Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good Riddance 2009

crazy-white-640_0 If somebody asked me to describe 2009 in one word, it would be batshit.  That’s right, batshit as in crazy, insane, rubber room worthy.  This year started with oozing optimism for the future.  The country seemed high off of the prospect of a new president and a new way of doing things.  America was back!  Then, those that used to run things went off the rails.  Fox News, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and Tea Bagging in the streets, just to name a small few, all managed to shit on the country’s collective good feeling.  Now, at the end of the year, it seems that conservatives are pissed because they believe they’ve lost the country they love and liberals are pissed because they’re not getting what they voted for.

As for me, well, this year has left me exhausted.  That said, I’m still optimistic for the future.  I would like to believe that 2010 will be the year where the seeds of 2009 begin to take root and bloom.  I’ve stressed patience many times before and I think that patience is much needed now.  I truly believe that the economy will begin to turn around in 2010.  I sincerely hope so because some people very close to me need new jobs.

So what does the next year hold for us?  First off, health care will pass and will be quickly forgotten seeing as how most of it won’t take affect for another four years.  The next round of insanity will revolve around climate change, and the entire point will be missed as those against it will argue that the earth is getting hotter because of the natural order of things.  Of course, that’s the angle the media will take.  We know that the real reason we need to address climate change is because we need a less expensive, more efficient energy grid.  This point will, of course, be missed as rational thoughts aren’t as fun to watch as crazy is. 

Also, if the economy doesn’t turn around, look for Stimulus II, which will cause heads to explode all over the country.  Afghanistan will intensify with the surge, and  we’ll either see results by this time next year, or it’ll be a disaster.  Regardless of the situation, good or bad, I’d like to hear serious talk about getting out, fast.

2009 wasn’t all bad for me, personally.  I welcomed my first Daughter and started this blog.  I’ve meet a lot of wonderful people through this site, and want to thank you all for sticking with me and your encouragement.  Most of all, I want to wish each and every one of you visiting today the happiest of new years and the very best in 2010!

Friday, December 25, 2009

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!!!

I wanted to take a second and wish everybody a very Merry Christmas.  It’s been an interesting year for me personally and this blog is a big part of that.  I’ve met some great people and made some new friends because of it. 

So, enjoy the day with your friends and family, because that’s what this holiday is really about.  When it’s over we’ll gear up for a new year (which will be better than this year, right?)!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Andrew T. on the Radio, Tonight!

Just a quick note to let you all know that I will be a guest on The Stonecipher Report, a radio show based in Chicago.  Needless to say, I’m very honored and extremely excited.  I’ll be on at around 6:25 eastern and you can stream the show here.

Media Matters Awards Glenn Beck!

You read that right.  Media Matters has given Glenn Beck an award!  Ladies and gents, meet the 2009 Misinformer of the Year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

It Wouldn’t Be Like This if They’d Just Do What We Hired Them To Do

Check out this little blurb from Tegan Goddard’s Political Wire:

The latest Public Policy Polling survey finds Democrats barely holding on to a lead in the generic congressional ballot test, 44% to 42%.
Key findings: 59% of voters now disapprove of Congressional Democrats compared to just 28% who think they're doing a good job. The Republicans are still slightly more unpopular, with 61% disapproving and 24% approving.

No shit?  59% disapprove?  Wonder why?  Oh, I know, it’s because they can’t seem to pass the things the majority of voters wanted when they originally voted November 2008!  Take health care reform, because that’s been the big issue for most of the year, right?  Instead of giving Americans decent health care reform, the public has watched a decent bill disintegrate right before their eyes.  These people obviously don’t have the cajones to do what is right.  As a result, they lose the trust and respect of the nation.

Solution?  Give the people what they want!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Democrats Join Coburn Amendment, Foiling Dastardly Deed

Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn sat in his darkened study, surrounded by rich mahogany walls and many leather bound books, drumming his fingertips together as he contemplated his masterstroke. “I must stop this disastrous health care bill,” he thought. After many hours, genius strikes him like lightening! “I know! Ha Ha! I will introduce an amendment that will force the members of congress to enroll in this terrible public option! Certainly they will never want to sign up for this substandard plan when they already have the best public plan taxpayers can buy!” He then leaned back in his large leather chair and started a slow giggle, which quickly evolved into a fit of evil hysteria.

The next day, Senator Coburn took his fiendish plan to the halls of the Senate, quite certain that no Senator in his right mind would be willing to sign up for the public option. “If it’s not good enough for you,” he proclaimed, “how is it good enough for the American people?”

It was then that three Senators from the other side of the aisle stepped forward and voiced their support. Democrats, brave enough to accept Coburn’s challenge and sign on to his plan!

Three Senate Democrats on Friday embraced an amendment by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a fierce opponent of a public option, to force all lawmakers to enroll in any government-controlled plan that is passed.

"Sen. Coburn is to be commended for his commitment to the public option," Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., said, with more than a drip of sarcasm. Dodd, along with Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, joined Republican Sens. David Vitter of Louisiana, Richard Burr of North Carolina and Orrin Hatch of Utah in publicly supporting the amendment.

"Seventeen years ago, when I first ran for Congress, I promised I'd pay my own health insurance until Congress passed health insurance for everyone," Brown said. "I've paid it out of my pocket since then. I look forward with great eagerness to join the public option as soon as it's available."

“Ah! Ugh!” exasperated Coburn, as he grabbed his chest, falling backwards. “It wasn’t supposed to work this way!” As he ran out of the Senate chambers, he could be seen shaking his fist and yelling “I’ll get you! I’ll get all of you! You’ve not heard the last of me, for I am Coburn of Oklahoma!”

