Daily Archives: October 17, 2009

Grab a Mop. We Have Work To Do

Posted by Libby Shaw

This President rocks. It’s daunting to think about how many warehouses of socialist mops and vats of extra strength socialist Lysol we’ll need to clean up Republican Texas.

Aside from the need for socialist mops, the really good news this week is that it looks like we are getting closer to HCR that includes a public option. We have the AHIP (American Health Insurance Plans) to thank for this. According to Paul Krugman of the New York Times. It seems that AHIP’s threat to increase rates b/c it didn’t like the Baucus bill backfired.

A Hatchet Job So Bad It’s Good

It seems that a bunch of selfish greed mongering fat cats had become so desperate and crazed by the mere thought that they might lose one penny that the fat cats blew up the very building they were protecting.

Shall we cry ’em a river folks?

I didn’t think so.

Moving along to outing scumbags updates, on Thursday night Rachel Maddow took apart the President of Americans for Prosperity, Tim Phillips, limb by limb. Tim Phillips is a GOP operative whose organization has been involved in the most unsavory and disgusting campaigns possible. The group excels at fear, smear and lies. Americans for Prosperity’s activities range from involvement with the swift boat attacks on former Vietnam Vet and Senator from Georgia, Max Cleland, to mailing flyers to Christians in the south claiming that Chinese workers in the Marianas Islands were being taught the word of God.

Christians should therefore support the federal government’s extending certain protections to the employers there. Later the Dept. of Interior discovered some of the workers were being forced into sex slavery, and some were required to have abortions. I wonder if Americans for Prosperity included these small details in the flyers?

As we know former U.S House Speaker (R) Tom Delay and convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff were also key players in the Marianas Islands and its sex slavery and forced abortions.

A huge round of applause to Rachel for calling Phillips a parasite and fear monger right to his face.

Part I

Part II

MSNBC’s Ed Schultz is about to blow a blood vessel over U.S. Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid’s lack of leadership. Poor Harry has been bludgeoned by Senate Republicans for so long that he actually believes he has to please his abusers. Come on Harry. Grow a spine. The bullies can’t beat you up anymore.

Keep giving ’em hell Ed.

Last week Dylan Ratigan of MSNBC’s Morning Meeting told the President of the Chamber of Congress to stop talking nonsense. Donahue said he wanted to create thousands of new jobs in America b/c the federal government and trial lawyers can’t do it. Ratigan smelled a rat when Tom Donahue used the term trial lawyers. Ratigan honed in on Donahue and grilled him until the guy became crisply scorched.

Ratigan used to appear on CNBC and he seems well-informed about financial matters.

Where were these no-nonsense, hard edged TV journalists during the W. years? Better late than never I guess.

But the really good news is that health care reform is going to happen and no amount of obstruction in Congress from Republicans, Blue Dogs, teabagging, tea parties and ginned up town hall meetings can stop it now. Krugman gives us an idea of why.

For 2009, it turns out, is not 1993. Once again, Republicans have tried to kill reform with smears and scare stories. But all they seem to have killed with their cries of “socialism” and warnings about “death panels” is their own credibility. Some form of health-care reform is highly likely to pass.

So it’s a different game than it was 16 years ago. And it’s a game that the insurance industry apparently doesn’t know how to play.

It will happen because we will make it happen folks. We are the people we have been waiting for.

Next up, how are we going to drive Republicans out of Texas?

Grab a boatload of mops. Make that socialist mops. And don’t forget the Lysol – extra strength, please.

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New Rules – Real Time with Bill Maher – 10/16/2009 (NSFW)

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President Obama’s Saturday Youtube Address 10/17/09

white house gov logo
WhiteHouse.gov—In his weekly address, President Barack Obama praised the progress that has been made on health insurance reform, and spoke out against those who defend the status quo in order to score political points and protect their profits. With reform the closest it has ever been to becoming law, the insurance companies are rolling out deceptive ads, paying for misleading studies, and flooding Capitol Hill with lobbyists. Now, Washington needs to serve the American people, not the special interests.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
October 17, 2009

Over the better part of the past year, a great debate has taken place in Washington and across America, about how to reform our health care system to provide security for people with insurance, coverage for those without insurance, and lower costs for everyone. From the halls of Congress to the homes of ordinary Americans, this debate has helped us to forge consensus and find common ground. That’s a good thing. That’s what America is all about.

Now, as the debate draws to a close, we can point to a broad and growing coalition of doctors and nurses, workers and businesses, hospitals and even drug companies – folks who represent different parties and perspectives, including leading Democrats and many leading Republicans – who recognize the urgency of action. Just this week, the Senate Finance Committee approved a reform proposal that has both Democratic and Republican support. For the first time ever, all five committees in Congress responsible for health reform have passed a version of legislation. As I speak to you today, we are closer to reforming the health care system than we have ever been in history.

