Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Klobuchar Joins Franken In Supporting A Public Option

This evening, Sen. Amy Klobuchar decided to fight with the angels:

The Minnesota Independent:
Sen. Amy Klobuchar is joining the chorus of Democratic senators who support the use of reconciliation — a procedural tool that would allow a bill to pass with a simple majority vote, thereby circumventing filibuster attempts — to pass health care reform measures. In a statement prepared for the Minnesota Independent, Klobuchar indicated she essentially agreed with Sen. Al Franken and nine other senators (eight Democrats, plus Vermont independent Bernie Sanders), who signed a letter urging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to use reconciliation to bring about a Senate vote.
Also tonight, the Huffington Post reports that two other Democratic senators indicated support for the public option:
...a spokeswoman for Sen. Cardin (D-MD) said Wednesday that "Senator Cardin has always been for a strong public option. He also has long thought reconciliation was a viable option for passing strong health care reform."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) became the 11th Senator to sign on to a new effort by Democrats to press Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to pass a public option for insurance coverage using reconciliation, her office confirmed to the Huffington Post on Wednesday.
That makes a total of 13 senators supporting the use of reconciliation to pass the public option. Harry Reid is going to have to grow a pair real soon. Call your senators now, and either thank them, or tell them to sign on to this effort!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Good Idea I Thought I'd Share

Thanks to Minimal.

Bayh's Leaving, Who (Else) Is He Screwing?

Indiana senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) made a surprise announcement today, declaring that he will not seek reelection to the Senate, with no advance warning to anyone except President Obama , but not Majority Leader Harry Reid. This, after Obama set him up with softball questions in his Q&A with Senate Democrats a few weeks ago, after Bayh received a gift from Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), who decided not to run against him in the fall. The manner in which Bayh leaves us is a testament to the manner in which he used his seat in the Senate: for self-enrichment at the cost of everyone else's suffering, and by not giving a good goddamn about anyone other than himself.

As Glenn Greenwald said in Salon last fall:
It's impossible to find a more perfectly representative face for the rotted Washington establishment than Evan Bayh.  He is the pure expression of virtually every attribute that makes the Beltway so dysfunctional, deceitful and corrupt.

Bayh wants to send other people into every proposed war he can find and keep them there forever without ever bearing any of the costs himself -- not in military service for him or his family nor even in higher taxes to pay for his glorious wars.  Sacrifice is for everyone other than Evan Bayh and his friends.  He runs around praising himself as a "deficit hawk" while recklessly supporting wars and indefinite occupations that the country can't afford and which drive us further into debt.  He feigns concern over the "deficit" only when it comes time to deny ordinary Americans benefits which he and his family already possess in abundance.  He is a loyal servant to the insurance and health care industries over his own constituents -- as his wife sits on the Boards of numerous health care giants, who, right when Bayh became a Senator, began paying her millions of dollars in cash and stock.  And this Sermonizer of Personal Responsibility is the ultimate by-product of nepotism, following faithfully and effortlessly in the footsteps of his Daddy-Senator, whose seat he now occupies.  The fact that he's a Democrat -- and was Obama's close-second choice for Vice President -- just underscores how bipartisan these afflictions are.
When the sad and destructive history of the U.S. over the last decade is written, the coddled, nepotistic, self-serving face of Evan Bayh should be prominently included.  It embodies virtually every cause.
Thanks alot, schmuck! I mean, really--Bayh claims that he's leaving because Congress has become "too partisan":
After all these years, my passion for service to my fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so by serving in Congress has waned. For some time, I have had a growing conviction that Congress is not operating as it should. There is too much partisanship and not enough progress -- too much narrow ideology and not enough practical problem-solving. Even at a time of enormous challenge, the peoples' business is not being done.
And the irony is that this colossal jackass can't see that he's been part of the reason why "the peoples' business" isn't getting done! Bayh and his damn Blue Dogs, kissing elephant ass when they should have been kicking it, what did he expect? He's been part of the problem for so long that he can't see it clearly. Digby, though, thinks it's a good thing that Bayh is leaving:
The good news is that we are separating the men from the boys. The Democrats have everything, but it's all so icky and hard that a whole bunch of them are just walking away. Good riddance. If they don't have the cojones to stick it out when their country needs them, then they shouldn't be in politics.
I concur: so long, asshole! And, in a final stabbing of his middle finger at the party, Bayh also managed to time his announcement so that the voters of Indiana won't have a chance to pick a Democrat of their choosing in the primary, so the Indiana Democratic party will be able to go into a smoke-filled room and pick one of their good ole boys to run for Bayh's seat; ergo, slim-to-no chance for a good progressive Dem to be selected to run. Obama carried Indiana, but it's a pretty red state. I don't know if we can carry the state's senatorial election in the fall with a no-name Democratic candidate. Damn, it just gets better and better.