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Andrew Sullivan Breaks from the Right

I don’t always read Andrew Sullivan, and when I do, I don’t always agree with him. That said, as a conservative commentator, well, you could do a lot worse. Tuesday, he explained how he could no longer support the right. This is powerful stuff:

I cannot support a movement that claims to believe in limited government but backed an unlimited domestic and foreign policy presidency that assumed illegal, extra-constitutional dictatorial powers until forced by the system to return to the rule of law.

I cannot support a movement that exploded spending and borrowing and blames its successor for the debt.

I cannot support a movement that so abandoned government's minimal and vital role to police markets and address natural disasters that it gave us Katrina and the financial meltdown of 2008.

I cannot support a movement that holds torture as a core value.

I cannot support a movement that holds that purely religious doctrine should govern civil political decisions and that uses the sacredness of religious faith for the pursuit of worldly power.

I cannot support a movement that is deeply homophobic, cynically deploys fear of homosexuals to win votes, and gives off such a racist vibe that its share of the minority vote remains pitiful.

I cannot support a movement which has no real respect for the institutions of government and is prepared to use any tactic and any means to fight political warfare rather than conduct a political conversation.

I cannot support a movement that sees permanent war as compatible with liberal democratic norms and limited government.

I cannot support a movement that criminalizes private behavior in the war on drugs.

I cannot support a movement that would back a vice-presidential candidate manifestly unqualified and duplicitous because of identity politics and electoral cynicism.

I cannot support a movement that regards gay people as threats to their own families.

I cannot support a movement that does not accept evolution as a fact.

I cannot support a movement that sees climate change as a hoax and offers domestic oil exploration as the core plank of an energy policy.

I cannot support a movement that refuses ever to raise taxes, while proposing no meaningful reductions in government spending.

I cannot support a movement that refuses to distance itself from a demagogue like Rush Limbaugh or a nutjob like Glenn Beck.

I cannot support a movement that believes that the United States should be the sole global power, should sustain a permanent war machine to police the entire planet, and sees violence as the core tool for international relations.

Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

ONN-GOP Digs Up Reagan as New Face of GOP

It’s been obvious since last year’s election that the GOP does not have a viable leader. They have a lot of different voices, but no one person who can bring people together. That’s why they spent over $2 billion dollars to reanimate Ronald Reagan! The Onion News Network reports:

Zombie Reagan Raised From Grave To Lead GOP

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Warning! Going Rogue is on the Lose!

Jimmy Fallon had some fun with Sarah Palin’s new book, Going Rogue.  See, Rogue is on the lose and the Feds are on the case!  Watch Rogue take down Rachel Maddow, jump off a building, a la The Fugitive, and do it with New Moon.  This appears to be one dangerous book!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Teabaggin’ 09 – If You’re Gonna Talk Smack, Make Sure to Get it Right

Michelle Bachmann, Fox News, and the Astroturfing Right marched, yet again, on Capitol Hill to fight health care reform.  In a moment of accidental brilliance and brutal truth, Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri called on the mob to join him in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.  Being the smarmy prick he is, he pointed out that it was fitting and proper, and “it drives the liberals crazy!”  Ha Ha!  Hilarious!  Fired up, he broke into a rousing rendition of the Pledge, which he proceeded to fuck up!

Stupid.  Reciting the Pledge doesn’t drive liberals crazy.  The words “Under God” don’t drive liberals crazy.  No, the only thing that drives liberals crazy is the fact that people actually listen to these stupid asses!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Election 2009 – All’s Not Bad…All’s Not Good

You probably heard there were elections yesterday.  Both New Jersey and Virginia now have Republican Governors.  There were also special elections for House seats in New York and California, both going to Democrats.  I’ve read a number of stories this morning about how this is a huge win for Republicans and that Democrats should be concerned about next years mid-terms.  Michael Steele was not gloating/gloating about it this morning:

Frankly, I don’t know what he’s so happy about.  Yeah, you have Governors in two more states than you did yesterday.  But Democrats picked up two votes in the House (CA-10 was previously Democrat, but Ellen Tauscher resigned to become Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs).  I’ll take the votes, thank you very much.  So will Steve Benen:

by winning both of yesterday's congressional elections, Democrats have not only managed to expand their House majority, they've also moved the caucus ever so slightly to the left. Bill Owens (NY-23) is a moderate, but he's more liberal than the Republican he's replacing, John McHugh, and he's endorsed a progressive approach to health care reform.

Likewise, (John) Garamendi (CA-10) is more liberal than (Ellen) Tauscher was, and he, too, favors a progressive approach to health care reform.

This is a great thought, but all is not roses.  Democrats need to take heed because now is not the time to get soft or take this as a sign that the nation is moving right.  Remember, we voted for everything on Obama’s agenda.  Everything.  There is a lesson here and Kos delivers:

  1. If you abandon Democratic principles in a bid for unnecessary "bipartisanship", you will lose votes.
  1. If you water down reform in favor of Blue Dogs and their corporate benefactors, you will lose votes.
  1. If you forget why you were elected -- health care, financial services, energy policy and immigration reform -- you will lose votes.

That’s right.  One year ago today, the nation stood up and voted.  Remember that night?  It was amazing!  I’ll never forget watching the celebrations all over the country and thinking to myself, “this is like the end of ‘Return of the Jedi’”.  Our guy won.  We had the House.  We had the Senate.  We’re going to get things done!  They’re going to work for us!