But this is not the time to pat ourselves on the back. This is not the time to grow complacent. There are still significant details and disagreements to be worked out in the coming weeks. And there are still those who would try to kill reform at any cost. The history is clear: for decades rising health care costs have unleashed havoc on families, businesses, and the economy. And for decades, whenever we have tried to reform the system, the insurance companies have done everything in their considerable power to stop us.

We know that this inaction has carried a terrible toll. In the past decade, premiums have doubled. Over the past few years, total out of pocket costs for people with insurance rose by a third. And we know that if we do not reform the system, this will only be a preview of coming attractions. A new report for the Business Roundtable – a non-partisan group that represents the CEOs of major companies – found that without significant reform, health care costs for these employers and their employees will well more than double again over the next decade. The cost per person for health insurance will rise by almost $18,000. That’s a huge amount of money. That’s going to mean lower salaries and higher unemployment, lower profits and higher rolls of uninsured. It is no exaggeration to say, that unless we act, these costs will devastate the US economy.

This is the unsustainable path we’re on, and it’s the path the insurers want to keep us on. In fact, the insurance industry is rolling out the big guns and breaking open their massive war chest – to marshal their forces for one last fight to save the status quo. They’re filling the airwaves with deceptive and dishonest ads. They’re flooding Capitol Hill with lobbyists and campaign contributions. And they’re funding studies designed to mislead the American people.

Of course, like clockwork, we’ve seen folks on cable television who know better, waving these industry-funded studies in the air. We’ve seen industry insiders – and their apologists – citing these studies as proof of claims that just aren’t true. They’ll claim that premiums will go up under reform; but they know that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found that reforms will lower premiums in a new insurance exchange while offering consumer protections that will limit out-of-pocket costs and prevent discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. They’ll claim that you’ll have to pay more out of pocket; but they know that this is based on a study that willfully ignores whole sections of the bill, including tax credits and cost savings that will greatly benefit middle class families. Even the authors of one of these studies have now admitted publicly that the insurance companies actually asked them to do an incomplete job.

It’s smoke and mirrors. It’s bogus. And it’s all too familiar. Every time we get close to passing reform, the insurance companies produce these phony studies as a prescription and say, “Take one of these, and call us in a decade.” Well, not this time. The fact is, the insurance industry is making this last-ditch effort to stop reform even as costs continue to rise and our health care dollars continue to be poured into their profits, bonuses, and administrative costs that do nothing to make us healthy – that often actually go toward figuring out how to avoid covering people. And they’re earning these profits and bonuses while enjoying a privileged exception from our anti-trust laws, a matter that Congress is rightfully reviewing.

Now, I welcome a good debate. I welcome the chance to defend our proposals and to test our ideas in the fires of this democracy. But what I will not abide are those who would bend the truth – or break it – to score political points and stop our progress as a country. And what we all must oppose are the same old cynical Washington games that have been played for decades even as our problems have grown and our challenges have mounted.

Last November, the American people went to the polls in historic numbers and demanded change. They wanted a change in our policies; but they also sought a change in our politics: a politics that too often has fallen prey to the lobbyists and the special interests; that has fostered division and sustained the status quo. Passing health insurance reform is a great test of this proposition. Yes, it will make a profound and positive difference in the lives of the American people. But it also now represents something more: whether or not we as a nation are capable of tackling our toughest challenges, if we can serve the national interest despite the unrelenting efforts of the special interests; if we can still do big things in America.

I believe we can. I believe we will. And I urge every member of Congress to stand against the power plays and political ploys – and to stand up on behalf the American people who sent us to Washington to do their business.

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Filed under Democrats, Economy, Jobs, Lobbyist, Media and Entertainment, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube, Weekly YouTube Address, Women's Issues

Indicted California Man Threatened To Kill President And Scrawl “Fed …” On His Chest

Posted by Audiegrl

AP—A Northern California man remained in federal custody without bail Friday after being charged with sending racist, profanity-laced e-mail threatening to kill President Barack Obama and his family.

John Gimbel, 59, of Crescent City was arrested Oct. 6 by U.S. Secret Service officers and indicted two days before the president’s Thursday appearances at a pair of Democratic fundraisers in the city.

He is accused of sending the message to Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, a Louisville newspaper and about 70 other people on Sept. 28.

Gimbel is scheduled to be arraigned Monday. Randall Davis, a defense lawyer assigned to serve as Gimbel’s co-counsel because Gimbel wants to represent himself, said he expects him to plead not guilty.

”He contends he didn’t violate the law” and only was exercising his free speech rights,” Davis said.
More @ Associated Press

**44 Update by GeoT**
From The Eureka Times-Standard
After allegedly e-mailing an editor with NBC Universal twice in May 2007 about killing former President George W. Bush, the Secret Service located Gimbel, who told the service he was harmless and had no interest in assassinations. The Secret Service then contacted two of his sisters, one of whom said the siblings were estranged, but thought Gimbel had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and believed he was troubled after his military discharge.

