Friday, July 31, 2009

Wheeling And Dealing

It looks like Henry Waxman is determined to get a health care reform bill out of committee in the House before the August break.

From Steve Benen:

A couple of months ago, the Washington Monthly ran a cover story on House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman that highlighted, among other things, the fact that the California Democrat knows "not only how to make a deal, but how to make the right one."

It's a skill that's been put to the test this week, and Waxman seem to have come through quite nicely.

As of yesterday, the committee chairman was struggling to get a health care reform bill out of his committee and onto the House floor. He had a deal with Blue Dogs that angered the left, and if Waxman pulled back to satisfy liberals' concerns, he'd lose the conservatives. After more discussions this morning,
another compromise is reportedly in place.

Liberals and a small core of conservative Democrats set aside long-standing ideological differences early Friday to cut a deal that should allow the House Energy and Commerce Committee to approve a sweeping health care bill, breaking a two-week deadlock that threatened President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.

Blue Dog Democrats on the committee, who are the linchpin in the House health care debate, agreed to allow their liberal colleagues to cut billions from existing government-funded health care programs in order to restore some $50 billion to $65 billion in subsidies set aside in the bill to help middle-income families purchase coverage. [...]

Moderates and liberals on the committee will offer a package during committee consideration that will make changes the Blue Dogs secured in a deal with Waxman earlier this week. The amendment also includes a liberal priority: reducing premiums many uninsured people will be required to pay for health coverage. The change would lower the premium from 12 percent of a household's total annual income to 11 percent.

This middle-of-the-road approach should give both sides the cover they need to approve the overarching legislation.

Good on Waxman for finding a way forward. Now if we can just get Max Baucus to get off his ass and jettison the Republican obstructionists we might get some where.

I can tell you this much, if every other committee has voted out a bill except the Senate Finance committee, Baucus is going to feel the heat on his ass. And we should be the ones helping to apply it!

Update: And we finally have the bill out of committee. (apologies for the GOPolitico link)

The Proper Response To The Leaked Memo

Think Progress has gotten its hands on a leaked memo from FreedomWorks where they give directions for their activists go in and disrupt the townhalls of Democratic members of Congress.

– Artificially Inflate Your Numbers: “Spread out in the hall and try to be in the front half. The objective is to put the Rep on the defensive with your questions and follow-up. The Rep should be made to feel that a majority, and if not, a significant portion of at least the audience, opposes the socialist agenda of Washington.”

– Be Disruptive Early And Often: “You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep’s presentation, Watch for an opportunity to yell out and challenge the Rep’s statements early.”

– Try To “Rattle Him,” Not Have An Intelligent Debate: “The goal is to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda. If he says something outrageous, stand up and shout out and sit right back down. Look for these opportunities before he even takes questions.”

My advice is that every Democratic member of Congress should get intimately familiar with this memo. And at if they plan on holding a townhall during the break they should employ what I like to call the "8 Mile" strategy. For those who never saw the movie, Eminem's character wins the rap battle at the end by predicting all of the lines of attack that his opponent will use and then he goes in on his opponent. By the time his turn comes Em's opponent is flustered because for one he didn't have any disses left to use and for two because Eminem had ripped him up. So he just hell the microphone and froze.

The first thing these Democrats should do is present the memo and inform the audience of all of the things that are to come. That there will be people yelling, and interrupting and they will also fan out to inflate their numbers. And then they should point out that these people do not want honest debate. They are there for one thing only and that is to deprive the rest of the attendees of the opportunity to learn about health care reform and have their voices heard. And then they can always point out that these people are paid for by the health insurance companies. (whether that is true or not isn't really important) Once they get that out of the way they will have the audience on their side and against the obstructionists. Instead of allowing these people to hijack the townhall, more than likely what will happen is the audience will turn on them and boo them out of the event.

That, to me, should be a no brainer. Why even give them an opportunity to try to derail the discussion? Or for that matter why try to act like they won't be there when its likely that they will. Just punch them in the mouth first and then you win the battle before it gets started.

Keep Hitting HIs Ass

Ben Nelson isn't happy about liberal and progressive groups attacking him over his wishy washy support for real health care reform.

Tough shit.

If he really wants it to stop he will get on board with real health care reform that includes a strong public option.

Otherwise I hope they keep taking it to him.


As U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello was considering how to vote on an important piece of climate change legislation in June, the freshman congressman’s office received at least six letters from two Charlottesville-based minority organizations voicing opposition to the measure.

The letters, as it turns out, were forgeries.

“They stole our name. They stole our logo. They created a position title and made up the name of someone to fill it. They forged a letter and sent it to our congressman without our authorization,” said Tim Freilich, who sits on the executive committee of Creciendo Juntos, a nonprofit network that tackles issues related to Charlottesville’s Hispanic community. “It’s this type of activity that undermines Americans’ faith in democracy.”

The faked letter from Creciendo Juntos was signed by “Marisse K. Acevado, Asst Member Coordinator,” an identity and position at Creciendo Juntos that do not exist.

The person who sent the letter has not been identified, but he or she was employed by a Washington lobbying firm called Bonner & Associates.


After being notified of the bogus Creciendo Juntos letter, staffers in Perriello’s office realized that the wording of the letter sounded familiar.

The staffers dug through the stacks of thousands of letters, e-mails and faxes Perriello received about the bill — the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 — and found five more forged letters, these purportedly from the Albemarle-Charlottesville branch of the NAACP.

M. Rick Turner, president of the local NAACP branch, said he checked his organization’s roster and found none of the five people who signed their name to the five faked letters.

NAACP ‘very appalled’

“I am very appalled as the president that our organization has been misrepresented in this way by this bogus … letter,” Turner said. “I hope that whoever’s behind this will be brought to justice.”

In fact, Turner said, the NAACP supports the American Clean Energy and Security Act, as he said it would create good-paying jobs for blacks and reduce harmful emissions, particularly in urban areas.

“Clean energy creates jobs in the urban setting,” he said.

The fake NAACP letters were faxed to Perriello’s office from the Arlington headquarters of a company called Professional Risk Management Services Inc. A representative of the company said she had no knowledge of why the fax would have been sent from her office, adding that at least 60 employees have access to the fax machine.

Perriello’s press secretary, Jessica Barba, said the congressman’s office knows of only the five forged letters, but there may be others they have not yet discovered.

“There could be more, but these are the only ones that we’re aware of right now,” she said.

