Monthly Archives: September 2009

Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson Not Backing Down: “I Apologize To The Dead”

Posted by Audiegrl

grayson_CNN-cropped-proto-custom_2TPM/Ben Frumin—Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) — who’s making quite a name for himself by accusing the GOP of having a health care plan premised on the idea that sick Americans should “die quickly” — just made a pretty fiery appearance on CNN.

He called Republicans “foot-dragging, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals who think they can dictate policy to America by being stubborn.” He said that he’s “saying what everyone else has been thinking but no one else has been saying.” And he once again refused to apologize, saying it’s Republicans who should say sorry.

Apologize? I’m not the one who should be apologizing. They should apologize to America.

More @ TPM

Grayson posted a diary on DKos today to let the Kossacks know that he was not going to back down. So far he has raised over $40,000, $50,000, $60,000, $70,000, $100,205, $115, 007 from donors.

Click here to donate.

I can tell you that it really started to explode, I would say last night about five o’clock,” said Julie Tagen, the Congressman’s chief of staff and a senior adviser to his campaign. “And since that time, we have probably raised anywhere between $125,000 and $150,000 online.

***Video Update

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gumtion44-D– “We Like His Style”


Filed under Democrats, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Uncategorized

White House Calls Out Fox News and Glenn Beck By Name For Lying

Posted by Buellboy

glenn-beck-tin-foil-hat-thumbTPM—In a new post on the official White House blog, an administration official specifically names Fox News for lying about the administration’s push to bring the Olympics to Chicago.

“Last night Fox News continued its disregard for the facts,” the post begins, “in an attempt to smear the Administration’s efforts to win the Olympics for the United States.”

The author, White House online programs director Jesse Lee, goes on to point out several quotes from Glenn Beck, which it says are lies, and the truth behind them. (“Rhetoric: Beck said Vancouver lost $1 billion when it ‘had the Olympics.’ … Reality: Vancouver’s Olympics Will Not Take Place Until 2010.”)

“In the past, hosting the Olympics has been a source of pride and unity for the country, but once again Fox News’ Glenn Beck program has shown that nothing is worthy of respect if it can be used as part of a partisan attack to boost ratings,” Lee writes.

The post ends with a link to Politifact, “for even more Fox lies.”

More @ tpmlogo

Warning: This video is potentially hazardous to your health. It can only be viewed safely if you are wearing a tin-foil hat.


Filed under 2016 Olympics, Media and Entertainment, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, TV Shows, Uncategorized

Texas David Marie Antoinette Dewhurst and Joe Scrooge Straus to the Poor: Eat Dirt

Posted by LibbyShaw

jim_carrey-scroogeTexas cannot keep up with the demand of those in need of food stamps. According to Lisa Falkenberg of the Houston Chronicle it is taking months to obtain benefits. Folks are growing more desperate by the day.

Meanwhile, Texas isn’t coming close to meeting federal requirements to process food stamp applications within a month. Last month, about 38,000 new applicants were left awaiting approval even though the federal deadline had passed. About one in six applications is processed incorrectly.

Food Stamps are 100% funded by the Federal Government. All Texas has to do is distribute the funds. Unfortunately due to either incompetence, stinginess or cold-hearted contempt for the state’s struggling jobless, Texas is not doing its job.

Does our state legislature care?

No it does not.

Why not?

The Health and Human Services Agency had requested 650 additional employees in order to meet the demand. Think about it. This would mean 650 new jobs in Texas and the potential likelihood of fewer folks in need of Food Stamps. But Republicans are running the state now and we all know how heartless they are when it comes to the poor. Marie Antoinette Dewhurst and Joe Scrooge Straus said NO. In other words: Starve. Eat dirt. Eat out trash cans.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst

Just last week, the Legislative Budget Board, led by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus, and made up of eight other lawmakers, rejected the agency’s request to hire about 650 workers.

House Speaker Joe Straus

House Speaker Joe Straus

A spokesman for Dewhurst has argued that the denial was temporary, to give officials time to devise a plan to address HHSC’s problems. But lawmakers have had the budget request for months and have been aware of the backlogs since the legislative session that ended in May.

Texas Republicans show us over and over that they are incapable of any empathy whatsoever for the poor. Their efforts in both Austin and in Washington are not targeted on serving the folks they represent. In fact, these lawmakers work against the financial and medical well-being of many of their constituents.

