Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Huffington Post: Geraldine Hoff Doyle, the inspiration for "Rosie the Riveter," died on Sunday at the age of 86 due to complications from arthritis, the Washington Post reports....Rosie's story began in the 1940s, when the 17-year-old Doyle was working at a metal factory in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A visiting United Press International photographer snapped a pic of her sporting a red-and-white bandana.
Although this little tidbit of information gave me a chuckle:
Was "Rosie" the Riveter the 1940's version of Sarah Palin?According to the Wall Street Journal, Doyle quit after just one week at the factory where her picture was made famous.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
There is obviously nothing that the neoconservative right wing will allow to go unchallenged when it comes to anything related to President Obama.
The latest faux-rage comes at the expense of the President's comments regarding Michael Vick. Comments that, by the way, were made in a private conversation to Eagles owner Jeff Lurie in a phone call to initially praise him for using alternative energy sources to power his stadium. During the call, Obama also commended the Eagles owner for giving Michael Vick a second chance.
Lurie relayed the conversation to a Sports Illustrated reporter who ran with it. And here is where the hair-on-fire reaction begins. Animal activists naturally were aghast that the President would think to say such an insensitive thing as to giving a human being a second chance after serving time for his crime. That's what the correctional institution in the US is all about right? Rehabilitation? Fox New's Megyn Kelly compared animal cruelty to rape. Yes, rape. But self-proclaimed Christian and former bow tie addict Tucker Carlson really showed how he follows his faith by not only criticizing Obama for the private comments, but stating that Vick should have been executed for his actions.“He said, ‘So many people who serve time never get a fair second chance.’ He said, ‘It’s never a level playing field for prisoners when they get out of jail.’ And he was happy that we did something on such a national stage that showed our faith in giving someone a second chance after such a major downfall.”
So, holier than thou Tucker Carlson, who admits to making mistakes and "fervently believes in second chances" is looking into his so called Christian heart not for forgiveness, but for vengeance. Must be an Old Testament type of guy. I wonder what type of vengeance should be cast uopon a person who maliciously wrote emails in someone else's name in an attempt to get that person in trouble? Isn't falsifying your identity through email a crime? Maybe that's a crime punishable by execution. Maybe Carlson should have been sentenced to hang by the bow tie until he was dead."I'm a Christian, I've made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances," Carlson said. "But Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a heartless and cruel way. And I think, personally, he should've been executed for that. He wasn't, but the idea that the President of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs? Kind of beyond the pale."
But I digress. The point is that this situation is exactly the way our legal and justice system is supposed to work, isn't it? You're guilty of a crime, convicted and sentenced by a jury of your peers, do the time and re-enter society a rehabilitated person. I didn't realize part of the deal after you were released was to never have the opportunity to work again.
And on a side note, now you know the reason why Carlson's shows always fail.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
"I pressed an F instead of a P and people freaked out," said Sarah, pointing out that her blunder was the second-most-searched word on Google trends.
Once again... *sigh*... If you'll just admit that you melded the words "refute" and "repudiate" together in the excuse you call a brain, this would have been dropped long ago. Actually, it WAS dropped, but in your infinite wisdom, you decided to bring it up again to prove that you're never wrong when in actuality, you're often wrong (see Death Panels, Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign, the Bush Doctrine, abuse of power while governor of Alaska, etc.).In the clip from "Sarah Palin's Alaska"... it turns out that Palin claims she "pressed an 'f' instead of a 'd'" on the way to creating the word "refudiate." While the "f" and "d" keys are indeed closer to each other on a QWERTY keyboard, such an explanation would suggest that she was intending to spell the word "redudiate," which is also not a real word.
Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell was more than a little pissed off about the early cancellation of Sunday night's game in Philadelphia versus the Vikings due to an anticipated blizzard that hit the east coast. And I have to say, that while I initially understood the reason for the postponement, I couldn't agree with Rendell more, especially in light of the fact that the cancellation took place 9½ hours before game time before any snow had fallen, and as Rendell says in the clip below, they had more than enough time to make the call later in the day if they needed to, as happens in baseball.
And let's remember that it was the NFL that made this decision, not the mayor of Philadelphia or any government official before we get any "nanny state" whiners trying to misplace blame.
Monday, December 27, 2010
A lot of people are making an issue out of NJ Governor Chris "The Cannoli" Christie going on vacation to Disney World during the big blizzard we've experienced. I really don't think it's that big a deal. What's he going to do, shovel New Jersey out himself? He probably needs help getting out of bed in the morning.
As much as I don't like Christie, this was obviously a planned vacation with his family. A trip to Disney World during Christmas week is not a spur of the moment thing. But I do hope he enjoys the wonderful, balmy Florida weather.
UPDATE (12/28/10 4:45pm): This is the reason Christie should be held accountable:
..it was Governor Christie's responsibility to ensure that the separated powers of the executive branch remained separated. Either he should have scheduled his family trip at another time, or he should have been a boss and told [Lt. Gov.] Guadagno that she could not travel at the same time as he was.
