Saturday, July 18, 2009

Must Reads

Glenn Greenwald: Chuck Todd's arguments against investigations & Celebrating Cronkite while ignoring what he did

Paul Krugman: The Six Deadly Hypocrites

Bill Moyers & Michael Winship: Oysters for Health Care

John Nichols: A Real Win for Single-Payer Advocates

Robert Naiman: The Day They Arrested President Roosevelt

Rude Pundit: Sotomayor, Day 3 (and Some Day 4): More Random Observations of the Tedious Madness

Paul McCartney at Citi Field

When I bought my tickets, I felt a sting in my wallet. I had never seen McCartney in concert and I thought this might be the only time I would have the opportunity to see the Beatles legend live. The closest I came to anything remotely related to the Beatles was attending the John Lennon memorial in Central Park in 1980 a week after he was killed.

So I figured I'd pony up the dough and take the wife to the first concert in Citi Field, in itself an historic event for the new stadium. And boy, was it the best spent money in a long time! Although the slight rain that came down for about an hour might've dampened our clothing, it didn't dampen our spirits as McCartney blazed through a myriad of songs, old and new and rocked the stadium.
A video backdrop behind the band included pictures of the young Beatles days, computer-animated Beatles from the video game “The Beatles: Rock Band”, video of a Wings photo shoot during "Band on the Run" that included James Coburn, Christopher Lee and Robert DeNiro, and even a couple of simulated Obama headshots during "Sing The Changes." I'll try to add some photos and maybe a video later.
One particular thing that warmed my heart were the parents who brought their young children to witness the Rock 'n Roll legend. There was a dad with his daughter of perhaps 9 or 10 years of age, who sat in front of us and knew every lyric to every Beatles song being played. To our left was a mom and her 5 year old girl who sang along with "Hey Jude." In this age of the Jonas Brothers, Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus, it's nice to see the history of rock music being handed down to the next generation. Too many times I've come across some in their late teens and early twenties who think the genre started with Nirvana and answer questions of The Beatles with, "Who?"
If you can come up with the scratch and can score tickets for one of the remaining two concerts, it's well worth the experience.
Jon Pareles has an excellent write up in the New York Times.

Here's Friday night's set list:

“Drive My Car”
“Only Mama Knows”
“Flaming Pie”
“Got To Get You Into My Life”
“Let Me Roll It” (with a “Foxy Lady” coda)
“The Long and Winding Road”
“My Love”
“Here Today”
“Dance Tonight”
“Calico Skies”
“Mrs. Vandebilt”
“Eleanor Rigby”
“Sing the Changes”
“Band on the Run”
“Back in the U.S.S.R.”
“I’m Down”
“Something” (on ukulele)
“I’ve Got a Feeling”
“Paperback Writer”
“A Day in the Life”/“Give Peace a Chance”
“Let It Be”
“Live and Let Die”
“Hey Jude”
“Day Tripper”
“Lady Madonna”
“I Saw Her Standing There” (with Billy Joel)
“Helter Skelter”
“Get Back”
“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (reprise)/“The End”

Walter Cronkite Dies at 92

NY TIMES: Walter Cronkite, who pioneered and then mastered the role of television news anchorman with such plain-spoken grace that he was called the most trusted man in America, died Friday at his home in New York. He was 92.

President Obama's Weekly Address - July 18, 2009

Health Care Reform Cannot Wait

"...any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange: a one-stop shopping marketplace where you can compare the benefits, cost and track records of a variety of plans – including a public option to increase competition and keep insurance companies honest – and choose what’s best for your family. And that’s why we’ll put an end to the worst practices of the insurance industry: no more yearly caps or lifetime caps; no more denying people care because of pre-existing conditions; and no more dropping people from a plan when they get too sick. No longer will you be without health insurance, even if you lose your job or change jobs."

Friday, July 17, 2009

President Obama on Health Care Progress

When the latest CBO report came out stating that the healthcare reform would cost more than save in the long term I knew it would be the perfect fodder for those opposed to the public option. I also have a feeling that this initial report will be followed up by secondary report amending their first overstated report, as the CBO is accustomed to doing. I thought if President Obama, or someone speaking for the White House didn't come out in opposition to the report, we'd be in a little more trouble when it comes to passing health care reform with a strong public option. Then you have dolts like Lieberman and Landrieu saying we should slow the whole thing down and protecting their health care lobbyist moolah.

Enter President Obama:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Portrait of a Racist

Standing By Your Convictions

Texas Governor, Rick "Secession" Perry, the Republican politician who rejected stimulus money in March, is now asking for funds from that oppressive, evil federal government.