If this kind of thing was going on over the climate change bill, you can bet your ass that they will pull the same kinds of shenanigans over health care reform. Every Democrat in Congress, especially those serving their first terms, should be made away that this kind of crap is going on!

Mad Bitch

A few weeks back Dana Milbank was complaining about Huffington Post blogger Nico Pitney getting a question at a Presidential press conference and even went so far as to call him a dick. This was of course all in the name of "journalistic integrity".

Today Milbank and his partner in crime Chris Cilliza released a video joking that our current Secretary of State and former first lady, Hillary Clinton, is a "Mad Bitch".

Hardy fuckin har.

Honestly I don't even want them to be fired or suspended. I want Milbank and Cilliza to be the straw that broke the Washington Post's back and brings them to full on financial ruin and collapse. That's what would happen in a just world.

Give That Man A Standing Ovation

Megan McCardle is an idiot. The thing about it is pretty much any reasonable person who reads her work on a regular basis would agree with me on that. And yet for some reason she is elevated as some kind of up and coming writer for the right. Now the truth is the right wing really doesn't put that much of a premium on their writers actually making sense. But it still baffles my mind that she even has a job writing for a major publication. I have even seen a few liberal and progressive writers have good things to say about her.

Well Ezra Klein is not having it. This smackdown of her nonsensical screed against health care reform is epic! That is going to leave a mark and it should. I am to the point where it actually offends me that she can be that bad at her job and most people refuse to say so. For that reason Ezra Klein gets major props for speaking truth to power even though they used to be pretty good friends as DougJ pointed out.

The Abyss

December of last year I made the statement on this blog that the GOP wasn't headed toward the wildnerness but instead they were flying head on into the abyss. At the time it was in response to the "Barack the Magic Negro" foolishness that Chip Saltsman had embraced and in turn many in the GOP were loathe to denounce. It was clear to me then that they were still clueless about what it would take to change their electoral fortunes anywhere other than in the deep south. Not only are they doing a horrible job with their minority outreach, they also seem to be oblivious to the fact that when they engage in this kind of crazy and or race baiting hyperbole and nobody in the party is willing to step up and denounce it then they also offend many regular middle class white votes as well.

Some of this is directly a result of the make up of their shrinking base. With their numbers dwindling the people left in the Republican Party tend to be more radical and over the top than normal. And when your base ends up being primarily made up of the people we would usually describe as the fringe then you in effect become a fringe party. And if you don't have any political courage then instead of trying to bring more moderates into the fold you actually pander to that radicalized base which only serves to further marginalize your party. And that is what the leaders of the Republican Party are doing right now.

The latest evidence of this is the whole "birther" madness that is taking over the GOP. People keep acting surprised that Republican members of Congress are either fully endorsing the birther position or at the least saying refusing to denounce the loons who keep trying to claim President Obama isn't a natural born citizen. Just check out this polling fresh off the presses on the birther issue.

A forthcoming DailyKos/Research 2000 poll found 77% of Americans believe President Obama was born in the United States, 11% do not, and 12% are not sure.

Among Republicans only, 42% think he's an American citizen, 28% do not, and 30% are not sure.

For those in the cheap seats 58% of Republicans either do not believe that President Obama is an American citizen or say they aren't sure. When you go by region of the country, the numbers in the south are almost identical.

Again, Republican officials have the power to change this. They can stand up to the fringe that has overrun their party and denounce them and this would go a long way towards bringing people back to the GOP. But they won't do it. They don't have the courage to do it. They have convinced themselves that they simply weren't crazy enough during the Bush years and thats why they got kicked out. So now they are willing to double down on the stupid just to appease their batshit crazy base.

Now how can they win nationally with that? And how can they ever hope to retake the House or the Senate let alone the White House with just the southern states?

Its simple, they won't. I mean as dissappointing as Democrats are at times at least for the most part they aren't nucking futs. And after 8 years of misadventure and lawlessness during Bush's reign, people aren't going to be willing to hand over the keys again to these folks any time soon. Especially when they have shown not even a hint of even trying to change their direction.

So once again GOP, enjoy your time in the abyss, you are going to be there for a LONGGGGGGGG time!

(h/t Greg Sargent)

* Post updated with picture courtesy of Instaputz

Practicing The Art Of Journalism

Spencer Ackerman is one of the best and brightest young foreign policy and miltary affairs journalists in the business. Having said that the guy was having a rough time of it yesterday from the looks of his twitter feed. And then this morning it turns out he found out he had been scooped by the New York Times. But here is the thing, the reason why it appeared he had been scooped is because Spencer is actually a good journalist who believes in doing a thorough job of investigating before he puts something out. And when you watch this clip from Rachel Maddow's show you realize what the upside is for him of doing his job the way its supposed to be done.

Maybe the next time the New York Times will do their due diligence as well, lest they once again find themselves on that summer jam screen.

Give Bernie A Microphone So He Can Rip It

Well we know there is at least one guy in Congress who doesn't mind busting people in the mouth when it comes to debating health care reform and the need for a public option.

That guy is named Bernie Sanders.

It just goes to show that if you take the marketing firm generated talking points away from the Republicans, even one as seasoned as Orrin Hatch, they got nothing.

I don't know what it means that one of the best spokespersons for true liberal and progressive health care reform isn't even technically a Democrat, but I'll take it, thats for DAMN sure!

Big ups to Cenk Uygur and The Young Turks for posting the video.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Imma go ahead and say Mariah Carey might wanna go ahead and pull that "Obssessed" song and video, IMMEDIATELY!

NSFW hell maybe NSAA

Cue The Clown Music

I just love watching Congressman Mike Pence's idiotic responses when confronted with even the most softball of pushback, this time from Carlos Watson. Its apparent that Watson could have and probably should have just called him a liar and been done with it. But he just corrected the record ever so gently and there goes Mike Pence's head bouncing like a pez dispenser.

Does anybody trust this guy?

*Accidentally embedded the wrong video. Apologies.

Jello Jay Bashes Baucus Over Co-Ops

I gotta give it to Senator Jay Rockefeller, he brought the noise today on the Ed Show over Max Baucus' ill advised plan to replace a public option with co-ops in the Senate Finance committee health care reform bill.

Reactions From The Presidential Beer Fest

Reactions from all three participants of the meeting today at the White House between President Obama, Officer James Crowley and Skip Gates where they were all furnished with beer and nuts from what I understand.

