated on every wife he has ever had and brought divorce papers to his first wife while she was in the hospital battling cancer?!


Give me a break. Mark Sanford is a dick who doesn't believe in empathy, so I am sure as shit not going to spare any of mine for him.

Conspicuously Absent

As shitty a job as our mainstream media is doing at actually bringing us the news, its amazing the sense of entitlement and territorialism they still harbor towards anyone who they see as below them.

Such is the case with the media's faux poutrage over President Obama calling on Huffington Post blogger Nico Pitney at Tuesday's presser. Nevermind that President Obama did nothing to hide the fact of WHY he was calling on Pitney.

THE PRESIDENT: Nico, I know that you, and all across the Internet, we've been seeing a lot of reports coming directly out of Iran. I know that there may actually be questions from people in Iran who are communicating through the Internet. Do you have a question?

You can't get much more transparent than that.

Yet and still the masters of the universe, in their own minds at least, were mortally offended that President Obama would dare pick a lowly blogger (who just so happened to have been changing the game with his coverage of the situation/revolution in Iran with new media) rather one of the their annointed bretheren. So they decide to make it into some kind of a faux outrage full of false equivalences. They want to make this situations some how akin to President George W. Bush's ACTUAL long term White House Press Core plant "Jeff Gannon"

James Dale Guckert (born 1957) posed as a conservative columnist under the pseudonym Jeff Gannon and was given credentials as a White House reporter between 2003 and 2005, eventually being employed by the news organization Talon News during the latter part of this period. Gannon first gained national attention during a presidential press conference on January 26, 2005, when he asked United States President George W. Bush a question that some in the press corps considered "so friendly it might have been planted."[1] Gannon routinely obtained daily passes to White House briefings, attending four Bush press conferences and appearing regularly at White House press briefings. Although he did not qualify for a Congressional press pass, Gannon was given daily passes to White House press briefings "after supplying his real name, date of birth and Social Security number."[2] Gannon came under public scrutiny for his lack of a journalistic background prior to his work with Talon[3][4] and his involvement with various homosexual escort service websites using the professional name "Bulldog". Gannon resigned from Talon News on February 8, 2005. Continuing to use the name Gannon, he has since created his own official homepage and worked for a time as a columnist for the Washington Blade newspaper, where he confirmed he was gay after he was outed as a homosexual prostitute.[5]

Now so far I have seen at least 3 columns in major MSM newspapers framing this situations as some kind of scandal or bad idea for the White House. I won't excerpt from them but you can read CBS's Mark Knoller's offering here, The Washington Post's Dana Millbank's offering here, and the New York Times' Kate Phillips offering here. They have two things in common.

1. They all come off look like whiny little bitches.

2. They do not include the text of the question which is the subject of the columns.

How in the hell can you try to call out the President for having a "media plant" asking him a question without including the actual question? Isn't that, like, a major part of the story? And are we supposed to believe its a coincidence that none of these three columns included the text of the question?

Sorry, not buying it.

Lets look at the question itself.

Q: Yes, I did, I wanted to use this opportunity to ask you a question directly from an Iranian. We solicited questions last night from people who are still courageous enough to be communicating online, and one of them wanted to ask you this: Under which conditions would you accept the election of Ahmadinejad? And if you do accept it without any significant changes in the conditions there, isn't that a betrayal of what the demonstrators there are working towards?

Now that my friends is what you call the OPPOSITE of a softball question. Add in the fact that it was a question offered from an Iranian suffering through the government's crackdown in Iran and you would have to say it was at least one of, if not THE, most important question of the presser. Yet the mainstream media prima donas don't even think the question was worth referring to.

One has to wonder why.

Is it because they know that if a reader were to actually see the question and realize that it wasn't a softball and that it was legitimate that they would quickly lose interest in these assholes' hurt feelings?

I know my answer to the question, you are welcome to weigh in with your own.

Here is how Mark Knoller responded to my queries about it on Twitter.

his question wasn't the story. the WH arrangements for him to ask his question was the story.

Now what did those arrangements consist of? Did they fly him cross country? Did they give him an alias and a cover story as Bush did with gay male prostitute/media plant James Guckert/Jeff Gannon?