Well folks, I still have that optimism, but it’s fading fast.  I can’t express this any better than Kos does, so I’ll let him:

Tonight proved conclusively that we're not going to turn out just because you have a (D) next to your name, or because Obama tells us to. We'll turn out if we feel it's worth our time and effort to vote, and we'll work hard to make sure others turn out if you inspire us with bold and decisive action.

The choice is yours. Give us a reason to vote for you, or we sit home. And you aren't going to make up the margins with conservative voters. They already know exactly who they're voting for, and it ain't you.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Scary Health Care Insurers…Just in Time for Halloween

Here’s an ad from Health Care for America Now painting the health care insurance industry as monsters.  Who could blame them?

Jon Stewart Breaks Down White House v. Fox News

Leave it to the Daily Show to be the only news organization to accurately analyze the White House’s war with Fox News.  If you know your ass from a hole in the ground, then you know that Fox News is the broadcast mouthpiece of the conservative movement.  People that love it vote conservative.  People that hate it don’t.  That said, there have been a lot of journalists coming forward to defend Fox, arguing that they are…ahem…fair and balanced.  Sure they are. 

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

If John McCain and his Telecom Financiers Have Their Way, The Internet will Have Tiered Plans, Just Like Cable

Start paying attention to Net Neutrality.  Wikipedia defines Network Neutrality as:

 Network neutrality (also net neutrality, Internet neutrality) is a principle proposed for residential broadband networks and potentially for all networks. A neutral broadband network is one that is free of restrictions on content, sites, or platforms, on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and on the modes of communication allowed, as well as one where communication is not unreasonably degraded by other communication streams.

Man, that definition just screams freedom.  Free of restrictions!  Any site with any content on any platform using any equipment!  MOTHER FREE-FUCKING-DOM!!!

Imagine this didn’t exist.  You just called to hook up a new ISP, and they sent this menu:


Based on this menu, accessing this blog would cost me $5 per month.  News research would cost me another $5 a month.  Finding video clips to post would cost me $10 per month.  The above example is a worst case scenario.  That said, this is exactly what the telecom companies want.  My internet bill will be $20 more a month than it already is.  Yes, the “ching” sound you just heard was the ISP’s eyes changing to dollar signs.

In order to achieve this, a law must be passed.  Hmmm, who could the telecom lobby hire to take up their fight.  Yes!  Of course!  John McCain!  The inventor of the Blackberry!  The self proclaimed computer illiterate is going to tell America how the internet is going to be with the “Internet Freedom Act”!  Fighting for business interests over your internet freedom, That’s John McCain.  Country First (by “Country”, he means, highest bidder, of course)!

To shed some more light on the issue, please give a warm welcome to Rachel Maddow:

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Pelosi’s Introduction of the House Health Care Bill

Teabaggin’ 09 – Flash Mob Fails to Materialize, "If this is organized, we suck."

Last night, members of the Tea Party Patriots received an email saying that if they were in driving distance of DC, then they should meet at the steps of the Capitol Building to protest the House health care bill, which was unveiled earlier this morning.

Say, how was that turnout?

It certainly wasn't the "flash mob" organizers were hoping for, but a small but determined group of Tea Party Patriots gathered on the Capitol Lawn this morning to protest the announcement of a final House health care reform bill.

TPMDC counted about 10 Tea Partiers holding signs denouncing a "government takeover" of health care and looking with disdain as House Democrats gathered on the Capitol Steps. They stood in a larger group of protesters from other groups, mostly focused on abortion rights.

Joann Abbott, a grandmother from Northern Virginia, made the drive to the protest this morning after seeing the email sent by Tea Party leaders last night. When asked if she was part of the "flash mob," she laughed. "I'm here on my own," she said, looking around at the scattered protesters around her. "If this is organized, we suck."

I’m happy to hear that Ms. Abbott has finally realized the truth.

Michael Steele Would Have Me Believe that Rolling Back the Bush Tax Cuts is an Assault on My Wallet

Leave it to Michael Steele to start your day off on a happy note…not.

This morning, I open my inbox to find another Liberal attack on my wallet.  Mr. Steele asks me “Since when is a tax hike not a tax hike? Apparently when Nancy Pelosi uses political doublespeak to mislead the American people.”  They then share this clip of Speaker Pelosi talking to Maria Bartiromo:

Ok, Pelosi’s answer is slippery.  I’ll concede that we’re seeing a politician giving an lousy political answer to a fair question.  Truth is, no politician ever wants to say they’re raising taxes.  And yes, letting the Bush tax cuts expire would essentially raise taxes…FOR 1% OF AMERICANS! 

Steele goes on to write, “They support confiscating more of your money through higher taxes to fund their reckless spending and debt….”  No, they’re not confiscating more of my money because I don’t make enough to be affected.  I’m willing to bet that you, fine reader, don’t either, because 1% of the population is a pretty small number.  If you do happen to be in that stratified air of wealth, then hooray for you.  Now, pony up.  You can afford it.

The Bush tax cuts will have cost this country $3.9 trillion.  Imagine what we could have done with that money.  That would have, at least, paid for health care and those precious wars that haven’t seemed to stabilize the region, or protect our interests, or give us cheaper gas.  Take out the wars, and this country would be in a lot better shape than it currently is.  But what really sets my hair on fire is that we’re talking about rolling the cuts back to when Clinton was in office, and frankly, you don’t hear people bitching about how awful their financial situation was in the 90s.

