Saturday, September 5, 2009

Must Reads - UPDATED

Dan Froomkin: Cheney Still Manipulating People -- Now In Public

Bob Cesca: The Public Option is Popular, Moral and Inexpensive, Therefore it Must Die

The Rude Pundit: In the Realm of "You Have to Be Fucking Kidding": Obama's School Speech Makes Conservatives Cry

Michael Winship: Coming Soon to a Democracy Near You...

David Sirota: Progressives Pay the Price for Confusing a Party With a Movement

John Nichols: Give States an Option to Lead on Single-Payer

Richard Wolf: White House to reveal visitor names

Megan Tady: Will ‘Astroturf’ Groups Block Net Neutrality Reform?

MUST SEE: Anthony Weiner Blasts Critics of Health Reform VIDEO (You can catch a ton of other Weiner videos as well.)

Armadillo Joe recommends...

James Moore: The Lies of Texas Are Upon You


Davenoon, LGM: While we're at it, let's privatize the fire department, too

US Dept. of Labor: The History of Labor Day

President Obama's Weekly Address - September 5, 2009

Labor Day and Fair Rewards for Hard Work

Friday, September 4, 2009

Senator Franken's Easy Explanation of Reform

The lady with the Tea party shirt wants an answer, but when she realizes how complex the health care reform issue is, she looks bored five minutes in. Franken does a masterful job explaining that we can't sustain the way we do things in regards to health care insurance now, and that there is much more in common with regards to reform that everyone agrees on than there is discord.

Can someone tell me why President Obama hasn't tried this approach? I've seen enough of his town halls to give you his answers by rote, like "keeping the insurance companies honest." You need to spell it out for the six year olds, Mr. President. Talk to them like you would a 3rd grade class.

Don't get me wrong, one of the things I appreciate about President Obama is that he talks to us like adults and doesn't try to sweep the bad news under the rug. But those who usually listen to him and trust him aren't the ones he should be trying to connect with - the crazies and the teabaggers who got really tired of being overtaxed and became so fiscally conscious on January 20th are the ones he should try to reach. How? By speaking to them like six year olds. Use pretty charts with fancy colors, give a slide presentation, use doctor and patient hand puppets, do SOMETHING to make them understand that protesting on the same side as the very insurance companies that ass fuck them on a regular basis might not be in their best interest.

They've been acting like six year olds at town hall meetings all month. Maybe it's time to treat them like six year olds.

Robert Reich Gives The President Some Much Needed Advice

This is another blog I frequent that I failed to mention in my previous post. Robert Reich lays out what I think most Democrats, liberals and progressives have been saying for months now. And the advice is a lot better than what's been coming out of the White House lately.

Reich: ...A record number of Democrats, who took over Congress in 2006, hail from traditionally Republican or swing states and districts.
In order to get anything meaningful through this session of Congress, then, the President will have to give congressional Democrats far more leadership and more cover. Doing so is harder now than before the recess, when he was still basking in the afterglow of a honeymoon and 60 percent favorabilities.Yet it's not too late. Addressing a joint session of Congress next Wednesday is a good idea but Obama can't rely solely on his exceptional rhetorical skills. He'll need to twist arms, cajole, force recalcitrant members to join him, threaten retribution if they don't come along.
Most importantly, he'll need to be specific about what he wants -- especially about three things.
Read the rest.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Broadway Carl's Blog-O-Mania Recipient of Honest Weblog Award

I stared at my phone waiting for it to ring. I sat on my stoop waiting for the mailman to deliver my trophy or medal or certificate or whatever it is I'm receiving as my Honest Weblog Award. No matter; it is very flattering that those who read my blog (or at least one reader) found my musings, rants, diatribes and random thoughts worthy of such an honor.

Annette, of Just my little piece of the world fame, has seen it fit to bestow upon me the Honest Weblog Award. Her own blog is one I follow and I truly admire her writing and world view. Thanks, Annette, for the kind words and loyal clicks. Now on to the minutia.

Honest Weblog Award Rules:

1. You must brag about the award.

2. You must include the name of the blogger who bestowed the award on you and link back to that blogger.

3. You must choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.

4. Show their names and links and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with the Honest Weblog Award.

5. List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself.

Then pass it on with the instructions!

The following of the rules:

1. Woohoo! Honest Weblog Award, bitches! I rock! Suck on it!

2. See second paragraph above.

3. Seven blogs:

Bob Cesca's Awesome Blog! GO! - I don't know how I initially came across Bob's blog, perhaps by reading a Huffington Post article, but I've been hooked from Day One. Bob Cesca's combination of information, snark and loyal commenters make this my most visited blog daily.

