Saturday, April 17, 2010

Must Reads

Jeffrey Joseph: FOX Getting Too Vitriolic, Even for Life-Long Republicans

Bill Moyers & Michael Winship: Crocodile Tears on Wall Street

Charles M. Blow: A Mighty Pale Tea

Matt Apuzzo & Adam Goldman: Destruction of Torture Videotapes Documented in CIA Email

driftglass: Weird Political Science

Doctor Biobrain: Donald Douglas Doesn't Know What a Tax Cut Is

My Facebook Debate with A Right Winger

Not too long ago, Armadillo Joe gave us a post about his Facebook debate with a Texas conservative, the place where he once called home. Now I too have fallen into the trap of debating someone on Facebook with a "different take" on the politics of the day. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but a complete fantasy world can be lethal.

It all started with a Facebook friend, who I'll refer to as "Karen," because her name is Karen, adding this comment as her Facebook status:
"Ok - so I'm hangin with the tea party crowd and they're listening to some annoying radio show MCed by an equally annoying person called Mark Levin. Time to turn the shuffle on HIGH. With all that's going on in the world today - the last thing I can deal with is someone with the voice of gloom and doom."
To which someone I'll refer to as "John," because his name is John, replied:
"Well I would love to be there! I would say I am more a Reagen [sic] conservative! As long as we have small gov less taxes and big defense I am good to go!!"
Well, you know me. I couldn't just let that go. So I commented:
"John, you do know that Reagan blew the national debt out of the water to $3 trillion at the time, more than all presidents before him combined, don't you? I know I'm opening up a can of worms."
John: "And now Obama has increased the debt to more then all presidents combined and that's four more presidents then when Reagen [sic] was including Ronald. Plus he has made our country week [sic] by his apolgy [sic] tour. And let's not forget how he insults our allies. Plus I never heard a president trash talk american people like he does! He controls the.[sic] Highest office and acts like a school kid!"

The gloves are off. It's on, brohim!

Continue reading "My Facebook Debate with a Right Winger."

President Obama's Weekly Address - April 17, 2010

Holding Wall Street Accountable

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tea Party Protesters

Because the Tea Party is all about being "taxed to death."

Photos by Ana Marie Cox

UPDATE (7:30pm): I just finished watching a Chris Matthews interview with a couple of well spoken Tea Party representatives, but the main problem with their stance was that they were unwilling to admit that there was even a fringe element of their group that thought violence against the government was appropriate (24% according to a new New York Times poll) and only 41% believe President Obama is an American. They ask where the documentation is but refuse to call themselves Birthers. As long as they dismiss polls and refuse to acknowledge the dangerous elements in their midst, they will not be taken seriously.

Cartoon of the Day

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Old Testament Scholar Resigns After Evolution Endorsement

Next thing you know, theological scholars will be turning in their keys for believing in gravity.

Sarah Palin Saturation?

Being that Sarah Palin is in the news every day, I recently began to wonder whether her white hot "star quality" would burn out relatively quickly and people would just begin to tire of her folksy, uneducated ways, especially with the news of her Discovery Channel pitch for a show featuring Alaska. Sarah Palin's Alaska. You know, the one filled with oil derricks and tarred otters, skies filled with hunter loaded airplanes shooting wolves, and a tour of her home town meth labs.

Well now it looks like there's a possibility that Sarah saturation may be taking place. The ad buyers sales conference for Discovery didn't go too well after the Palin show was promoted to prospective buyers. "No one took it seriously" and "an all time low for Discovery" are just a couple of quotes that jump out.

From a no-name half term governor of a state whose population is that of ten square blocks of Manhattan, prematurely thrust into the spotlight as a candidate to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, to 24/7 Palin with book tours that were ghostwritten for her, Tea Party Express tours in which she praises the movement but still stumps for the establishment, Fox News misinformed commentary and analysis complete with fake interviews, and now a soon to be failed Discovery Channel "reality" show, Sarah Palin is raking in the money, burning hot and burning out fast... well, at least we can hope it'll be fast.