So, Michael Steele, take your outrage and stick it up your ass.  Rolling back those disastrous tax cuts may affect you, and your running crew, but it doesn’t affect me and my running crew, which, by the way, just so happens to be 99% of America.  Oh, and for those of you that want to argue in favor of the Bush tax cuts, or how great pool at the top…um…I mean…trickle down economics is, choke on this:

(The period) during the economic cycle that began in March 2001 and ended in December of 2007—which almost exactly coincides with the Bush presidency and the implementation of the Bush tax cuts…registered the weakest jobs and income growth in the post-war period. Overall monthly job growth was the worst of any cycle since at least February 1945, and household income growth was negative for the first cycle since tracking began in 1967. Women reversed employment gains of previous cycles. And for African Americans, the worst job growth on record was matched by an unprecedented increase in poverty.

Yes, please, roll back those tax cuts.  I assure you, this country will be just fine.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tea Party?

We interrupt the regularly scheduled program. How small can the tea party get? At what point do the nazi's look in the mirror? Who is zoomin' who? We have seen McCarthy. We have seen fear. We have seen propaganda and adjectives. This is a shot out to this site's author, and his madre y padre who lived the revolution....front line style in Madison. And the comforting thought that people are paying attention..., and continue to do so

Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Gregg Harper Joins Congressional Asshole Caucus

Gregg Harper (R-MS) is a freshman representative and an asshole.  How do I know?  Dig this quote from Politico where the interviewer asks him about the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus:

What in the world does the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus do?

We hunt liberal, tree-hugging Democrats, although it does seem like a waste of good ammunition.

Ha ha ha ha ha!  Hilarious!  Waste of good ammunition!  Too much!  With this quote it seems that Harper has cemented his membership in the Congressional Asshole Caucus as well, which, truth be told, is not all that hard to join.

Yeah, Harper, I know…it was a joke.  You’re still an asshole, Asshole.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wall Street Bonuses - Michael Moore Vents All Over Matt Lauer’s Fine Suit

Dylan Ratigan and Michael Moore were on the Today Show this morning discussing the record bonuses being dolled out at the same banks that were bailed out last year.  Yesterday, the Dow broke the 10,000 mark, which would be good if regular folks weren’t still hurting.

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With regards to Michael Moore, I love this man.  Most of the negative things that have been said about him have been concocted by the enemies of regular people, whose venom has managed to corrupt the the public’s opinion of him.  The truth is, this man has spent his entire career fighting for people like you and me.  I would be interested to hear any tea bagger who’s marched against the bailouts attempt to find fault with his statements above.  He’s on our side and always has been.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Rep. Grayson – Obama Would Have a BLT and Republicans Would Try to Ban Bacon!

Remember Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL)?  He’s the one who succinctly described the Republican health care plan on the House floor:

1.  Don’t Get Sick

2.  If you do get sick, DIE QUICKLY!

Well, he’s back with some frank words for both his fellow Democrats, as well as his friends across the aisle.  It’s better than the last time we saw him.  Take a moment to watch this utterly awesome verbal smackdown!

Alan Grayson is my new hero!  I hope the people living in Orlando, Eustis, and Ocala recognize that this man is fighting for them tooth & nail because we need more people in Congress like him.

GOP & Taliban Both Agree that Obama Doesn’t Deserve Nobel Prize

It seems that the right is all bent about President Obama winning the Nobel Prize.  Lowlights, anybody?

For Obama's critics, however, the Nobel Prize has touched a far more bitter nerve -- affirming their firmly-held beliefs that the president is more symbolism than substance and that he's accomplished little of note on the international stage except to serve as an emblem of U.S. repentance for the Bush years.

"This fully exposes the illusion that is Barack Obama," conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh told Politico via e-mail. "And with this 'award' the elites of the world are urging Obama, THE MAN OF PEACE, to not do the surge in Afghanistan, not take action against Iran and its nuclear program and to basically continue his intentions to emasculate the United States... They love a weakened, neutered U.S and this is their way of promoting that concept. I think God has a great sense of humor, too."

"I did not realize the Nobel Peace Prize had an affirmative action quota," wrote Erick Erickson, of the site, "but that is the only thing I can think of for this news."

"Obama isn't the first American president to win the Nobel Peace Prize, but he's the first to win it without having accomplished anything," wrote John Miller, of the National Review. "Obama's award is simply the projection of wishful thinking."

"The prize seems not just premature but embarrassing," wrote Mark Krikorian, also on The National Review, "this just reinforces the Saturday Night Live meme that Obama has done nothing. This really might be his Carter whacking-the-bunny-rabbit moment."

Indeed, an online petition was started just hours after the announcement was made, objecting to the "absurd decision to award B. Obama Nobel Peace Prize."

Oh, yeah, they’re mad about it.  You know who else is mad about it?  The Taliban:

The Taliban Friday condemned Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize, saying rather than bring peace to Afghanistan he had boosted troop numbers and continued the aggressive policies of his predecessor.

"We have seen no change in his strategy for peace. He has done nothing for peace in Afghanistan," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP.

"We condemn the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for Obama," he said by telephone from an undisclosed location.

Quick to pounce, the DNC issued this statement:

The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists -- the Taliban and Hamas this morning -- in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize," wrote DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse. "Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the President of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace prize -- an award he did not seek but that is nonetheless an honor in which every American can take great pride -- unless of course you are the Republican Party. The 2009 version of the Republican Party has no boundaries, has no shame and has proved that they will put politics above patriotism at every turn. It's no wonder only 20 percent of Americans admit to being Republicans anymore - it's an embarrassing label to claim.

