Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pesach It

Very little news on the White House Seder last night, just a single pic in brief news stories like this, plus word that Sasha answered The Four Questions and found the afikomen.

Meanwhile, California Republican Senate hopeful Carly Fiorina stepped in the gefilte fish:

California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina (R) sent a letter to her supporters yesterday in honor of the first night of the Jewish holiday of Passover, which she described as a time where "we break bread and spend time with our families and friends."

Add this to the annals of unfortunate metaphors, since Passover is actually a time when most Jews abstain from eating any bread at all.

Her campaign's attempt to spin the faux pas:
We meant all bread, leavened and unleavened, and matzo is just unleavened bread so that's what we meant by that.

A case of matzoh and Manischewitz to Ms. Fiorina to cover her for the next seven days.

Next year right back in Silicon Valley, Carly.

Monday, March 29, 2010


It looks like the woodwork is squeaking in the psycho corners of America...and out come the freaks:

"Six Michigan residents, along with two residents of Ohio and a resident of Indiana, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Detroit on charges of seditious conspiracy, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosive materials, and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence," according to the government's press release, which you can read in full below.


The Hutaree members allegedly "planned to kill an unidentified member of local law enforcement and then attack the law enforcement officers who gather in Michigan for the funeral."

The indictment continues: "According to the plan, the Hutaree would attack law enforcement vehicles during the funeral procession with Improvised Explosive Devices with Explosively Formed Projectiles, which, according to the indictment, constitute weapons of mass destruction."

That attack, in turn, would spark a more widespread Harper's Ferry-style uprising against the government, according to the "general concept of operations" described in the indictment.

Take look at these revolutionaries. See any Middle Eastern types?:

These "patriots" i.e. terrorists are of the Christian sort, at least that the religion they've twisted just as surely as Al Qaeda twists Islam to justify their violence. I can't say I feel the least bit sorry for the elders, neither the dad nor mom at the top or the gents at the other three corners, or kook #3 in the bottom row. I wonder about the two younger gents remaining, as they may not know the full extent of what they've gotten themselves into. There's another son of the psycho couple on the loose, but I imagine he'll be caught soon. Maybe burn down a barn first? I'm guessing the other son (top row, third from left) will start singing like a canary in return for favorable sentencing.

This is no "isolated incident," as a Tennessee man has just shown:
A Tennessee man authorities say is a white supremacist has pleaded guilty to plotting to kill then-presidential candidate Barack Obama and dozens of other black people in 2008.


Authorities have described the two as skinheads who planned a cross-country robbing and killing spree that would end with an attack on Obama.

I particularly like the swastika on the shoulder:

And there's even been an arrest made in a threat against a Republican. A Jewish Republican, to be sure, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA):

A 38-year-old Philadelphia man was charged today with threatening to kill Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) in a profanity-strewn YouTube video that has since been pulled down.

In the video, Norman Leboon says Cantor will "receive my bullets in your office, remember they will be placed in your heads. You and your children are Lucifer's abominations."

With something so close to home maybe help Cantor to see the light and work hard to tone down his party's rhetoric?

After all, his fellow GOoPer, extremist superstar Sarah Palin, has put targets on Democrats, and lo, attempted violence to the Democratic headquarters in her home state:
After logging some threatening phone calls last week, staffers on Sunday found that someone attempted to shatter one of the floor-to-ceiling windows at their prominently labeled office.

"We are on heightened alert and will be taking extra precaution," Patti Higgins, chairwoman of the Alaska Democratic Party, told me in an interview today. "I'm not going to say I think it was tea partiers or Republicans, but I think the heightened rhetoric out there will encourage people will go out and think it's okay to 'send a message' and be angry."

Higgins said it seemed "coincidental" the incident happened over the weekend, as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was declaring that Republicans should be the party of "Hell no" at a political rally in Nevada. "These are violent words: 'Fire 'em all, take 'em out,' and put together they fit into a pretty cohesive running theme that is fairly violent," Higgins said.

I advise the right to follow the example of the Republican National Committee and take it easy. Sit back, relax and maybe enjoy some topless lesbian bondage simulation.

You know, family values.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Holiday in the Sun

Our President makes a surprise visit to Afghanistan, dropping in unexpectedly on President Hamid Karzai:
President Obama made an surprise stop in Afghanistan today, his first visit to the war zone since moving into the White House. The one-day visit, which lasted a total of about 6 hours, included talks with Afghan president Hamid Karzai and his government, which the U.S. sees as key to completing its mission in Afghanistan on on the timetable Obama outlined in December. While on the ground, Obama also addressed U.S. troops and met with American commanders.

In Afghanistan today, Obama met with Karzai one-on-one for about a half hour. The White House described the talks as "very productive" and "businesslike," and included discussions of about "governance, merit-based appointments of Afghan officials, and corruption," according to reports from the ground.

After the meeting, Karzai told reporters that he was grateful for the continued American efforts in Afghanistan. Obama said he was "encouraged by the progress that's been made" by Karzai's regime.

But it was clear from reports that one of the American goals on the trip was to push Karzai's government to do better. After Obama and Karzai met, the American delegation -- which also included U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eichenberry -- met with members of the Afghan cabinet to discuss the future, which Americans hope will include the scaling up of Afghan security forces and the scaling down of American involvement.

Jones told reporters on the ground in Afghanistan before the one-on-one meeting that Obama intended to take a hard line with Karzai and "make him understand that in his second term, there are certain things that have been not paid attention to, almost since day one."

Speech to the troops:

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

Gotta like the boss dropping in to shake up Karzai and his corrupt partners, hope it makes a difference but have to wonder. The important thing to do is to get out gracefully, but firmly.

Godspeed, Mr. President. Gets home before the gefilte fish.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Sarah Palin is the squarest woman in all fifty United States. I mean, sure, she's wearing, like, Russ Meyer leather, but she opens her mouth and the squarest shit comes out of it, like the musty, loser gag about teleprompters, and John McCain laughs like a square old man at the speaking skills of one of the most eloquent men in America.

The team is back together again. The losing team.

Here's what the squares are doing: they're getting their backs up. They're lying about being attacked to to take the pressure off themselves for their enabling hate rhetoric:

The call to arms was issued at 5:55 a.m. last Friday.

