Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Limbaugh Hospitalized

TMZ:
Rush Limbaugh has been hospitalized in Hawaii after suffering chest pains -- this according to KITV Hawaii.

According to KITV, paramedics responded to a call at the Kahala Hotel in Honolulu at 2:41 PM and transported Rush to Queens Medical Center.

According to the report, Rush was in "serious condition" when he arrived to the hospital.

We send Rush our coldest regards.

The List for 2009

Outstanding achievements in human political endeavor for 2009, compiled by this not-so-humble blogger:


Best Portrayal of Stupidity by a Group: the Teabaggers
--"I do not think that word means what you think it means."
First Runner-up: Congressional Republicans
Second Runner-up: Congressional Democrats
Best Portrayal of Stupidity by an Individual: Glen Beck
"I'm sorry...I just love my country."
--What country is that? Pre-apartheid South Africa?

Worst Impersonation of a Human Being: Dick Cheney
"Blah blah blah, Obama wrong & weak, me right, FEAR FEAR FEAR!"
--Please, "Dick," fly back to Hell soon, your demonic minions miss you.

Best Impersonation of a Slave or Minion:
Liz Cheney
"I saves yuh, Miz Scarlett!"
--Child abuse? None dare speak its name!

Liar of the Year
(the winner in a close race): Sarah Palin
"Obama death panels."
--Just wait until you're on private insurance, honey, then you'll see who really runs those "death panels!" Hint: they also own the...
First Runner-Up: Joe Lieberman
"PLEASE let me keep my chairmanship; I'll be good!"
--Harry Reid should have asked, "good to whom?"

Second Runner-Up: for astroturfing the teabag parties, Dick Armey
Third Runners-Up: Congressional Republicans
Hypocrite of the Year: Carrie Prejean
"What sex tapes?"
--Hey, when your boobs, teeth, and god knows what else were paid for by third parties, STFU is considered mandatory.
First Runners-Up (in a 3-way tie): Mark Sanford, John Ensign, and John Edwards
Best Impersonation of an Impartial Journalist: David Gregory
"Newt, thanks for appearing for the twelfth time on Meet the Press."
--Appearances in 2009 on MtP by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi: 0.

Best Put-Down of the Year: Barney Frank
In response to a teabagger (and closet LaRouchie) asking how he could "continue to support a Nazi policy, as Obama has expressly supported," Rep Frank responded:
"Ma'am, on which planet do you spend most of your time?"


Best Insurgent: for taking over the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh

Best Minstrel Show:
Michael Steele

Poltroon of the Year:
Joe Wilson
"You lie!"
--No, you lie, you stupid sonofabitch!

Whackjob of the Year: Orly Taitz
(This should be self-explanatory.)

Finally,

2009's Batshit-Crazy Award goes to:
Michele Bachmann
--For examples too numerous to list, proving definitively that a direct connection exists between her mouth and her asshole, with no cerebral matter intervening whatsoever.
First Runner-Up: Glen Beck
Second Runner-Up: Virginia Fox
and,

The 2009 Award for Almost Meeting Expectations goes to: Barack Obama

Happy New Year, folks!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Olbermann's Mad As Hell, Too

As promised, here's Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on the health care debacle, from last night's "Countdown:"

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mad As Hell!!

What the hell?!--I take a couple of weeks off, and all hell lets out for noon. Afghanistan, health care reform, financial industry reform, all shot to hell. Did I miss the return of Satan (or Dick Cheney) to the Earth, or something? What the hell is going on??

Obviously, this is going to take more than one quick post; but, with the dissolution of the health care bill in the Senate, I must take the time to say this:

NO PUBLIC OPTION, NO BILL.

I don't care if the Repugs howl, I don't care if the tea-partiers march in their hundreds, and I really don't care what crazy shit Michele Bachmann will have to say about it, reconciliation is the only way to save this thing. Screw the Repugs, to hell with the insurance whores like Lieberman, ram a GOOD bill through Congress, WITH a public option--hell, with single payer, even!--and let the chips fall where they may. 

Otherwise, this is a crap bill without the public option/Medicare buy-in/single-payer, and Pres. Obama should NOT sign it. Let it take until next summer to get it right, but dammit, GET IT RIGHT OR NOT AT ALL.

Lots more, including Keith Olbermann's "Special Comment" from tonight, and more from me in depth. Tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Verse Appropriate for the Day

Been busy with work, lately, so I apologize for the sparsity of posts lately. Lots to say, but no time to say it! Hopefully, I'll be back to regular postings tonight.

Nevertheless, in keeping with my tradition of reciting this poem on the first snowfall, I present Ezra Pound's "Ancient Music":


Winter is icummen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.

Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damn you, sing: Goddamm.

Goddamm, Goddamm, 'tis why I am, Goddamm,
So 'gainst the winter's balm.
Sing goddamm, damm, sing Goddamm,
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Chains


"It is hard to free fools from the chains they revere."--Voltaire


Found this on TPM. A liberal blogger interviewed people waiting in line for a Sarah Palin book signing in Columbus, OH. Fascinating, give it a look.


SNL on the President's China Trip

Gotta say, the skit wasn't that far from the truth:


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Robert Reich on the Health Care Fight

From one of the smartest men ever to serve in government, here is Robert Reich's take on the state of the health care reform bills now being fought over in Congress. The entire article is well worth reading:

But even the House's shrunken and costly little public option is too much for private insurers, Big Pharma, Republicans, and "centrists" in the Senate. So Harry Reid has proposed an even tinier public option, which states can decide not to offer their citizens. According to the CBO, it would attract no more than 4 million Americans.

It's a token public option, an ersatz public option, a fleeting gesture toward the idea of a public option, so small and desiccated as to be barely worth mentioning except for the fact that it still (gasp) contains the word "public."

And yet Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson mumble darkly that they may not even vote to allow debate on the floor of the Senate about the bill if it contains this paltry public option. And Republicans predict a "holy war."

But what more can possibly be compromised? Take away the word "public?" Make it available to only twelve people?

Our private, for-profit health insurance system, designed to fatten the profits of private health insurers and Big Pharma, is about to be turned over to ... our private, for-profit health care system. Except that now private health insurers and Big Pharma will be getting some 30 million additional customers, paid for by the rest of us.

Upbeat policy wonks and political spinners who tend to see only portions of cups that are full will point out some good things: no pre-existing conditions, insurance exchanges, 30 million more Americans covered. But in reality, the cup is 90 percent empty. Most of us will remain stuck with little or no choice -- dependent on private insurers who care only about the bottom line, who deny our claims, who charge us more and more for co-payments and deductibles, who bury us in forms, who don't take our calls.

We've got to do this, or it'll be 1994 again. Don't let Ted Kennedy down! Write, call, or email your congresscritter.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dems Get the Health Care Debate Going!

Senate Democrats tonight scraped together the sixty votes necessary to begin debate on health care reform--hooray!!

Errr, wait a minute: we're just getting to the debate itself? What the hell?! We've got renegade Democratic senators still holding out on the public option, there's still quite a bit of difference between the Senate and the House versions of the bill, various groups within the Democratic party have problems with either version, and we've celebrating the chance to debate the bill?