Excerpt from Professor Henry Louis "Skip" Gates' statement

Sergeant Crowley and I, through an accident of time and place, have been cast together, inextricably, as characters – as metaphors, really – in a thousand narratives about race over which he and I have absolutely no control. Narratives about race are as old as the founding of this great Republic itself, but these new ones have unfolded precisely when Americans signaled to the world our country’s great progress by overcoming centuries of habit and fear, and electing an African American as President. It is incumbent upon Sergeant Crowley and me to utilize the great opportunity that fate has given us to foster greater sympathy among the American public for the daily perils of policing on the one hand, and for the genuine fears of racial profiling on the other hand.

Let me say that I thank God that live in a country in which police officers put their lives at risk to protect us every day, and, more than ever, I’ve come to understand and appreciate their daily sacrifices on our behalf. I’m also grateful that we live in a country where freedom of speech is a sacrosanct value and I hope that one day we can get to know each other better, as we began to do at the White House this afternoon over beers with President Obama.

Thank God we live in a country where speech is protected, a country which guarantees and defends my right to speak out when I believe my rights have been violated; a country that protects us from arrest when we do express our views, no matter how unpopular.

And thank God that we have a President who can rise above the fray, bridge age-old differences and transform events such as this into a moment in the evolution of our society’s attitudes about race and difference. President Obama is a man who understands tolerance and forgiveness, and our country is blessed to have such a leader.

The national conversation over the past week about my arrest has been rowdy, not to say tumultuous and unruly. But we’ve learned that we can have our differences without demonizing one another. There’s reason to hope that many people have emerged with greater sympathy for the daily perils of policing, on the one hand, and for the genuine fears about racial profiling, on the other hand.

Cambridge Police Officer Sgt. James Crowley's news conference:

President Obama's statement:

"I am thankful to Professor Gates and Sergeant Crowley for joining me at the White House this evening for a friendly, thoughtful conversation. Even before we sat down for the beer, I learned that the two gentlemen spent some time together listening to one another, which is a testament to them. I have always believed that what brings us together is stronger than what pulls us apart. I am confident that has happened here tonight, and I am hopeful that all of us are able to draw this positive lesson from this episode."

This would seem to be the end of all of this. But with the state of our mainstream media I wouldn't bet on it.

Progressives In The House Stand Up

I fear that waiting so long to take a stance has positioned progressives in the House as the obstructionists at this point but hey as they say, better late than never!

Liberal lawmakers who oppose a deal House leaders cut with centrist Blue Dog Democrats have gathered signatures from 57 lawmakers who say they won't vote for the plan.

“This agreement will result in the public, both as insurance purchasers and taxpayers, paying ever higher rates to insurance companies,” the letter says. “We simply cannot vote for such a proposal.”

If Republicans oppose the healthcare bill on the floor en masse, 57 Democrats voting “no” would defeat the bill.

The agreement between four Blue Dogs and House leaders cut $100 billion off of the price tag of the bill. Under the proposal, reimbursement rates in the government-run “public plan” would not be linked to Medicare. It would also reduce subsidies to make a government-run “public plan” more affordable.

Ungrateful Bastard

As he goes around the state of Lousianna handing out jumbo novelty checks to different cities to help them through the recession which are FULL of stimulus funds, Governor Bobby Jindal just can not bring himself to admit that President Obama's stimulus bill is helping his state.

This is the fatal flaw of the majority of elected Republicans these days. When you can't give any credit nor ever find any fault of your own, people will no longer trust that. We had 8 years of that bullshit in this country with Bush and people see now where that gets you. So keep it up Bobby Kenny, you are well on your way to discrediting yourself with the American people.

Let Him Go Home

Mohammed Jawad might be going home after a judge threw out most of the evidence against him because it was gleaned from torture.

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Wednesday said that it's willing to send a young Guantanamo detainee home to Afghanistan after military and civilian judges banned almost all evidence against him as tainted by torture.

In a court filing, government attorneys, however, reserved the right to file new charges against Mohammed Jawad if they find evidence against him before he is released.

The Justice Department asked U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle to grant them 22 days to release Jawad — seven days to notify Congress of the release plans, as current law requires, and then 15 days till a cooling off period mandated by law expires.

If no new charges are filed during that time, the government said it would promptly release Jawad and send him back to Afghanistan. Huvelle, who earlier had scheduled a hearing for Thursday in the case, did not immediately rule on the request.

The Justice Department filing came as another federal judge in Washington ordered the release of Kuwaiti detainee after concluding that the government did not have enough evidence to continue to hold him.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said Khalid al Mutairi should be released as soon as arrangements can be made for him to travel to a third country and congressional notification requirements have been met.

Kollar-Kotelly's full opinion was classified, but she ordered that an unclassified version be released in two days.

Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said the department's handling of the Jawad case showed that the administration has “made a dramatic break with the policies of the past by rejecting the use of torture without exception or equivocation.”

“It is clear that, in addition to serving as a recruiting tool for terrorists, the status quo left behind by the previous administration at Guantanamo is legally unsustainable,” she said. “We are working to close Guantanamo and develop a new legal framework to govern detention policy that is grounded in the rule of law and will strengthen our national security."

I sincerely hope the Obama administration just gets the hell out of the way and lets this kid go home. Reports say he may have been as young as 12 when he was first picked up and he was put through torture, literally, just to incriminate himself. He didn't help stop any attacks or lead anybody to al Qaeda leadership. Its a shame that it even took this long for us to order his release. Its time to do the right thing and send him back to Afghanistan so we can truly start a new day in this country.

Update: It looks like he is going home after all!

A judge ruled today that one of the youngest detainees brought to Guantánamo Bay is being held illegally and must be released.

US district judge Ellen Huvelle's order does not end the case of Mohammed Jawad, however. Deputy assistant attorney general Ian Gershengorn told the judge that as the United States negotiates with the detainee's home country of Afghanistan for his return next month, the US justice department also is pursuing a criminal investigation.

Gershengorn said Eric Holder, the US attorney general, has not yet decided whether to indict Jawad, who allegedly threw a grenade that wounded two US soldiers and their interpreter in December 2002. That means it's possible he could be brought to the United States for a criminal trial.

Huvelle said she had no authority to prevent an indictment, but she encouraged prosecutors to think hard about problems with the case, including Jawad's mental competency to stand trial and the fact that he's already been incarcerated for six and a half years. "After this horrible, long, tortured history, I hope the government will succeed in getting him back home," she said. "Enough has been imposed on this young man to date."