(H/T GottaLaff)

Republicans Fighting For The Banks

This is what happens when you let the children sit at the grown up's table. For a year now, we've been hearing about the "Obama bank bailout" (started by Bush if you've forgotten) and how Wall Street was propsering while Main Street suffered. President Obama has even gotten the banks to pay back part if not all of the bailout money, but no matter.

And now that the Obama administration is forging ahead with major financial reform, the GOP is crying foul.

President Barack Obama planned to "turn up the pressure for an overhaul of Wall Street regulations" as he met with congressional leaders this morning, including the Democratic and Republican leaders of both the House and Senate.
The Senate is preparing to take up a sweeping overhaul of financial regulations regimen in less than two weeks. Republican leaders have already promised to reject broad changes proposed by Democrats.
So do the Republicans plan on winning in November on a platform of repealing health care reform and protecting the status quo of the banks and Wall Street? God, I hope so.

Oh Noes! Results of Health Care Backlash at the Polls

Huffington Post:
A Democratic state senator on Tuesday handily won the first U.S. House race since Congress passed a massive health care overhaul, beating a decidedly underdog Republican who tried to use the backlash against the measure to pull an upset.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Florida state Sen. Ted Deutch had 62 percent of the vote compared to 35 percent for Republican Ed Lynch.
Deutch, an attorney, and Lynch, a contractor, both 44, were vying to replace retiring Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler.
..."We've heard for months that tonight ... is a referendum on health care, it's a referendum on the (President Barack Obama) administration, it's a referendum on what direction this country is going," Deutch added. "Let me tell you something, what we learned today is that in Broward County and Palm Beach County, Florida, the Democratic Party is alive and well."
62 percent. It wasn't even close! I certainly hope that this is a referendum on what direction we are headed. Pundits are going to be draw blood scratching their heads over this one today.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Health Care Reform: The Morning After

~Submitted by special guest contributor, Barbara O'Brien of The Mahablog fame.

Many politicians and pundits warned us that the health care reform (HCR) legislation that just became law will destroy America. Government bureaucrats will take over health care decisions, we were told. The old and infirm would be hauled away by death panels. Everything about the way we receive our medical care will change, and change drastically, they said.

Medicare recipients have been frightened by stories that their benefits will be cut. Middle-age people are worried they will lose their jobs when the law’s dreaded regulations, or taxes, or maybe regulations with taxes, would destroy their employers’ businesses.

The truth is, very little will change for most people. If you were insured by employee benefits before HCR, you will be insured by exactly the same policy in exactly the same way after HCR. You will have access to the same doctors on the same terms. “Government bureaucrats” will no more be involved in your health care than they were before.

And the same is true of Medicare, which of course is a government program, although many of the people who opposed the HCR bill don’t seem to know that.

Here are the “cataclysmic” changes to health care that are now in effect, or which will go into effect within the next six months for people who are already in group insurance plans:

• The law says you can’t lose your insurance coverage because you get sick. Before, in many states, if you were stricken with a severe illness such as mesothelioma cancer that would be expensive to treat, your insurer could use just about any excuse to cancel your coverage. That is over.
• HCR has ended lifetime limits on coverage. As long as you are receiving medical care, your insurer pays the bills.
• Your children can be covered on your existing policy until they are 26 years old.
• In six months, insurers cannot refuse to insure people under the age of 19 because of “pre-existing conditions.” This provision will go into effect for everyone in 2014.
And if you are on Medicare, you will be asked to struggle with the following:
• You get a free annual checkup.
• The co-pays and deductibles on many preventive care services are eliminated.
• If you are in the Medicare D “doughnut hole,” doughnut hole,” doughnut hole,” doughnut hole,” you will get a $250 rebate check in a few weeks. The hole itself will be closed gradually and will be gone by 2020.
But what about all those terrible regulations and taxes that are about to drive businesses out of business? Um, there really isn’t much to report. Oh, wait, here’s one — a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning services that use ultraviolet lamps will go into effect July 1. That’s about it.

