Saturday, July 25, 2009

Must Reads

Tom Davis: John Thune's pro-criminal gun amendment

Susie Madrak: Insurers Insist We Really Don't Need A Public Plan. Sorry, Guys, We Don't Trust You.

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY): Why we must vote on the public health care plan

Jon Perr: The Republican 10 Point Plan for Health Care

Glenn Greenwald: The Cheney plan to deploy the U.S. military on U.S. soil

Digby: Gatesgate

Paul Krugman: Why Markets Can't Cure Health Care

Charles M. Blow: Welcome to The 'Club'

President Obama's Weekly Address - July 25, 2009

Health Insurance Reform, Small Business and Your Questions

Friday, July 24, 2009

Meet The Next Governor of Alaska

Oh. My. God.

Obama Makes A Statement on Gates Incident

(H/T GottaLaff for the video)

The "Joe the Plumberization" of Sgt. James Crowley

I don't ever recall any police officer in any situation that has caused controversy such as the Gates incident giving a statement to the press and answering questions. And so begins the "Joe the Plumberization" of Sgt. James Crowley. I'm going to go out on a very strong limb and expect Sgt. Crowley to be glorified by the right.

All one needs to do is watch the video of his interview and his snarky answer to his reaction of President Obama's comments to know where he stands. "I didn't vote for him." Followed up with a smirk. Gee, what a surprise. I'm shocked! Shocked, I say!
But that wasn't the question, Sgt. Crowley. The question was what did you think of the President's comments. Crowley immediately realized what his snarky response might have sounded like and walked it back with "I support the President of the United States 110% but I think he's way off base wading into a local issue without knowing all the facts as he himself stated before he made that comment."
Although I tend to agree that it wasn't the best thing for President Obama to say, the fact that he prefaced his answer with acknowledging he wasn't sure of all the facts and that Skip Gates is a friend and therefore has a bias is something that the media is failing to mention more frequently as the story escalates. At least Sgt. Crowley knew as much to recognize that pretense.
Racism? Who knows?
Whether race played a role in this is anyone's guess. The only one who truly knows that is Sgt. Crowley. But one wonders if a belligerent, grouchy, elitist, caucasian Harvard professor would have been handcuffed and arrested in his own house after facts revealed that he broke in because he was keyless after a long trip returning from China.
Is Sgt. Crowley a racist? I don't know. He doesn't believe he is. Did race have something to do with the outcome of the situation? Quite possibly. As Eugene Robinson states through an interrupting Mika Brzezinski, "I believe that Sgt. Crowley's actions were at least in part motivated by racial bias. That does not mean that I believe Sgt. Crowley is a racist... I don't think of myself as a racist, but I'm certainly capable of acting in ways that are inappropriate that are animated by racial bias and I should be called on that."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Birther Bullshit (The G. Gordon Liddy Edition)

Conservative radio talk show host and convicted felon G. Gordon Liddy was on Hardball tonight and while feeling the effects of downing a bottle of vicodin with a fifth of scotch, or at least looking that way, tried to slur through the evidence of the Birther Movement. Chris Matthews won't leave the Birther crap alone and reams Liddy a new asshole. Good thing he's too wasted to feel it.

Grab your popcorn!

Did Harry Reid Just Sink Health Care Reform?

AP: Senate Democratic leaders on Thursday abandoned plans for a vote on health care before Congress' August recess, dealing a blow to President Barack Obama's ambitious timetable to revamp the nation's $2.4 trillion system of medical care.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., delivered the official word on what had been expected for weeks, saying, "It's better to have a product based on quality and thoughtfulness rather than try to jam something through."
His words were a near-echo of Republicans who have criticized the rush to act on complex legislation that affects every American.
I'm at a loss for words. On one hand, I can understand the logic in making sure we get this right and that it's deficit neutral. On the other hand, we all know that the longer this takes, the more likely it is that any reform with teeth could be killed by special interest groups. What I don't understand is the "after the August recess" part.

If the Senate wants to take the time to go over it carefully, then don't wait for a month before starting. Do it now. Stay in Washington. By the time they get back, another 50,000 Americans will lose their health care and another estimated 400,000 with lose it because they will lose their jobs. I hope Harry Reid can live with that.

The CBO's Sky Is Falling... Again.

Last week the GOP's collective hair was on fire when the always reliable CBO said that the health care reform being worked out in Congress would add to the deficit, not reduce it. I also predicted that within days, the CBO would come out with another statement amending the Chicken Little assessment.


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released estimates this evening confirming for the first time that H.R. 3200, America's Affordable Health Choices Act, is deficit neutral over the 10-year budget window - and even produces a $6 billion surplus. CBO estimated more than $550 billion in gross Medicare and Medicaid savings. More importantly, the bill includes a comprehensive array of delivery reforms to set the stage for lowering the future growth in health care costs.
That was Friday. Yet, no one is talking about these CBO numbers, just as everyone ran for their bomb shelters to count their canned peaches stock the last time this happened, based on an incomplete or non-existant CBO report on the Obama administration's Recovery Plan.