Yep, that's where we are in American politics today, folks: the Republicans are so afraid of health care reform that they're afraid to even talk about it. This isn't the first time the Rethugs have played Chicken Little with much-needed reform, either. From Social Security to Medicare, the wingnuts have consistently played the fear card to oppose progress in this country. For example, here's a taped message from Ronald Reagan opposing Medicare:

"One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism has been by way of medicine." He urged his listeners to write to Congress opposing Medicare and warned, "If you don't do this, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was like in American when men were free."

This spot was paid for by AMA and AMPAC, and played at Operation Coffee Cup coffees put on by doctors' wives.

Sound familiar? The same, lame excuses are being spouted by Repugs today. The Republican party has a long and unsavory history of doing everything it can to block, delay, and weaken progress in America that would help ordinary Americans. As far back as the 1920s, Repugs have opposed the advancement of the poor and the middle class.

Why today we see lower and middle-income individuals supporting inane policies that are antithetical to their own self-interest (tort reform, for one example, not to mention opposition to health care reform!) is something that I and many others have thought long and hard upon. I can't explain it, I don't understand it, and I am totally repelled by it. The tea partiers and their ilk are just the latest and, for what it's worth, most organized manifestation of this trend in American politics. I'm hoping that they do their level best to defeat "mainline" (such as the are) Republican candidates in primary challenges in 2010. Maybe then we can have a 60+ seat majority in the Senate, and truly get some things accomplished.

But for now, we've gotten past this hurdle, and here comes the hard part: getting a bill out of the Senate that we can live with. Here's hoping that the Democrats can pull this off!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bible Verses

You may have heard about the distinctly un-Christian, contemptible, and definitely traitorous new use of Biblical verse to damn President Obama, and incite violence towards him and his family:

There’s a new slogan making its way onto car bumpers and across the Internet. It reads simply: “Pray for Obama: Psalm 109:8”

A nice sentiment?

Maybe not.

The psalm reads, “Let his days be few; and let another take his office.”

Presidential criticism through witty slogans is nothing new. Bumper stickers, t-shirts, and hats with “1/20/09” commemorated President Bush’s last day in office.

But the verse immediately following the psalm referenced is a bit more ominous: “Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.”


This makes me boil over in anger. However, I'll let Bill in Portland Maine from DailyKos respond for me:

Since the right-wing fringers enjoy sharing their favorite Bible verses with us, I'd like to reciprocate by sharing one of mine with them. It comes right after Psalm 109:8 and I believe it says:

And the wise man lookethed at the creepy people seething with un-Christlike rage at their duly-elected leader and saideth, "Bite me, douchebags." And lo the Lord respondedeth: "Amen, Brother. You getteth the pie and they getteth the clap."

Yeah. That's how I remember it.


AMEN, brother, AAAAAA-MEN!!

Palin Booed in Indiana

Huffington Post:

Unhappy fans of Sarah Palin went rogue on the Alaska Republican during her book tour stop in Noblesville, Indiana on Thursday.

The local Borders outlet had handed out 1,000 wristbands to book purchasers; the wristbands were supposed to procure fans Palin's signature on their hardback copies of "Going Rogue." But several dozen people who had been promised signatures were turned away empty-handed after waiting hours in poor weather, a local news outlet, the Indy Channel, reported.

"We gave up our entire workday, stayed in the cold, my kids were crying," one man was quoted saying. "They went home with my wife. She was out here in the freezing cold all day. I feel like I don't want to support Sarah."

On one hand, you have to feel both sorry for the people standing out in the cold and rain waiting to get Palin's scrawl on their books; on the other, it inspires (in me, at least) contempt for their willful ignorance. Did they really think that Palin gave a damn about them? Have they listened to anything other than Faux News reports on her in the last year?

Of course they haven't, that's why they were in line in the rain waiting for her to sign her books. These were the hardcore wingnuts, ready to defend to the death their heroine, and their right to be stupid. The fact that the only truths in her book are that her name is Sarah, she was once the governor of Alaska, and she ran for Vice President, the fact that almost everything else in the book has been proven to be a lie, matters not to them. "She's one of us!", they proclaim.

Now for me, anyone who couldn't even name a book, magazine, or website that they read daily to stay informed isn't smart enough to be elected dog catcher, much less Vice President. But then again, I live in the reality-based community. And if you think that being so ignorant that you admit you don't know the duties of the job you're seeking, so stupid that you're repeatedly caught in lies about easily-checked facts, and if you shoot wolves from a helicopter; if all that makes you qualified, in some tiny minds, to be president, then I don't want you anywhere near the levers of power, and I repeat my wish that the Founding Fathers had made intelligence--and not age, race, or gender--the prime qualification for the right to vote.

So, Rupert Murdoch, please give this woman a talk show, and let the inevitable forces of history consign her to its gutters.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Archie Bunker is Afraid of Khalid Sheik Mohammed

Despite what the MSM is reporting, only "old, white, and Republican voters" oppose trying Khalid Sheik Mohammed and the other Guantanamo inmates:

Buried in the internals of the new Marist poll of New York City residents is a striking finding: Opposition to trying Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his co-conspirators in a New York court is almost entirely driven by old, white, and Republican voters.

The poll finds that overall, 45% of New Yorkers think the trial is a good idea, versus 41% who think it’s a bad idea.

When the numbers are broken down by age, the only group against the trial is made up of those over 65, by 46%-41%. The other age groups are in favor of it.

When the numbers are broken down by race, the only group against the trial is made up of whites, by 49%-41%. Blacks and Latinos both favor it, Latinos overwhelmingly so.

And when the poll is broken down by party, Republicans are overwhelmingly against the trial, 68%-23%. Dems and “non-enrolled” both favor it.

Who's afraid of the big, bad terrorist now?

Sarah, Here's Some Cheese For Your Whine


Sarah Palin has the gall to complain about "sexist" coverage of her by Newsweek. (This isn't the first time she's had a problem with a Newsweek cover, either.) Who does Palin think she is, after she slandered President Obama in her first national primetime appearance? What "actual responsibilities" did you fulfill as mayor of Wasilla, you liar?! Wasilla had to hire a city manager because you didn't fulfill your duties. Amazingly, Caribou Barbie has the never to bitch & moan about Newsweek publishing a picture that she posed for, in the first place! (And look at how Runner's World runs for cover, but still posts a slideshow of Palin photos, including the infamous "legs" shot.)

So now Miss $300-Spike-Heels-at-the-Vice-Presidential-Debate thinks the media isn't being fair to her??

Have some cheese, Sarah, and:


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Obama Bowed? So What, Cheney Wore Army Boots!

The Fox talking heads complained this morning that President Obama bowed to the Emperor of Japan.

Bowed.

To the Emperor of Japan.

And they have a problem with this?? 

First of all, wingnut dipshits, the Emperor bowed back. That's how it's done in Japan. A bow is a show of mutual respect, not a one-way flow of power. The President showed the Emperor respect due his station, and the Emperor returned the show of respect.

Secondly, does anyone remember this:


Vice President Dick Cheney, representing the United States of America at ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Notice the parka and galoshes. So, which is more disrespectful to the people of this country, and to our allies? A bow, or showing up at a solemn ceremony dressed like a garbage collector?

Also during the festivities, Liz Cheney, ever the dutiful, deluded daughter, floated the idea of her father, the aforementioned arch-demon Dick Cheney, as the Republican candidate in 2012. That girl is gonna go places! Places with lots of locks and padded rooms, that is.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Speed-Reading the Palin Book

BarbinMD at DailyKos:

The Associated Press has a lengthly fact check of Sarah Palin's upcoming book, "Going Rogue." So lengthly in fact, that I'll just save you a little time and list the facts that are not in dispute.