Nope. They just called him and said they "might" call on him for a question.

The sad thing is I normally enjoy Knoller's work. But this is what we call where I am from, a bitch move.

And no matter how they try to make it into something else it all comes down to Pitney getting an opportunity that they didn't get. Shame on President Obama for recognizing a person who was doing the job of reporting on Iran better than the rest of the establishment bums.

Nah, shame on the haters for giving up their journalistic integrity to lash out at the White House because they feel "disrespected".

If you don't like it I have a solution for you.


That is all.

The Last Airbender

My kids are going to LOVE this movie.

If you don't know who Ang is, you betta ask somebody!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Congressman Moran Speaking Truth To Power!

Can we get more of this please!

Time for Democrats to get back to being Democrats!

Infidelity Is a Feature, Not a Bug, With The GOP

Vitter, Ensign, now Sanford....Family values huh?

And one more thing, I have a lot of sympathy for Governor Sanford's wife and kids but I have none for him. He is an asshole and a hypocrite and this wasn't a situation where somebody just leaked information on him or something. This son of a bitch took his happy ass to Argentina for damn near a week and didn't even show his kids the respect of a frikking phone call on Father's Day.

Screw that selfish prick.

"Are We Gonna Get It Done Or Are We Going To Pussy Foot?"

Again Chris Matthews turns in a masterful performance today on Morning Joe. What he did to Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski was just the epitome of Awesome Sauce! And he makes the point I have been making about Joe Scarborough and all of the rest of the undercover wingnuts. They want to come up with what sounds like a reasonable opposition to healthcare reform just to obscure the fact that they are really against it and don't want it to pass. That's what it boils down to. If you really want healthcare reform you don't go looking for problems that will stop you from getting it done. Its all a game that they hope to rope people into so that they can turn them against reform by fear mongering over something like the deficit or "Washington beauracrats". Its the same flavor of crazy but with a little more sugar. And I damn near stood up cheering when Tweety called them out for it.

And when he calls Stolkholm Mika out for pussyfooting that was the BEST!!! lol.

We can't afford to allow these people to play these types of games anymore. Its time to put them on the spot and make them justify their opposition and or expose them for the frauds that they are. Looks like Tweety might just be the one out their leading the pack on this issue.

Not To Beat A Dead Horse

I just couldn't resist posting this interview with South Carolina Republican State Senator Jake Knotts on MSNBC about Mark Sanford's dissappearance. The guy has this thick southern good ole boy accent that just reminds me of that old show "In The Heat Of The Night". And he doesn't pull any punches on Gov Sanford over his dissappearance.

Sanford presser scheduled for 2pm for all those interested.

Will The Stenographers Learn?

For the last two days the mainstream media has made fools of itselves with their coverage of Governor Mark Sanford's dissappearance. No matter how much the facts didn't add up the media repeatedly just acted as stenographers for Sanford's aides. When they said they knew exactly where Sanford was, the media repeated it as fact. When they said he was hiking in the Appalachian trails even though several other contradictory statements had already been made about his whereabouts, the media repeated it as fact. When they said they heard from him yesterday and he was indeed hiking, the media repeated it as fact.

So imagine the MSM surprise when he showed up in an airport today supposedly coming back from an almost weeklong trip to Argentina.

Now you would think after having acted as stenographers with out even a hint of curiosity or skepticism with the story Sanford's aides were feeding them, the media would now act a little more cautiously and show a healthy bit of skepticism over whether he was even in Argentina as he said.

And you would be wrong.

Seriously, these people will never learn.

Shorter RNC: "We Need The Fairness Doctrine!"

I can't take credit for the framing, that honor goes to commenter flounder on Greg Sargent's blog. However all of the bellyaching from the RNC and Congressional Republicans over ABC News' decision to air a health care special with President Obama, smacks of calls for the fairness doctrine don't you think? I mean their main complaint is that "both sides" aren't being heard correct?

Who knew that the GOP were socialist lefties?!