On Saturday 2000 people turned up for free medical treatment in Houston. As we know, Texas has the highest number of uninsured residents. In Harris County (Houston area) 1 in 3 adults have no insurance. Despite these appalling statistics, Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn work night and day to kill off health care reform.

Marie AntoinetteDavid Marie Antoinette Dewhurst wants to be one of our U.S. Senators one day. Jobless and hungry Texans won’t forget his message to them. Neither will this girl. The vile evil doings of Marie Antoinette put her head on a chopping block. Let’s not put ours on one by voting for any Republicans.

Nor will voters soon forget the Texas Republicans and their relentless efforts at turning this once great state into a third world country.


Filed under Economy, Money, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans

Derogatory Free Speech: Court Overturns Lawsuit Against Church

Posted by Audiegrl

Funeral ProtestEUR—A federal court has ruled that it’s acceptable for church members to picket outside the funeral of a gay soldier holding signs that read reading “God hates fags” and “Thank God for dead soldiers” because their message was protected under the First Amendment Right of free speech.

In doing so the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., reversed a lower court’s $5 million award against Westboro Baptist Church concluding that members didn’t violate the privacy of the family of fallen Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder when they picketed his 2006 funeral in Westminster.

According to the Baltimore Sun, the Westboro membership is made up largely of the members of a single extended family who say the deaths of U.S. service members are God’s way of showing he disapproves of America’s alleged tolerance of homosexuality.

More @ EUR

Mathews father, Albert Snyder talks with reporters Oct. 31 at the federal courthouse in Baltimore. (AP Photo/The (Baltimore) Sun, Glenn Fawcett)

Mathews father, Albert Snyder talks with reporters Oct. 31, 2007. (AP Photo/The (Baltimore) Sun, Glenn Fawcett)

Associated Press—A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the signs contained “imaginative and hyperbolic rhetoric” protected by the First Amendment. Such messages are intended to spark debate and cannot be reasonably read as factual assertions about an individual, the court said.

A jury in Baltimore had awarded Albert Snyder damages for emotional distress and invasion of privacy. The 2006 funeral of Snyder’s son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder in Westminster, Md., was among many military funerals that have been picketed by members of the fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas.

Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder

Fallen Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder

Albert Snyder’s attorney, Sean E. Summers, said he and his client were disappointed.

“The most troubling fact is it leaves these grieving families helpless,” Summers said. “If you can’t use the civil process, you have no recourse.”

He said he will appeal the ruling to either the full appeals court or to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We feel we owe that to Mr. Snyder and other families who have been harassed, humiliated and abused,” Summers said.

More @ Associated Press


Filed under Culture, Gay (LGBT) Rights, Law, Military, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Supreme Court, Uncategorized

Right-Wing Newsmax Columnist: Military Coup May Be Needed To Resolve the “Obama Problem”

Posted by TheLCster

TPM LiveWire—In a column published yesterday, Newsmax‘s John L. Perry wrote that there is a “gaining” possibility that the military will stage a coup to “resolve the ‘Obama problem.'”

Newsmax has apparently removed the column from its site. Links are now redirected to the homepage, and Perry’s author page has no mention of his latest work. You can read the full text here.

The coup — which would be “civilized” and “bloodless,” according to Perry — would consist of a “patriotic general” sitting down with the President and working out a new system in which “skilled, military-trained, nation-builders” would “do the serious business of governing and defending the nation” while Obama would still be allowed to make speeches.

More @ TPM

***Update from TPM: ‘Coup’ Columnist Perry’s Long History With Newsmax

Since it published — and removed — a column describing the possibility of a military coup to “resolve the Obama problem,” conservative magazine Newsmax has gone into full damage control mode, distancing itself from the columnist.

The columnist, John L. Perry, “has no official relationship with Newsmax other than as an unpaid blogger,” a spokeswoman said in a statement.

That’s not quite the wording on his Newsmax biography. There, Perry is described as an “award-winning newspaper editor and writer” who “contributes a regular column to”

He’s also a former senior editor for the site, working in that role from late 1999 until October 2001.

Perry has written for the site regularly — nearly every single week — since November 1999. Newsmax was founded in 1998. (Check out the archives here and here.)