Her name is Sarah Palin.

She is the former governor of Alaska.

She was John McCain's running mate.

They lost.

She wrote a book.

I find it interesting that the AP would take the time to point out Palin's lies, and how out of touch she is with the facts. Of course, the wingnut media will never print this story. Personally, I'm really, really hoping that Palin will win the nomination in 2012, so Obama can wipe the floor with her lying, egomaniacal self that November, and we'll finally be rid of this plague that John McCain foisted upon the American people.

Palin/Bachmann 2012!

Joe, You Keep Using That Word

Joe Lieberman thinks that it's "inconceivable" that the 9/11 suspects will be tried in New York. Notwithstanding the fact that no one has ever escaped from a supermax prison in the United States, ignoring the reality that we already have domestic and foreign terrorists incarcerated on American soil, and casting aside the idea that Joe is at all relevant to any discussion of foreign policy (representing solely the insurance companies of America, as he does) despite his chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee in the Senate....Joe needs a steaming cup of shut the fuck up. Harry Reid, when are you going to strip Lieberman of his chairmanship? It can't be too soon!

Meanwhile, the Rethugs are seeing the sky fall at the idea that terrorists might be on US soil. The GOP, especially Rep. John Boehner and Sen. John Cornyn, need to grow a pair, and stop jabbing the fear button. It may have worked for eight years under Bush, but people are smarter now, and tired of all that. Well, at least people outside of a tea party! As Kos said:

Dear Republicans,

Thanks for making clear that "home of the brave" refers only to US liberals, since we aren't pissing our pants at the thought of Gitmo inmates on US soil.

And Joe, "inconceivable?" Here, have a listen:



Thanks also to teddrummond at TPM.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Don't Let The Doorknob Hit You Where The Dog Shoulda Bit You

Lou Dobbs announced last night that he's leaving CNN. Yea!! Looks like CNN management finally realized that he's an insane, racist hypocrite. Now Dobbs is free to go to Faux News and compete against Glenn Beck for the title of "Bugfuck-Craziest Commentator."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Michele Bachmann Hates Women, Too
Or
Michele Bachmann Is A Stupid & Crazy Bitch (Part 1,982 of a continuing series)

In my post last week about the House passing the health care reform bill, I missed this:


That's Michele Bachmann interrupting Congresswomen who try to address the House in turn on the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday. Unwilling to even let the other side make their arguments, Congresswoman Bachmann has fallen to trying to shout down her colleagues. Screaming over those who were elected to do the people's business. Interrupting like a child when someone she doesn't agree with gets a turn at speaking. Bullying others when she can't get her way.

Bachmann not only hates everyone not like her, it seems she also hates people like herself, too! I find it amazing that she would join with the Republican men who employed this disgraceful and disgusting tactic, against other women regardless of their party affiliation. What a model of Christian charity and empathy Bachmann is! And what an example of everything a modern American woman should NOT be.

And I haven't even gotten to Bachmann's lunatic fringe rally last Thursday, yet!--I'm still finding words for that. More later.

Why Does Tom Coburn Hate the Troops?

Sen Tom Coburn (R-OK), John Ensign's confessor and co-conspirator, has been identified as the lone senator holding up a bill to improve benefits for wounded veterans:
Veterans and their supporters called on U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., on Friday to drop his hold and allow a vote to be held on a bill to offer assistance and improve benefits to wounded veterans and their caregivers.

Without identifying Coburn by name, Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, said a single senator is denying veterans improved benefits.

Akaka said Senate Bill 1963 also would provide assistance to caregivers who sometimes have to give up their jobs to stay at home and care for wounded veterans.

[...]Ultimately, Akaka said, the burden for caring for wounded veterans must be carried by the government that sent them to war in the first place.

""It is time for this body to act,'' he said in comments on the Senate floor.

Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, agreed and did identify Coburn as the senator with a hold on the bill.
So, when do we get to hear Limbaugh and his ilk asking why Colburn hates the troops? Yeah, yeah, I know: never. This kind of crap has to be stopped. Harry Reid needs to use his majority to put an end to Rethug obstructionism. The Party of No, indeed!

Thanks also to Matt Yglesias.

Got It In One

Kos, Retweet from Twitter:

The weird thing about the coathanger amendment (the Stupak anti-abortion amendment to the health care reform bill) is that I thought Republicans didn't want government between a doctor and patient. Hypocrisy?

Hell yes, it is!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

House Passes Health Care Bill!

The House, in an unusual Saturday night session, passed a bill calling for sweeping reform in America's health care system. The vote was 220 - 215; one lone Republican, Ahn "Joseph" Cao of Louisiana, voted with the Democratic majority in working to ensure that all Americans have access to quality health care.

NY Times:
Handing President Obama a hard-fought victory, the House narrowly approved a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health care system on Saturday, advancing legislation that the Democrats said could be their defining social policy achievement.

After a daylong clash with Republicans over what has been a Democratic goal for decades, lawmakers voted 220 to 215 to approve a plan that would cost $1.1 trillion over 10 years and that Democrats said would provide relief to Americans struggling to buy or hold on to health insurance.

"This is our moment," President Obama told the Democratic caucus in a closed-door meeting today. Damn right! After a week of nay-sayers lying about the consequences of Tuesday's election results, I want to see what they have to say now. The President used his powers of persuasion to shore up his fellow Democrats, with the results that only 39 Blue Dogs voted against the bill.

This is history, folks; this is the closest we've ever gotten to achieving this goal. President Clinton never got this close, and no one before him ever got closer. Expect the Rethugs to pull out all the stops in the Senate: in the House, they've already tried shouting down Democratic congresswomen, rallying insane teabaggers to storm the Capitol, attempts to stall the vote, and outright lying about health care reform. It ain't over yet, but this is damn good progress. Congrats to Speaker Pelosi and President Obama!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Jon Stewart Nails Glenn Beck

The Daily Show's Jon Stewart does a picture-perfect spoof of idiotic racist Faux News commentator Glenn Beck:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The 11/3 Project
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Damn! So Near, And Yet So Far

Glenn Beck suffered an appendicitis attack yesterday during his radio show. He's currently hospitalized following surgery. We send him our coldest regards.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Much Ado About Nothing

As I predicted, the wingnut punditry is celebrating its wins in the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races, while ignoring the shellacking it took in NY-23 and Cal-10.  Not too hard to make that prediction, since Virginia goes opposite the party in power, and New Jersey was Corsine's to lose, and he did. 

What Rethugs are not saying is that in the elections with national consequences, the Democrats swept them. The NJ And Virginia races were about local, not national, concerns. Also, these gubernatorial contests don't necessarily reflect the voters' concerns about the larger issues, nor do they indicate a swing to the right. In 2006, Tim Pawlenty was reelected as governor of Minnesota amidst a Democratic rout of the Rethugs nationwide, and in 2008 Obama won big here. (BTW, didn't T-Paw become a veritable model of Republican moderation after 2006?) "Bob 4 Jobs" in Virginia? Where do you think those jobs will be coming from?--the government! The federal government is the only entity that can create the number of jobs needed to pull us completely out of this recession, and to claim that the Repug win in that state is a refutation of Obama is utter and complete nonsense. 