"To all modern Sons of Liberty: THIS is your time. Break their windows. Break them NOW."

These were the words of Mike Vanderboegh, a 57-year-old former militiaman from Alabama, who took to his blog urging people who opposed the historic health-care reform legislation -- he calls it "Nancy Pelosi's Intolerable Act" -- to throw bricks through the windows of Democratic offices nationwide.

"So, if you wish to send a message that Pelosi and her party [that they] cannot fail to hear, break their windows," Vanderboegh wrote on the blog, Sipsey Street Irregulars. "Break them NOW. Break them and run to break again. Break them under cover of night. Break them in broad daylight. Break them and await arrest in willful, principled civil disobedience. Break them with rocks. Break them with slingshots. Break them with baseball bats. But BREAK THEM."

In the days that followed, glass windows and doors were shattered at local Democratic Party offices and the district offices of House Democrats from Arizona to Kansas to New York. At least 10 Democratic lawmakers reported death threats, incidents of harassment or vandalism at their offices over the past week, and the FBI and Capitol Police are offering lawmakers increased protection.

The kicker:

Vanderboegh said he once worked as a warehouse manager but now lives on government disability checks. He said he receives $1,300 a month because of his congestive heart failure, diabetes and hypertension.

Those crazy squares with their "hypocrisy" and violence entwined together, like a cocktail, flavored with Malatov. You know, criminality.

There's no problem with squares when they chill out and just act like human beings. But when they get their dander up with lies and the type of profound irresponsibility they claim to hate in others, they are deserving of ridicule. And everybody else -- regular folks -- laugh at them.

And in November keep America moving forward by defeating them yet again.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I hope that the new healthcare reform includes ample mental health insurance subsidies, via TPM:

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told reporters he believed over 10 lawmakers have been threatened since they voted for the health care bill on Sunday.Link

Appearing before reporters alongside House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), Hoyer expressed concern about the recent spat of incidents targeting lawmakers, and blamed the violent rhetoric surrounding the health care debate for creating a potentially dangerous atmosphere.

"When people start talking in the rhetoric of putting people on firing lines, that if they don't do something they will have physical harm done to them... or they put a target on their faces, with cross-hairs -- that activity aught to be unacceptable in our democracy," Hoyer said, making reference to a Sarah Palin Facebook post that uses cross-hairs to identify members of Congress who voted for health care reform.

Nooses being faxed to Rep. Clyburn (D-NC) and Rep. Stupak (D-MI and who'da thought I'd be a fan of hi), bricks shattering windows at Rep. Slaughter's (D-NY) district office, evil Beck is dripping his cup of poison, and you can follow the violence towards Democrats on this interactive map:

Disconcertingly similar to this map here:

Is Palin's map predictive?

Who are the terrorists now and who's siding with them, arguably enabling them emotionally and philosophically, even mirroring them with undisguised sore loser abuse of Congressional rules, threatening our national security?

Vs. those who have legislated as the clear majority of voters, making their ballot booth choices in a free and democratic election, elected them to do?

Is it somehow okay now to be a sore loser if you've read enough Ayn Rand?

I'm a hope (and change) kind of guy. But here's a fear scenario that James Vegas lays out very plausibly, based on America's long history:

While some leading conservatives are continuing to stoke the flames, others are already trying to back away from the Pandora’s Box they have opened. It is not possible, however, for them to reverse the effects of an entire year of irresponsible rhetoric -- calling Democrats Nazi’s, fascists, Storm troopers and so on --with a few brief statements to the press. To the extent that many grass-roots conservatives have become sincerely convinced by the grotesque accusations against Obama and the Democrats, it becomes no longer irrational for them to think that violent resistance may be required and justified.

Unfortunately, the problem is inevitably going to become significantly worse in the coming period because of several reinforcing social trends:

• First, the failure to defeat the health care bill will cause many of the more moderate and less committed anti-HCR protesters to become demoralized and fall away, leaving a smaller hard-core group of the more extreme protesters in control of the websites, message boards and discussion threads of the anti health care movement. This hard core will include both traditional organized extremist groups – neo-Nazi, skinhead, White Power, LaRouche followers -- and individuals mobilized by the new generation of Fox News and internet-based commentary and social networks.

• Second, within this reduced group, the failure of legal protest to stop the health care bill will generate a strong pressure in favor of more extreme acts. The inability to stop the “slide into fascist dictatorship” will be offered as “proof” of the need for violence and also provide its justification. This social process of radicalization was evident in the 1960’s and early 1970’s – in the U.S. in the case of the Weathermen and Weather Underground and in Europe with the German Red Army Faction and the Italian Red Brigades.

• Third, a vicious cycle will quickly develop. Provocative acts like those noted today force federal and local authorities to begin investigations. To the hard-core protesters, their actions then “prove” the existence of the imminent fascist takeover and justify and stimulate more extreme acts.

The problem is profoundly exacerbated in the United States today because of the increasing number of states with “Open Carry” laws for firearms and the growing movement among conservative gun owners to aggressively assert these new rights by gathering and openly carrying their weapons in public places like coffee shops and political meetings.

It is therefore likely that there will soon be organized very intentionally provocative marches and demonstrations that feature the ostentatious display of both guns and also signs expressing clear threats to use them against Democrats. There will also be the creation of secessionist “militia camps” like those in the 1990’s that will violate various kinds of state and national laws in order to deliberately dare and provoke law enforcement officials to come in and create an incident.

Interesting that this appears on the 30th anniversary of the brutal assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, killed by right-wing death squads:
Our stories laid out, in the Salvadoran rightists’ own words, a vast plan to physically eliminate their political enemies and grass-roots activists based on “dirty war” techniques originally carried out by the governments of Guatemala and Argentina against rebellious segments of their own populations.

Although D’Aubuisson’s role as a leader of the death squads was always reported in the American press as “alleged,” curiously even by our own newspapers, he easily confessed to us that he had participated in death squad activities, and that he had drawn up a secret terror plan (a copy of which we had) that had become the basis of the political-military organization that evolved into the Arena Party. His lieutenants boastfully confessed to manufacturing false propaganda against the “left,” participating in arms smuggling, attacks against Jesuit priests, and assisting the security forces in identifying and killing opponents.