Texas is now asking the federal government for a $170 million loan so that benefits keep getting paid.
“This is nothing out of the ordinary. We’re following protocol that we put in place,” said Governor Rick Perry.
Texas has asked for this loan only one other time, in 2003. This year however, the decision is getting extra attention after Governor Rick Perry rejected federal stimulus money that would have replenished the fund.
Texas is expected to request $650 million, roughly $100 million more than Perry initially rejected. At a “tea party protest” in April, Perry trumpeted his decision to reject stimulus dollars from the Obama administration. “I believe the federal government has become oppressive,” he said, adding that he might even consider seceding from the Union.

I love the smell of Republican hypocrisy in the morning.

Greenwald vs Chuck Todd

Yesterday, Glenn Greenwald blogged about and criticized the latest back and forth between Chuck Todd and Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski & Pat Buchanan and their discussion on a possible investigation into the Bush administration's interrogation (ie. torture) policies, specifically criticizing Todd for blurring the line between being a journalist and a pundit, between stating the facts and stating his opinion. Todd contacted Greenwald to talk about his post and debated about those torture issues. They agreed to have an interview.

The half hour podcast is here. Must listen intertubes!

Oh, Sweet Justice!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Orly Taitz Is Insane

Last night as I drove home from work, I had the extraordinary pleasure of listening to Alan Colmes interview Stefan Cook and Alan Keyes Birther movement lawyer, Orly Taitz. During the lead up to the interview, I anticipated hearing an intelligent discussion between Colmes and what I thought would be an attorney well versed in the ways of debate in order to make sense of the whole Birther movement.

Imagine my surprise when what I heard coming out of a break, was one of the most bizarre interviews I had ever heard with a "lawyer" who sounds like Arianna Huffington on crack.

Orly Taitz refuses to believe that President Obama was born in the United States, has called and continues to call him an "arrogant jerk," believes that the debunking of the whole birth certificate drama is photoshopped by "a bunch of yahoos" and has absolutely no regard for civilized discourse during the entire interview.

I'm still trying to find the full audio, but you can listen to a 5 minute clip here. Prepare for a jaw dropping experience.

Senate Committee Passes Health Bill

The Senate health committee cast a milestone vote Wednesday to approve legislation expanding insurance coverage to nearly all Americans, becoming the first congressional panel to act on President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.
The 13-10 party line vote advanced a $600 billion measure that would require individuals to get health insurance and employers to contribute to the cost. Democratic leaders are driving for floor votes in the House and Senate before Congress goes on its August break.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lindsey Graham Is A Dick - UPDATED

The highlight of my day while watching the Sotomayor hearings was Senator Lindsey Graham (R-Doucheland) being Mr. Tough Guy and after about 6 hours of answering questions, incredulously asked Judge Sotomayor to repeat her "wise latina" quote because he couldn't find it in his notes to beat her about the head with it. Seriously.

You've had all day, Lindsey. If you want to drag Sotomayor through the mud, that's your prerogative. But don't ask her to help you do it because you're unorganized and misplaced your right wing talking points fax. Dick.

UPDATE (10:35pm): Via Third Branch:
Via Atrios, Craig Crawford describes the political disaster that the GOP has decided to perpetrate upon itself:
Watching Lindsey Graham's gotcha grin as he needled Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor with disingenuous and rhetorical questions you had to wonder what was so funny. Does the Republican senator think it is amusing that he and his party's condescending tone toward the Hispanic woman was costing them ethnic votes with each passing hour of Tuesday's Judiciary Committee hearing?
. . . Even if they vote for her, the fallout for Republicans could reach well beyond Hispanic voters. They are coming across as a bunch of snarky and bitter old white men who cannot bear the thought of their kind losing power.
The only thing that can make it worse for the GOP will be, as I noted earlier, if no Republicans vote for Sotomayor's confirmation. Here's hoping.

Birthers Get Thrown A Bone

A judge said he would listen to "the merits" of Alan Keyes' case challenging Obama's presidency. While a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said the move was merely procedural, birth conspiracy proponents are encouraged.
And a soldier refuses to be deployed to Afghanistan because he believes Obama presidency is illegitimate.
U.S. Army Maj. Stefan Frederick Cook has argued that he shouldn't have to go to Afghanistan because the man sending him there isn't really president.
In the 20-page document -- filed July 8 with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia -- the California-based [Alan Keyes lawyer Orly] Taitz asks the court to consider granting his client's request based upon Cook's belief that Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the United States and is therefore ineligible to serve as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Cook further states he "would be acting in violation of international law by engaging in military actions outside the United States under this President's command. ... simultaneously subjecting himself to possible prosecution as a war criminal by the faithful execution of these duties."
Ironic that the government is discharging willing and able gay soldiers and preventing them from fulfilling their duty and this "patriot" is using the birther conspiracy as an excuse not to send his cowardly ass to Afghanistan. Fine, dishonorably discharge the fucker.