The Rude Pundit - I always anticipate a great post and a good laugh and I am never disappointed by The Rude One. If you're faint of heart, you might want to prepare yourself with a stiff drink before heading into NC-17 territory (they don't call Lee Papa "The Rude One" for nothing), but you'll be sure to learn something and be smarter for it. So what if on occasion you'll be blindsided with certain crass images that will curve your spine? It's nothing a few years of therapy won't fix.

Booman Tribune -Booman is an incredibly intelligent and entertaining writer, tells it like it is and has a kick ass frog logo. Or is it a toad?

The Political Carnival - I don't know how GottaLaff and Paddy manage to put as much great content up in such a quick period of time on a daily basis. If you hear about something in real time and expect to write about it as it's happening, Laffy and Paddy have already beaten you to the punch. Simply amazing.

and doctor biobrain's response is... - Funny, witty, and dextrously analytical, Dr. Biobrain is a joy to read. The good doctor breaks it down so that even a six year old can understand. Unless that six year old brain is trapped in the body of a middle-aged neo-conservative of course, in which case the debating in the comments section becomes a laugh riot!

OsborneInk - Matt is a tremendous writer as can be attested by his blog content, short stories, and letters to the editor. After seeing a month's worth of town hall crazy, it's nice to know a former military man can be a liberal.

Zaius Nation - Man, oh man, are you going to enjoy this site! The graphic content itself is justification enough to bookmark this blog and visit daily, let alone the amazing take on who is writing the blog. I won't give it away, just go check it out.

And of course, I have to include my friend Annette for the reasons mentioned above (see second paragraph.)

4. Inform bloggers... Working on it.

5. Ten honest things about myself:
~ I'm a big time procrastinator.
~ I feel like I have a good work ethic, but if I ever won the lottery, my co-workers would never see my face again. And I am amazed at those who continue to toil at a crappy job after they win a big jackpot. Life's too short to waste time not enjoying it.
~ I'm generous to a fault (at least that's what I'm told).
~ I like nice, new shiny things like laptops and cars to the point of getting depressed when wanting to buy a new, shiny thing but knowing I don't need said new, shiny thing.
~ I like really good food and really good wine and don't hesitate in spending a pretty penny for a night out. I have my wife to thank for that.
~ I should call my mom more often.
~ If the White House kills the public option and loses at least 84 progressive votes in the House in exchange for one Republican vote (Olympia Snowe) in the Senate, this blog is going to get real ugly.
~ I'm a bad swimmer.
~ When I was a kid, I wanted to be an archaeologist. I thought finding old stuff in the dirt was cool.
~ I was a music major in college and used to be a performer (musician, actor and singer). I still miss singing and think I still have pretty good chops - like "well above average" good. If I find some old video, I'll YouTube it.
So that's it. My rules task is done. I think I'll be getting my plaque any day now and I've reserved a space for it on the wall.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Party of No Sympathy

Over these last few weeks while Congress has been in recess, we've seen some pretty offensive town hall meetings. Birthers and deathers, seniors who rail against a government run health care option but freak at the idea of possible changes to steamline their government run Medicare, and gun-toting 2nd Amendment activists who for some reason show up armed at health care forums have shown us the ugly, misinformed and disinformed underbelly of the Republican voter, uneducated in the ways of the current health care reform battle among many other things.

But lately, we are becoming witness to the lowest of the low. We are watching our elected officials at said town halls cater to the basest fears of their far right wingnut base and turn their backs on constituents coming to them for answers, constituents in need, people looking for help.
The first of these examples came from Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, the heartless representing the heartland, when a distraught woman pleaded for help because her husband's insurance company would not cover his traumatic brain injury. Coburn's response? Call his office, but "government is not the answer." He suggested she should look to friends and neighbors as the sheeple in the audience applauded. I wonder how many of them offered to help this woman and her husband after the meeting was over?
Then came word of Kansas Republican Rep. Lynn "Great White Hope" Jenkins laughing in the face of a young mother with a 2½ year old child who can't afford health insurance when she asked what was wrong with a government run option that she could afford? Here is someone who doesn't want to be on the dole, would rather pay for her own insurance than get subsidized by the government to buy private insurance, and she is basically ignored... as the sheeple again applaud.