We just came through eight years where Vice President Cheney orchestrated a monarchical reading of Presidential powers including the ability to arrest anybody at any time without showing evidence just by calling them a threat to national security. Any legitimization of violent, democracy suppressing behavior, especially by Republican members of Congress, is legitimization of the thug class, one of the earmarks of fascism. So the Republican leaders need to start speaking out now, as McCain did quite decently at one of his campaign rallies, and that includes beginning the break with Palin.

I'll be interested to see who among them has the decency.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

F**kin' A

Gotta love Vice President Joe Biden. He talks like an American:

In case you couldn't hear, Biden told Obama this was a BFD, as if Baracky needed to be reminded. He does know that it ain't the world-ending disaster the GOP and their 'bagger buddies threatened:

And by far my favorite victory photo:

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Hillary '16.

Monday, March 22, 2010

America, Bright and Dark

Here's just ten things the healthcare reform bill bring to our nation over the next six months:
  1. Adult children may remain as dependents on their parents’ policy until their 27th birthday

  2. Children under age 19 may not be excluded for pre-existing conditions

  3. No more lifetime or annual caps on coverage

  4. Free preventative care for all

  5. Adults with pre-existing conditions may buy into a national high-risk pool until the exchanges come online. While these will not be cheap, they’re still better than total exclusion and get some benefit from a wider pool of insureds.

  6. Small businesses will be entitled to a tax credit for 2009 and 2010, which could be as much as 50% of what they pay for employees’ health insurance.

  7. The “donut hole” closes for Medicare patients, making prescription medications more affordable for seniors.

  8. Requirement that all insurers must post their balance sheets on the Internet and fully disclose administrative costs, executive compensation packages, and benefit payments.

  9. Authorizes early funding of community health centers in all 50 states (Bernie Sanders’ amendment). Community health centers provide primary, dental and vision services to people in the community, based on a sliding scale for payment according to ability to pay.

  10. AND no more rescissions. Effective immediately, you can't lose your insurance because you get sick.

Per Democratic Strategist:

Step back a minute, take a deep breath and tune out all of the spin and yammering to consider the magnitude of what has been achieved with the House vote on HCR: For starters, America will very soon be a country where no insurance company can deny health coverage to a child because of prior illness or condition. That alone is a truly monumental reform, which honest opponents of the bill will acknowledge.

Every family in America can now breathe a little freer with that knowledge, and great credit is due to the President his staff, Speaker Pelosi and House Majority Leader Hoyer, as well as the courageous House members who risked their careers to do the right thing. There's more, much more, that can be said about the positive impact of this bill, as well as the problems associated with it. But for now, the immediate health security it will provide for millions of children is a very great accomplishment for America, and not incidentally, the Democratic party.

And the more conservative Steven L. Taylor:
Winning has a way of transforming public perception (it’s true in sports and in politics). Obama has gone from appearing unable to tame an unruly process to triumph and he will now sign a historic bill.4 This will alter the way a lot of people view the President, and in a way that will generate political capital.

Likewise, the GOP are now going to be perceived as losers. While this is not a permanent condition, it isn’t where any party wants to be.

Hmm...and how does a (repeated) sore loser act?:

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is angry. So, too, are his fellow Republicans. And, McCain says, there will be consequences.

"There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year," McCain said during a radio interview Monday. "They have poisoned the well in what they've done and how they've done it."

Listen to the man. Even if something that he should agree with comes along, he's too pissed to help. Which is odd, considering how little The Party of No has helped out this past year.

In fact, it's become The Party of Anger. Sure, I was angry during the Cheney years (oh, and Bush was there, too, I guess) as were many people I knew -- tricking America into a war and allowing the country that never attacked us to be trashed in the process, the people subject to unspeakable horrors, trashing the U.S. reputation in the world, trying to destroy Social Security and, I'll continue to content, allowing the worst terrorist attack on American soil to happen due to gross negligence and discontinuation of policies under previous President Clinton. Oh, and creating conditions for the sub-prime crisis and crash of the economy, leaving yet another Democrat to clean up after yet another Bush.

But this anger is something different, something dark from our violent, reactionary, Klannish past. This is cries of n****r and f****t by a vocal minority who are now calling the tune for one of our two major political parties, rapidly turning from The Party of Anger and Fear to The Party of Hate -- per Stephen Schlesinger:

First there are the insensate attacks on those who dare to disagree with the party's views led by the Republican Minority leader John Boehner in his final remarks last night assailing the health reform legislation. Then there are the Republicans who cheered on the hatred and ire of the Tea Bagger protesters encircling the capital from the balcony of the House of Representatives over the weekend. Then there are the Tea Baggers themselves who hurled racial and homophobic slurs at various Democratic Party legislators.

And what about the vitriol mouthed through the months without any Republican regrets by the right-wing radio hosts like Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and their cadres. All of this -- hatred, churlishness, pique, resentment, snarling, incivility -- has become the face of a political party which once reflected the sunny optimism of Ronald Reagan. Let me ask -- when was the last time a political party gained power in America on anger alone?

In Germany, sure. They called themselves the Nazi Party. And if President Obama is successful in shoring up the Middle Class, as Bill Clinton did before him and as George W. Bush emphatically did the opposite (see tax breaks for the rich and personal savings wiped out), we may yet avoid a rightwing revolution.

The most dangerous aspect of this is how the GOP pretends they are the will of the people -- even through they were trounced in the last two national elections, even as they cry about "the tyranny of the majority," as James Zogby points out:

A Republican talking point repeated ad nauseam during yesterday's debate pounded on the theme that they, and they alone, had the right to speak for "the will of the American people." This took different forms: "the American people have spoken," or "you (Democrats) are ignoring/imposing your views on the American people" or "the American people have sent a message," etc. All making the same point -- that the GOP speaks for the American people.

Of course, the American people have spoken, and in November 2008 elected a Democratic White House and Senate and House of Representatives. But, elections and the workings of our democracy including the idea that the losing party respect the outcome of elections appear to be alien concepts to today's GOP.