Meanwhile, the Democrats added to their majority in the House with the wins in New York and California. Indeed, NY-23 is sending its first Democrat to the House since 1853--how's that for an endorsement of Pres. Obama's agenda? Sarah Palin and the wingnut clown parade behind her (*cough* T-Paw) don't look too powerful today! Meanwhile, CA-10 replaced a centrist with a progressive Democrat, and both Democratic winners are strong for health care reform. Also, New Jersey's Democrats added to their majority in the state legislature. So what's all this ballyhoo about a Republican "victory?"

Bullshit, that's what it is. After health care reform is passed--and make no mistake, it WILL be passed--the Democrats will be in position in the 2010 midterms to add to their majorities in both the House and the Senate. If national Democrats stay close to Obama and a progressive agenda, we will win big. If they don't, expect a repeat of 1994. Between then and now, however, expect the most outrageous attempts to scuttle health care reform.

And dammit, Maine voted in Prop. 1, denying equal rights under the law to its gay and lesbian citizens. Time is on our side, though--keep fighting!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Tale Told by Many Idiots....

"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

--Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 5


I've been avoiding the news today, in large part because all the hoopla about three races and one referendum frankly is insignificant and immaterial, in terms of Barack Obama's success or failure as President. I'm sick of all the importance being given to a congressional seat that's been held by Republicans since before the Civil War; sick of all the prognosticating and interpretations regarding the prospects of Virginia's gubernatorial election going to the party not in the White House, which it has for the last twenty-seven years; I'm sick of hearing about the race in my ancestral state of New Jersey between a corrupt fat man (no, Rush isn't running--he's the fat & cowardly man) and a former Goldman Sachs chairman pretending he really gives a damn about ordinary people. 

It all doesn't mean shit.

NY-23 has been warped by outside money and influence. Doug Hoffman, the Conservative candidate, doesn't even live in the district, has received 95% of his campaign funds from outside the state, and is clueless about local issues, only able to parrot the Sarah Barracuda talking points he's memorized. I wouldn't trust him to collect my garbage, much less be my congressman; he's a weak, opportunistic wingnut who called Glen Beck "one of my mentors"--but it's not up to me. The fact that Palin and our erstwhile governor Tim Pawlenty endorsed him over the Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava portends a nice, nasty civil war in the Republican party between now and the 2010 midterm elections. Good luck, NY-23! And remember: Jefferson said people get pretty much the government they deserve. Hope you've been good.

(Speaking of Pawlenty, who does he think he's kidding, dissing Olympia Snowe? Answer: probably the same people who think he'd make a good president. However, I seriously doubt that that group extends much beyond who he sees in the bathroom mirror in the morning.)

Virginia has gone with the opposite party from the one in the White House for decades, and the Obama machine has been largely offline in the off-year election. So why is this even remarkable, that the state might elect a Republican? Why, because the Rethugs have little to cheer about, and every little, incremental step they make towards regaining power must be trumpeted as "the beginning of the end!" for Obama. Yeahhhh, right.

New Jersey? Anyone who says he'll cut taxes in NJ has a shot, and the battle for most insulting attack ad has been more of a sideshow that anything that makes a material difference. With the nation's highest taxes and insurance rates, a good lie will go a long way against the truth here...whatever that may be. 

Lastly, I think Maine will do the right thing, and uphold the rights of it's gay and lesbian citizens.

All this together means very little towards the passage of meaningful health care reform, ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, fixing the economy, getting people back to work, and restoring America's place in the international order. But hey, I guess when you've got twenty-four hours of news to fill, and little to say, you have to do something.

Monday, November 2, 2009

This Pretty Much Sums Up the GOP Position on Health Care

Friday, October 30, 2009

What Did I Say?

From the "I Knew It Hadda Happen" Dept:

Liz Cheney, she of the fanatical stare and hell-borne bloodline, has manufactured a reason to complain about President Obama's visit to Dover AFB:

Via TPM:

Cheney, on Fox News Radio's John Gibson Show yesterday:

"I think that what President Bush used to do is do it without the cameras. And I don't understand sort of showing up with the White House Press Pool with photographers and asking family members if you can take pictures. That's really hard for me to get my head around...It was a surprising way for the president to choose to do this."

It's not clear exactly what Cheney is referring to when she says, "Bush used to do it without the cameras."

It's true that Bush's Pentagon continued a long-standing policy of banning cameras at Dover when the nation's fallen arrived in flag-draped caskets from foreign battlefields. (Upon taking office, Obama lifted the ban.)

So that covers "without the cameras."

Cheney's only claim to fame is that her daddy was the Vice President and Demon-in-Chief; she got her State. Dept. job - and virtually ever other paying position she's ever held - purely through nepotism. Otherwise, she has no standing, little experience, and less intelligence. She's not even a good liar: Bush never showed up to received the caskets at Dover, he couldn't give a flying fuck about the men and women he sent to their deaths for no good reason at all. Somebody please give Lyin' Liz a nice, big cup of shut the fuck up.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

OK, Now Let's See Them Bitch About This....

Something else Barack Obama has done, that George Bush never did:

President Obama at Dover Air Force Base last night, honoring fallen soldiers as their remains are returned from Afghanistan.

Oh, Please!

As I've been suffering through my own health problems recently, the debate on health care reform--besides being a very personal interest of mine--makes me sometimes laugh at the depths to which the opposition will sink.

Case in point: Sen. Minority leader Mitch McConnell has lost his goddamn mind. Appearing on Dennis Miller's propaganda hour radio show, McConnell said:

MCCONNELL: Well, it doesn’t make any difference frankly whether you opt-in or you opt-out, it’s still a government plan. You know, Medicaid, the program for the poor now, states can opt-out of that, but none of them have. I think if you have any kind of government insurance program, you’re going to be stuck with it and it will lead us in the direction of the European style, you know, sort of British-style, single payer, government run system. And those systems are known for delays, denial of care and, you know, if your particular malady doesn’t fit the government regulation, you don’t get the medication.

MILLER: Right.

MCCONNELL: And it may cost you your life. I mean, we don’t want to go down that path.



Get real, Mitch.

Monday, October 19, 2009

As If Airport Security Wasn't Slow Enough Already...

From Bruce Schneier's Crypto-Gram newsletter, comes a report on the appearance of the world's first "ass bomber":

Nobody tell the TSA, but last month someone tried to assassinate a Saudi prince by exploding a bomb stuffed in his rectum. He pretended to be a repentant militant, when in fact he was a Trojan horse: "The resulting explosion ripped al-Asiri to shreds but only lightly injured the shocked prince -- the target of al-Asiri's unsuccessful assassination attempt."

For years, I have made the joke about Richard Reid: "Just be glad that he wasn't the underwear bomber." Now, sadly, we have an example of one.

Finally, a new excuse for delayed flights!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Thirty Evil-Doers in the Senate

Finally got the list of the thirty senators, all of 'em Republicans, who voted against Sen. Al Franken's first bill, "To prohibit the use of funds for any Federal contract with Halliburton Company, KBR, Inc., any of their subsidiaries or affiliates, or any other contracting party if such contractor or a subcontractor at any tier under such contract requires that employees or independent contractors sign mandatory arbitration clauses regarding certain claims."