For someone who seems eager to exercise the power of the bully pulpit at public events, the reticence to exercise the legitimate powers of his office responsibly is puzzling, and alarming. It is a dereliction of duty and an abrogation of responsibility. Yes, the world will keep turning. But it isn't the Governor's duty to keep the world turning. It is his duty to ensure the administration of the state government and to run the executive branch. Especially in an emergency. Especially when there is almost a week's notice that the emergency is going to hit. It is inexcusable.
While touring a logging camp with her family on Sunday's episode of "Sarah Palin's Alaska," Palin took the opportunity to skewer conservationists who use pencils and paper as a medium to complain about her stance on the environment.
"Conservationists write me these nasty letters because I support an industry like this," the former vice presidential candidate said, after taking a chainsaw to an Evergreen Timber tree. "They write me these nasty letters using their pretty little pencils on their pretty little stationary not realizing. Where do you think your pencil and your piece of paper came from, people? It came from a tree that was harvested."
Sunday, December 26, 2010
I'm sorry, Huffington Post. You can't use the headline, "Snowpocalypse" for every snow storm.
Yes, I know this is a bad storm, but you blew your wad last season with a "Snowpocalypse" headline, so it kind of defeats the purpose of what your definition of "Snowpocalypse" is.
a·poc·a·lypse [uh-pok-uh-lips] –nounYou see, the definition of "apocalypse" in comparison with a snowstorm is dubious at best. And being that this snowstorm is not even countrywide let alone universal, kind of makes the headline a little overblown. But ultimately, using the phrase "Snowpocalypse" for EVERY snowstorm is a bit "been here, done that"; soooo 2009. Go with "Snowmageddon" next time.
1. ( initial capital letter ) revelation ( def. 4 ) .
2. any of a class of Jewish or Christian writings that appeared from about 200 b.c. to a.d. 350 and were assumed to make revelations of the ultimate divine purpose.
3. a prophetic revelation, esp. concerning a cataclysm in which the forces of good permanently triumph over the forces of evil.
4. any revelation or prophecy.
5. any universal or widespread destruction or disaster: the apocalypse of nuclear war.
Merry Christmas from the President & First Lady
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Light blogging this next day or two, but I just wanted to take the opportunity to wish those who stop by a very Happy Holiday and a happy and healthy New Year.
Sarah Jones: Sarah Palin Exposed as a Teleprompter Using Fraud
Larry David: Thanks for the Tax Cut!
Melissa Harris-Perry: Obama in the Age of Accommodation
Joe Gandelman: Yes Virginia, There was a Time When John McCain Was Admirable
JHW22 recommends...Carol E. Lee & Glenn Thrush: Obama Plans 2011 Staff Makeover
Angry Black Lady: FireDogSycophants: A Smorgasbord of Sheer Idiocy With a Soupçon of Racism
Sarah Posner: A Tea Party Leader Hates Christians
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
... include no mention of the DADT repeal, START Treaty ratification or the 9/11 responders bill approval. But as Will Bunch notes, Matt Drudge rules our world, yet none of these items are newsworthy enough to warrant a link on the Drudge Report?
(Click photo for full size.)
That's President Barack Obama signing the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" into law. And with that signing, another major legislative accomplishment has been achieved at a time when no one thought anything would get done.
This lame duck session of Congress hasn't been so lame. And some would say that this is not an appropriate time to pass such sweeping legislation, when clearly after such an overwhelmingly Democratic defeat in the last election showed that the American people were not happy with the Democratic agenda. Those "some" would be 100% wrong. America didn't reject the Democratic agenda. America was reacting to the growing frustration of an economy that is recovering much too slowly for their taste because we are an impatient people. Voters are responding to a stagnant unemployment rate that isn't coming down fast enough as they can't pay their bills, are losing their homes and are struggling to make ends meet. Anyone in office, whether Democrat or Republican, would have felt the blowback. That has absolutely nothing to do with the repeal of DADT, or the yet to be passed 9/11 responders bill, or the soon to be passed START Treaty with Russia.
What should enrage voters, but you'll never see a poll verifying it, is the obstructionist Republican party doing anything they can to delay, stall and prevent any significant legislation from passing for fear that it amounts to another feather in President Obama's cap. They claim they're ready to "do the people's work," and do anything but, including moaning about working during the holidays, as 99% of the rest of the country does.
If Republicans are representing the American people, why on earth would they be delaying ratification of a treaty that every past and present national security advisor and military leader says is important for our security? Why, after wrapping themselves in a patriotic blanket of 9/11 for these last nine years, did Republicans block legislation to help 9/11 first responders who are literally dying of the aftereffects of breathing in the toxicity they slogged through to help their fellow Americans? Why did Republicans fight tooth and nail against the repeal of DADT, even though the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff thought it was time to end this flawed policy; why, despite nearly a year of study to review the affects of military morale and readiness after a possible DADT repeal, was that study no longer good enough? Why did they want a study of the study?
The truth of the matter is that this has nothing to do with ideology or morals or ethics. The stonewalling of the Republican party of almost every piece of legislation (over 400 filibusters in the last two years) and the blockage of scores of executive appointments to vacancies in government positions that desperately need to be filled for the proper running of the country is all about preventing anything that could affect President Obama in a positive way.