Folks, this isn’t about whether he did anything to earn it or not.  This is about the international community handing the president a sail.  They see the winds of peace at his back and they want him to go forward with his plans.  They like what he’s doing on the international stage and they’re excited to see the U.S. lead again.  I for one think we should be proud, both for our President and for our country.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Christ, Oklahoma, Why Don’t You Just Mark Them With A Scarlet “A” and Place Them In the Public Stockade?

Frankly, I don’t even know how to kick this one off, so I’ll let the story handle it:

A new Oklahoma law requires physicians to disclose detailed information on women's abortions to the State's Department Of Health, which will then post the collected data on a public website. The controversial measure comes into effect on November 1 and will cost $281,285 to implement, $256,285 each subsequent year to maintain.

Oklahoma women undergoing abortion procedures will be legally forced to reveal:

1) Date of abortion
2) Country in which abortion is performed
3) Age of mother
4) Marital status of mother
5) Race of mother
6) Years of education of mother
7) State or foreign country of residence of mother
8) Total number of previous pregnancies of the mother

Proponents of the legislation claim that women should not be concerned over their privacy since no names or "personal information" will be reported. This defense is questionable. Feminists For Choice argues, "In reviewing the actual text of the law, the first 8 questions that will be asked and reported could easily be used to identify any member of a smaller community."

For all of the right’s false claims of losing liberties, they seem to have no problem taking away liberties from others, especially when it suits their agenda.  I am also glad that the price tag was mentioned.  Half a million a year to operate a shame site instead of paying for education, counseling, or any number of other positive things that could ultimately reduce abortions.  No, instead they’re going to scare women who, I am sure, are quite scared enough.

Olbermann – When it Comes to the Health Care Debate, We’re Really Talking About Life and Death

This is a great Special Comment.  Actually, this kicked off the show, which was entirely on health care.  Olbermann doesn’t do his regular thing here.  He calmly walks a fine line as he shows empathy for all sides while criticizing all sides when necessary.  It’s a powerful statement and sums up what we’ve been talking about, whether we are conscious of it or not, this whole time.  Please, take the time to watch this clip.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

NASA to Bomb Moon…to Search for Water, of Course

This story comes thanks to the Huffington Post:

NASA is launching a dramatic mission to bomb the moon.

The LCROSS (Lunar CRater Observing and Sensing Satellite) mission will send a missile traveling at twice the speed of a bullet to blast a hole in the lunar surface near the moon's South pole.

Scientists expect the impact of the Centaur rocket to be powerful enough to eject a huge plume of debris from the moon. The moon dust should even be large enough to be seen from earth through telescopes 10-to-12 inches and larger, says NASA.

So what's our beef with the moon?

The bombing isn't an act of hostility: it's all part of our search for water in space.

The missile will impact the lunar surface at crater Cabeus A (see photo below). The crater is located on the moon's South pole, an area in which scientists estimate there may be billions of tons of trapped ice.

Of course, this is eerily similar to a Mr. Show sketch that is simply hilarious!

Bachmann – “government can’t compete with private industry.”

One of the opposition’s most consistent arguments against health care reform has been that private industry can’t compete with the United States Government.

RNC Chairman Michael Steele

"The president claims that more government involvement in health care will promote competition. However, creating such a government-run entity would result in a massive government health care monopoly. Private insurers would soon be put out of business, unable to compete with the subsidized government-run plan the president and liberals want."

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)

"A new government-run plan would stack the deck against any would-be competitors. The private sector has to pay taxes; the government collects taxes. The private sector has to account for its employees and benefits, while maintaining minimum reserve requirements; the government does not. The private sector pays whatever rates it negotiates with providers; the government dictates payments."

Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA)

"Businesses will, in effect, be forced to send employees into the Democrats' government-run health care. It's really not something to argue about, it is a fact. A private health insurance system, otherwise known as what we have today, will not be able to compete with a taxpayer-subsidized government plan, and businesses faced with growing health care costs will opt to either lay off more workers or send employees into the government plan."

Forget the fact that competition is the foundation upon which capitalism sits.  No, they’re too busy fighting socialism as well as working to keep insurance bureauocracy, enormous profits, and CEO salaries to recognize that they are fighting to stop fair competition, a/k/a capitalism.

Fortunately, we have Michele Bachmann.  She recognizes capitalism when she sees it!  It is her opinion that in a head to head, Government doesn’t stand a chance against private industry:

And as far as liberals go, they want the government literally to control every aspect of our lives.  We saw that with student loans.  They put in a quotes [sic] public option for student loans, government couldn't take the competition because the private sector was outperforming by far, so they shut out any private student loans.  Today all student loans have to be public or government run.  They'll do the same thing in health care, government can't compete with private industry - they're not as innovative, they're not as quick on their feet, they're not as cheap, they're not as high quality.  And so this is what they want - ultimately, this is the goal of socialism, to have government take over every aspect of the private sector.

Alright!  This is what I’m talking about!  Rep. Bachmann, if you’re so sure a private plan will fail miserably, then why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and make it a reality.  If a private plan can’t compete, then nobody will take it, and you can do your “I told you so” dance right into another term.  I’m willing to bet you’re wrong.  Let’s find out, shall we?

h/t to Steve Benen.

Friday, October 2, 2009

New Poll Reveals Majority of Americans Want Public Option, in Spite of Bipartisanship

It’s time for that Democratic Supermajority to roll on this thing!  Per Greg Sargent:

I’ve never seen the question framed this way, and this finding, from the nonpartisan Research 2000 poll for DailyKos, really challenges the conventional wisdom that the public is adamantly opposed to Democrats passing their own health care bill without any GOP support:

Which of the following scenarios do you prefer/ do you prefer?