Now, some think that Bayh is preparing for a run at the presidency; I disagree. Josh Marshall thinks that Bayh just became bored. However, I think Bayh is going to emulate one of his pain-in-the-ass buddies, Joe Lieberman, and go to work for the health insurance industry full-time, instead of just part-time from the floor of the Senate. He's just that kind of snake in the grass. 

Simply put: He’s an immoral person who conducts his affairs in public life with a callous disregard for the impact of his decisions on human welfare. He’s sad he’s not going to be president? He doesn’t like liberal activists? He finds senate life annoying? Well, boo-hoo. We all shed a tear.
Really, boo-fucking-hoo. And now we're rid of Evan Bayh, for the foreseeable future. What we'll get in exchange for this traitor to his party, though, remains to be seen.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Back Up Captain America!

OK, admission here: I've been a comics reader, with assorted interruptions, since I was five. So this latest news struck me as grossly unfair:
Since 1941, Captain America has been one of the most popular comic book characters around. The fictional super-patriot fought Nazis during World War II, took on those who burned the American flag during the Vietnam era, and raked in hundreds of millions of dollars for Marvel Comics along the way.  Now, the appearance that he is taking on the Tea Party Movement in a storyline about investigating white supremacists has forced Marvel to apologize for the comic hero.
Issue 602 of the comic features Captain America investigating a right-wing anti-government militia group called "the Watchdogs". Hoping to infiltrate the group, Captain America and his African-American sidekick The Falcon observe an anti-tax protest from a rooftop.  The protestors depicted are all white and carry signs adorned with slogans almost identical to those seen today in Tea Party rallies like "tea bag libs before they tea bag you" and "stop the socialists."

The Falcon mentions that the gathering appears to be "some kind of anti-tax protest" and notes that "this whole 'hate the government' vibe isn't limited to the Watchdogs." He then tells Captain America that he doesn't think their plan will work because "I don't exactly see a black man from Harlem fitting in with a bunch of angry white folks." Captain America then explains that his plan entails sending The Falcon in among the group posing as an IRS agent under the thinking that a black government official will most certainly spark their anger.
The clear implicit attack on the Tea Party Movement was first noticed by Publius' Forum's Warner Todd Huston.  When a minor uproar ensued, Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada spoke to Comic Book Resources and defended the issue while apologizing for the panel that seemed to tie real-life Tea Party protesters to the fictional group depicted in the book.
 Apologize? For what? Accuracy? As Logan Murphy at Crooks and Liars said, "I'm not sure why they apologized, as Captain America has always fought against the enemies of the United States." Nuff said!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Colbert Nails Palin...Satirically, Of Course!

Stephen Colbert "satirically" call Sarah Palin "a fucking retard":

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Hooray for Charlie the Tuna!

StarKist today became the 102nd sponsor to drop Glenn Beck, following recent converts to the cause Best Western and GlaxoSmithKline. Best Western reportedly took less than 24 hours to decide to pull their advertising from Beck's show:
Last week, Glenn Beck lost his 100th (Honda) and 101st (Best Western) sponsors.  Additionally, Mr. Beck came under a fire from a coalition of civil rights groups for his suggestion that Pres. Obama’s name, Barack, is un-America.

This morning, StarKist (tuna) became the 102nd sponsor to drop Glenn Beck.

StarKist’s statement (emphasis added):

Our television media purchases are dictated by our marketing plan and are chosen based on time of day, such as early morning (6:00 – 10:00 a.m.) or primetime (8:00 to 11:00 p.m.); channel (ABC, Lifetime, ESPN, etc.) and audience demographics.