They've said it themselves. Senator Jim DeMint wanted healthcare reform to be the President's "Waterloo." Senator Mitch McConnell categorized preventing a 2nd presidential term for Obama as their No. 1 priority. How can these politicians think they can be taken seriously when they complain about the President's "lack of bipartisanship" when these are the typical statements made? Bipartisanship and compromise work both ways, something the GOP continually fails to understand, or at least their actions and rhetoric makes it seem so.
But ultimately, for a Congress that pushed back at the White House continually, this President's accomplishments if his first two years rivals that of any other president. Rachel Maddow's piece last night puts it all in perspective.
Imagine how much more could have been accomplished with an opposition party focused on governing rather than obstructing.
UPDATE (3:28pm): START Treaty was just ratified in the Senate 71-26. Also, the Senate approved a workable 9/11 Health Care bill for first responders.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
"I stand here very disappointed in the fact that our lead negotiator on the Republican side ... basically is going to have his work product ignored and the treaty jammed through in the lame duck. How as Republicans we justify that I do not know. To Senator Kyl, I want to apologize to you for the way you've been treated by your colleagues."
~Senator Lindsey Graham on the hubris of the Democratic leaders in the Senate for... doing their job and legislating.
NY Times: Steve Landesberg, an actor and comedian with a friendly and often deadpan manner who was best known for his role on the long-running sitcom “Barney Miller,” died on Monday in Los Angeles. He was 74.
Monday, December 20, 2010
I caught this when it premiered on CBS Sunday Morning yesterday. It's pretty funny, even if you're an Obama fan. Enjoy.
POSTED BY JHW22
Jinx, you owe me a Coke.
What makes this woman so full of hatred? Is it her bitter campaign loss? It is a realization that she's not as smart as she thinks she is and needs to lash out? Is it a petty need for attention and confrontation where none exists? How sad this woman is; everything she says and does is a direct response to perceived slights, including her agitation during her dwindling book signings."...in the latest episode of Sarah Palin’s Alaska, [P]alin rooted around for s’mores ingredients and then said that it was “in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert.”
POSTED BY JHW22
Michelle Obama is NOT telling parents what to feed their kids. There isn't some food Gestapo in America. A parent can send their kid to school with a paper sack full of lard if they want. All she is saying is that if schools are going to use tax dollars to feed kids, those tax dollars should provide healthy meals. So if you want to spite Michelle Obama, go ahead and pack some slabs of bacon and blocks of caramel for your kid's lunch. That'll show her.
Oh, and by the way, what does Sarah Palin have against farmers? Doesn't she know that Michelle Obama's initiative is good for farmers?
Hey, if Sarah Palin can send her kid around the country telling teenage girls not to get pregnant, I think the First Lady should be able to tell families they should try to eat healthy and get some exercise. But apparently food is a taboo subject for some.
Edit: Or as my husband put it, "We can talk about nookie but not about cookie."
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Ironic headline of the year:
Lawyers cry foul over leak of Julian Assange sex-case papers
Incriminating police files were published in the British newspaper that has used him as its source for hundreds of leaked US embassy cables.In a move that surprised many of Mr Assange's closest supporters on Saturday, The Guardian newspaper published previously unseen police documents that accused Mr Assange in graphic detail of sexually assaulting two Swedish women.
...In an editorial, The Guardian defended its decision to report on the incriminating police files. It said having been given access to the official papers, it had a duty to present a "brief summary" of the sex allegations against Mr Assange, together with his response.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
And of course, there was Senator John McCain and his decade-long passion project that closely resembles Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ," except that the "Christ" is replaced by "everything McCain ever had that vaguely resembled a principle or something in which a human being would normally take pride." McCain moved goalposts and shifted standards and broke promises and basically demonstrated himself to be an implacable heel.But, you know what, the less said about McCain, the better. Let's hang another "L" around his neck and move on.~Jason Linkins' on John McCain during his observations of those opposed to the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
The final vote was 65-31. Eight Republicans voted in favor of repeal.
More to follow.
Frank Rich: Gay Bashing at The Smithsonian
Ishmael Reed: What Progressives Don’t Understand About Obama
Matt Osborne: When Commitment to Jane Hamsher Supercedes Critical Thinking
Carlos A. Ball: Right-Wing Hypocrisy on "Judicial Activism"
Bob Cesca: Are Progressives Losing Touch With Reality?
Karoli: Recipe for Broken Government
Gail Collins: The Crying Game
The Rude Pundit: Kyl and DeMint: Baby Jesus Doesn't Want Us to Pass the START Treaty Right Now
Eric W. Dolan: Sen. Durbin blasts GOP horror at $1.1 trillion: ‘That’s exactly the amount they asked for’
Here are the 5 Democrats who voted to block the DREAM Act:
Max Baucus, Montana
Kay Hagan, North Carolina
Ben Nelson, Nebraska
Mark Pryor, Arkansas
Jon Tester, Montana
Credit where credit is due, Republicans voting in favor:
Bob Bennett, Utah
Dick Lugar, Indiana
Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
For those who don't know, the DREAM Act is "a bill that would create a path to citizenship for certain illegal immigrant students who came to the United States as children, completed two years of college or military service and met other requirements including passing a criminal background check."