I see a pattern developing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tweet of the Day

A David Gregory tweet during President Obama's press conference on health care. There is no longer any need to wonder why Meet The Press sucks ass.

More Birther Bullshit - UPDATED

On yesterday's Hardball, Chris Matthews went after Rep. John Campbell (R-Douchelandia) for being asinine enough to co-sponsor the "birther bill" requiring future Presidents to provide proof of citizenship with their birth certificate. Campbell thinks it will lay doubts to rest, not realizing (or maybe realizing all too well) that it's only fueling the fire for the nutballs who don't like the idea of a black man being the President and are using this sorry excuse to discredit Obama's rightful place in office.

He argues that this would have been the same for John McCain or George Romney, but I don't remember anyone seriously doubting the citizenship of McCain during the campaign. And if they did, it was only in response to the craziness of the issue coming from the wingnuts. I think Chris does a good job of putting Campbell in his place.

UPDATE (2:25pm): Does anyone think Lou Dobbs has any credibility left after this?

Media Matters:
Dobbs joins right-wing media promoting birth certificate conspiracy theories
July 22, 2009: In light of CNN host Lou Dobbs' recent promotion of conspiracy theories about President Obama's birth certificate, Media Matters for America is re-publishing the following item, which was originally posted June 18.
Even Joe Scarborough isn't falling into the Birther trap.

Frank McCourt Dies at 78

NY TIMES: Frank McCourt, a former New York City schoolteacher who turned his miserable childhood in Limerick, Ireland, into a phenomenally popular, Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, “Angela’s Ashes,” died in Manhattan on Sunday. He was 78 and lived in Manhattan and Roxbury, Conn.

The cause was metastatic melanoma, said Mr. McCourt’s brother, the writer Malachy McCourt.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Stewart v. Williams

Great interview! An amazing game of one-upmanship between Jon Stewart and NBC's Brian Williams.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Brian Williams
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Political HumorJoke of the Day

Holy Crap!

Amateur Finds New Earth-Sized Blot on Jupiter

Rachel Corrects The Record

Last week during the groudswell of racism that permeated the US Sentate hearing on the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, I posted video without comment of MSNBC "pundit" Pat Buchanan and the pretty remarkably harsh, racist statements he was making on the issue. I didn't comment on them because I thought that they basically spoke for themselves and that there were soooo many misstatements, factually incorrect statements and flat out lies, it would have taken too much time out of my life to go through them one by one. Besides, I value my normal blood pressure.

Luckily Rachel Maddow, who had a debate with Buchanan on the issue, took it upon herself to correct the record because she couldn't stand not to.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Eagle Has Landed

Forty years ago today.

Check out more video at Bob Cesca's blog.

(H/T Bob Cesca)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Frank Rich: They Got Some ’Splainin’ to Do

As political theater, the Sonia Sotomayor hearings tanked faster than the 2008 Fred Thompson presidential campaign. They boasted no drama to rival the Clarence-Anita slapdown, the Bork hissy fits or the tearful exodus of Samuel Alito’s wife. There was rarely a moment to match even the high point of the Senate’s previous grilling of Sotomayor — in 1997, when she was elevated to the Second Circuit. It was then that Senator John Ashcroft of Missouri previewed the brand of white male legal wisdom that would soon become his hallmark at the Bush Justice Department. “Do you believe there’s a constitutional right to homosexual conduct by prisoners?” he asked. (She aced it: “No, sir.”)
Yet the Sotomayor show was still rich in historical significance. Someday we may regard it as we do those final, frozen tableaus of Pompeii. It offered a vivid snapshot of what Washington looked like when clueless ancien-régime conservatives were feebly clinging to their last levers of power, blissfully oblivious to the new America that was crashing down on their heads and reducing their antics to a sideshow as ridiculous as it was obsolescent.
Read the rest of the op-ed here.

Douchebag of the Week: Rep. Todd Tiahrt

Words fail me.

Rep. Todd Tiarht (R-KS): If you think of it in human terms, there is a financial incentive that would be put in place, paid for by tax dollars, that would encourage…single parents, living below the poverty level, to have the opportunity for a free abortion. If you take that scenario and apply it to many of the great minds we have today, who would we have been deprived of? Our President grew up in those similar circumstances. If that financial incentive was in place, is it possible that his mother might have taken advantage of it? Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court Justice, if those circumstances were in place, is it possible that we’d have been denied his great mind?
Not only does he fail to realize that President Obama's mother wasn't a single mother while she was pregnant, apparently Rep. Tiahrt thinks that only minorities get abortions. ...He also thinks Clarence Thomas is one of today's "great minds."

Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Doucheberg): Douchebag of the Week.