The idea that the minority party represents the "will of the people" (not some of the people, but "the people") is the seedling of a totalitarian mindset. In this mindset -- democracy doesn't matter, ideas are not to be discussed, and opposing views are not to respected. What matters is that they alone have truth, they alone are metaphysically connected to the "mind of the people" can interpret their will, and because they have truth and speak for the people, others represent a threat and must be silenced and stopped.

This was a major concern last summer as violent demonstrators disrupted "town meetings" -- with angry chanting mobs claiming to represent the "will of the people" arrayed against the elected Congresspeople and their constituents who had freely assembled to discuss issues. The mobs didn't come to discuss or even debate. They were mobilized to disrupt discussion and silence debate.

The psychological state of transference once again rears its ugly head. Those screaming "fascist" at Obama are the ones most likely to rule by gun. They are the purveyors of Goebbels' Big Lie technique, per Joe Klein:

The Republicans, stuck in a hermetically-sealed intellectual cyclone of extremist fantasies, are moving farther and farther from the American mainstream. Their willful confusion of socialism (or, more mildly, "government control") with government regulation of an untrammeled and imperfect market was an act of breathtaking dishonesty. Their use of this Big Lie almost derailed a middle-of-the-road health care reform bill. But it didn't succeed. They didn't prevent Barack Obama, and the American people, from enjoying this historic victory.

I'm not sure how many electoral defeats it will take. I have a friend who believes one assassination by this wing will snap America out of its stupor and finally put a bridle on them, but I doubt it. There's too much self-justification amongst these people, too much self-centered, self-righteous anger.

Sure, there are legitimate discussions to be had about cost and change and even individual mandates without a Public Option. But the GOP didn't make those points the centerpiece of their opposition. They senselessly repeated "government takeover of healthcare" like a mantra and it's just plain wrong. It is government regulation of health insurance, thank God. My friends further on the Left aren't celebrating -- they believe the rise in insurance company stocks today shows how hopelessly capitalistic the bill really is.

Well, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has informed the GOP that even Linkthough they fought the bill with $144 million, they will not support repeal, only fixes. And, as Joe Conason points out, the GOP arguments against the bill depended on it not getting passed in the first place:

The answer could be found in the subtext of Boehner’s speech, which did not dwell on the bill’s specific provisions, beyond its alleged expense. He knows that arguing the bill’s specific provisions is very dangerous to his party, because so many of them are quite popular and the public will hold Republicans in disrepute for opposing them.

An informed public was always the ultimate peril for the Republicans in this process, so distorted during the past year by wild propaganda about death panels, government takeovers, and the entire mythology of the Obama administration’s socialist-communist-Nazi-totalitarianism.

Creating those crazy expectations was a strategy that depended on the bill never passing. If and when people learn what is actually in the legislation, many of them will realize that they were misled, and will end up appreciating most of what the Democrats have passed, after all.

Lastly, and yes, I'm not immune to it.


To your health.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


So when Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) declared that the GOP would beat President Barack Obama on healthcare reform and hence his whole Administration, he was partially right. Tonight's successful -- for Democrats -- vote passing healthcare reform in the House of Representatives was, indeed, Waterloo. Only DeMint's the Napoleon Bonaparte and Pres. Obama = Duke of Wellington, who beat Nappy's sorry ass back on Sunday, June 18, 1815.

Clearly there's reconciliation fixes and other future improvements to be had, but for now we will be able to get health insurance without worrying about preexisting conditions, without worry that it can be yanked away once we become sick, with the ability to change jobs or start businesses -- The American Way -- without fear of losing coverage for our families.

Republican David Frum is particularly savvy on how the GOP lost b-i-g on this process by stonewalling -- and any GOoPer who says they didn't have a chance is simply lying. Just ask Jim "Waterloo" DeMint. Per Frum:

I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters – but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say – but what is equally true – is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.

So today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours.

And what of the opposition? They seem transfixed by the teabaggers, who have shown their true colors this weekend with racist and homophobic epithets hurled at members of Congress. The GOP caucus cheers them on when they disrupt the Chambers. It seems to have been a GOP Congressman, probably from Texas, who yelled, "Baby killer!" at Rep. Bart Stupek (D-MI), an ardent anti-choice Dem who even got the President to sign an executive order reaffirming that no Federal money could be used for insurance plans which cover a woman's right to choose.

And, most horrifically of all, a Conservative blogger posted this tweet today:

Followed by this:

That's currently being investigated by the Secret Service and is punishable either by fine or five (5) years in prison. I'd vote for the latter.

The fact is that we now have on our hands, after he's been called dead-in-the-water so many times, a Class-A President, one who will go Linkdown in history as having a successful First Term, ideally a couple, barring (of course) scandal or great disaster. Even if they do what Solly will, ideally, serve time for advocating. Check out his accomplishments in a year and a quarter, from blackwaterdog:
  1. He saved the economy.
  1. In a few months he'll end the war in Iraq.
  1. He actually has a plan and strategy in Afghanistan.
  1. America is finally joining the world fighting climate change and aspiring for energy independence.
  1. He single-handedly restored America's place and reputation in the world.
And now there's this little thing called health care reform.

This is an historic victory and, as Andrew Sullivan points out:
This is what we’ve learnt this year: Obama does not mind defeats if they are procedural or about others saving face. He’s happy to admit error; to give his opponents a chance to lunge at his jugular; to let opponents enjoy a day in the sun; to shave off any small stuff as long as the big stuff remains. He seems oddly impervious to personal insult: he doesn’t mind being affronted by the Chinese or humiliated by Netanyahu as long as it’s a matter of symbolism. On substance, he wants what he wants; and, on the big stuff, he has given up on nothing yet.

He shares this victory with many others, foremost being House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who has also confounded the naysayers who have often written her off, and delivered one of the most productive House sessions in decades.

Yep, it took the first black President and the first woman Speaker to get done what seven Presidents tried and failed, what President Theodore Roosevelt (BTW, a Republican back when I guess it meant something very different) first dreamed of 100 years ago.

The heck with the haters and naysayers. The American people, who voted for these Reps and this President, just got a reasonable version of what they wanted. And even those who didn't vote for them won tonight -- they just don't know it yet.