However, beginning this year a tax credit will be available for some small businesses to help provide insurance coverage for employees.

Soon the politicians and pundits will start trying to frighten you about the provisions that will go into effect after this year. I assure you they are about as scary as the provisions that go into effect this year, but I will discuss them in a follow-up post.

Barbara O’Brien

Tea Party Scumbag Carl Paladino's Racist E-Mails

When are these morons going to realize that e-mail is not private? If you forward dumb ass, racist, pornographic e-mails, eventually you're going to offend someone and they're going to rat you out. reveals that [New York Gubernatorial Candidate Carl] Paladino has “regularly forwarded pornography and racially degrading material to friends on the Internet.” The Buffalo News reports:
[ managing director Marc] Odien released e-mail pictures that supposedly show Miss France having sex with a man, a photo of dancing African tribesmen entitled “Obama Inauguration Rehearsal,” a photo of President Obama and the first lady doctored to simulate a 1970s pimp and prostitute, and an e-mail showing chimpanzees doing an Irish dance entitled “proof the Irish discovered Africa."
And of course, in the new era of No Accountability, all you have to do is blame the Democrats. First he tried to sidestep the question of the e-mails by saying he didn't know what e-mails reporters were referring to, then that he forwarded e-mails without knowing what was in them and finally he was being smeared by Democrats...

...and now comes a crap ass apology and again trying to deflect and transfer the blame of his amazing stupidity of forwarding offensive, pornographic and racially incendiary e-mails on the Democrats!
"I confess to being human and imperfect, as are all of God's children," [Paladino]  told a Buffalo crowd Monday. "I am proud that I've created hundreds of jobs and opportunity for people of every ethnicity, color and sexual preference."
Paladino said he "didn't originate any of these e-mails" and was "somewhat careless" in forwarding them.
He said he tried to send the e-mails to "a very specific bunch of friends who somewhat enjoy that humor."
Paladino apologized to women for passing along porn - but not men.
"I say this to the men out there who have never opened a graphic image on the Internet: Don't vote for me. For those who have, I welcome your vote," he said.
Paladino's spokesman:
We're not surprised the political establishment feels threatened by Carl's drive the take Albany back for taxpayers. Our campaign won't be wading through the details of what is just another liberal Democrat blog smear. It figures that members of the Party who brought us record taxes, record spending and record debt would want to change the topic from reform to having sex with horses and S&M parlors.
Is Paladino racist? Who knows? Did he send racist e-mails? Absolutely. Now, I'm not going to say that I haven't engaged in off color humor (I'm an equal opportunity offender, including self-depricating humor) but I'm also not running for fucking Governor of New York State! And what kind of idiot actually forwards e-mails without knowing their content? Have you or anyone you know ever done that? He's obviously a liar as well as a classless punk and yet another millionaire trying to capitalize on the Tea Party rubes thinking it has anything to do with grass roots.

And yet after all of this, Paladino still thinks "the e-mails will not hurt his chances to gain the Republican Party's nomination this summer."

Clueless. I'm eagerly standing by to watch the inevitable political implosion of Carl Paladino.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Quote of the Day

Frank Rich:

“I was right 70 percent of the time, but I was wrong 30 percent of the time,” said Alan Greenspan as he testified last week on Capitol Hill. Greenspan — a k a the Oracle during his 18-year-plus tenure as Fed chairman — could not have more vividly illustrated how and why geniuses of his stature were out to lunch while Wall Street imploded. No doubt he applied his full brain power to that 70-30 calculation. But the big picture eludes him. If the captain of the Titanic followed the Greenspan model, he could claim he was on course at least 70 percent of the time too.