We do not dictate what program is on when our commercial airs. But we do frequently evaluate our media purchases to ensure that the programs we choose match our brand’s target demographics and overall advertising plan. In doing so, we have chosen to not air our commercial during Glenn Beck’s program going forward given a number of alternatives that meet our advertising plan’s criteria.

Thanks again for your inquiry.

StarKist Consumer Affairs

I guess pretty soon Beck is going to be selling nothing but Sham-Wows and juicers. How's that racist-y, fascist-y thing goin' for ya, Glenn?

A Modest Suggestion for Sarah Palin

After hearing Caribou Barbie's snarky, disrespectful jibes at President Obama for the fifth time today, all I have to say to her is:

"Hey Sarah, why don't you come back to Minnesota and see how my foot up your ass will work out for ya?"

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Here Is Your Tea Party Poster Child

I've been following the news about the Tea Party gathering this weekend the same way that I'd watch a poisonous snake convention slither across my backyard. They're not heading towards the door yet, but I'm still keeping my machete handy until they slither away.

After seeing the ignorant and racist signs these folks displayed at their rallies last summer, I've thought long & hard about how closely connected they are to the fringe "white power" militia groups. Having grown up in the era of political assassinations, coming of age in the time of the murders of JFK, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy, my concerns for President Obama's safety are never far away.

So this bit of news caught my attention. Have you ever wondered what kind of people are in the Tea Party movement? Here are some highlights about one in particular: Charles Alan Dyer, whose nom de plume "July4Patriot" is now being furiously scrubbed from every wingnut site on the internet. Remember that name, Charles Alan Dyer: a domestic terrorist, pervert, and traitor to his country.

Thanks to The Field Negro for bringing this to my attention:
(CINCINNATI) - Former Marine Sgt. Charles Alan Dyer, continually featured on patriotic videos supporting the Teabagger and Oathkeepers movements is currently jailed for sodomy with a 7-year old.

Dyer, “bigger than life” enemy of “socialist” President Obama and major supporter of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the GOP, the darling of YouTube videos featuring weapons demonstrations and endless violent threats is now trying to raise $50,000 dollars for his bond.

It is reported that Dyer faces federal charges for possession of a 40mm grenade launcher and state charges for sexual abuse of a minor.

One of the most massive internet cleansings in history is going on as Oathkeeper, Militia and Teabagger websites are searching for the hundreds of entries “July4Patriot” had made. Dyer’s following among domestic “resistance” and “militia” movements may number in the tens of thousands.

It has been confirmed from multiple sources that death threats have been made against any news agency that reports Dyer’s arrest.
I especially loved the part about death threats. Bring it, I say. But that's not all! Apparently, Dyer was serious about his threats to use his military training to become a domestic terrorist:

When police searched Dyer's home for evidence on that charge, they found a grenade launcher that matched the description of one of three that were reportedly stolen from an Army post in California.

More incriminating evidence against Dyer has surfaced in a YouTube video. The video shows Dyer, a former U.S. Marine, talking proudly about domestic terrorism. "Join the military?", said Dyer. "Depends on what you want to do with it. Me? Im going to use my training and become one of those domestic terrorists that you're so afraid of from the DHS reports."

The video of Dyer on YouTube shows him with some friends at a paintball facility in California. Dyer's comments in the video are not only powerful but disturbing and show his contempt for authority.

"I'm certainly not going to be hiding from my command anymore. I'm not hiding from ATF. Not hiding from FBI. Any organization. If they want to come get me I'm not going to be afraid," Dyer said. "Patrioits we are not overpowered. If we united under one banner and fight for our children's liberity and the constitution, our resolve is invincible to any standing army," Dyer said.

Dyer is charged with first degree rape and now faces charges for possession of an unregistered destructive device in a U.S. District Court.
If this guy was brown-skinned with a non-European-sounding name, you'd never hear the end of the screams from the right-wing media. A military veteran, political radical, and soi-disant domestic terrorist, arrested on charges of sodomizing a 7-year-old child, AND felony weapons charges too? If he was on the left, Fox would dedicate a whole week to "exposing" this guy, his accomplices, and their connection to ACORN and President Obama. Being a wingnut, however, gets him a pass from Fox Noise and the rest of the wingnut media.  Where's Glenn Beck on this?