Friday, March 19, 2010

From the Frontlines

According to the Associated Press, "End in sight, health care battle tilts Obama's way":
One by one, House Democratic fence-sitters began choosing sides Friday, and the long, turbulent struggle over landmark health care legislation tilted unmistakably in President Barack Obama's direction.

In full campaign mode, his voice rising, the president all but claimed victory, declaring to a cheering audience in Virginia, "We are going to fix health care in America."

No, it's not a done deal, not until the House votes on Sunday. It seems that there's still some anti-choice Democrats left to persuade and Pelosi trying to straddle the impossible with pro-choice women visiting her office today. But as is becoming clear (once again), President LinkBarack Obama is not doing what is easy, nor is he doing it some shortcutty easy way, per Marc Ambinder:
You ought to be mighty frustrated by Obama's courage, blind as you believe it might be. But don't ever, ever call the guy a wimp.

As closing arguments are made (per Paul Krugman), we're hearing one story after another about health insurers trying to kick those who get sick off their rolls on technicalities or worse, about rates jacking up due to the recession causing more people to drop coverage and pools shrinking, i.e. the best argument possible for making this reform during a recession rather than waiting for it to be over, whenever. And Obama is known for the strong close.

Meanwhile the GOP have gone from lying about the bill (it is not a government takeover of healthcare, although it is a government regulation of it, as we accept for meat, water, roads, child labor, etc.) to producing fake memos they claim were written by Democrats. Yes, shades of Karl Rove, although he was better at making them stick. Check out Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) taking apart a GOP Congresstooge for bringing the hoax memo to the Floor:

There are even signs that the wiser voices in the GOP regret their rejectionist strategy, which I don't expect the lower intelligence types to realize (Boehner, Cantor, McConnell...well, the list goes on) but which I hope will lead to a change of sorts, like Obama promised to bring to Washington.

You see, if (and no premature victory dances, please) the President is successful in passing reform, even in this state that Progressives wish was better, he'll have proven all the Waterloo naysayers and vicious Fox pundits wrong. Sure, they'll wail about process and somehow claim that majority rule is "unconstitutional," as if they knew what the Constitution was during the Cheney Administration, but any GOoPer in the House or Senate who is serious about The Peoples' Business, and there are, I suppose, a few, will want to start getting wins under their belt. And the only way to do that will be to work with the President rather than vilifying him.

Charles Blow
may be a little over-the-top here. But the key is that we're still in the first half of the first term Obama Administration. A win now will reverberate for another 2 1/2 to 6 1/2 years. As I've said many times before the one thing Americans love more than money is a winner. And winners grow bandwagons.

It's time for Obama Time again.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nailbiting Time

How do you know when your piece of legislation is worthy of passage? When rabble-rousing charlatan Glenn Beck and psycho-right Rep. Steve King (R-IO) tell you it's "an affront to God" to cast a vote on a Sunday, when it is scheduled to come up. Funny enough, Think Progress points out:
On Palm Sunday in 2005, the Republican-controlled Senate passed a controversial bill to allow a federal court to intervene in the case of Terri Schiavo. The House passed the same bill shortly after midnight on Monday morning.

What's happening now is that the House of Representatives is somewhere between 5 and 10 more vote commitments required for the health insurance reform bill to pass. The major Catholic newspaper, the National Catholic Reporter, has endorsed it, along with the nuns. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has scored the bill as cutting the federal deficit by $138 billion over the next decade and $1.2 trillion over the decade following.

Yep -- it finally seems like the fiscally conservative thing to do is, in fact, to vote for reform.

Although I don't expect that opinion to show up anytime soon on Faux News.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lesson of the Day

History lesson courtesy of Robert Reich. In 1994 Reich was working in the Clinton White House, and the Republicans were battling healthcare reform in exactly the same manner they are today -- lies and stonewalling:
On February 5, 1994, the National Association of Manufacturers passed a resolution declaring its opposition to the Clinton plan. Not long after that, Michigan Democrat John Dingell, who was managing the health care bill for the House, approached the senior House Republican on the bill to seek a compromise. According to Dingell, the response was: "There's no way you're going to get a single vote on this [Republican] side of the aisle. You will not only not get a vote here, but we've been instructed that if we participate in that undertaking at all, those of us who do will lose our seniority and will not be ranking minority members within the Republican Party."

The failure of the bill made the Democrats look weak, powerless, do-nothing, and they paid royally:
In early September, William Kristol of the Project for the Republican Future spelled out the next stage of the Republican battle plan: "I think we can continue to wrap the Clinton plan around the necks of Democratic candidates." And that's exactly what they did. On November 8 voters repudiated President Clinton. They brought Republicans to power at every level of government. Democrats went from a controlling majority of 257 seats in the House of Representatives to a minority of 204, and lost the Senate.

Lest anyone doubt the parallels:
Today's Republican battle plan is exactly the same as it was sixteen years ago. In fact, it's been the same since President Obama assumed office. They never were serious about compromise. They were serious only about regaining power. From the start, Republicans have remembered the lesson of 1994. Now, as they prepare to vote, House Dems should remember the lesson as well.

The next eight to twelve years of national U.S. politics is riding on the Congressional votes on healthcare/health insurance reform this upcoming week. And if the bill loses, you'll see Dems go down in flames in November...and your health insurance rates continue to rise, baby, rise.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

As a Zionist

As a Jewish American who supports the State of Israel, I've always been against Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu and his Likud Party, especially now that it is in coalition with the Far Far Right Shas Party. It is repeatedly annoying that the U.S. appears powerless to stop Israeli settlement expansion into lands seized during wars, no matter our rhetoric and attempts to portray America as an honest broker between Israelis and Palestinians.

But maybe something is about to change.

Bibi stepped in it when his government humiliated Vice President on a peacemaking trip last week to Israel, just as some sort of "proximity negotiations" were established. Netanyahu claims he didn't know that the Shas minister(s) had approved even more new settlements in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians hope will be their future capital, but whether he did or not, he actually pissed off Biden, one of Israel's staunchest supporters for decades.

Biden responded by showing up ninety minutes late for a state dinner and twice upbraiding the Israeli government in public, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took it a step further by chewing out Bibi in a 45 minute phone call. Nice.

The upshot seems to be that this type of behavior on the part of Israel actually endangers American troops -- American lives -- overseas. This isn't just a haphazard opinion, but that of esteemed Gen. David Petraeus, per his briefing to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. No joke.