Getting a health care bill with the choice of a strong public health insurance option to compete with private insurance plans that’s supported only by Democrats in Congress, OR Getting a health care bill with no public option that has the support of Democrats and a handful of Republicans?

Public option: 52%
No public option: 39%

A majority prefers getting a Dem-only bill with a public option rather than a bill without one that has the support of a few Republicans. And more independents, too, favor the partisan public-option bill, 47%-42%.

It’s true that other polls have found that majorities prefer that the final bill be bipartisan. But here’s the rub: The previous polls asked the question in isolation — do you want a bipartisan bill, or a partisan one — without explaining to respondents that winning over Republicans could result in actual policy consequences that they might not like. The above is a more accurate framing of the choice the public — and lawmakers– face right now.

Democrats, it’s time to nut up and give the people what they want!

Why do Those That Hate Bailouts Fight to Bailout an Insurance Industry that Doesn’t Need a Bailout?

Here’s a great ad from the folks at Health Care for America Now.  The ad highlights the enormous salaries paid to insurance CEOs while regular folks are loosing their homes because they cant afford to pay their medical bills.  According to the ad, 62% of personal bankruptcies are caused by medically related debts.

I would love for somebody on the other side of this issue to explain how they can, on the one hand, be anti-public health care, and on the other hand, be anti-bailout of banks*. 

No public option means hundreds of billions of dollars will go directly to the insurance industry, as will millions of uninsured individuals who will be forced to buy health insurance from those same companies.  It’s a giant bailout of an industry that doesn’t need a bailout.  Are those fighting reform so blinded fighting government intervention that they can’t see the consequences of killing meaningful reform?  Um, yes.

*Understand, I’m not pro bailout, but I see it as a necessary evil.  Without a bailout, we’ll have new, Technicolor footage of the same black and white soup line footage from the 30s.  I know it’s been mismanaged, and that banks are no more stable today than when they collapsed last year.  Having said that, at this point in time, things could have been a lot worse.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Daily Show – Stewart Eviscerates the Democratic Super Majority

It had been foreshadowed for months that the Senate Finance Committee would offer a suck balls health care bill, and they didn’t disappoint, shooting down two public options.  While I remain optimistic that we will get a meaningful health care bill, eventually, I do find it insulting that Democrats can’t seem to a) do what they were elected to do and b) give the people what they want. 

Enter Jon Stewart who is kind enough, through pictures and sound, to vocalize what I’m thinking.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Democratic Super Majority
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Ron Paul Interview

McConnell Says Republican Will Oppose Health Care Reform…Even if Their Demands Are Met

For those of you that have ever accused Republicans of not caring, you’re wrong.  See, they do care.  They care about killing everything that is potentially good.  They care about stopping every proposal that comes from the White House. They care about getting back in power, regardless of how they do it.  Finally, they care about their corporate masters and their profits.  I can safely say, they do not care about you or me. 

Hogwash you say?  Ryan Grim delivers proof!

The Senate Republican leader made clear on Wednesday that his party, despite all its griping over the public health insurance option, abortion-funding or health care for illegal immigrants, is simply and flatly opposed to the "core" of the Democratic health care reform proposal.

Satisfying every Republican demand short of scrapping the entire project, said Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), would still not capture GOP support.

"Senator Kyl and some of the others have talked about some of the things that are happening in committee," McConnell told reporters, referring to Senate Finance Committee Republican Jon Kyl of Arizona.

"But the core point is this: At the end of the day, if the government plan is either in the bill or out of the bill, whether they will be able to argue successfully or not whether tax funds are gonna be provided for abortion, whether or not they will be able to argue at the end that dollars for health care for illegals is in or out, what we do know is what the core of the bill is going to look like. We know that for sure," he said.

And the bottom line, said McConnell, is that Republicans don't like the bill at all.

See, it doesn’t matter what’s in it.  They don’t want it.  Any of it.  Why wouldn’t they want a healthy America?  Why wouldn’t they want lower costs?  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it’s because Republicans like their campaign contributions fat like their constituents.  I have a vision of a conversation between Republicans and insurance execs that goes something like this:

Aetna:  Yo!  McConnell!  We got a fat sack of cash with your name on it!  You want it?

McConnell:  Hells yeah! 

Aetna:  Well, look…I called my bitches and we have that room that you like…you know, the one with the bed…

McConnell:  Fuck yes!  I know the room with the bed!

Aetna:  We know you do!  What do you say we dump that fat sack of cash on that bed you like so much and you and the bitches roll around in it for a couple of hours?

McConnell:  I’ll be right over!

Aetna:  Oh, and Mitch, make sure you kill reform, ok?

McConnell:  Oh, please!  And sell out my homies?  Come on!  We’re tight!  What-fuckin-ever!

Aetna:  Just makin’ sure.

It’s time to ignore these obstructionists and get down to business.  Bipartisanship requires honest negotiations on both sides.  It’s obvious that they’re not going to play fair.  The truth is, they no longer matter. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

GOP Outrage Towards “Die Quickly” Crack Rings Hollow

If you’re like me, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) is your new hero!  Last night, on the floor of the House, Rep. Grayson did what Republicans have been unable to do…spell out their alternative health care plan, which is:

1.  Don’t Get Sick

2.  If you do get sick, DIE QUICKLY!

Watch it, it’s quite funny:

Of course, Republicans are outraged!  How could a Representative say such awful things on the House floor?  It’s unprecedented! 

Um…not really.  See, they’ve been talking about death all summer:

Frankly, this is typical of the Republican Party.  They can dish it out, but they can’t take it.