Jack and Jill Politics:
Despite the warning signs that Dyer showed, he only got any media attention or the attention of law enforcement, after he was accused of raping a 7-year-old girl. He proclaimed himself a domestic terrorist on YouTube and attempted to recruit ex-military and police men into his movement. Despite the horrible crime he was accused of and his role in the popular Right-Wing Tea Party, he has received little attention from the mainstream media. Dyer was clearly influenced by Fox News, as he did a video segment on Fox News resident lunatic birther, Dr. Orly Taitz.
While Fox has been extremely anti-terror when it comes to Muslims, they turn a blind eye to the potential right wing terrorists in the in the mold of Timothy McVeigh that associate with the Fox News sponsored Tea Party events. McVeigh and Dyer were motivated by the same factors that are motivating the Fox news endorsed Tea Party movement: racism, a desire for guns, and a hatred for taxes and anything they perceive as socialism.
 The biggest terrorist threat to this country is not Muslim Arabs or Africans, but crazy, wingnut white guys with guns. No one is as good at blowing up people as a redneck with high explosives. Let's make no mistakes about this: Dyer is no patriot, but an alleged terrorist, sexual offender, and traitor. He should be locked up and the key thrown away.

A Quick Question

If conservatives believe that government is not the answer, then why are they so hot to run it?

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Demon Sheep of California

And you wondered why Hewlett-Packard fired Carly Fiorina? Most likely, for the same kind of decision-making prowess displayed in her decision to run this campaign ad:

Personally, I'd be very offended if I lived in California and had been compared to a sheep, much less having to worry about being stalked by a Terminator sheep. Or maybe that was Robert Davi's (who did the voice-over) coming out as a furry?

"FCINO?" Instead, how about "GTFO?" Barbara Boxer need not worry, from what I can see.

Give 'Em Hell, Al!

Sen. Al Franken demonstrates once again why he's the guy I voted for:

Sen. Al Franken ripped into White House senior adviser David Axelrod this week during a tense, closed-door session with Senate Democrats.

Five sources who were in the room tell POLITICO that Franken criticized Axelrod for the administration’s failure to provide clarity or direction on health care and the other big bills it wants Congress to enact.

The sources said Franken was the most outspoken senator in the meeting, which followed President Barack Obama’s question-and-answer session with Senate Democrats at the Newseum on Wednesday.

A Democratic source said that Franken directed his criticism solely at Axelrod.

“It was all about leadership and health care and what the plan was going to be,” the source said.

Franken — a comedian turned liberal talk show host — vowed to keep a relatively low profile when he arrived in the Senate over the summer after a protracted legal battle with former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman. But he has developed a reputation among his colleagues as one of the more aggressive personalities on the Hill.

Last November, after Tennessee Republican Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander authored an op-ed in a local paper defending their opposition to a Franken amendment, Franken confronted both men on the floor — and grew particularly irritated with Corker.

He lashed out at Corker and a staff member in a follow-up meeting about the matter, several people said. Franken also clashed with South Dakota Sen. John Thune, No. 4 in GOP leadership, last month in a scathing speech during the health care debate, and staffers have reported other run-ins.

Yay, Al!! I didn't vote for Franken hoping that he'd  be quiet and unassuming, I voted for him to be forceful, bold, and fearless, for Al to shake things up and make things happen in Washington. I voted for him to speak truth to power...and make it stick. This is no time for quiet. So far, Sen. Franken has exceeded my wildest expectations (which, admittedly, were pretty high to begin with). We need more like him in the Senate.

Bravo, Sen. Franken! "L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!!"

Tom Tancredo Is a Racist Bastard, And I Hope He Burns In Hell

I just watched Tom Tancredo--who I already think is lower than whale shit--call for the return of one of the central and most odious features of the Jim Crow laws:
Tom Tancredo opened what’s being billed as the first Tea Party Convention with a bang.
The former congressman from Colorado and 2008 Republican presidential candidate blasted President Obama, saying “people who could not even spell the word ‘vote’, or say it in English, put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House. His name is Barack Hussein Obama.”
I find this incredibly offensive, especially since both sets of Tancredo's grandparents couldn't spell or say the word "vote" in English, either. Literacy tests? What century are you living in, you hypocritical bastard? What next, Tancredo you jackass, are you going to propose testing for witchcraft by drowning?