Per Jeffrey Goldberg, here's President Obama's strategy for Israel in the Administration's response to this affront:
The goal is force a rupture in the governing coalition that will make it necessary for Netanyahu to take into his government Livni's centrist Kadima Party (he has already tried to do this, but too much on his terms) and form a broad, 68-seat majority in Knesset that does not have to rely on gangsters, messianists and medievalists for votes.

Here here. There is opportunity in this fight. Yes, various Palestinian factions including Hamas have been bad actors in the past. Yes, the Palestinians are often their own worst enemies. But how long can the status quo go on? Can the Far Right in Israel really colonize their way out of this historical problem?

Of course, the flip side is true: can a contiguous Palestinian state be created and eventually live side-by-side in peace with Israel?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Iggy Phenomenal

James Newell Osterberg, Jr. and band just made it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. That's Iggy and The Stooges to the rest of you.

This guy is 63 years old next month:


Iggy is a great American success story. He's like 25% responsible for inspiring the punk rock movements (25% to The Velvet Underground, 25% to New York Dolls, 25% to Stones, MC5, The Standells, The Kinks, The Who, Motown, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly, Andy Warhol and David Bowie all together). Iggy cracked the code the rawest way possible, with his half naked, streaming wet, sinewy snapping body. The neck on that guy, insane.

The Wiki link above has the goods. Here's my favorite:

Long live the king.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Activist Court

Anyone on the Right who complains about "activist judges" without tossing their very own John Roberts-led Supreme Court is full of it. Witness how this Court's decision to open the floodgates of corporate spending on elections will now directly benefit the wife of rightwing ideologue Justice Clarence Thomas:
She is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and she has launched a tea-party-linked group that could test the traditional notions of political impartiality for the court.

In January, Virginia Thomas created Liberty Central Inc., a nonprofit lobbying group whose website will organize activism around a set of conservative "core principles," she said.

The group plans to issue score cards for Congress members and be involved in the November election, although Thomas would not specify how. She said it would accept donations from various sources -- including corporations -- as allowed under campaign finance rules recently loosened by the Supreme Court.

"I adore all the new citizen patriots who are rising up across this country," Thomas, who goes by Ginni, said on the panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference. "I have felt called to the front lines with you, with my fellow citizens, to preserve what made America great."

The move by Virginia Thomas, 52, into the front lines of politics stands in marked contrast to the rarefied culture of the nation's highest court, which normally prizes the appearance of nonpartisanship and a distance from the fisticuffs of the politics of the day.

Justice Thomas, 61, recently expressed sensitivity to such concerns, telling law students in Florida that he doesn't attend the State of the Union because it is "so partisan." Thomas, who was nominated by President George H.W. Bush, has been a reliable conservative vote since he joined the court in 1991.

This is beyond hypocrisy -- it's out and out corruption.
Virginia Thomas has long been a passionate voice for conservative views. She has worked for former Republican Rep. Dick Armey of Texas and for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank with strong ties to the GOP.

In 2000, while at the Heritage Foundation, she was recruiting staff for a possible George W. Bush administration as her husband was hearing the case that would decide the election. When journalists reported her work, Thomas said she saw no conflict of interest and that she rarely discussed court matters with her husband.

Wow, two huge pieces of evil implicating Justice Thomas. First there's the Dick Armey connection -- Armey being the head of the group that has fomented the whole Tea Party movement, astroturfing for GOP-sponsoring corporations and pretending it's "grassroots." So Ms. Thomas knows she's lying here where she claims this is some sort of inspired citizen's movement.

And then there's the Court decision that handed George W. Bush the 2000 election. Which she directly benefited from as well.

Good to know that, yes, Supreme Court Justices can be impeached.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fascist Revisionists

Welcome to the Goskomizdat 2010 -- Christianists taking over the school board and rewriting history books to suit their ideology:
Cynthia Dunbar, a lawyer from Richmond who is a strict constitutionalist and thinks the nation was founded on Christian beliefs, managed to cut Thomas Jefferson from a list of figures whose writings inspired revolutions in the late 18th century and 19th century, replacing him with St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and William Blackstone. (Jefferson is not well liked among conservatives on the board because he coined the term “separation between church and state.”)

Dunbar and her allies deserve public humiliation if not treason trials for their fascistic use of power. Not only did Thomas Jefferson's writing inspire revolution around the globe, he's the author of our Declaration of Independence, the ultimate great revolutionary document of all time.

Obama may be President, but he hard right threat to this nation is only just getting started. Since Texas buys a disproportionate number of text books, there are other states that will be infected by this school board's lies.

Another argument for allowing Tejas secession.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Moving On It

How about this: reconciliation of health insurance reform is about to kick in:
The House Budget Committee will begin marking up the reconciliation bill on Monday, beginning the first step in the legislative process to pass reform.

It'll be exciting to see what hateful Republican and Faux News nonsense starts to come out in their desperation to kill it.

Part of this move forward is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi giving up on Rep. Bart Strupek's almost incomprehensible drive to load up the bill with anti-choice language, even as it's been proven that protections already exist to keep government subsidies from covering abortions. Nice, Nancy, and about time.

Also about time that the Senate moved ahead on banking reform without Republican interference...nice move, Chris Dodd.

PS: MoveOn members on passing the bill:

Should MoveOn support or oppose the final health care bill if it looks like the plan recently proposed by President Obama?

Support 83
Oppose 17

Take that, Dennis Kucinich.

Early Line

It's early in the season for me to be watching American Idol, let alone pegging finalists, but there are a number of very talented and interesting adults this year -- no one left is actually a bad singer who consistently can't hit the notes as in years past at this stage -- but I do want the kids to go. The Top 12 are figured out this week, with four getting cut, then down to once a week, and I guarantee you'll see at least two great performances every week.

MC has it nailed. As of this week, the competition is between one gal and one guy who are just broke away from their respective packs.