So basically, they can fight and die for us, but let them earn citizenship? Nah.
National Security Over Politics on START
Friday, December 17, 2010
ADDING... I love that Stewart called out guest Mike Huckabee on his bullshit when he at first tried to say that the Democrats shouldn't have added this legislation in with another bill (they didn't - it's a stand-alone bill) and then tried to sell the idea that the Democrats were politicizing the bill (they didn't - although they should have by pointing out that the G-9/11-O-9/11-P co-opts September 11th any chance they get). Watch the Huckabee interview here.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
NY Times: Bob Feller, who came off an Iowa farm with a dazzling fastball that made him a national celebrity at 17 and propelled him to the Hall of Fame as one of baseball’s greatest pitchers, died Wednesday at a hospice. He was 92.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Well, Senator Kyl, if you had been working all year long instead of sitting on your hands, holding your breath and saying no to every piece of legislation that has come down the pike (over 400 House bills already passed await the Senate), maybe you wouldn't find yourself in this predicament. Suck it up, jackass, and try doing the work you were elected to do. I don't remember you campaigning on your "do nothing" strategy."It is impossible to do all of the things that the majority leader laid out without doing -- frankly, without disrespecting the institution and without disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians and the families of all of the Senate, not just the senators themselves but all of the staff."~ Republican Arizona Senator Jon Kyl on the possibility of working between Christmas and New Year's Day... like most Americans do.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
This is going to get interesting.AP: Embattled Republican Party chairman Michael Steele announced Monday that he will seek a second term despite a rocky two years marked by allegations of financial mismanagement and frequent verbal gaffes.
POSTED BY JHW22
There are a thousand things I take issue with when it comes to Sarah Palin. Maybe a million. But what's got me thinking today is this "real Americans" crap she spews as if she somehow gets to define what that means. She never really comes right out and says what she thinks a "real American" is or what her declaration means. Is she defining the term in order to say some people don't belong here or something? I don't get it. I don't get the purpose of this other than to be divisive and arrogant and politicizing.
I hate that we are a country that actually fights over who is more patriotic, spiritual, moral. What? No single party loves the flag or Constitution more than an other (although it could be argued that the self-appointed Constitution defenders are trying to warp and misrepresent it but that's another post).
But it's this subtle thing Palin does that pits her view of what makes someone a "real American" versus the fact that the Constitution defines the true meaning rather well (although I think those who want to repeal the 14th amendment actually have a problem with section four, but again, that's another post). Forget that there are people in this country who are not yet legal citizens who care a great deal about this country and support it, defend it, etc., she is consistently calling into question actual Americans' place in this country.
Aside from her views on what liberty and freedom mean, let's just look at one theme she promotes:
Alaskans do things no other Americans do thus they are "real Americans". I watched her show the other night, it was actually a lot of fun for a Palin-despiser to watch. There were moments that people who know the truth about her could find telling and humorous. I am not sure how many times she contradicted herself right there on TV for the world to see. But the moments that irked me were the moments I may turn into a drinking game. I think I'll take a swig every time she implies that only Alaskans [insert hobby, skill, family value here]. You would think, after watching last week's camping episode, that ONLY Alaskans camp. Only Alaskans camp where bears are wild. Only Alaskans camp in the rain. The only difference between millions of Americans who have done any and/or all of those things is we don't choose to go camping somewhere that requires an air-taxi. But then again, I imagine most "real Alaskans" don't NEED to take an air-taxi to go camping. Looking at that state, reading about it, hell, even watching her show, I get the impression you can get to a camping site just by heading to the outskirts of town.
Apparently, only Alaskans (or maybe it's only Palins) treat camping as a family bonding experience. Apparently, people from other states have never learned the precious arts of pitching a tent, lighting a fire and roasting marshmallows while fishing along the bank of a river. You may want to tell companies like REI that they should pull up and relocate all their stores to Alaska because, according to Palin, that's an Alaska thing.
And don't get her started on New Yorkers. Boy, those New York elite don't know the first thing about family bonding or camping or cold weather. They are too wealthy, all of those New Yorkers, to know what it means to hunt for your food. Then again, neither does Palin -- there is a Super Target in Wasilla after all.
At the root of all this is a question I ask myself over and over. Shouldn't a "real American" value all of the states? Shouldn't there be more pride in America as a whole rather than pitting one state against another? Shouldn't we cherish what a vast and amazing country we live in? We have so much history and shared experiences. We also have so many opportunities to learn new things, share unfamiliar traditions, celebrate people's experiences that are different from ours.
Perhaps my view comes from the fact that I, like many Americans, have lived in more than one state. I have lived on the east coast, the west coast and the southwest. My experiences of this country have been formed in red states and blue states and purple states. I have known hunters and tree huggers, atheists and Christians, Hungarians and Brazilians, liberals and conservatives. My view of "real America" is one of many. You know, e pluribus unum. I believe in that.