Huvelle gave the government three weeks to fulfil legal requirements to report to Congress about any national security risks and diplomatic agreements for Jawad's release. She ordered the government to report back to her by 24 August and said she hoped by then he was on a trans-Atlantic flight.

Frog March Alert!!!

Will we finally get to see this scene play out?

From the Washington Post:

Political adviser Karl Rove and other high-ranking figures in the Bush White House played a greater role than previously understood in the firing of federal prosecutors almost three years ago, according to e-mails obtained by The Washington Post, in a scandal that led to mass Justice Department resignations and an ongoing criminal probe.

The e-mails and new interviews with key participants reflect contacts among Rove, aides in the Bush political affairs office and White House lawyers about the dismissal of three of the nine U.S. attorneys fired in 2006: New Mexico's David C. Iglesias, the focus of ire from GOP lawmakers; Missouri's Todd Graves, who had clashed with one of Rove's former clients; and Arkansas's Bud Cummins, who was pushed out to make way for a Rove protege.

The documents and interviews provide new information about efforts by political aides in the Bush White House, for example, to push a former colleague as a favored candidate for one of the U.S. attorney posts. They also reflect the intensity of efforts by lawmakers and party officials in New Mexico to unseat the top prosecutor there. Rove described himself as merely passing along complaints by senators and state party officials to White House lawyers.

The e-mails emerged as Rove finished his second day of closed-door-testimony Thursday about the firings to the House Judiciary Committee. For years, Rove and former White House counsel Harriet Miers had rejected efforts by lawmakers to obtain their testimony and their correspondence about the issue, citing executive privilege. The House of Representatives sued, igniting a court fight that was resolved this year after discussions among lawyers for former president George W. Bush and President Obama.

Man oh man if they can throw that asshole in jail I think that in and of itself will make my vote worth it last fall.

The Flip Side

Most of what you will be hearing for the next couple of days is about how President Obama's poll numbers have fallen especially when it comes to health care. And for the most part that will be true. But what you probably won't be hearing is that the Republicans' in Congress have seen their numbers fall off a cliff, especially on health care.

From The Plum Line

But the flipside of the story, which isn’t getting any real attention today, is that today’s polls also paint a dire picture for Republicans, and suggest they’re really taking it on the chin for blocking health care reform. The internals of today’s New York Times poll say this:

* Only 28% view the GOP favorably, the lowest since at least 2005.

* A huge majority wants major changes to the health care system, and a plurality says Obama is reforming health care at “the right pace.” The public wants change now, meaning voters will probably extract a major price if it doesn’t get done.

* Voters blame Republicans, and not Obama, for obstructionism: Fifty nine percent say Obama is working with the GOP on health care reform, versus only 33% who say Republicans are working with the president.

Fifty five percent says Obama has the right ideas for health care reform, versus only 26% — barely more than one-fourth — who say the GOP does.

If President Obama is in trouble, what the hell exactly are the GOOpers in? Seems to me that this time if healthcare reform doesn't get done, the people are going to extract their pound of flesh from the Republican Party.

Frog, Meet Scorpions

BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I just LOVE that Max Baucus comes out of this looking like the worlds biggest chump. Thats what his "centrist" ass gets for trusting Republicans yet again. Can somebody send this jackass the story of the scorpion and the frog?

(CNN) — Two of the three Senate Republicans negotiating a bipartisan deal on health care reform said they consider an agreement out of reach before the Senate goes on its August recess.

That likely dashes the hopes of Democratic leaders and President Barack Obama for a deal among the so-called Gang of Six negotiators that could deliver critical momentum for the stalled health care overhaul.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyoming, dropped the bombshell news to CNN and two other reporters in Capitol hallways Wednesday night. They have spent weeks behind closed doors, trying to hammer out an agreement with their Democratic counterparts on the Senate Finance Committee but said too many issues remain unresolved, making it virtually impossible for them to sign on to a deal before the break.

“There are a lot of tough decisions to make and they aren’t going to be made real quickly,” Grassley said late Wednesday when asked whether negotiators should kick their talks over to September.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, had already postponed Senate floor action on health care legislation until the fall, but Democrats had hoped the Senate Finance Committee could finish its work before the summer break. In fact, one senior Democratic source said meeting that deadline was the central thrust of the president’s meeting with Reid and Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, last Friday.


Enzi, who spoke while leaving the Capitol on Wednesday night, echoed Grassley’s desire for more time before he’d agree to a deal.

“We have huge parts that have not been discussed yet. We have other parts that we asked questions on that we haven’t gotten answer back yet. I don’t know how we make decisions on those parts — they’re pretty big issues,” Enzi said.

“You can’t say you got to do it in a week, you got to do it in a month,” he said. “You got to do it in the amount of time it takes.”

Enzi, a soft-spoken conservative, was furious about headlines Wednesday morning that suggested he was close to reaching a deal with the Democrats.

“I felt my reputation was in danger,” he said.

He issued a statement batting down the stories and insisted any deal he might ultimately sign onto would have to be preserved by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Reid when it is merged with other more liberal legislation in the Senate and House.

“I’m not interested in lending credibility to disaster,” Enzi said.

See for Senator Enzi, its all about his "reputation". You stupid muthafucka you Baucus. Hopefully this teaches you a lesson and we can drop this charade and get shit done now!

Finally The Truth About KBR Is Exposed.

Senator Byron Dorgan has posted about the investigation into KBR and their shitty work in Iraq that led to the death of several of our servicemen over at firedoglake.

There’s a new and damning report (PDF) from the Department of Defense Inspector General on its investigation into the electrocution death of Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth. The report concludes that Staff Sgt. Maseth’s death was the result of shoddy electrical work, electrical work performed by U.S. military contractor KBR.

It also concludes that the Army failed to properly oversee KBR’s work, allowing the danger to U.S. troops from KBR’s work to continue and persist not only on Ryan Maseth’s base, but
throughout Iraq (PDF) and Afghanistan (PDF).

Up to now, KBR has denied any link between its work and the electric shocks and electrocutions of soldiers on U.S. Army bases in Iraq. This report should make it impossible for the company to continue to deny the facts.


Staff Sgt. Maseth was a 24-year-old Green Beret from Pennsylvania. In January 2008, he was electrocuted as he showered in his barracks on a U.S. military base in Iraq. The Army first told his family that he died because he took an electrical appliance into the shower. His courageous mother, Cheryl Harris, rejected that explanation.