Or, as Mark Morford put it, "requiring the Pentagon no longer do business with any contractor -- hi, Halliburton! -- that requires its employees to agree that she cannot sue said contractor if she is, oh let's just say, gang raped by its employees." That's right, gang raped. It's already happened at least once. But somehow, thirty Rethug senators sided with Halliburton, and against rape victims.

Who are these thirty Republican paragons of virtue? I've finally got the list. Here are the nays:


Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

I think that their wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters should be sent letters of thanks and appreciation, in care of their senate offices. Personally, I'd rather send them the ingredients and recipe for dead gopher stew, but I digress. Here's the address:

Office of Senator (Name)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

and the phone number: (202) 224-3121

How about it, folks?

With Friends Like Her, Who Needs Republicans?

Sen. Mary Laudrieu (D-LA) doesn't know what the hell she's talking about, when she talks about health care reform:


Asked specifically about polling data showing the public option with strong national support, the conservative Democrat added, "I think that when people hear 'public option,' they hear 'free health care.' Everybody wants free health care. Everybody wants health care they don't have to pay for. The problem is that we as government and business have to pick up the tab, and as individuals. So I'm not at all surprised that the public option has been sold as free health care. But there is no free lunch."

This is pretty foolish. For one thing, Mary Landrieu, as a senator, takes advantage of a very generous health care plan that lawmakers give themselves. "Everybody wants health care they don't have to pay for"? I suppose that's true, but it's odd to hear the comments coming from someone whose coverage is subsidized by taxpayers.

Who the hell thinks that the public option is a "free lunch?" Who's calling it that? Is she polling the gators or something? What an idiot!

Thanks also to mcjoan at DailyKos.

Wake Me, I Must Be Dreaming:
Interracial Couple In Louisiana Denied Marriage License

WTF? What country am I living in??

NPR:

A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have.

Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.

"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way," Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. "I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else."

Bardwell said he asks everyone who calls about marriage if they are a mixed-race couple. If they are, he does not marry them, he said.

"I've got black friends...I let them use my bathroom." Again I say, WTF?? Who does he think he's kidding? This is so unbelievable, so incredibly outrageous, racist, stupid, and incomprehensible, that it takes my breath away. Wasn't Loving v. Virginia more than forty years ago? Who does Bardwell think he is, to arbitrarily decide who should marry and who shouldn't? He cares about the children? Bullshit!

The NAACP agrees:

"He's an elected public official and one of his duties is to marry people. He doesn't have the right to say he doesn't believe in it," Patricia Morris, president of the NAACP branch of Tangipahoa Parish, located near the Mississippi line, said Thursday.

"If he doesn't do what his position calls for him to do, he should resign from that position."

This is amazing. I myself am in an interracial relationship, and if some judge ever told us that, I'd sue the hind legs off of him (assuming I'd be able to restrain myself from kicking his ass in the first place)! Who are these people who think that they have to right to tell others they can't marry? It's a basic human right for all humans, regardless of race, age, creed, or sexual orientation.

Dammit, what's happening to this country? Despite some wishful thinking by far-right pundits and what's shown on cable news, the right is NOT ascendant nor in the majority in this country. We had an election a year ago, and the majority of Americans voted for progressive, competent government. Yet we get 24/7 coverage whenever 6 wingnuts assemble with their "Obama=Hitler!" nonsense, hatemongers like Beck and Limbaugh walk safely among us, and racist demagogues like this judge think that they can defy basic morality and the settled law of the land.

I'm pissed. More later.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Baucus Health "Reform" Bill Passes 14-9

Whoopee! That piece of shit health care bill that Max Baucus dreamed up passed the Senate Finance Committee with just one Republican vote:

The Senate Finance Committee voted on Tuesday to approve legislation that would reshape the American health care system and provide subsidies to help millions of people buy insurance, as Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine, joined all 13 Democrats on the panel in support of the landmark bill.

The vote was 14 to 9, with all of the other Republicans opposed. 

Democrats, including President Obama, had courted Ms. Snowe’s vote, hoping that she would break with the Republican Party leadership and provide at least a veneer of bipartisanship to the bill, which Mr. Obama has declared his top domestic priority. Ms. Snowe was a main author of the bill but she had never committed to voting for it. 

But shortly after 1 p.m., she announced that she was on board, in a speech that silenced the packed committee room and riveted colleagues on both sides of the dais. 

“Is this bill all that I would want?” Ms. Snowe asked. “Far from it. Is it all that it can be? No. But when history calls, history calls. And I happen to think that the consequences of inaction dictate the urgency of Congress to take every opportunity to demonstrate its capacity to solve the monumental issues of our time.”
I wouldn't say that it was "history" calling; rather, I think it was United Health Care, Cigna, and Blue Cross that called Snow. As mcjoan at DailyKos noted:
By voting yes, Snowe remains relevant--the Baucus bill passes with that shiny "bipartisan" sheen that seems still to matter to in Washington. But don't forget that she has her finger on the "trigger"--her trigger that would kill the public option. As BTD says, she's kept the Baucus bill alive, and through it the best chance of a making what now seems inevitable--reform of some kind--as watered down as possible.

So whoopee, we got one Repug on board!--for now. It won't last. It's going to take a strong, concerted, and relentless effort by Speaker Pelosi and the House Progressive Dems to keep the public option alive. (And thank all the gods that my congresscritter, Keith Ellison, is among them.) I do think that it's possible, I think that we can get a public option, but we've got to keep the pressure on.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Congratulations, Mr. President!

By now you must know--unless you've been living under a rock for the past 24 hours--that President Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize:

President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” a stunning honor that came less than nine months after he made United States history by becoming the country’s first African-American president.

The award, announced in Oslo by the Nobel Committee while much of official Washington — including the president — was still asleep, cited in particular the president’s efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

“He has created a new international climate,” the committee said.


Meanwhile, the GOP hate parade, led by "political commentator and snowman model" Rush Limbaugh and GOP chairman and one-man minstrel show Michael Steele, has already started. Of course they've already started!-they know what this is really about. Obama didn't win the award for just his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy," he also won it because the last guy in the White House was such a fuckup that any change is noteworthy.

Obama's "star power" notwithstanding, the Nobel committee obviously supports Pres. Obama's agenda of fighting climate change, expanding human rights, and economic prosperity for ALL. Yeah, yeah, I know: he hasn't done that much so far. Nothing world-shaking, I'll grant. But give him time. And does anybody remember that Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, after delaying the very peace accords cited in his award until after Nixon's reelection? But I digress.

Obama's efforts towards stabilizing the international order and halting the spread of nuclear weapons by themselves merit recognition and support; besides, anything that pisses of Limbaugh has to be a good thing. Let the sheep bleat about this. It's just another sign that their time has passed. Congratulations, Mr. President!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Updating An Old Joke

Rush Limbaugh asked his astrologer on what day he would die.

"On an American holiday," the astrologer replied.

"But which holiday?"

"Any day you die will be a American holiday."

Friday, October 2, 2009

On Second Thought, Yes--Give Up Your Day Job Too!

MN Governor Tim Pawlenty, in addition to thinking he's a viable candidate for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, also thinks he's a comedian:

The Minnesota Governor called Cash for Clunkers "misguided" and "ludicrous" before saying, "There's a joke out now that says the main value of the Cash for Clunkers program may be that we'll get a lot of cars with Obama stickers off the road." The implication of that "joke" seems to be that it's poor Obama supporters who own old clunkers that were the beneficiaries of this government program.