But I must say that the latest act of RNC Chairman Michael Steele is disgustingly reprehensible. Steele has shown over and over that in his mind, he is right and anyone who disagrees with him is a moron. It's the Emporer's New Clothes Redux. He knows not of what he speaks and proves it every time he opens his mouth. Well, this time, he not only shows his ignorance but his pompous ruthlessness as well.
Taking a question about health care reform from a student who lost her mother to cancer because she couldn't afford some of the medications, Steele took it all as a big stunt and said, "It makes for great TV. You'll probably make it tonight, enjoy it." He then turned his back on her... and the white sheeple who were bussed in and sat in the front rows of the prodominently black audience applauded.
I mean, I always thought Steele was a bit of a douchebag, but man, that is some cold-blooded shit. What is the point of having a town hall meeting when you don't care what the participants have to say? How does he justify that kind of behavior, not just as a human being, but as a representative, THE representative of the Republican National Committee? Come on, Mike, at least pretend to care. All you're doing is solidifying the notion that the GOP really doesn't give a rat's ass about the average American barely scraping by. He's just as insensitive as he is stupid.
Dave Zirin writes:
...The roots of Steele's unconscionable behavior lie in his own political bankruptcy. The nation faces a health care crisis and has no answer other than telling students, "Everyone in the country needs health care." Lately he has been running commercials telling seniors, "No cuts for Medicare," just two short years after running for senator of Maryland saying that "everything has to be on the table" - including Medicare cuts. As Ron Brownstein wrote in National Journal on Friday, "Steele's pledge this week to 'protect Medicare' might have been more convincing had it not come five months after nearly four-fifths of House Republicans voted to literally end the program as we know it for all Americans younger than 55."
It's one thing to be a fraud. That's politics as usual. But to turn your back on a young person whose mother just died of cancer is more than politics as usual. It's shocking.

UPDATE (10:30pm): Keith Olbermann gives Steele the once over.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Is She Really That Stupid? - UPDATED

CNBC's Maria Bartiromo, a money pundit staple who also has her own weekend Wall Street craptacular show (or at least did, I haven't seen any ads for it lately) was on MSNBC today with Carlos Watson and Rep. Anthony Weiner discussing health care of all things. Why they would have a money person on to discuss something out of their comfort zone, I have no idea.

Well, Bartiromo does her best to show the world that she has absolutely no clue what she's talking about. When Weiner confronts her with the fact that 40% of the population is already on current government run health care, including Medicare recipients, she scoffs and asks if Medicare is so good, "how come you don't have it? How come you're not on it?"
Uh, Maria... you have to be 65 years old. Shhh... it's a secret, so don't tell anyone, okay?
Watch the clip. It's head-banging-into-a-brink-wall delicious.

Adding... Ezra Klein was on remote as part of the debate and added part of the transcript to his blog.

UPDATE (9/2/09 3:20pm): Matt Taibbi's interaction with Bartiromo.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Cheney Thinks He Kept Us Safe

Dick Cheney on Fox "News" Sunday: I guess the other thing that offends the hell out of me, frankly, Chris, is we had a track record now of eight years of defending the nation against any further mass casualty attacks from Al Qaida.
The approach of the Obama administration should be to come to those people who were involved in that policy and say, "How did you do it? What were the keys to keeping this country safe over that period of time?"

I could care less whether you're offended, DICK. Actually, stike that. I prefer you be offended on a regular basis. And even if the Obama administration did "come to those people who were involved in that policy" for advice, that wouldn't be you, DICK. If they wanted advice from your administration, it would be to check your notes for a "How NOT To Run The Government" strategy.
If you'll notice, the crazy Cheney rhetoric has morphed from "keeping the country safe since 9/11" to "keeping the country safe the for the last eight years." Hey, asshole, don't you mean a little over SEVEN years? Or are you thinking, "Well, except for that one time, we kept you safe. Oh, and the antrax thing... uh, that's twice. But other than those two times... uh, we kept you safe."
Uh... no, douchebag. We were hit under your watch. No other administration can make that dubious claim. Why on earth would Obama want advice from the only administration in the nation's history that fell asleep at the switch while vacationing for a fucking month in Crawford, Texas of all places?
Also read Andrew Sullivan ripping Chris Wallace a new asshole.

(H/T Cesca for the quote.)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Douchebag of the Week: Rep. Lynn Jenkins

A freshman Republican congresswoman apologized Thursday for telling a gathering in her district that the GOP was still searching for a "great white hope" to stop President Barack Obama's political agenda.
You know what? I'm going to give Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R- Whiteyville) the benefit of the doubt. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I don't believe Jenkins seriously meant that phrase in any type of racial connotation. But she's still a douchebag for being stupid enough not to understand its meaning or know its origin. Sort of like "tar baby."

Talk about making a splash in your first year as an elected official in Congress!

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (GO KANSAS!): Douchebag of the Week.