Palin Wrote What?!

Escuse me while I wipe the tears from my eyes. I haven't been able to stop laughing at this statement: "Sarah Palin wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post." Seriously? C'mon. Her name may be on it, but anyone who's paid any attention to Sarah Palin over the last 9 months has to realize that this did not come from the pen of Palin. Especially on the heels of her rambling resignation "speech" less than two weeks ago which began, "Hi Alaska."

Ezra Klein expounds on her op-ed explaining her cap and trade opposition:
It's probably a bit kind to say that Sarah Palin "wrote" this. There are no words in all capital letters. There are no sports metaphors. There is nothing at all like "*((Gotta put First Things First))*." The stylistic and grammatical tics on display in last week's speech are totally absent. Sarah Palin signed her name to this. Or at least let someone else do so.
But that's not all that's missing. The term "global warming" is absent. So is "climate change." It's a bit like an op-ed that attacks firefighters for pointing pressurized water cannon at everything but never mentions fires, or a column that condemns surgeons for sticking sharp things into people but never mentions illness.
You could no more argue with this op-ed than you could drive a car made out of candy.
We've obviously not heard the last of Sarah Palin. She is now putting her name to op-eds in the same paper as Pulitzer Prize winner Eugene Robinson.

I do have one question: who wrote that op-ed for her?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Today's News

In my continuing effort to get my apartment ready to put on the market, I've completely neglected the blog today. I managed to get a couple of Tweets in (follow me!) during the installation of a medicine cabinet, bathroom lighting fixture and a pantry door.

So here's my version of today's news:
Judge Sotomayor's hearing in finally underway. And along the way Senators Sessions and Kyl show how bitchy they are to the world. Senator Hatch also gave us his whiny, wimpy side (as if he has any other) during Hardball. It was nice to see Senator Al Franken in his first Committee hearing as was the last to speak being the most junior senator. Speaking of seniority, the penultimate speaker at the hearing? Alren Specter. ...Heh.
Dick Cheney, in his latest impression of Dr. Evil, is exposed for ordering the CIA to withhold information from Congress for eight years! That would be his whole time in office as Vice President. Hmm... would that mean that Nancy Pelosi wasn't entirely incorrect when she was vilified a few weeks ago for claiming that she was lied to by the CIA? Still waiting on one of those creeps, namely John Boehner to apologize to Pelosi.
The future ex son-in-law of Sarah Palin, Levi Johnston continues his media tour and suggests Palin quit because she couldn't hack it. She couldn't take the pressure. Take it with a grain of salt considering the source, but you have to wonder about someone who quits because, according to her, she was tired of the attacks. And yet, the GOP and 7 in 10 Republicans would vote for her in 2012.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Apropos of Nothing

posted by Armadillo Joe

I have always been a fan of the NBC sit-com "News Radio" and of Stephen Root in particular. The Inter-Webs are really cool because this scene popped into my head this afternoon and I had found and it re-watched it -- for the first time in over a decade -- in under five minutes.

From Season Two, Episode 8 - "The Negotiation"

Thanks, But No Thanks On That Campaigning Offer

HuffPo: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said she's not only staying involved in national politics, but she plans to jump back into the national scrum when she leaves office at the end of the month.
The former Republican vice presidential nominee said she plans to write a book, campaign for political candidates from coast to coast - even Democrats who share her views on limited government, national defense and energy independence - and build a right-of-center coalition.
"I will go around the country on behalf of candidates who believe in the right things, regardless of their party label or affiliation," she said during an interview published Sunday in The Washington Times.
So that's her plan! Destroying the Democratic Party from the inside like a termite. What politician in their right mind, would want Palin anywhere near their campaign? Before you answer that question, remember that the operative words are "in their right mind."

Imagine If He Were President?!

What little respect I had for Senator John Sidney McCain III, if any at all, has now vanished.

"On 'Meet The Press' today, he told host David Gregory [Sarah Palin] is qualified to be president.
In fact, he was so spring-loaded to make the point about his former running mate on the Republican presidential ticket, he didn't even allow Gregory to finish his question..."