Chrystal Bowersox, guitar slinging young mom who looks nothing like any other Idol winner in the past, who is totally legit as a singer songwriter (if they ever let her play her songs) with a great sense of rhythm and taste in covers, usually on acoustic but completely owning the electric this week:

And Big Mike, Michael Lynche, another young parent just turned dad as the auditions kicked in, proved to be a force of nature next to the other men, even the ones in their 20's:

I'm telling you, Idol doubters, there's a number of other good ones as well, but if these two aren't in the final episode, either something's gone haywire or there is no justice. I can see myself buying her songs. He's a more traditional type of star, but what counts now is how they bring it and continue to grow week to week.

The last time I liked a contestant this much this early was Fantasia Barrino, who went on to win, even though she never looked like what you'd expect from a show like this. She was authentic, she had raw throwback talent like these two (Michael with the theatrical, Crystal with the Bonnie Raitt-era white blues/folk women), and she continued to grow noticeably week to week, giving her all in different ways, going the distance.

And, like Fantasia, these two are gunslingers. You can see it in their eyes, especially during the judging, they know what they've done but they're smart, they're thirsty to absorb the feedback.

C'mon, Crystal.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Firing Up

I'm loving that President Obama (writing that never gets old) is back in closer mode, just as he would do in the Democratic primaries and campaign when everyone thought he had somehow blown it. Pass that health care bill, D.C.!

And I love how Markos Moulitsas calls out self-righteous Dennis Kucinich for "making common cause" with the GOP in stating that he's voting against reform. Sure, it isn't pure enough. Sure, there's a mandate that will help insurance companies deal with having to take in the unhealthy as well. But he'll deserve to be primaried by Kos Nation.

I'll say it one last time, if there's no start, then there's no eventual reform of the reform, no building on the legislative landmark as with Social Security (which only covered like a third of Americans at the start), or my personal favorite, the Emancipation Proclamation, in which Lincoln freed the slaves "in the states in rebellion," i.e. The Confederacy where he wasn't currently in control, rather than the Union. However, it both set a benchmark to move up from, and also told the slaves that they would never be prosecuted in the North for checking out of the plantation without their sadistic master's permission.

And I'm LOVING White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs firing back at smug, whiny-ass Chief Justice John Roberts, the least distinguished Chief Justice in history, just taking dictation from The Federalist Society of corporatist Conservative ideologues in squeaking out asshole decisions like giving corporations the same rights as citizens, i.e. the right to use their untold billions to buy candidates. Roberts is one of the most dangerous men in America, a robot installed to lead our top court.

Ideally he's forced to step down in the middle of President Obama's second term.

And back to Barack (hey, that sounds like an album title!), he's clearly feeling it on the stump. I mean, he's got to be so fired up he's gotta be making shit up now on the stump. How else to explain his sudden embrace of the populist notion (although this is the first I've heard of it -- manufactured?) of having "high-tech bounty hunters" solve the healthcare fraud problem:

The White House released details of the anti-fraud plan hours after a fresh challenge to the administration from major business groups that unveiled a multimillion-dollar ad campaign arguing that under Obama's plan "health care costs will go even higher, making a bad economy worse."

The ad buy, costing between $4 million and $10 million, will start Wednesday on national cable TV outlets. Later in the week, the campaign shifts to 17 states home to moderate and conservative Democrats. Their votes are critical to Obama's endgame for passing legislation to expand coverage to millions who now lack it and revamp the health insurance system...

...The bounty hunters in this case would be private auditors armed with sophisticated computer programs to scan Medicare and Medicaid billing data for patterns of bogus claims. The auditors would get to keep part of any funds they recover for the government. The White House said a pilot program run by Medicare in California, New York and Texas recouped $900 million for taxpayers from 2005-2008.

Oh, yeah. America loves when Barack goes cowboy.

He's the Robert Downey President.

Monday, March 08, 2010


The family of little Sarah Palin used to sneak across the border from Alaska to Canada to take advantage of their socialized health care system. Which would count as hypocrisy, if Palin could spell the word:
"We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada," Palin said in her first Canadian appearance since stepping down as governor of Alaska. "And I think now, isn't that ironic?"

If she can spell ironic.

Meanwhile, big ol' Karl Rove is still peddling lies in his new "memoir." The summary (with full details at Media Matters):

1. Rove distorts Senate report to claim Bush didn't "lie us into the war"

2. Rove falsehood: Obama claims "Obamacare would not add to the deficit ... evidence shows just the opposite"

3. Rove revives tired smear that Gore wrongly said "that he had created the Internet"

4. Rove revives Gore-Love Story smear

5. Rove falsehood: Gore said he had "discovered the Love Canal chemical disaster"

6. Rove pals around with falsehood that Ayers was "Obama's great friend"

7. Rove wrong on number of presidents who left office by "assassination or resignation"

Lastly, spawn of Satan herself, Liz Cheney, is even pissing off Conservatives with her newfangled McCarthyist smears:

A group of 19 prominent Bush administration officials and other lawyers launched an offensive Monday, attacking Liz Cheney for a recent ad by her group, Keep America Safe, that questioned the loyalties of Department of Justice lawyers that had represented Guantanamo detainees.

In a statement signed by nine former Bush officials and 10 other lawyers, critics condemned the ads as a "shameful series of attacks...both unjust to the individuals in question and destructive of any attempt to build lasting mechanisms for counterterrorism adjudications."

We'll see again if the Washington press corps takes the Cheney family's dictation on this one.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Losers and Winner

The funniest line of the night might have been Steve Martin's about Meryl Streep's 16 nominations meaning she's actually a big loser. The biggest losers of the night were:

  • Avatar, which I'd pegged for Most Picture, possibly due to the 10-nominee preferential voting system that made 2nd choices as powerful as 1st choices assuming none of the 10 received 50%+1 on the 1st choice round
  • Up in the Air, which I was not alone in believing had a lock on the Best Adapted Screenplay statuette but lost to Precious, a surprising show of strength for the film and, I believe, rewarded the more gritty story -- which emerged as the theme of the night
  • Inglourious Basterds, which was a sudden Best Picture spoiler due to winning the big ensemble prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and had a very good shot at Best Original Screenplay, but at least had a mortal lock on the Best Supporting Actor statuette
  • Honorary Oscar winners who had to settle for giving their thanks at an awards dinner a month or so ago, losing out on the big platform
  • Best Song nominees who didn't get to perform -- something of a blessing for the audience, since there's usually, at best, only one song by a major recording artist that anyone really wants to see performed live (Isaac Hayes, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, etc.)
  • Oscar viewers expecting more comic genius from the pairing of Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin -- their jokes seemed perfunctory, more inside than outside, very corporate in a sense that you didn't get from Jon Stewart, Chris Rock (who went too far the other way), even Whoopi Goldberg; and the material for the presenters seemed lamer than usual as well
While I did enjoy the use of actors who had worked previously with directors of the Best Pic nominees introducing the clips, and I was prepared to like the similar experience with the five for Best Actor and Best Actress intros, only a few of the stories were good (Michelle Pfeiffer on Jeff Bridges and Tim Robbins on Morgan Freeman were standouts) and there was a level of embarrassment being out there for those who'd been nominated before but lost, particularly Julianne Moore, who didn't seem to have worked more than three days with Colin Firth and is far too overdue for a win (which I would have loved to have seen for Far from Heaven).

And there's no excuse for that dance number.

I have to admit it, I have a little problem with Barbara Streisand. While we're not very far off politically, did she have to make it all about a woman winning Best Director? After several months of Kathryn Bigelow saying she'd like to be treated as a filmmaker rather than a special case? It kind of took the wind out of the announcement of Bigelow's win for me, but maybe it plays well as an historic quote.

In any case, there was one clear winner of the night, that excellent movie that vacuumed up six awards, making it a bit weird to read of a "split night" in one place on the Web. The acting awards went every which way, and it was the acting nomination for Jeremy Renner that first made me suspect that The Hurt Locker could win the big prize, and then there's evidently 79 years of Academy Award history saying that you can't win Best Picture without an acting or writing nomination. Even if you are the highest-grossing movie of all time.

So of all the losers, Avatar lost the least. My wife asked, "How do you think James Cameron is feeling right now?" to which I could only respond, "Rich." Crying for Cameron losing the big prizes is like complaining that George Lucas was ripped off when Star Wars lost, or when E.T. didn't take home big prizes. Sometimes the work is its own reward. Especially when it turns out to be more lucrative than any movie that preceded it.

Congrats to Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal and Summit Entertainment et al for the victories tonight, especially Most Picture. The Hurt Locker stands a great chance now of being the defining War movie for the Iraq War, kind of the Platoon for our time. There's no The Deer Hunter for our time, of course, no big budget picture combining wartime grit with epic sweep for an artistic, poetic statement on our current national character.

Because our major motion picture studios don't finance films like that any more.

Quick Hits

Just before the Oscars, some awesomely funny poster re-do's from College Humor.

Friday, March 05, 2010


It's March. Time for yet another in the collectible series of Republican politicians getting busted for engaging in something they demagogue against - which most of the time means homosexuality:

So we decided to look back: just how anti-gay is Ashburn's record?

Said Equality California director Geoff Kors in an interview with TPMmuckraker: "He has voted against every LGBT rights bill that's been introduced in California since he's been in the office."

At that 2005 anti-gay marriage rally, Ashburn said that "Our friends and neighbors in our community are restating the obvious -- that the institute of marriage is fundamental to our society. Marriage between one man and one woman is fundamental to civilization."

And the truth about California State Senator Roy Ashburn (R):

A California Republican family values legislator who was arrested early Wednesday morning for drunk driving had recently left a gay club,sources tell a local news channel.

State senator Roy Ashburn was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol on Wednesday at 2am in Sacramento, after police saw the car he was driving swerving erratically. An unidentified male passenger was in the car with Ashburn.

The sources told CBS13 that Ashburn, a father of four, had that night been at Faces, which touts itself as "Sacramento's premier GLBTI Nightclub since 1985."

Not the first trip to the bar for Roy:
The openly gay mayor of West Sacramento says that he's spotted state Sen. Roy Ashburn (R), who has racked up a consistently anti-gay voting record over the years, at gay clubs a number of times...
...The owner of Faces, the club where Ashburn reportedly was hanging out before his arrest, told CBS 13 that he can't confirm whether Ashburn was there Tuesday night because the club was packed with 400 patrons for a Latin drag queen beauty pageant.
Ooh. Spicy, Roy!

More Nuts

Sorry for the late post -- Internet shortage last night. However, I did want to point out that this violent anti-government psychosis is once again producing results:

The California man who opened fire last night outside the Pentagon was a property rights extremist who railed against the government's ability to "confiscate the resources of their citizens to fund schemes that need only be justified by lies and deception," and wanted to "eliminate the role of the government in education."

In a recorded manifesto called "Directions To Freedom", the audio of which he posted online in 2006, John Patrick Bedell, of Hollister, California, praised private property as "the most successful basis for structuring society that humanity has ever known."

Bedell shot two police officers last night during the rampage, before being mortally wounded himself.

Freedom on the March...

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


It appears that the Palin entourage is taking everything from Hollywood that it can, grabbing goodies from the Oscar suite:
Or, in common-sense language, Palin and her handlers, "practically cleaned out the suite." Another unnamed source from HollywoodLife.com says that the former Vice Presidential candidate intent on spreading all that wealth around her own circle. "She insisted every person in her huge entourage get something, and there were assistants, nannies, security - insanity!" The same source also said that security swept the venue and would not allow photos, which are often expected by companies to use as promotion in exchange for the free products.

Class all the way. But she's not the only Republican acting like they were raised the wrong way -- there's the leaked Republican National Committee memo showing exactly what they think of their donors:

The small donors who are the targets of direct marketing are described under the heading “Visceral Giving.” Their motivations are listed as “fear;” “Extreme negative feelings toward existing Administration;” and “Reactionary.”

Major donors, by contrast, are treated in a column headed “Calculated Giving.”

Their motivations include: “Peer to Peer Pressure”; “access”; and “Ego-Driven.”


Deficit King

Now the Ronald Reagan fetishists want him to replace President Ulysses S. Grant on the fifty dollar bill. I think they're aiming too low -- after all, Reagan gave us record deficits, financial deregulation that led to the disastrous derivatives markets, dropping the walls between banks and brokerages, and cross-leveraging assets into financial meltdown.

So either his face should be on the billion dollar bill...or perhaps the negative fifty dollar bill.