As beautiful as Alaska is. As much as I think it has a lot to offer those of us who have never gone there, I think Palin is doing her home state a disservice. By pitting states against one another, she is insulting the precious things other states have to offer. While doing that, she also caricatures Alaskans based on her image (which by watching her show you can see is a false image at that). And in the meantime, she is dividing all Americans among some imaginary line that only she defines. Her dog whistles of creating others out of fellow Americans is one of her platforms. And as she continues down the path of wanting to play a significant role in this country, I hope more Americans get tired of her loyalty to one state at the disrespect of the others.
Sarah Palin has this idea that Alaskans are misunderstood or under-appreciated and she thinks she is on some mission to change that. But if she wants to be President of the United States, she needs to find some ounce of genuine curiosity in her and go on a LISTENING tour of all the states. She needs to stop trying to compare others as worse than Alaska or just like Alaska and start seeing other states, other Americans as valuable and real. But she won't. She will continue on book tours and self-promotion tours and anti-Obama tours and raising money tours. She wants to judge Americans as real or not real. But all she's doing is making a real problem.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Eagerly awaiting a Palin response via tweet or Facebook. ...Catfight?"[Palin would] have to show me a lot more than I've seen thus far, as far as an understanding of the depth and the complexity of the issues that we face. I mean I don't know her personally so I can't comment on that, I mean she was a governor, but the fact that she left office before even completing her first term, it's just not an attitude that I think is necessarily in the best interest of your constituents, rather what's in your own best interest."~ Former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman
What happened to 60 Minutes? Wasn't this supposed to be the upper echelon of investigative journalism? Isn't 60 Minutes where the hard questions are asked? Well anyone watching last night's interview with the next Speaker of the House would think that they were watching a story on Inside Edition rather than anything worthy of a spot on the once intrepid investigative journalism show.
Through John Boehner's blubbering, we found out he was one of twelve children, he met his wife while working as a night janitor to pay his way through college, and he hates the word "compromise." In fact, he rejects the word altogether because it sounds like you're selling out. "Finding common ground" is an acceptable phrase however. He wouldn't even say the word. Couldn't bring himself to do it. Is this a serious man?
Where were the questions on the Republicans' opposition to DADT? Why, if they're serious about deficit reduction, did they insist on extending the tax cuts to the top two percent of income earners at the expense of holding up extended unemployment benefits in Obama's compromise, or better yet, letting all the tax cuts expire? Boehner showed he was bothered by President Obama's use of the phrase "hostage takers" saying it showed a lack of respect. But where was Boehner's respect for Obama when they rejected an initial invitation to the White House to discuss the path forward after the November elections?
But no such questions in last night's fluff piece in where most of America gets to meet (probably for the first time) John Boehner. All they saw was an admirable, pull yourself up by the bootstraps guy with a penchant for sobbing. It's a shame that he doesn't remember the roots he fought so hard to climb out of when denying others help by blocking critical legislation.
Oh, and one more thing about the crying issue. I don't care that he cries. What I do care about is the double standard. If Nancy Pelosi had slobbered all over herself one tenth as much as this guy has, she would have been vilified as an overemotional, unstable woman. But Boehner? Well, shit, he's just a regular Joe who loves America and is living the American Dream! He's allowed a little leeway in the waterworks department.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Failing to provide a gaffe per week over these last couple of months, RNC Chairman Michael Steele wasn't "feelin' it" anymore and it looks like he won't run for a second term.
Fare thee well, Michael. Fare thee well.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
David Weigel: Heritage on the "Reagan Recovery"
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend: Sarah Palin is wrong about John F. Kennedy, religion and politics
Jeanne Sahadi: Taxes: What people forget about Reagan
Bonnie Fuller: Sarah Palin’s Hunting Trip To Feed Her Family Cost — $42,400 or $141.33 per lb. of Caribou Meat!
Aaron Sorkin: In Her Defense, I'm Sure the Moose Had It Coming
Gail Collins: Falling Off the Bandwagon
Steve Benen: Quote Of The Day
Christopher Hitchens: Tee'd Off
Protecting the Middle Class & the Economy
Friday, December 10, 2010
Senator Bernie Sanders is currently in his fifth hour of speaking on the Senate floor filibustering the tax cuts compromised brokered by President Obama and GOP leaders. Whether you agree with the compromise or not, it's pretty amazing thing to watch. He started at 10:25am EST.
You can catch it on C-SPAN.
Of course, Bernie is completely right on every issue he's brought up. But it's a gamble with the proposals that help the middle class in the compromise, and if the Democrats opposed to this legislation are successful in blocking or defeating it, I hope they're right. I really hope they can do better.
ADDING... It's not technically a "filibuster" because there's no actual legislation the floor to block, but really, isn't he holding everything up anyway?
(H/T Bob Cesca)
UPDATE: As of 7:52pm EST, Senator Sanders is still going. I haven't seen anyone go this long in the Senate since I watched Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.
Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church will be dispatching members of its congregation to protest the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards this Saturday, CNN reports...."When they were visited from the Most High God with the death of their 16-year-old son, they did not humble themselves before His mighty hand. They reared up in rage, decided they would show God who is boss, and meddled in matters of the womb, resulting in 2 more children -- now motherless."
Remember when going against anything 9/11 was labeled traitorous by the party that is now refusing to pass legislation on providing "medical care to rescue workers and others who became ill as a result of breathing in toxic fumes, dust and smoke at the site of the World Trade Center attack in 2001"?