Mrs. Harris appeared at a
Senate Democratic Policy Committee hearing I chaired on July 11, 2008 as we investigated shoddy electrical work by KBR in Iraq and Afghanistan. We also heard from whistleblowers that day, some of them former KBR employees who had first-hand, on site experience with KBR’s electrical work. We found evidence of widespread failure by KBR to take even the most basic steps to ensure its electrical work was safe. Whistleblowers told us KBR routinely hired non-electricians to perform electrical work, and that non-electricians were routinely hired to supervise their work.

They told us that even the most basic work – proper grounding, for example – was either not done at all, or performed so haphazardly it was a clear, obvious and immediate danger.
Meanwhile, KBR continued to deny any connection between its electrical work and the electrical shocks and even deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army continued to churn out excuses like the one initially given to Cheryl Harris.

Following the hearing, I immediately asked for a complete review of KBR’s electrical work in Iraq and Afghanistan and for a new investigation into Staff Sgt. Maseth’s death.

The results are now in.

The Inspector General concludes that KBR failed to ground equipment which contributed to the electrocution death of Staff Sgt. Maseth. The IG also found that KBR failed to: employ personnel with adequate electrical training and expertise; report improperly grounded equipment the company had identified; and perform its work in the ‘skillful and workmanlike manner’ required by the contract.

The IG also reports that prior to Sgt. Maseth’s electrocution, there were 230 incidents of electric shocks in KBR-maintained facilities in Iraq from September 2006 to July 2008 – far more than should have necessary to alert KBR or Army officials that there was a major problem that needed urgent attention.

According to the IG, KBR’s shoddy and dangerous electrical work is a widespread, not isolated, problem in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The Inspector General reports that so far, that review has found more than 53,000 sites at U.S. Army bases in those countries that needed urgent, major repairs.


It is astounding that KBR continues to receive contracts for work in Iraq. Its many failures are now obvious, massive and cover a wide-range of activities.

It is unbelievable that KBR actually received an $83.4 million bonus for its contract for electrical work in Iraq, even though according to the Department of Defense’sInspector General, KBR’s work endangered and even killed U.S. troops.

I am renewing my call for the Pentagon to recoup the $83.4 million in bonuses paid to KBR under LOGCAP III Task Order 139 for its shoddy electrical work.

I also want to know what the Army is doing to improve its selection and oversight of military contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. The safety and very lives of U.S. soldiers depends on prompt, corrective action

I certainly hope that KBR is both made to pay the bonus money back and never given another contract from our government. And maybe even someone should be held criminally accountable for negligence.

Republican Endorsed Euthanasia

Well, well, well. Turns out that provision in the health care bill that Republicans are trying to scare seniors into thinking is all about government euthanasia, has actually been proposed before. It was introduced as a bill entitled “Advance Planning and Compassionate Care Act,” cosponsored by Republican Senator Susan Collins.

But it turns out a GOP Senator, Susan Collins, sponsored a virtually identical initiative this spring, before this became an anti-reform GOP talking point — and praised it as necessary to improving our health care system’s “care for patients at the end of their lives.”

This sharply undercuts the GOP and conservative claim — unless, of course, you believe Collins backed an initiative she thinks could lead to mass government extermination of the elderly. Though this talking point has been
debunked multiple times, conservatives and GOP leaders like John Boehner continue to employ it with abandon.

On May 22nd, Senators Collins and
Jay Rockefeller introduced the “Advance Planning and Compassionate Care Act,” according to a press release sent over by a source. The measure provides Medicare funding “for advance care planning so that patients can routinely talk to their physicians about their wishes for end-of-life care,” the release says.

Collins praised the measure, which may be included in the Senate health care bill, in the release. “Our legislation will improve the way our health care system care for patients at the end of their lives,” she said, “and it will also facilitate appropriate discussions and individual autonomy in making decisions about end-of-life care.”

Now as I said yesterday, I still think invoking the Terry Schiavo case would be the best line of attack as push back on all this nonesense. However pointing out that it was a Republican who proposed almost an identical measure earlier this year couldn't hurt either.

And I am hoping that at some point during his show today, preferrably at the beginning, that Chris Matthews runs an apology and a correction for the erroneous information he put out yesterday.

Everything That's Wrong With The Beltway Media

Glenzilla does an excellent job of summing it all up here.

Sorry to much good stuff to excerpt.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tell The Truth, Shame The Devil

Joan Walsh and Kweisi Mfume held it down today on Hardball and didn't pull any punches about Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the right wing race baiters. I had to give her a standing ovation when Ms Walsh stood her ground when Tweety tried to make her back off her statement that Beck and Limbaugh are racists. Its ridiculous how he and other pundits try to hold water for these assholes instead of calling a spade a spade just like she did.

Taking Pride In Being Ignorant: Chris Matthews Edition

I don't know if there is another political commentator on Tee Vee who is as frustrating to watch as Chris Matthews. When he gets it or when he actually knows the subject matter the guy is a virtuoso at beating people up with their own words and actions. But when he isn't familiar with the issue the guy will just go off the rails at the drop of a dime.

Today was especially aggravating because not only did he not know what the hell he was talking about, he decided to act like he DID know and berated one of the guests about something in the health care bill when she was right and he was absolutely wrong. Make it so bad, THAT GUY is supposed to be a liberal according to right wing talkers. So now he helps to further the right wing smear about euthanasia being in the bill instead of debunking something that every fact checking website has already said is a pile of crap.

Gee thanks Tweety!

Can somebody at MSNBC like KO or Rachel Maddow, pull this clown to the side and try to get him to actually research the stuff he talks about on his show?

Thanks in advance.

Get HIs Gavel!

I can only hope that this plan to put committee chairmen up for a vote every two years gains traction in the Senate, especially since we have Max Baucus and Joe LIEberman both chairing committees right now. Maybe then their asses will start toeing the line.

I am all for having a big tent, but being a Democrat should MEAN something!

Didn't Know What Hit Her

Anybody wanna bet that Orly Taitz had no clue that Stephen Colbert was making fun of her?

This was AWESOME lol

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"Jungle Monkey"

Yep, post racial.

What do you want to bet that cop's union stands up and defends him too just like they did for Sgt Crowley?