More @ TPM


Filed under Domestic Terrorism, Media and Entertainment, Military, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Uncategorized

Michael Steele Calls Thomas Friedman A “Nut Job” For His Concerns Over Psychotic Rhetoric

Posted by Audiegrl

Steele appeared on CNN's American Morning Wednesday.

Steele appeared on CNN's American Morning Wednesday.

CNN— Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele Wednesday beat back suggestions from some political commentators — most recently from the New York Times’ Tom Friedman — that conservative opposition to President Obama is creating a political climate that may foreshadow attempts of violence against the commander-in-chief.

“Where do these nut jobs come from? Come on, stop this,” Steele told CNN’s John Roberts on American Morning in direct response to a quote from Friedman’s column Wednesday equating the current political environment to that which occurred ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination in 1995.

“To make those equations, examples and put that out there that way, to me is just crazy and yeah, I’m sorry, but if you’re going to approach this discussion, approach it from a rational position,” Steele continued. “[They’re] saying, because you disagree with the president on policy, that all of the sudden we’re going to make this leap into, you know, assassinations and all this other stuff. I mean, at the height of all this stuff on Bush and people complaining and protesting, and jumping up and down, you didn’t have this kind of conversation.”

“There are passions that run deep and long on both sides of the aisle,” Steele also said. “Don’t necessarily jump to the conclusion that, because someone says something vitriolic or hot that’s necessarily from the right or the left. It’s reflecting deep-seeded frustrations people have.”

More @ CNN

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Filed under Domestic Terrorism, Media and Entertainment, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, TV Shows, Uncategorized

Where Did We Go? By Thomas Friedman

Posted by Audiegrl

New York Times/Thomas Friedman

New York Times/Thomas Friedman

New York Times/Thomas Friedman—I hate to write about this, but I have actually been to this play before and it is really disturbing.

I was in Israel interviewing Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin just before he was assassinated in 1995. We had a beer in his office. He needed one. I remember the ugly mood in Israel then — a mood in which extreme right-wing settlers and politicians were doing all they could to delegitimize Rabin, who was committed to trading land for peace as part of the Oslo accords. They questioned his authority. They accused him of treason. They created pictures depicting him as a Nazi SS officer, and they shouted death threats at rallies. His political opponents winked at it all.

And in so doing they created a poisonous political environment that was interpreted by one right-wing Jewish nationalist as a license to kill Rabin — he must have heard, “God will be on your side” — and so he did.

Others have already remarked on this analogy, but I want to add my voice because the parallels to Israel then and America today turn my stomach: I have no problem with any of the substantive criticism of President Obama from the right or left. But something very dangerous is happening. Criticism from the far right has begun tipping over into delegitimation and creating the same kind of climate here that existed in Israel on the eve of the Rabin assassination.

What kind of madness is it that someone would create a poll on Facebook asking respondents, “Should Obama be killed?” The choices were: “No, Maybe, Yes, and Yes if he cuts my health care.” The Secret Service is now investigating. I hope they put the jerk in jail and throw away the key because this is exactly what was being done to Rabin.

More @ New York Times/Thomas Friedman

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Filed under Democrats, Domestic Terrorism, Hate Crimes, Media and Entertainment, Opinions, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Uncategorized

Health Care: A Diatribe in Three Acts– Act One

ogenic by Ogenec

There’s a lot of sturm and drang, and understandably so, about the details of the various health care bills that are circulating in Washington. Trying to keep up with the minutiae will literally make your head hurt. So maybe we should come at it from another angle. Instead of focusing on details, let’s focus on the problems the various bills are intended to solve.

The reason health-care reform is so difficult is that it presents three mutually re-enforcing problems. First, we want to expand health care to as many people as possible. Second, we want it to be very high-quality care: we want unfettered and immediate access to the best doctors, drugs, diagnostics, and procedures. Third, we want someone other than ourselves to pay for it: very few of us are willing, much less able, to pay out of pocket for the high-quality care we want.

This May Hurt So Im Going to Sedate Your Wallet

"This May Hurt So I'm Going to Sedate Your Wallet"

Hence the dilemma. It’s relatively easy to come up with a system that addresses any two of these three problems. But it’s virtually impossible to design one that adequately addresses all three. For instance, you could design a system that gives you immediate access to high-quality care and covers everybody. Let’s call this Option A. Option A already exists, in point of fact: anyone with the means to do so can go see a doctor and pay out of pocket. But since few can, the “expansion” is for naught.