And kudos to ABCNews for clapping back at the RNC.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Illest

I have mentioned before that the reason why I ever started up my own blog was because while hanging over at Ta Nehisi Coates' spot he pretty much challenged all of the regular commenters to branch out and do our own thing and let our voices be heard. Considering how much fun I had leaving comments there and other places around the net I eventually took up that challenge. But I still make sure to go by and check out his offerings everyday whether I offer an opinion in comments or not. The reason being is the dude is a dope ass writer in every sense of the word. And he writes in a voice that speaks to me . No matter how much I put into this blog I am pretty sure I could never reach the kind of status he enjoys because the boy has some God given talent that you just don't come by every day.

Having said that this particular post still blew me away. Not just on the knowledge dropped but in how he put it in almost a poetic commentary. 100% Awesome sauce. When I run up on something this major I don't usually excerpt it and I won't this time because it deserves the full read. So go check out "In Every Black Man's Eyes--Death To The Rebel", you will be glad you did!

I'M the President, Bitches!

It was great to hear President Obama clap back on the right wing stooges which now inhabit the White House press core at today's press conference. It was particularly satisfying to hear him absolutely destroy some of the meme's put out there by Republicans in Congress who are opposing his agenda. All in all I thought he brought it today and got the messaging back.

Some highlights from the New York Times transcript:

First here is an exchange between the President and Niko Pitney of HuffPo whom has been doing a grat job basically live blogging the Iranian revolution and who set of a bunch of faux outrage by Villagers and right wingers because he was given a question:

Since we're on Iran, I know Niko Pitney (ph) is here from the Huffington Post.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.

MR. OBAMA: Niko (ph), I know that you and all across the Internet, we've been seeing a lot of reports coming directly out of Iran. I know that there may actually be questions from people in Iran who are communicating through the Internet. Do you have a question?

QUESTION: Yes, I did, but I wanted to use this opportunity to ask you a question directly from an Iranian. We solicited questions on tonight from people who are still courageous enough to be communicating online. And one of them wanted to ask you this: Under which conditions would you accept the election of Ahmadinejad? And if you do accept it without any significant changes in the conditions there, isn't that a betrayal of -- of what the demonstrators there are working to achieve?

MR. OBAMA: Well, look, we didn't have international observers on the ground. We can't say definitively what exactly happened at polling places throughout the country.

What we know is that a sizable percentage of the Iranian people themselves, spanning Iranian society, consider this election illegitimate. It's not an isolated instance, a little grumbling here or there. There is significant questions about the legitimacy of the election.

And so, ultimately, the most important thing for the Iranian government to consider is legitimacy in the eyes of its own people, not in the eyes of the United States.

And that's why I've been very clear, ultimately, this is up to the Iranian people to decide who their leadership is going to be and the structure of their government.

What we can do is to say, unequivocally, that there are sets of international norms and principles about violence, about dealing with the peaceful dissent, that -- that spans cultures, spans borders.

And what we've been seeing over the Internet and what we've been seeing in news reports violates those norms and violates those principles.

I think it is not too late for the Iranian government to recognize that -- that there is a peaceful path that will lead to stability and legitimacy and prosperity for the Iranian people. We hope they take it.

Next up we have Major Garrett channelling his inner asshole and trying to make news whom instead comes away looking foolish after President Obama corrects the record.

Major Garrett? Where's Major?

QUESTION: Right here, sir.

In your opening remarks, sir, you said about Iran that you were appalled and outraged. What took you so long?


MR. OBAMA: I don't think that's accurate. Track what I've been saying. Right after the election I said that we had profound concerns about the nature of the election, but that it was not up to us to determine what the outcome was.

As soon as violence broke out -- in fact, in anticipation of potential violence -- we were very clear in saying that violence was unacceptable, that that was not how governments operate with respect to their people.

So we've been entirely consistent, Major, in terms of how we've approached this. My role has been to say the United States is not going to be a foil for the Iranian government to try to blame what's happening on the streets of Tehran on the CIA or on the White House, that this is an issue that is led by and given voice to the frustrations of the Iranian people.

And so we've been very consistent the first day, and we're going to continue to be consistent in saying this is not an issue about the United States, this is about an issue of the Iranian people.