So just to recap, giving continued tax breaks to the top income earners in this country to the tune of $130 billion without concerns on how to pay for it is totally fine, but $7.4 billion for taking care of the heroes (and I don't use that word lightly) of 9/11 is just too, damned expensive.Republicans have been raising concerns about how to pay for the $7.4 billion measure, while Democrats, led by Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York, have argued that there was a moral obligation to assist those who put their lives at risk during rescue and cleanup operations at ground zero.
And these are the people that some say would have caved in on extending unemployment insurance if the Senate forced a Christmas vote because they say they're not heartless? I wouldn't have counted on that.
Here's Jon Stewart's take:
Thursday, December 9, 2010
POSTED BY JHW22
And the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and CAP's Michael Linden (via Ezra) provided some goodies:
So it would seem that President Obama has asked the Democratic Caucus to accept the tax cut compromise or face the possibility of a double dip recession, and more than once I've heard talking heads calling it a "scare tactic."
And just now, I received an e-mail from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
My question, which absolutely no one in the mainstream media has addressed, is this: Is it really a scare tactic? Really? Do you think this President would purposely mislead the public, or is he relaying what his advisers think will happen to the economy if nothing happens and we get hit with a tax hike on January 1? Do you think the President just wants this deal to go through just because he made it? Or do you think he felt the urgency to strike a deal after the Democrats in the Senate failed to deliver a vote on two separate bills, one to limit the tax cut to the $250,000 mark, and a second to limit it to $1 million. They both failed. Five Democratic senators voted against it, including intrepid progressive and lame duck Russ Feingold.DEVELOPING: Today, President Obama told congressional Democrats to cave on the tax cuts and accept his "deal" or the economy will be crushed.Seriously? That's the kind of scare tactics we'd expect from George W. Bush, not Barack Obama.
We hear all the angry talk on the liberal and progressive side on how Obama is shitting on his own base, yelling at them to shut the fuck up and deal with it; but where were those loud, angry voices when the Democrats pushed off the vote for the tax cuts to expire on the top 2% until after the election? Where were the mighty progressives jamming up the phone lines in the Capitol Building demanding to have that vote before the election as President Obama had asked? Where was the "caving" talk then?
Now the train has left the station, the Congress is in a lame duck session and in a couple of weeks we'll have a Republican majority in the House. And because Obama strikes a deal to temporarily extend the tax cuts to the rich for 2 years in exchange for a 13 month extension of unemployment benefits, a child tax credit increase, a payroll tax cut and college tuition tax credits, when no one really thinks of the deficit issue as a priority compared to job creation or the economy, now he's the enemy, now he's caving when he's the only one not playing politics with this issue.
On The Rachel Maddow Show a few nights ago, Rachel pinpointed video at the Obama press conference saying he'd have to take John Boehner "at his word" in reference to a question of raising the debt ceiling. Anyone knows if that doesn't happen, the US defaults on its loans and there is a global economic collapse. Boehner may be dumb, but he ain't stupid. And yet Maddow basically used this as a point of ridicule to show how naive Obama was to "trust" Boehner.
Today on the Thom Hartmann Show, Hartmann was miffed that Obama "caved" because already two Republican politicians whom he didn't refer to by name said that, of course they would have voted for an extension of unemployment benefits just before Christmas, they're not heartless after all. You mean the same Republicans that threatened to block all legislation in the Senate until the tax cuts issue was settled, those Republicans? So we can trust their word about a vote not taken after the fact, but Obama can't trust Boehner not to intentionally collapse the economy? Now you tell me who's being naive?
While I'm not thrilled with the concession (and neither is Obama, by the way), I am glad a compromise was reached. It was a compromise, not a cave. A cave gives you nothing in return. And I, too will take the president's word that come two years from now, he'll fight this again.
I hope that the Democrats who are not bringing this plan to a vote can really make something happen - and as co-contributor Jennifer said in a previous post, they'd better come up with something at least as good as what the President bargained for the middle class and unemployed. Otherwise, they'll all have egg on their face and millions of people will be screwed.
To me, this was the health care fight all over again. I had a Twitter back and forth with Dylan Ratigan (of all people) back during the health care debate and I basically came to the conclusion that being in a position of already having health care, I can't morally fight against a compromised deal if it's going to give people access to health care that previously couldn't attain it. Who am I to put myself in a position to deny others? If that means forgoing the public option in the immediate future, so be it. (By the way, if you hadn't guessed, Ratigan's response was, "But the insurance companies blah, blah, blah! The banks blah, blah, blah!")
I feel the same way here. I can't say, "Fuck you! No deal! Vote NO!" when I know that 2 million people will lose their unemployment benefits and everyone else will have their taxes raised when it won't readily affect me. If my taxes were raised, I could survive it. A lot of people can't. And I'm not going to stand on my ideological pedestal at their expense.
POSTED BY JHW22
The House Democrats won't even bring Obama's tax compromise to the floor for a vote. Talk about chicken shit.