Coming after Pawlenty's slash-and-burn tactics with the state budget, this latest bon mot again reveals T-Paw's essential indifference to the poor, as well as his ignorance to the fact that plenty of Beamers, Lexuses, and Benzs around here had Obama stickers on them last fall (and still do). I guess trying so hard to be the wingnut candidate of choice while still pretending to give a shit about people has him spindizzy.

Hey Tim, find another line of work, willya? Preferably one that doesn't give you any impact on other people. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

That's F***ing Enough!

Newsmax posts, then deletes and distances itself from an article promoting a military coup against President Obama:
Newsmax appears to have taken down its article endorsing a potential military coup as the only way to solve the "Obama problem". But here's the full text of the article as it originally appeared.

As noted previously, the article not only endorsed the idea but seemed to suggest that top military brass were also planning or actively considering such an option.

That's it: I've had it with the wingnuts and teabaggers pissing & moaning because they lost the election. GET OVER IT. A small minority of far-right idiots are parroting Fox Noise and GOP talking points, acting like spoiled children because their party is out of power, parading themselves in front of a content-starved media, and we're supposed to believe that 1) they represent anything other than an insignificant minority of fools, traitors, racists, and the terminally stupid; and 2) that they even know and understand anything about the issues they're protesting. Meanwhile, the so-called "responsible" GOP politicians are kowtowing to these mindless fools, because their base is all they have left for support, and we're supposed to believe that they represent the "loyal opposition", and respect them and their opinions?

And now we've got a wingnut actively promoting the overthrown of our legitimate, democratically elected government?

That's fucking enough.

It's time to play hardball with these bastards. Pass the needed health care legislation with 51 votes in the Senate, and let them howl. Push through Congress all the reforms and repairs needed to reverse the last thirty years of Republican-led destruction of our institutions, government, and society. Stop pretending that the GOP is interested in the welfare of our country, and ignore them in the House and the Senate; realize that all they're interested in is power. Arrest these right-wing anarchists who advocate the overthrow of the government, or the assassination of the President. And fer shitssake, stop showing these fools on cable news programs!

I know that President Obama came into office with a deep and honest commitment to bipartisan government, but when the opposition is only interested in kicking you in the balls, it's time to start kicking back. Mr. President, please remember that we elected you to repair, revive, and reform our country, that you swore an oath to "preserve, protect, and defend" the Constitution, not to spare the feelings of a small group of power-hungry bastards and their mindless drones. You know what's needed to be done, so let's do it.

To paraphrase Bill Maher, the time for the "audacity of hope" has passed; it's time for some audacity itself.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ouch! Stabenow Puts Down Jon Kyl

Jon Kyl is an asshole, there's no doubt about that. He'll say anything and do anything to oppose any Democratic initiatives. But today he went too far for Sen Debbie Stabenow!

TPM:

Just before the Senate Finance Committee wrapped up for the long weekend, members debated one of Sen. Jon Kyl's (R-AZ) amendments, which would strike language defining which benefits employers are required to cover. 

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) argued that insurers must be required to cover basic maternity care. (In several states there are no such requirements.) 

"I don't need maternity care," Kyl said.

[...]Stabenow interrupted: "I think your mom probably did."


Catching Up

Been a tough few weeks for me: busy with my start-up, my fibro has been flaring up badly, friends and family have been in & out of the hospital, and other such stuff. So, I've missed a lot of recent foolishness: Bacus obeying his masters and delivering a health care "reform" bill that lacks a public option; the continued antics of Beck, Limbaugh, and Steele; the Rockfeller-Schumer insurgency in the Senate in support of the public option; the death of a Census Bureau worker in Kentucky, found hung with a "Fed" sign around his neck; and ACORN being punked.

However, reader Rising Sun- L brought this to my attention, and I just HAD to comment on it. Looks like ole Rush is finally displaying his white hood & robes openly:

Recently, there has been a video surfacing on the internet of a white student being beat up by a black student on a school bus. Despite the fact that both black students and white students have been beat up on buses and at other places, Rush Limbaugh believes that the beating is due to Obama. Reports say that the fight was due to a disagreement over seating and was not racially motivated.

Here’s what Limbaugh said:
“I think the guy’s wrong. I think not only it was racism, it was justifiable racism. I mean, that’s the lesson we’re being taught here today. Kid shouldn’t have been on the bus anyway. We need segregated buses — it was invading space and stuff. This is Obama’s America.”
You put your kids on a school bus you expect safety but in Obama’s America the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering ‘yeah, right on, right on, right on.’ Of course everybody said the white kid deserved it he was born a racist, he’s white.

Hey Rush, what was it when the lynching of black men was both epidemic, and a spectator sport? Was that "Hoover's America" then? And what are you people in Florida doing? Don't you know that Rush broadcasts from there, from an open studio? Do you need some tar, or feathers?

ALSO: go see Michael Moore's latest film, "Capitalism: A Love Story" when it opens October 2.  Highly recommended!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why Am I Surprised? I Know That Snakes Bite

Ta-Nehisi Coates via DailyKos:

I got a note from a good friend yesterday expressing shock, and anger, about Drudge and Malkin's usage of that alleged racial beat-down on a school-bus. On some level, I wonder if something's wrong with me. I'm neither shocked, nor angry. This is exactly how I expected these fools to respond to a black president.

If anything, I'm a little giddy. For black people, the clear benefit of Obama is that he is quietly exposing an ancient hatred that has simmered in this country for decades. Rightly or wrongly, a lot of us grew tired of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, mostly because they presented easy foils for Limbaugh-land. Moreover, again rightly or wrongly, they were used to define all of us.

It's intensely grating to live say, in Atlanta, and have some dude in Harlem crowned as your unelected leader. It's even more grating if said dude's agenda seems, in large measure, come down to standing in front of cameras and tweaking his opponents. It's no mistake that O'Reilly and Sharpton would break bread together at Sylvia's--they feed each other.

But Barack Obama, bourgeois in every way that bourgeois is right and just, will not dance.He tells kids to study--and they seethe. He accepts an apology for an immature act of rudeness--and they go hysterical. He takes his wife out for a date--and their veins bulge. His humanity, his ordinary blackness, is killing them. Dig the audio of his response to Kanye West--the way he says, "He's a jackass." He sounds like one of my brothers. And that's the point, because that's what he is. Barack Obama refuses to be their nigger. And it's driving them crazy.

It's about time.

It's gotten to the point where I have to keep a cleaning cloth next to my computer, because I spit every time I see or hear Limbaugh's name. Never mind Malkin, she's an even bigger waste of skin. I deeply loathe the way the far-right wingnuts want to resume the culture wars. The dinosaurs on the right refuse to admit that the country changed underneath their feet; notice the number of town hall disrupters and "9/12 Project" marchers who say they "want their country back." What they don't understand is that they're asking for an imaginary country to return.

I've been hearing this shit for a long time, now. What they really want is a return to a time when old white men ran everything, and people like me "knew their place." Pat Buchanan insisted on MSNBC a few weeks ago that "this country was founded and built by white men for white men." Oh. yeah? Then who worked in the fields, built the railroads, and manned the factories? Who raised the children, nursed the sick, and took up the slack in the factory when the men went off to war? Who had their land stolen from them to make this country in the first place? How's that again, Pat?