Update: Here is the full email. Its obvious this cop was a FoxNews watcher. Im sure he is a big fan of Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity.

click to enlarge

An Exercise In Journalism

If you read one interview about health care reform, you want it to be this one between President Obama and Karen Tumulty of Time Magazine.

It Ain't Over

I guess the new "birther" talking points haven't trickled down yet to all of the Congressional GOOPers

Here's Your Sign

Didn't President Obama talk about these kind of uninformed and misguided people yesterday during his townhall? Who knew he meant Republican leaders in Congress.

In other news, evidently Republican is a supporter of legalizing drugs because he seems to be smoking some kush.

Waxman FTW?

According to Talking Points Memo it appears that the Blue Dogs blinked after all.

Substantively, leadership seems to have given up very little, but, Blue Dogs succeeded at slow walking the bill, which won't get a vote until after the August recess.

After a week or so of canceled hearings, the Energy and Commerce Committee will continue to mark up House health care legislation this afternoon, and pass a bill by the end of the week. On substance, the exemption from penalties for small businesses that do not provide health care to workers has been raised to include small businesses with payrolls of $500,000 per year or less. Originally the bill called for the exemption to apply only to businesses with payrolls half that size.

The public option hasn't gone away, and remains in tact. Now, though, instead of being directly tied to Medicare, the rates will be negotiated by the Health and Human Services secretary--a provision which at a glance seems similar to the public option the Senate HELP Committee endorsed. States will be able to erect health care co-operatives if they choose, but that would be in addition to the public option.

The Blue Dogs managed to pull $100 billion in savings from the bill by lowering by one percent the rate at which people living between 300 and 400 percent of the poverty level will be subsidized to buy health care in insurance exchanges--they had originally tried to eliminate that bracket entirely.

Blue Dogs will likely herald this as a major victory, but compared to their original wishlist, this seems pretty minor.

Hopefully this is really the case and we will only have to worry about the asshattery going on in the Senate Finance Committee.

The Need For Adult Supervision

I owe Colin Powell an apology but yahoo news owes me and the rest of its readers an apology as well.

Last night I read this account of General Powell's appearance on Larry King live on yahoo news. This particular part of the article made it seem as if Powell was totally blaming Henry Louis Gates for his arrest.

Powell, interviewed by CNN's Larry King, criticized the way Gates dealt with Sgt. James Crowley, a white officer who responded to reports of a possible break-in by arresting the black professor at his home on a charge of disorderly conduct. The charge was soon dropped.

Gates "might have waited a while, come outside, talked to the officer, and that might have been the end of it," said Powell, one of the nation's most prominent African Americans.

"I think he should have reflected on whether or not this was the time to make that big a deal," he said.


But, he said, "when you are faced with an officer trying to do his job and get to the bottom of something, this is not the time to get in an argument with him. I was taught that as a child.

"You don't argue with a police officer," Powell said.

Now the thing of it is, Colin Powell did say those things. But conspicuously absent from the write up was what Powell had to say about the arrest itself. So lets roll the tape.

So even if he felt like Professor Gates handled it wrong, he STILL felt that he shouldn't have been arrested. He even goes as far as to say that "adult supervision" should have taken over. So while the yahoo news article gives you the impression that General Powell was saying the arrest was all Gates' fault, thats not really what he said.

For my part I apologize for overreacting and calling Powell a "sellout mofo".

Go For The Jugular!

For the last few weeks the GOP echo chamber has been churning out lies a mile a minute about health care reform. One of the lies that has been circulating which is picking up steam on that side of the aisle and is now being used to fearmonger the elderly is that the health care reform bills will institute mandated euthanasia. As ludicrous a that sounds the fact remains that the elderly are easily spooked when it comes to these kinds of rumors and its not just some wacko on a street corner repeating this, members of Congress have taken to saying it over and over again.

This particular lie has its origins with a woman by the name of Betsy McCaughey, who helped kill health care reform back in the early 90s. The thing of it is, she has been making up shit all year fear mongering about health care provisions in the stimulus as well. And each time she comes up with another out and out lie she gets debunked like she was recently but she never admits she made it all up and the lie continues own in both Houses of Congress out of the mouths of Republicans who know they can get on TV and say whatever they damn well please and hardly if ever get push back.

But here is the thing, the Democrats have an OBVIOUS line or attack on this lie. The truth is this provision is all about providing optional consultations to the elderly about how they want to set up their own end of life care. Here is how Politifact characterized it.

For our ruling on this one, there's really no gray area here. McCaughey incorrectly states that the bill would require Medicare patients to have these counseling sessions and she is suggesting that the government is somehow trying to interfere with a very personal decision. And her claim that the sessions would "tell [seniors] how to end their life sooner" is an outright distortion. Rather, the sessions are an option for elderly patients who want to learn more about living wills, health care proxies and other forms of end-of-life planning. McCaughey isn't just wrong, she's spreading a ridiculous falsehood. That's a Pants on Fire.

Now what case in recent years having to do with end of life care might be one that the GOP doesn't want to revisit?

The Terry Schiavo case.

Unless you were on another planet for this debacle the Republican Party showed themselves to be fully prepared to use the government involved in what should be a personal family decision about end of life care. As much as anything else, it exposed their hypocrisy durinig the Bush years with respect to big government versus little government. Not only did this do great damage to their brand when it was all said and done, but it also inspired many people across the political spectrum to start having conversations with their loved ones about the need for living wills and other mechanisms to convey their wishes if something unforseen was to happen to them. For that reason associating the Terry Schiavo case with consultations for the elderly about living wills would not only resonate with most of America, it would also bring back the bad feelings that the GOP inspired from back during that debacle.

I would bet you any amount of money that once a few Democrats used that line of attack to push back on the lie, you wouldn't have to hear about it anymore.

Here is Rachel Maddow doing a segment on this very subject last night.

Southern Strategy Part Deux

I think Rachel Maddow is finally waking up to the reality of who her dear old "Uncle Pat" is and what his GOP stands for.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Take The Pledge

Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer, Pat Leahy and Dick Durbin want you to take the pledge for REAL healthcare reform including a public option!

Im down, are you?

A Reminder That The Public Option Is A Compromise For Progressives

I think this should be shouted from the hilltops. Congresswoman Maxine Waters speaks a lot of truth to power in this interview on MSNBC. From how culpable Rahm Emanual is for the current state of negotiations after he recruited so many Blue Dogs, to the incoherent contradictions in the Blue Dogs' demands. But what she really hits on here is something that I feel like the liberals and progressives have done a horrible job of stressing.