Here's my message to Republicans, oops, I mean angry Democrats:
So what's the plan? How are we going to get all or more of what Obama got us? What's the plan? And how realistic is the plan? How non-naive is the plan? What are WE going to give up to get the Republicans to give up something? Remember who the Republicans are, what their goal is and tell me what the damn plan is to get ALL of what WE want. You showed you have balls. So how are you going to keep them from getting chopped off and fed to us? WHAT'S THE PLAN!?
And what will YOU DO if we lose even one fraction of what Obama got us? If we lose the child tax credit increase? If we lose the payroll tax deduction? If we lose even one month of unemployment extension? What THEN? What if you don't get us anything else? WHAT THEN?
I sure as hell hope you guys succeed -- for America's sake. But if you lose one ounce of what Obama got us, this will be ON YOU and all the people who supported this.
You sure as hell better get this done! And equal to or better than what Obama got us. GET IT DONE!
And keep in mind angry Dems, if this practice in pissy negotiation fails, there's NO GOING BACK to Obama's plan. The Republicans will not go back. So if this is having "balls" tell me how balls are going to put food on a family's table. Are we going to eat your balls when they get chopped off?
This is utter bull fucking shit!
(Oh, and in the meantime, tell me how we get DADT and the Dream Act now!?!?!)
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
This is how I found out John Lennon was dead.
They don't even know what they're fighting about.
Entirely clueless and railing against something on which they don't even know the details.Michele Bachmann is the latest member of Congress to demonstrate that she does not completely understand unemployment legislation...."As part of the compromise, the President wants to extend unemployment benefits for another 13 months," Bachmann said. "Unemployment benefits are already at a historical length of 99 weeks, and the President's request would push benefits to three years."Problem is, the president's request would do no such thing. It would preserve the 99 weeks by reauthorizing Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits programs, which together provide up to 73 weeks of benefits beyond the standard 26 funded by states....Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) made a similar mistake on the Senate floor last week. "This is about people who have been collecting unemployment benefits for 99 weeks," Barrasso said, incorrectly.
POSTED BY JHW22
At 6:00pm Eastern, in about ten minutes (although these things are always late), the President will be speaking to his supporters via Organizing for America. I will be listening. I hope you can listen, too.
POSTED BY JHW22
DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL and DREAM ACT VOTES TONIGHT!! Get out of your funk Dems and focus on what we need to focus on! Call and email Congress to get the votes we deserve. Especially focus on Susan Collins and Scott Brown.
POSTED BY JHW22
Whenever I max out and want to get away from all of the political madness, I feel compelled to fight for MY core values. And, believe it or not, my core values are the same as the President's and NO they are not the same because I am some blind, loyal, lemming robot. Why I am loyal to the President is because he DOES share my core values. Why would I not agree with the very things I think and say? There is this odd assumption out there that people like me don't form our opinions until Obama says what those opinions should be. No. I form my opinions continually. I am a rather stubborn and dramatic person. But when I evaluate what I think about an issue, it's evolving based on new input, new facts, forcing myself to see other perspectives. And you know, I am pretty fond of that value. I enjoy knowing that I developed my own thinking. Obama may influence portions as do many Senators and friends and family and, yes, even journalists. And guess what? That's what the President does. He is consistently absorbing and seeing.
But that process is seen as something weak by the very people who I feel are the real culprits of blind, loyal, lemming-like robotery. Yes, I made up a word.
I have written several times about the course Democrats take along the message train. Democrats are called asses for a reason -- they are stubborn. The problem is that Democrats dig their heels in before they even leave base camp. We pride ourselves on being the smart party. The reasonable party. The compassionate party. Well, for the last two years, I feel fewer Democrats have actually acted out those values.
Let's look at what our party has become and where we are on this tax cut debate.
Democrats have been calling their own President spineless, weak, ball-less, Bush-like, a sell-out, a Republican, a traitor. The DEMOCRATS have called him that! THE DEMOCRATS!!
They have pretended that they are doing their civic duty of questioning the President. They have said they are only doing what he asked of them, to keep him honest. To watch him. They say they are fighting for the middle-class and poor while he is fighting for banks and big business. They say he hasn't acted fast enough, strong enough, exactly as they want enough, on EVERY GODDAMN ISSUE. EVERY ONE.
They tell him to "fight" but can't define what they mean. They want him to be a different person, as if he campaigned as someone else. They then mis-remember who he was during the campaign and have actually turned on him because he didn't turn out to be the actual Messiah. I wonder if he isn't more of a Job. Taking punches, facing unrealistic demands with only the reward of further challenges.
So when the President was bluntly asked what his core values are because Democrats want to know, he unleashed hell. And I was thrilled. This man has taken hit after hit from his own party despite his major successes and consistent progress. He has been verbally pummeled by voters who have placed themselves on a pedestal above God because they think they are the sole reason he is President in the first place.
Now, what's most telling in all of the coverage for the last, not even, 24-hours, has been the wounded left. Poor babies. Just like when they flipped out over the "professional left" comment, which I also cheered, Democrats are ignoring the articulate, rational, detailed and compassionate reasons Obama laid out for his tax compromise. They have IGNORED the benefits to the very people we say we protect as one of our core values because he yelled at them. They even ignore the fact that he was pretty cutting toward the Republicans as well. The President said that protecting the wealthiest people's tax cuts is the Republican party's "holy grail". Dang, that was pretty harsh (and true). But Democrats are so busy pouting that they are missing the opportunity to highlight the fact that he just said the opposition puts the wealthy above all else.