The wingnuts aren't getting "their country" back, first of all, because it wasn't just their country to begin with; second, because the rest of us aren't giving it up; and third, because even those idiots with the "Obama=Hitler" signs are better off than they would have been under the previous status quo. I worry, though, about the level of virulent hatred and fear--and the sheer stupidity!-- that I'm seeing in these great unwashed masses. The anger and violence of the 1960s is not something I want to see happen again. I don't ever want to become accustomed again, as I did in the 1960s and 1970s, to reacting to every breaking news flash with the thought, "who's been shot this time?" I don't want to see homeless people on every corner again because a heartless government tossed them out on the streets, as happened in the 1980s. And I don't want to see vital, necessary changes in our government and society thwarted because some people want to hold on to their power, like the way health care reform was killed in the 1990s.

Limbaugh and his ilk are playing a dangerous game. It doesn't take much to push an already unstable person over the edge into violence, and I really worry about this trend of bringing firearms to political meetings. President Obama, so far, has refused to play their game and not responded to their race baiting and provocation, taking the power away from their demagoguery. But take a deep recession, two wars, multiple crisises in the financial, manufacturing , and health care industries, and you get a volatile mix that can go up with just a spark. Do these fools really want a race riot?

It's very difficult to do, but I think we should start ignoring them. Let Beck and Limbaugh and Malkin piss & moan about what we progressives do; let's do everything that needs to be done, and piss them off even more!

When Will They Start Calling Him "Uppity"?

GOP wingnuts are now pushing the talking point that's it's all Pres. Obama's fault for Joe Wilson losing his fucking mind last week:

After the vote was taken, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) declared on the House floor that Obama had insulted Congress, by saying that his opponents were lying about his health care proposals. "He comes in here talking about a lie ... He says we're making wild claims," said Gohmert. "That's no way to act when you're invited into somebody else's house."

These must be the same guys who tell their battered wives that they made them hit them, too.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Thank You, President Carter!

President Jimmy Carter once again displayed his courage, wisdom, and moral clarity, saying that Rep. Joe Wilson's (R-SC) despicable heckling of President Obama during a Joint Session of Congress "was based on racism."

In an interview with NBC's Brian Williams, Carter said:

"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man," Carter said. "I live in the South, and I've seen the South come a long way, and I've seen the rest of the country that share the South's attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans."

Thank you, President Carter, for saying in public what many of us said in private, bringing your personal credibility to the discussion. Thank you, sir, for being an honest son of the South, and a great American.



Sunday, September 13, 2009

Domestic Violence Is A "Pre-existing Condition"?

From Pandagon, via DailyKos:

Thanks to blogger spork_incident for bringing this to my attention. According to a press release for SEIU, 9 states allow insurance companies to consider domestic violence a pre-existing condition, and use that to deny insurance claims. Eight of the 16 major insurance companies have used this right to deny coverage to victims of domestic violence.

Perversely, if you understand domestic violence, it’s easier for you to see why insurance companies would do this than it might be for someone who doesn’t realize that it’s about more than just hitting, but that it involves the abuser pulling his victim into a cycle of dependence and stalking in order to control her. Once a man has hit a woman, the odds of him doing it again are astronomical, and the odds are that he will escalate the level of violence as well, because part of being an abuser is testing your boundaries and seeing how much you can get away with before she leaves. For those of us in the humane world, the fact that a woman who has been slapped today is in grave danger of receiving a massive beatdown in the next few months or years is a tragedy that we should seek to prevent. From the insurance company’s perspective, however, a woman who is slapped today is likely someone who will incur a massive hospital bill in the future, and that’s all they need to know.

Just lovely. President Obama may well have been wrong; some insurance executives are evil. How any human being, possessed of enough reason, education, and thinking ability to even be an insurance executive, could justify a decision like this is monstrous. "Putting profits ahead of people" becomes more than a mere catchphrase when you visualize the real world impact of domestic violence upon its victims, the bruises, broken bones, and psychological trauma. A woman is beaten by her partner, beaten severely enough to require medical attention, and her insurance company refuses to pay for that treatment?

From the SEUI blog:

Words cannot describe the sheer inhumanity of this claim. It serves as yet further proof that our insurance system is broken, destroyed by the profit-mongering of the very companies who's sole purpose should be to provide Americans with access to care when they need it most.

But it's people who make these policies, not faceless corporations. Individual humans who decide that covering injuries caused by domestic violence represent an excessive risk to their insurance company's profits; therefore, health insurance coverage for these individuals should be limited or denied. How do they sleep at night?

But it doesn't end there. Pandagon again:

Besides the immediately obvious bad effects of this---particularly since a woman who has been abused before is in serious danger of getting severely hurt by the abuser, especially if she tries to leave---there are a number of unintended consequences. Obviously, the major one is that the fear of losing insurance coverage might drive victims to avoid reaching out for help, and it may even mean that they don’t get treatment for their injuries after an abusive incident. And of course, the less a woman reaches out for help, the less likely she is to get out of the situation. In addition, one form of control that abusers use over their victims is financial dependence, and impoverishing a woman by denying her health care coverage will only make her more dependent on the abuser.

At the end of the day, we are presented with yet another urgent need for health care reform, one that should be of immediate, personal concern to at least 51% of those 60,000 angry teabaggers parading around D.C. yesterday. But I'm sure Fox will tell them it's nothing to worry about, that the "liebruls" have you all worked up over nothing, honey.....as Joe Bob bellows for another beer "NOW, WOMAN!", right after halftime. No, nothing about this problem is as bad as creeping socialism, how the president is no different than Stalin or Hitler, and worries that granny will be put before a government death panel staffed by ACORN revolutionaries.

The problems of health care reform are too various and complicated to address in a single blog post, or even a single blog. But I believe that the overarching drive for profit above all else leads otherwise rational and moral people to make inhumane decisions, and allows the avaricious to release their gluttonous drives fully, without reproach. In other words, greed is not good. Not for the individual, not for the society at large, and not for the soul.

What Do You Call 60,000 Racist Fools, All In One Place?

Why, a teabagger rally, of course!

Thousands of conservative protesters from across the country converged on the Capitol Saturday morning to demonstrate against President Obama's proposals for health care reform and voicing opposition to big government, what they say is over-the-top spending.

Carrying signs depicting President Obama as Adolf Hitler and the Joker, and chanting slogans such as "'No big government" and "Obamacare makes me sick," approximately 60,000 to 70,000 people flooded Pennsylvania Ave, according to the Washington DC Fire Department.

Oh yes, and signs like this one:


...and this one:


and this one:


really make me think that health care reform is all that's on their minds. And oh yeah, 9/11. And taxes. And losing their freedoms, and and....

What, you may ask, does overt racism, Nazi accusations, and the perpetuation of outrageously false accusations against the President have to do with health care reform, much less 9/11?

Well, Maureen Dowd finally gets it, at least:
(Joe) Wilson’s shocking disrespect for the office of the president — no Democrat ever shouted “liar” at W. when he was hawking a fake case for war in Iraq — convinced me: Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it.
Let's say that again: some people will never accept a black president. It's not that they've been duped into thinking that health care reform is a bad idea, and will get with the program once it's explained to them how they'll benefit from it. It's not basic ideological differences, unless you admit that their ideology is based upon racism and wholly devoted to opposing an African-American president in everything he does. It's not simple political opposition, the same species of rightwing looniness that FDR, Kennedy, and Clinton had to endure, because none of them were ever accused of being a foreign national, an animal in the zoo, or called a liar in a Joint Session of Congress.