What we've also been consistent about is saying that there are some universal principles, including freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, making sure that governments are not using coercion and violence and repression in terms of how they interact with peaceful demonstrators. And we have been speaking out very clearly about that fact.

Classic PWNAGE Aimed at Chip Saltsman's right wing framed question.

MR. OBAMA: Chip?

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.

Following up on Major's question, some Republicans on Capitol Hill, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, for example, have said that up to this point your response on Iran has been timid and weak.

Today it sounded a lot stronger. It sounded like the kind of speech John McCain has been urging you to give, saying that those who stand up for justice are always on the right side of history, referring to an iron fist in Iran, deplore, appalled, outraged.

Were you influenced at all by John McCain and Lindsey Graham accusing you of being timid and weak?

MR. OBAMA: What do you think?


Look, the -- you know, I think John McCain has genuine passion about many of these international issues. And, you know, I think that all of us share a belief that we want justice to prevail.

But only I'm the president of the United States. And I've got responsibilities in making certain that we are continually advancing our national security interests and that we are not used as a tool to be exploited by other countries.


QUESTION: By speaking so strongly today, aren't you giving the leadership in Iran the fodder to make those arguments...

MR. OBAMA: You know...


QUESTION: ... that it is about the United States?

MR. OBAMA: Look, I mean, I think that we can parse this as much as we want. I think if you look at the statements that I've made, they've been very consistent. I just made a statement on Saturday in which we said we deplored the violence.

And so I think that in the hothouse of Washington, there may be all kinds of stuff going back and forth in terms of Republican critics versus the administration.

That's not what is relevant to the Iranian people. What's relevant to them right now is are they going to have their voices heard. And, you know, frankly, a lot of them aren't paying a lot of attention to what's being said on Capitol Hill and probably aren't spending a lot of time thinking about what's being said here.

They're trying to figure out how can they make sure justice is served in Iran.

Here is what might have been the most imporatant answer of the presser for progressives though and that was President Obama's pushback on the right wing talking points about a public plan option in health care reform.

QUESTION: Wouldn't that drive private insurance out of business?

MR. OBAMA: Why would it drive private insurance out of business? If -- if private -- if private insurers say that the marketplace provides the best quality health care; if they tell us that they're offering a good deal, then why is it that the government, which they say can't run anything, suddenly is going to drive them out of business? That's not logical.

Now, the -- I think that there's going to be some healthy debates in Congress about the shape that this takes. I think there can be some legitimate concerns on the part of private insurers that if any public plan is simply being subsidized by taxpayers endlessly that over time they can't compete with the government just printing money, so there are going to be some I think legitimate debates to be had about how this private plan takes shape.

But just conceptually, the notion that all these insurance companies who say they're giving consumers the best possible deal, if they can't compete against a public plan as one option, with consumers making the decision what's the best deal, that defies logic, which is why I think you've seen in the polling data overwhelming support for a public plan.

And this was an absolute ass kicking handed out to Chuck Todd. It looked like a Principal disciplining a kindergartener.

MR. OBAMA: Chuck Todd?

QUESTION: Mr. President, I want to follow up on Iran. You have avoided, twice, spelling out consequences. You've hinted that there would be from the international community, if they continue to violate -- and you said "violate these norms." You seemed to hint that there -- there are human rights violations taking place.

MR. OBAMA: I'm not hinting. I think that when a young woman gets shot on the street when she gets out of her car, that's a problem.

QUESTION: Then why won't you spell out the consequences that the Iranian people...

MR. OBAMA: Because I think that we don't know yet how this thing is going to play out. I know everybody here is on a 24-hour news cycle. I'm not. OK?

QUESTION: Shouldn't -- I mean, shouldn't the world...


MR. OBAMA: I answered -- I answered...

QUESTION: ... present regime know that there are consequences?

MR. OBAMA: I answered your question, which is that we don't yet know how this is going to play out. OK?

I will be the first to admit that President Obama hasn't been perfect so far, but he is a HELL of a lot better than any of the alternatives. Sometimes it takes days like today to remind all of us of that.