In the meantime, the Senators from Vermont and several key Democrats in the House and Senate are saying they can get something better. Well, they voted last Saturday and didn't get anything better. In fact, in addition to the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the "rich", Obama got more benefits for the middle-class and the poor than the House and Senate did last week.
But Democrats are ignoring all of the details. In fact, Democrats are doing what we often accuse the Republicans of: voting against our best interests. Obama made a two-fold promise: not raise taxes on the middle class and to allow some tax cuts for the wealthy go away. He went beyond on the first promise by actually LOWERING taxes for the middle class. And he has delayed his second promise.
Now, some say that by delaying the second promise he is giving the Republicans a chance to make the big tax cuts permanent. Why? Because they will have the House starting in January? Well, OK, but on the issue of making expensive tax cuts permanent they won't have the Senate or the teabaggers and OBAMA HAS VETO POWER. Sadly, our party is too busy running in circles yelling and crying that they can't see that.
They can't see that this compromise has shitty parts but it also has wonderful parts we didn't imagine being there. But instead of taking the time to understand that, people are angry and distracted.
Now the media is saying that "Democrats" are mad. I correct them: SOME Democrats are mad. The rest of us, those who are as valuable to the base as the Jane Hamshers and Adam Greens and Paul Krugmans and Bill Mahers and Keoth Olbermanns see clearly the situation at hand. WE see the compromise as a necessity that actually helps those we care about most.
What disgusts me THE MOST, the thing that makes me really hate the shit coming out of the left is the MANY comments I have read in blogs, articles, seen on cable TV, etc is the WILLINGNESS of DEMOCRATS to say, "let it all go and let America see what the Republicans really are". Our party has the gall to question the President's core values yet they are willing to throw every unemployed American and every middle and lower-class family who NEEDS the Bush and Obama tax cuts off a cliff to make a point! Yet, when he calls them out on that, they can't see how absolutely hypocritical and vengeful they are being at the expense of the core values they falsely claim as theirs and theirs alone.
How dare any Democrat question the President's or my core values while they are spitting on their own.
I have to say, though, the funny thing is that the Democrats with their chests puffed out may be loud, but I don't think they are the many. I am seeing more Democrats like me fighting the good fight and not the knee-jerk fight. I see more Independents saying that Obama is doing the right thing and love that he is telling the angry left to chill out. Some think he is losing "his base". Well I am his base and he hasn't lost me. And I think that he is actually building his base with people who think the angry left need to be put in their place.
I'd like to add that not only are we getting MORE from this compromise than the Democrats in Congress were able to get us, but we KNOW that Susan Collins is willing to vote to repeal DADT but only AFTER the tax cut situation is resolved. We have Republicans holding up REAGAN'S START Treaty because of this. The American tax payers are not the only "hostages" here. And all the "purists" need to remember that we have DADT in the first place because Bill Clinton had to negotiate. I'd say that negotiation tool was far worse than ANYTHING we have here. It's taking today's negotiation to get rid of that monster.
And in closing, to all the people who think they can negotiate better than Obama I say I think you would walk onto a Lexus car lot and sputter off in a Gremlin and you'd think you got a great deal because you only paid $2. Obama is getting us a brand new sedan. We have to take out a loan but at least we can get to work and we will be able to pay off the loan early once the paychecks start rolling in.
EDIT: A new Gallup poll shows that most Americans support the compromise. I hate polls because what will happen is that the people FOR the compromise will laud this and the people opposed to the compromise will ignore it. Then another poll will come out saying the public doesn't support the compromise and the players will flip. Angry Democrats celebrated polls that showed support for the public option but will ignore this completely. THAT is why I hate polls. But I wanted to point this out to raise a "watch the fun that ensues" flag.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
"If you're of the mind that the economy needs all the extra help it can get right now -- and you should be -- this is a lot more extra help than anyone expected Republicans and Democrats would agree to give it. And from a political perspective, if you believe that what matters for elections is the economy -- and you should -- then it's worth it for the White House to lose news cycles in 2010 if it means adding jobs by 2012."
~Ezra Klein, on the tax cut compromise
POSTED BY JHW22
Elizabeth Edwards has passed away.
POSTED BY JHW22
The President took to the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room today to answer questions about his tax compromise and as the briefing progressed, so did his anger. Granted some people never realized that he has some asses to kick on the left so now many are outraged and quite upset that he could possibly chew their asses. But, hell, when you question the man's values based on some narrowly confined spectrum of liberal idealism that excludes the ideals of fellow Dems, well then, you're going to get some of that fight you've been demanding. It's funny how many Dems said he needed to grow a pair and are now pouting because he called them out. Looks like those big, tough liberals are the real pussies. Can't take a lecture from the President, eh? Tough shit. Grow a pair and grow up. ;)
I, personally, LOVED his take down and was sure to email and call the White House with my support of his compromise and the press conference.
EDITOR'S UPDATE: Here's the video.