The public option itself is a compromise for progressive Democrats.

The truth is we would MUCH rather have a single payer system which would both curb costs AND cover everybody. But because President Obama backed away from that on the campaign trail and because some of the Democratic leadership are simply too cowardly to put forward a bill that best helps accomplish the goals as set forth by President Obama.

But the debate has been framed almost from the start as between having a public option and not having one. That of course pulls everything about the debate right ward. Now part of this is the fault of progressives and liberals in Congress who don't get in front of the camera and argue our point of view. Leaving the fight for public opinion up to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid is just a foolish proposition. Mrs Waters and other progressives should be in front of the cameras every day pulling the debate back to the left. But for some reason they aren't and we all know that the Villagers prefer "centrist" ie "bought off" Democrats rather than liberal or progressive Democrats.

Can we have more of this please?

A Prime Example

Republicans think its cute to play these kind of games with racial politics in this country. I wonder how funny it will be when they get their asses kicked again next year...

Funny, But Kinda Not

President Obama makes a funny about a letter he received from a senior citizen who was both against government run health care and also adamantly opposed to any changes to MediCare

The sad part is, that letter is way to representative of our under informed populous. Especially those who watch FoxNews.

In Related News...

RNC Chairman Michael Steele and three Republican Governors blow off the annual conference for the Hispanic civil rights organization, La Raza, leading their spokeswoman Marie Watteau to release this statement.

“You should certainly speak to the Republican Party about why they’re not here,” Watteau told me. “The Latino community is open to hearing from both sides, which is why both parties were invited. The Republican Party not being here may demonstrate a lack of commitment to our community.”

Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination for the Supreme Court was voted out of committee today with only a single Republican vote. The vote came after each Republican who voted no took the opportunity to take more shots at her.

Have fun in that abyss, GOP.

Looks Like The House Is At Least Getting It In

By now most people know that the AP has reported that chairman of the Senate Finance committee, Max Baucus, has pretty much sold us all down the river by putting together a health care reform bill with no public option and no employer mandate. I have a sneaky suspicion that the CBO is going to bust him upside his dome anyway when they send it up for analysis but the truth of the matter is if he really does go that route, every liberal and progressive person in this country should commit on the spot to giving money to defeat him the next time he is up for reelection, even if it means contributing to a Republican challenger. And no I am not kidding.

On the other hand it looks like the Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives are actually, you know, leading.

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman said he hopes to restart work on healthcare legislation Wednesday after cobbling together the beginnings of a possible agreement with centrist Blue Dog Democrats.


Reps. Waxman (D-Calif.) and Mike Ross (D-Ark.) emerged from more than three hours of negotiations late Monday to say that the Blue Dogs were weighing an offer from Waxman. Blue Dogs have asked Waxman to get a cost estimate for the bill.

"The chairman has made an offer," said Ross, who is the lead Blue Dog on healthcare reform. "We have asked that he get a [Congressional Budget Office] score, that is, find out how much it would cost. We're going to review it and see if it's something we can accept."

Ross and Waxman would not discuss any specifics of the proposal. But Ross said it addresses all 10 of the concerns Blue Dogs have raised with the bill.

Waxman emerged from the negotiations saying, "I feel very good right now. I don't think failure is a reasonable option."


Talks nearly collapsed in acrimony Friday as each side hurled accusations at the other. But late Friday, they agreed to keep negotiating. The House is scheduled to leave at the end of the week for its summer recess.

"This is the week for markup," Waxman said. "If we're going to do the bill out of committee, this is the week."

Earlier, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) had emerged from the talks, saying there is no way for the lower chamber to meet its Friday deadline for a vote on healthcare.

"That clearly will not be possible at this time," Hoyer told reporters. He said the deadline can't be met because of procedural hurdles and promises leaders made to give lawmakers time to read the bill.

But he added, "We have other days available to us." He has previously said that the House could meet Saturday, Monday or Tuesday.

In contrast to our bought and paid for Senator Max Baucus, we have both Congressman Henry Waxman and Congressman Steny Hoyer both trying to make it happen before the August break in the House of Representatives.

Maybe its time for Rahm Emanuel to send Max Baucus a dead fish.

Why He Is The Most Trusted News Anchor

Jon Stewart shows once again why he is a lot more trusted than the beltway/ Villager talking heads. David Gregory couldn't get Bill Kristol to admit that the government can do a good job running health care in a month of Sundays let alone get him to admit they would do a first class job.

Stewart FTMFW!

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Breaking News On Florida Congressman Kendrick Meek

Congressman Kendrick Meek of Florida, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by current U.S. Senator Mel Martinez, has received the endorsement of Steve Schale, the director of the Florida Obama campaign.

Statement from Mr. Schale:

Last year, I had the great honor of leading the Obama campaign here in Florida. For five months, I had the greatest job in the land working with what I believe was the most amazing organization of volunteers ever assembled.

But as rewarding as it was to see Florida's 27 electoral votes go to Barack Obama, I knew that we had only taken the first step on the long road to change, especially here in Florida.

State of our State is not good. Ten percent of our fellow residents are unemployed, some four million of our neighbors lack basic health insurance and some forty percent of our high school students will never get a diploma. While we live in a state whose potential is limitless, we have a Governor who seems to be satisfied with our current state of affairs, unwilling to lead our state towards greatness. Now he wants to represent us in the United States Senate.

My friends,
we deserve better.

Kendrick Meek has what it takes to help lead our state towards a better tomorrow. He helped the President pass the recovery act, protecting jobs here in Florida. He's fought to expand health insurance to every child in America and he's been a leader for our public school kids. His values are Florida's values and in him, we will have a Senator who will fight every day for the core principles that you and I hold dear.

Kendrick knows that it was your blood, sweat and tears that delivered Florida for President Obama, and he knows that it is the collective efforts of everyday people who will send him to Washington and help deliver change up and down the ballot in 2010. That is why Kendrick is working to build a grassroots movement to place his name on the ballot by petition, one that can eventually take our message of change door to door in every corner of our state.

But he can't do it alone. And here's where I need your help.

Please join the effort to help his petition drive - go to to sign up to help. There you can even download your own petition and print it for yourself, friends, and neighbors.

Please sign up to help today. Change can't happen without you.

Thank you again for everything you did to win Florida and send Barack Obama to the White House. Now let's get to work to make sure he has a partner in the Senate who will help him fulfill our collective dreams for our nation's future.