Alternatively, we could fix the expansion and affordability problems by rationing care. We would only be able to consume a certain amount of health care, after which point we would either not be able to obtain extra care or we would have to pay out of pocket. Let’s call this Option B. The problem is that Option B, by rationing, sacrifices “immediate access to high-quality care.”

Finally, we could expand coverage to (nearly) everybody, and make sure the coverage is high-quality. Let’s call this Option C. The issue then becomes, who pays for it, since by definition most of the newly insured cannot?

If we understand these problems, then we’re better able to discuss the various proposals. But candor requires that we first acknowledge that we cannot have it all. There is no magic bullet that would solve all three problems identified above. No, the best we can hope for is two out of three.

Put another way, the Obama Administration can only hope to pass the “least worst” alternative. We can toss out Option A: it doesn’t expand coverage. We can also toss out Option B: other industrialized countries may be comfortable with rationing (can we come up with a less pejorative term?), but the United States certainly is not..
64000-question The $64,000 question is, then, who pays for it and how?
This issue – who pays, and at what cost? – is really the nub of the debate between public option adherents and others.

I’ll discuss the much-maligned Baucus Plan in the next installment, and the Public Option in the third.

related story: Health Bill Survives Attacks — vote by week’s end?

Full story @

**Alert** Franken offers health insurance bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., who took office this summer, has introduced his third piece of legislation, titled the Fairness in Health Insurance Act of 2009.
The legislation would require that 90 percent of every premium dollar spent on health insurance go to actual health services. The remaining 10 percent could be used on administrative costs, advertising and profits.
Read more:


Filed under Free Market, Medicine, News, Uncategorized

**Update** “Stayin’ Alive”: the Public Option

Mike Lux
Author, The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be

Senate Finance Committee

Senate Finance Committee

I have said before (most recently here) that the Senate Finance Committee was conservative, in fact the most conservative committee makeup in the Senate, and that we would be likely to lose these votes:
With numbers like this, and with the entire Democratic base mobilized intensely around the issue, you would have to be politically tone deaf as a Democrat to oppose this, but this is the Senate Finance Committee, so public option advocates are likely to lose these votes. The question, though, will be the margin. On a committee this conservative, far more conservative than the Senate as a whole, if we only get seven votes for the public option amendments, that would have to be considered a major political victory, and a sign that the public option can definitely get a majority vote on the floor.

con’t @ Huffpost

The Senate Finance Committee voted down a government-run “public option” as part an overhaul of the nation’s health-care system Tuesday, rejecting the first of two amendments offered by Democrats.

The panel’s chairman, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), and four other Democrats sided with Republicans in opposing a public-option amendment offered by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.). Baucus said he voted against the politically volatile provision because he feared that a bill including it would not get the 60 votes it would need to pass on the Senate floor. The committee voted 15 to 8 to reject the amendment.


Filed under Democrats, Economy, Medicine, Money, Republicans, Uncategorized

Gibbs: Is Steele Rooting For Brazil To Get Olympic Games?

Posted by Buellboy

RNC Chairman Michael Steele

RNC Chairman Michael Steele

Huffington Post—Pushing back against criticism that the President is too busy to stop in Copenhagen to pitch Chicago as a host site for the 2016 Olympics, the White House played the patriotism card on Tuesday.

Asked about remarks by RNC chairman Michael Steele accusing Obama of leaving Congress directionless on health care by making the trip, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs shot back by suggesting that Steele was rooting for Brazil to win the Olympic bid

“Who is he rooting for?” Gibbs asked. “Is he hoping to hop a plane to Brazil and catch the Olympics in Rio? Maybe it’s Madrid?”

More @ Huffington_Post_Logo

Related Story: Dems: Boehner, Who Criticized Obama Olympics Bid, Took World Tour In August

Boehner went to Mongolia as part of an August trip around the world, and point to a report claiming Boehner didn’t hold any traditional health care town-halls this summer.

“It’s the height of hypocrisy for Boehner to criticize President Obama for his brief overseas trip to support the United States’ 2016 bid, when Boehner took a two week trip around the world while refusing to hold a single health care event the entire month of August,” DCCC spokesman Ryan Rudominer emails. Read more: The Plum LineGreg Sargent’s blog

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Filed under 2016 Olympics, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Sports