63% Willing to Pay Taxes for Health Care, but 35% Believe Government Can Deliver

I have always said that I would be willing to pay for quality health care, even if that health care plan is run by the Government.  It appears I’m not alone.

Most Americans would pay higher taxes to fund healthcare reforms that provide the best quality of care, but only a minority expects Washington to deliver it, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

The telephone survey of 3,003 U.S. adults conducted by Thomson Reuters found 63 percent willing to pay for healthcare reform, though most also said they are happy with their own doctors, insurance plans and out-of-pocket costs.

However, only 35 percent of those surveyed said President Barack Obama's reform agenda and the debate in Congress will lead to better health service, while 41 percent said they would expect it to lead to lower costs.

I find the second part of this interesting.  Truth be told, I agree.  I sincerely question the Government’s ability to pass any meaningful reforms, especially since it appears they’re in the insurance industry’s hip pocket.  That said, I remain optimistic as four of five proposed bills (three in the House and one in the Senate) have public options.  We’re going to see a lot of haggling and wrangling the next few weeks.  Should be interesting.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nutter Bill and Me: Part II - Unexpected Correspondence, Animated Birds, Email Hell, and Confessional

Those of you who follow along regularly might have noticed that I’ve been phoning it in lately.  I’ve been posting lots of clips with very little writing.  Yeah, phoning it in is how I would describe it.  Frankly, I haven’t had the desire to write.  As a relatively new pundit, I found the month of August to be quite taxing on my optimistic view of the future.  I credit my encounter with Nutter Bill as the event that took the wind out of my sails.  Truth be told, I had no problem with the meeting itself.  No, my problem is what happened after. 

A couple of days after our meeting, I received a letter in the US Mail from none other than Nutter Bill.  Yes, he sent me personal correspondence in an envelope, complete with postage.  I have to admit, it was a little creepy.  I mean, who writes letters anymore except for lawyers.  Also, what would he have to do to find my address?  Phone book?  Who uses that anymore?!?  And, I just met this guy on the corner!  Yeah, I told him my name and where I lived, but jeez, I didn’t tell him that much! 

I took a second, decided I told him enough, that I’m not that hard to find, and read the letter.  It turned out to be very thoughtful.  I didn’t agree with all of it, but I could sense that we had a mutual respect for the other, as Americans, and that if we boil our differences down, we’d see that we weren’t that far apart. 

I wanted to write him back, but my wife, who isn’t as optimistic as I am and tends to be cautions about such things, as well as being more creeped out than I was, told me it was a bad idea.  I sat on it for a few days, finally giving way to curiosity, deciding that better angels would prevail.  My intention was not to change his mind, but to open a dialogue with somebody who didn’t see the world as I did.  Exchange ideas and shake hands when we were done.  Maybe we’d become friends, I thought, honestly debating political issues over beers.  Maybe we’d hold hands while we got matching tattoos.  Perhaps cartoon birds would land on our shoulders whistling a happy tune while the tea kettle and the toaster sang a song about the importance of friendship.

I sent him an email thanking him for his thoughtful letter.  I expressed hope that even if we were in different sides of the fence, we might be able to find the common ground we all so desperately need.  I hit send, winked to the drawn bird who was whistling while I typed, and called it a day.

The next morning, I powered my computer to find 12 emails from Nutter Bill.  The first one explained that it was going to take a while to complete the picture, but the series of emails that was to follow was to enlighten me to the socialist evils of the Obama Administration and the forces working behind the scenes to crush America as we currently know it.  All of this was followed by a link to everybody’s favorite rubber room on the internet, Free Republic!  The link took me to their version of Barack Obama’s life.  I was amused by the fact that the footnotes are not linked.  The sources at the bottom are linked, but only back to the number that accompanies the claim, not the source.  I started reading, it but after the fifth, “If-Then” type statement, I was firmly convinced it was bullshit.

I received 44 emails in three days.  Lots of stuff from Powerline  and Hot Air.  Many of the biggest conservative stars, like Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, Newt Gingrich, and Charles Krauthammer were there.  I received a lot of stories on Chappaquiddick, you know, because Ted Kennedy just passed.  Tons of “Obamacare” stories, which set my hair on fire because Bill would argue the standard line of keep government out of health care, but don’t touch my Medicare.  And on and on.  With the exception of some political cartoons and a couple of blonde jokes, I received all the conservative news and views I could handle.  I finally had to write him and say enough.

I explained that I knew of the people and sites he was sending me.  I told him that I couldn’t possibly refute with the truth because my proof would be deemed liberal brainwash and part of the Democratic master plan that he was trying to free me of.  I expressed frustration that while he would freely slam Obama for many of the country’s ills, many of those ills started under the previous administration, if not before.  I called him on his health care contradiction. I sent him former Reagan and Bush I employee, Bruce Bartlett’s article that appeared at the Daily Beast which argued that conservatives were blaming the wrong guy.  Finally, I expressed dismay because we were both angry, but at different things.  Frankly, I haven’t been the same sense.

What started as an optimistic attempt at bridging gaps became an exercise in futility.  I was crushed with an overwhelming sense that we will never be able to bring this country together again.  I found myself questioning truth.  I questioned my new found roll as pundit and blogger.  I mean, what difference does it make if I’m preaching to the choir?  I started wondering how those that do this for a living handle it, or, at the very least, keep going.  I suppose it would be easier if you didn’t have a position and could just relay the story.  But I do have a position.  A very strong position.  And that’s where I am today. 