Steve Schale
Florida State Director
Obama for America, 2008

This is obviously exciting news. Mr Schale was instrumental in helping then Senator Barack Obama secure Florida's 27 electoral votes and he knows a winner when he sees one. So lets sign the petition and get Congressman Meek on the ballot for United States Senator.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Told Ya So

You know that CBO agency that the GOP keeps hyping up whenever they have less than stellar reviews of the health care reform bills? Yeah well those guys have just come out with another report and it says that a public option will not drive private insurers out of business.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new government health insurance plan sought by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats could coexist with private insurers without driving them out of business, an analysis by nonpartisan budget experts suggests.

The estimate by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office — seen as good news by Democrats — comes as leaders pushed Monday to make progress on health care overhaul before lawmakers go home for their August recess.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says a floor vote is still possible in the next few days, and Democrats called a meeting of all their House members late Monday afternoon. In the Senate, a small group of lawmakers from both parties were resuming negotiations in search of an elusive compromise.

I can't wait to see the hypocrisy from the Republicans who will now assail CBO because they don't agree with their analysis.

Of course all of this really is a moot point when you have a dick head like Max Baucus chairing the Senate Finance committee who is bound and determined not to include a public option in his bill anyway.

I need a frikkin drink!

Rock Meet Hard Place

I am glad to see that we have at least a few Democrats in Congress who know how to play hardball. Hell this is pretty much diabolical.....and I love it!

So will Republican members of the House of Representatives choose the mainstream or the fringe? I'm stocking up on popcorn!

The measure Abercrombie will introduce commemorates the 50th anniversary of Hawaii’s statehood. But here’s the rub, his spokesman tells me: It describes Hawaii as Barack Obama’s birthplace.

“In the language of the resolution, there is a statement that Hawaii is the birthplace of the 44th President of the United States,” Abercrombie spokesman Dave Helfert confirms.

That confronts House GOPers with a choice: They can vote for the measure, and endorse the idea that Obama was born in Hawaii, which could earn the wrath of birthers. Or they can vote against commemorating the 50th state’s joining of our blessed Union. Or GOPers can skip the vote, but that could look nutty.

“Far be it from us to try to stir things up,” Helfert said puckishly. “The president was born there, so what are you gonna do? Not mention it?”

I am not the newest member of the Neil Ambercrombie fan club.

Update: I guess we should have saw this one coming. Michele Bachman moves to block the resolution with a parliamentary procedure. Actually I am kind of glad because I wouldn't want a voice vote on this resolution anyway. Make them put their name on it!

Update II: The resolution passed tonight with not even a single no vote. Although there were quite a few members who didn't vote at all. I am not saying that in and of itself is an issue, but I would love to know why the ones who didn't vote....didn't.

Keep Them Coming!!!

If the DNC is going to keep putting out ads like this then i am for damn sure gonna keep putting them up on this blog. I hope the rest of the liberal and progressive blogosphere does the same!

"Are You Serious?"

Fringe Worthy

It is both ridiculous and hilarious that elected members of Congress are so cowed by their fringe base that they have to run away (sometimes literally) from admitting that President Obama is a natural born citizen.

Trust me, after they lose again next year its only going to get worse.

Which Story Will Be Written?

Now that the 911 tapes and the police transmissions have been released by the Cambridge Police Department it will be very interesting to see how the media tries to spin it. Last week I documented a discrepancy in the police report between the two responding officers' accounts. Now there is a bigger discrepancy and a very curious development to consider.

The discrepancy is that the woman who called 911, Lucia Whalen, never identifies the people who she thinks may be breaking into the house as being black. In fact she never even ventures a guess about their ethnicity until prompted to do so by the dispatcher and then she says possibly hispanic. Now some people are spinning this as bad for Henry Louis Gates Jr, but I don't see that at all. The report was written after the incident and the question has to be asked, why did the officer make it seem as if the woman identified the men as being black men. Sounds a lot like trying to make the facts fit the crime.

Also, although it couldn't be called a discrepancy, the tone of Ms Whalen is not one of certainty at all. In fact she makes sure to note that these men had suitcases (not backpacks as has been reported) and that they may just live at the residence. That is not the story we have been sold by the Cambridge police department which tried to make it seem like Crowley thought his life might be in danger.

Now the curious development is this, Crowley called for more back up AFTER he admitted having seen Gates' ID and believing it was his house.

Sgt. James Crowley said he was with a man who claims to live in the house and with identification showing he was Gates. Crowley said the man was not cooperating and told the dispatcher to "keep the cars coming."

Now we have all pretty much seen pictures of Professor Gates at this point. Are we really to believe that Crowley felt threatened by Gates and thought he needed help apprehending him. Well the thing of it is, Crowley never claims to feel threatened in any way in his own police report. He probably felt humiliated no doubt but you don't arrest people for humiliating you. But bigger than that, at that point he knows no crime has been committed. What exactly is Gates being "uncooperative" about that would require even his own presence, let alone the need for more back up?

Now the question is, how will the media report this. Its not even a judgement call anymore here. The police report was obviously factually incorrect. We hear Crowley calling for backup after learning it was Gates' house. What else is there to even consider?

You Knew This Wouldn't End Well For Him

It was obvious that David "Diapers" Vitter stuck his chin out when he decided to do a "luvfest" attack ad against his probable Democratic challenger, Charlie Melancon, and now Melancon and Louisianna Democrats have gone ahead and thrown a haymaker in response.

"In contrast to the kind of luvfest David Vitter is used to, this trip was legal, public and no money changed hands'" said Louisiana Democratic Party spokesman Kevin Franck.

"As we all remember, the last time David Vitter made public comments about a 'luvfest' he end up begging for forgiveness. I am anticipating an apology from him for this web ad in the near future."

Im not sure whom Vitter has a political consultant, but I would hope they are now seeking new employment. LOL

I Don't Care Either

GOPolitico has an article up that I refuse to link to because its so idiotic, meant to paint Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as this unpopular and despised leader who doesn't care about the way the nation sees her. First of all her ratings are still the highest of any Congressional leader from either party. Second of all if she sticks to her guns and helps pass a progressive health care reform bill in the House I'm pretty sure most Democrats won't give a damn about her approval ratings either. At least she isn't afraid to come out and stand up for Democratic principles on the air. Tell me when you have EVER seen Harry Reid do that.