Wait--that's now call "waterboarding," and Tancredo is already in favor of that. So, in addition to being a chickenhawk and a racist, Tancredo is also a flaming hypocrite. Stay on the other side of the Rockies, asshole.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Know Just What To Send Him

TPM reports that Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) is blocking ALL Obama nominations until he gets a few billion in earmarks for his state:

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has put an extraordinary "blanket hold" on at least 70 nominations President Obama has sent to the Senate, CongressDaily (sub. req.) reports. The hold means no nominations can move forward unless Senate Democrats can secure a 60-member cloture vote to break it, or until Shelby lifts the hold.


According to the report, Shelby is holding Obama's nominees hostage until a pair of lucrative programs that would send billions in taxpayer dollars to his home state get back on track. CongressDaily laid out the programs Shelby wants to move forward or else:
- A $40 billion contract to build air-to-air refueling tankers. From the report: "Northrop/EADS team would build the planes in Mobile, Ala., but has threatened to pull out of the competition unless the Air Force makes changes to a draft request for proposals."
- An improvised explosive device testing lab for the FBI. From CongressDaily: "[Shelby] is frustrated that the Obama administration won't build" the center, which Shelby earmarked $45 million for in 2008. The center is due to be based "at the Army's Redstone Arsenal."

I'm convinced this wouldn't be happening if the President was a white Republican. Shelby is a political atavism, a throwback to the days of Sen. Foghorn Leghorn, and another good reason to let Alabama secede, if they really want to. Let's see how many aircraft manufacturing plants and explosive device testing labs they can build when it's their own money building it!

And, frankly, I've got an idea that's even better than letting Alabama go. I know two very persuasive guys back in Jersey....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Solar Eclipse

Oracle completed their takeover of Sun Microsystems last week, thus marking the end of a legendary brand. I always admired Sun for their "go to hell" attitude, their willingness to smack Bill Gates upside his head for the many & varied fuckups of Windows for Java, and the quality of their hardware and operating systems. I've made a few dollars on their stock over the years, too.

Now Sun is part of the feudal empire run by Oracle chairman and corporate daimyo Larry Ellison. I know Larry's very happy. I should probably send him a resume.

Cue The Banjos

A new Research 2000/DailyKos poll shows what I've suspected all along: Republicans are living in an alternate universe that only occasionally intersects with consensual reality. Kos, in the course of writing his new book, polled self-identified Republicans to check common assertions about Republicans. The results, also summarized by New York Magazine, are alarming:
10: Thirty-six percent don't believe Obama was born in the United States, and 22 percent aren't sure. This would be more alarming if we weren't numb to this stat by now.

9: Only 36 percent say that Obama doesn't hate white people. Chris Matthews might want to rethink that thing about our post-racial society.

8: Only 7 percent support same-sex marriage. Not surprising, but still disappointing.

7: Sixty-eight percent don't think gay couples should receive any state or federal benefits, while 21 percent are not sure. This is more surprising — it's not even marriage, just benefits. And not even every benefit, necessarily, just some.

6: Thirty-nine percent believe Obama should be impeached. For what, exactly?

5: Twenty-three percent want their state to secede from the union. The number rises to 33 percent in the South. Good luck on your own, Alabama!

4: Twenty-four percent claim that Obama "wants the terrorists to win," while 33 percent are not sure. Really?

3: Only 24 percent say they definitely don't believe that ACORN stole the election.
2: Thirty-one percent think contraception should be outlawed.

1: An astounding 73 percent believe that openly gay men or women should be prohibited from teaching in public schools, and 19 percent aren't sure.
What planet are these people living on? How can we govern a country when so many of its citizens hold such profoundly radical and false ideas? How can a democracy survive, much less flourish, when the populace is so divided, and so much of the citizenry is so ignorant and deceived? There's no compromising possible, as President Obama remarked last Friday, when the opposition thinks that you're devils out to destroy the country. And they say we're crazy?!

I'm just about ready to accept the idea that the South just goes away to form Dumbfuckistan, and leaves the rest of us the hell alone, but I kinda like Miami. Oh well, we'd still have Hawaii.

Harold Ford Is A Tool

Harold Ford is apparently willing to be publicly humiliated in order to become the junior senator from New York...and Stephen Colbert was willing to humiliate him:

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Dude, five minutes out of the copter in Staten Island does not qualify as a visit!