I wish I had some sage Doogie Howser computer diary ending, but I don’t.  Hopefully, pouring this out will help me get my mojo back.  In the meantime, bear with me while I try to get out of this funk.  But know this, I’m down, but I’m not out.  I just need some good news for a change.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Constituent Asks Senator Baucus why He Doesn’t Support the Public Option

Please say hello to Mr. Bing Perrine of Billings, Montana.  He appears to be a young fellow with a nice looking family.  According to the clip below, he had a heart condition that required open heart surgery.  This guy is younger than me.  He’s questioning his Senator, Max Baucus, as to why he is not supporting the public option.  I have been wondering that very same thing myself.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Senator Sanders Speaks Out On Corporate Ownership of Government

In my opinion, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is the only member of the Senate who works for his constituents, not corporate masters.  While it’s true that there are many Senators who are trying to do what’s right, Sanders is the only one who’s willing to make videos like the one I’m sharing below.  It’s a forceful statement against corporate interference in Government and one I think everybody should hear.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Flashback to Glenn Beck’s Crazy FM Days

Ugh.  Here’s where it all began.  Beck appears to be one half of another in a long line of nuthouse FM DJs, giving away cash and playing nothing but today’s best hits.  Yuck!

You can read more about it here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Will Ferrell and Friends Stick Up for the Insurance Industry

Here are a whole bunch of stars standing up for the insurance industry, because, you know, they need folks in their corner.

Congressional Districts that Need Health Care the Most are Mostly Represented by Health Care Obstructionists

The map below represents the US broken out by congressional district.  The dark blue areas indicate districts where 20% or more of the population are uninsured.  Click the map to go to an interactive version.


The irony, of course, is that most of these districts are represented by either Republicans or Blue Dogs.

…of the 100 congressional districts with the highest uninsured rates, 53 are represented either by Republican lawmakers — who are fighting the Obama administration's attempt to overhaul the health care system — or by Blue Dog Democrats — conservative Democrats who have slowed down and diluted the overhaul proposals.

Shocked?  I’m not.  You can hear the entire NPR report here:

Friday, September 18, 2009

O’Reilly Supports Government Health Care Option

I must give credit where credit is due.  Yes, he talks out of his ass 99% of the time.  That leaves 1% for gold like this:

O’REILLY: But you know, I want that, Ms. Owcharenko. I want that. I want, not for personally for me, but for working Americans, to have a option, that if they don’t like their health insurance, if it’s too expensive, they can’t afford it, if the government can cobble together a cheaper insurance policy that gives the same benefits, I see that as a plus for the folks.

Watch it:

Because he’s getting so much positive, liberal press, I’m sure he’ll come back tonight and stress that he believes that the public option will never happen, which will be consistent with the first part of the clip.  Regardless, this is a rare moment of Fox balance.  You know, like a Yeti sighting.

Copy & Paste Digg Comment is Too Good Not to Share

I came across this comment (first one from UniversalGuy) on Digg this morning.  It is not original and can easily be found at a number of different places around the web.  That said, the message must be forwarded.  Government is not the root of all evil.  Government can do things right.

I am a conservative.

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the U.S. Department of Energy.

I then took a shower in the clean water provided by a municipal water utility.

After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC-regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like, using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

I watched this while eating my breakfast of U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

At the appropriate time, as regulated by the U.S. Congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-approved automobile and set out to work on the roads build by the local, state, and federal Departments of Transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level
determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve Bank.

On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the U.S. Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the USDA, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to my house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and Fire Marshal's inspection, and which has not been plundered of all its valuables thanks to the local police department.

And then I log on to the internet -- which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration -- and post on and Fox News forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can't do anything right.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New DNC Ad Fights Back on the Right’s Attack on Czars

Glenn Beck should do his homework…oh…wait…that would mean that he could accurately process information!

AP Recap of Baucus Plan Makes Vomit Magically Appear in Mouth

Yesterday, I said that the new Senate Finance Committee plan sucks balls.  The Associated Press backs up this claim, causing me to taste my breakfast for a second time:

The latest health overhaul plan circulating on Capitol Hill gives health insurers, drug makers and large employers reasons to heave sighs of relief, sparing them the higher costs and more burdensome rules included in other Democratic-written alternatives.

(The health insurance industry) would score a new, taxpayer-subsidized customer base of millions who don't currently have insurance, thanks to a mandate that everyone purchase coverage – backed up by steep penalties on people who don't. And it wouldn't have to compete with the government to cover people, unlike in the four other health overhaul plans approved this year by Democratic-dominated congressional committees.

Nor would the nonprofit so-called "co-ops" designed to provide consumers with an alternative to private health insurance pose any real threat to their business, according to a nonpartisan analysis released Wednesday. The Congressional Budget Office said those plans "seem unlikely to establish a significant market presence in many areas of the country or to noticeably affect federal subsidy payments."

But health insurance stocks jumped Wednesday at the news of Baucus' public option-free measure. And privately, industry lobbyists acknowledged that the plan is far more to their liking than any of the other measures currently under discussion, and expressed confidence that it would improve further as senators and Obama's team continued to haggle over its details as it approaches a Senate vote.

(emphasis added)

I don’t believe for a second that this bill will pass, at least in its current form.  That said, this bill is the water that will be mixed into the other proposals on the table.  It’s mere presence is to weaken whatever strong bill comes forward.

If any of this garbage gets into what could be a strong bill, it will be the third time this year a major industry kills a provision that would be good for American’s everywhere.  The first was the destruction of cramdown, which was killed by the mortgage/banking industry.  Second, it was that garbage credit card reform bill, written by the nation’s credit card issuers.  This will be the third. 

There’s still time.  We can get a strong bill if we want it.  Do you want it?