No, nothing could draw together crowds of overweight, Confederate flag-waving, historically ignorant (here's a hint, idiots: Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union fought each other in World War II!), sexist, uninformed, uneducated, and unwashed people--spouting off a fool's mishmash of wingnut ideas, attempting to join together the tragedy of 9/11, tax protests, the bank bailout, anti-choice agitation, and opposition to health care reform--and all of them white, unless it's all really about race. Let us not forget, lynching were a family affair not too long ago; people would bring their children and picnic baskets to the events.

Bill Clinton was excoriated nightly by the media, and daily by the man or woman on the street, but no one ever repeatedly asked to see his birth certificate, and refused to believe it valid when produced. FDR was called a traitor to his class, accused of all manner of evil things, and his wife reviled constantly, but no one ever said that his or his wife's ancestors were in the monkey cage at the zoo. No one ever heckled George W. Bush when he lied his way into war with Iraq, called him a liar to his face and before the nation.

No, all of this hatred, vilification, and disrespect has been reserved for America's first African-American president.

Sometimes, I wish Texas and some other parts of the Deep South really would secede--SEE YA! Just leave those ignorant, backwards fools behind. Unfortunately, we're stuck with them, and the president is stuck with a 21st Century version of Kipling's famous poem. President Obama now has the Black Man's Burden, and what has he gotten for it so far? Not much more than "the blame of those ye better, the hate of those ye guard." Let us hope that at least some of our own "half-devil and half-child" citizens wake up soon, and realize that we're all in this together.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Health Care Speech, with added Comments

I haven't written about President Obama's health care speech, nor the shockingly rude behavior of Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), because I've frankly been trying to calm down. After Wilson's outrageous, disrespectful, and patently false lie against the President, what I wanted to do was to visit harsh punishments with fire, knife, and tongs upon Wilson and his various body parts, while recording it for YouTube. Ever since Wilson had the goddamned nerve to publicly insult my president--and the honor of the House of Representatives and the entire U.S. Congress, for that matter!--during an address to a joint session of Congress, I've been asking myself, "who the hell does he think he is?!"

Well, I already knew the answer to that question. And luckily for Joe Wilson, I had other things keeping me busy this week. But I might be free after next Tuesday....

Wilson's descent into bleacher-bum behavior was, in truth, a minor scar upon an-otherwise masterful address by Pres. Obama. Thank all gods and spirits that the real grownups are back in charge! While House and Senate Republicans acted like stupid frat boys waving blank pieces of paper (the Republican health care "plan"), while hypocrites like Eric Cantor texted away on his Blackberry during the President's speech, while we got an idea of what John Boehner's "I have to eat this shit and smile?" face looks like, and while ignorant tools like Wilson mistakenly thought that they were at Wrigley Field instead of the Capitol Dome and heckled the President--President Obama gave one of the most masterful, dramatic, and inspirational speeches of his career.

The key phrase for me was "no more pre-existing conditions." That's the takeaway for me, and, I suspect, many, many others. Along with the President's proposals forbidding insurance companies from dropping your coverage when you're sick, getting rid of caps on lifetime health care expenses, and placing a limit on out-of-pocket expenses, I think that a plan that was admittedly murky last month, came into sharp focus for many, many Americans Wednesday night. I know that for myself and many close to me, these changes alone could literally make the difference between life and death, as well as the difference between solvency and bankruptcy.

We're in for a helluva fight over this health care bill. I'm thankful that my congressman, Keith Ellison, is one of the House progressives who stand foursquare for a public option; I'm thankful that my new senator, Al Franken, is a total policy wonk with extensive knowledge and deep support for the public option. (Note to Sen. Amy Klobuchar: get with it, willya?!) I intend to be outspoken, intelligent, bold, and unrelenting in this fight. This is the fight of our lifetime, people. This is the big one. We all need to do whatever we can to make this reform a reality.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Guess What the President DIDN'T Say?

Honest to God, I don't know whether to laugh, cry, or get insanely angry at the week-long outcry over President Obama's speech to America's schoolchildren earlier today. The President of the United States of America wants to give a pep talk to returning students at the start of the school year, and some idiots have a problem with that?? Hmmm, could it be that it's not just, as they claim, their fears of what he might say, but of who's saying it?

<SNARK>

Bill in Portland Maine @ DailyKos:

[...]some parents, sensing something was amiss, kept their children away from this president and his "innocent message" on that day. No, they hadn't bothered to read his words. They didn’t have to. They were protecting their brood out of raw animal instinct; the way a mother sea turtle gathers its younglings under her shell and pre-emptively sets up a mortar emplacement when she senses danger.

Despite the mockery towards them---the taunts and eye-rolls and grocery baggers deliberately putting gallon milk jugs on top of their egg cartons at Piggly Wiggly---these moms and dads stuck to their guns and kept their children home. And they turned out to be wise indeed. For the president did have a nefarious trick up his sleeve, which he revealed suddenly and without warning at the end of his speech:

So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.


Now, when I snap my fingers, you will immediately begin operation America Belongs To Kenya Now, Beeyotch. Activation code: six six niner delta roger omega fluffy tango niner eighter later gator. [SNAP!] Go! Go!! Go!!!

</SNARK>

I know some of the wingnuts were expecting Pres. Obama to say exactly that, but they were disappointed. Instead, he told kids to work hard, be responsible, stay in school, be persistent, work hard to succeed, and not grow up to be ignorant, inbred mouthbreathers like some of their parents. But, once again demonstrating that a license is not required to breed, these morons made their children stay at home, and denied them the inspiring opportunity to hear the President address them directly.

We can also thank FAUX News for blowing this issue up far out of proportion, as they have so many other worries of the ignorant and small-minded this summer.

The Rude Pundit:

But the parents are the best. Between the weeping tools (watch the video and see if you can pinpoint the moment the husband realizes what a horrible mistake he's made) and the almost-open racists (like the woman on Fox "news" who admitted that she just "trusted" Ronald Reagan more and would have let her daughter hear him speak), it was a parade of ignorance expressed as reasonable discourse, like listening to a particularly talented chimp try to jabber a manifesto of shit throwing.

C'mon, this is the Leader of the Free World we're talking about! Whatever happened to that line about "if you don't support the President, you're a traitor"? Oh, yeah, that only applied to old, neoconservative white men. If instead the President doesn't look like the guys on the currency, he's a secret Muslim Kenyan socialist fascist racist dictator, you're suddenly upset about a war that started eight years ago, and they want their America back--and we're not talking about Native Americans here, either.

Free-Spirited Ruminations:

When I was a kid I would have been really honored that the President of the United States would even think to speak to me and other kids. I'm getting really irritated at the fact that no matter what our president does, he is disrespected and looked at in a negative light by these people. Education is important for all kids' futures. To have the leader of our country emphasize that can only be good - and this is true whether you agree with him on other subjects or not.

Let's hope that those kids who were kept home today manage to see and hear the president online tonight or over the next few days, despite what their wingnut parents might want. And I'd make a bet that those parents won't even know how to stop them from doing that on the intertubes!


EXTRA CREDIT:


In 1988, what President did use his address to schoolchildren to promote "his anti-government, low-tax ideology, adding that he had supported 'Negro' educational institutions"?