According to the Veterans Service Office and Humboldt County Records Office, Gimbel was born in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1949. While he was a resident of Arcata, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in Oakland in 1971. The private first class was honorably discharged for a physical disability at Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco in 1973 after six months of foreign or sea service.

On Sept. 7, the Secret Service interviewed Gimbel at his home on Brevus Street in Crescent City, according to an affidavit in U.S. District Court. During the interview, Gimbel was reportedly verbally abusive to Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office deputies. He claimed he had a right to free speech when informed that his alleged threats were illegal, and said he’d defend his rights and his home, and if he “had to kill 18 deputies who tried to enter his home, then so be it.”

In the affidavit, Secret Service Special Agent Russell Miller asked the court to approve a “no-knock” arrest warrant, which would allow agents to enter Gimbel’s residence without warning. There was reason to believe Gimbel had firearms in the house, Miller wrote, and Gimbel had allegedly made threats against law enforcement. He also requested the complaint and associated documents be filed under seal so Gimbel would not discover them.

Gimbel was arrested in his home on Oct. 6 and taken into custody in the Humboldt County jail, a facility approved for holding federal prisoners. He is being held without bail on suspicion of threatening the president of the United States, threatening the president’s immediate family and making threats transmitted through interstate communication. The three charges, brought by a grand jury earlier this week, each carry maximum penalties of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.
Read more from Northern California: (click here:)
Eureka Times-Standard

TPM has received a copy of the indictment in United States of America vs. John Gimbel

The subject line of the email read:

Operation kill big-[epithet]-rig: kill the ‘president’ [epithet], then write ‘fed shit’ on his chest with a felt tip.

As TPM also notes:

That last clause appears to be a reference to the recent death of a Census Bureau worker, who was found in rural Kentucky with a rope around his neck and the word “Fed” scrawled on his chest, in what many have suggested was an act of anti-government violence.

In the body of the e-mail, as reproduced in the indictment, Gimbel, used a string of crude and racist epithets in additionally calling for the murders of Michelle Obama and the couple’s two children “in front of” the president.

You can read the rest of his sick rant here, if you can stomach it.

Gimbel’s Previous Legal History

According to reporting by the San Francisco Chronicle, this case, which was investigated by the Secret Service, is not the first time Gimbel has come under scrutiny for e-mail messages.

In April 2004, Gimbel was accused of complaining about a $5 parking ticket in an e-mail and threatening to deputize others to carry out his plans. His email is below:

Just got a $5 parking ticket. The Crescent City piggy-wiggly that gave it to me left a little over-zealous. That’s a drag. I am hereby deputizing all the citizens of Crescent City to fix up some of the f*ck up piggos. Grab those hi-powered deer rifles, each and every, and get in groups of 50 and more and go breeze away to dust the skull of the policy chief.

Make an example of that scum. That should do it for awhile. However, if any other piggos down at the station give you crap on this or get in the way, then blow their skulls off, too.
.”

On April 8, 2004, the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Department arrested Gimbel and removed two computers and two handguns from his location. Gimbel was convicted of making the threats, but the conviction was overturned on appeal, court records show.

On January 8, 2007, Gimbel filed a lawsuit John Gimbel vs. State of California, et al. alleging federal claims for relief against Defendant for violation of his rights under the First, Second, and Fourth Amendments of the United States Constitution. The court dismissed the claim dismissed with prejudice”.

In another case, Gimbel allegedly harassed a Del Norte County sheriff’s deputy who cited him for having faulty brake lights and no proof of insurance.

Gimbel repeatedly left vulgar messages on the deputy’s voice mail, prompting the deputy to obtain a restraining order against him in 2006, authorities said.

In Gimbel vs. State of California et al, Gimbel attempted to sue for a Civil Rights violation, and asking for damages in the amount of $7000. On June 22, 2007, the Court granted a Motion to Dismiss. The Court’s Order included a detailed discussion of the pleadings and applicable law, and specifically allowed Gimbel 30 days to file an Amended Complaint properly alleging claims.

On July 12, 2007, Gimbel filed a 6-page document entitled “Amended Complaint.” The court documents explain why the case was dismissed with prejudice:

The Court need not look past the first sentence of Gimbel’s “Amended Complaint” to see that it is nothing more than profanity-ridden drivel, replete with racial epithets directed at specific members of this Court, and should be dismissed with prejudice. Even if the “Amended Complaint” actually alleged a cognizable claim (which a cursory review of the document demonstrates that it does not), the Court is under no obligation to consider the merits of Gimbel’s calumnious screed, which is a stream-of- consciousness diatribe directed primarily at insulting the Court.

John Vrieze, a Eureka attorney who represented Del Norte County in both cases, told the San Francisco Chronicle, “The guy has some type of obsessive disorder. … He’s become very fixated on his First Amendment rights, thinking that transcends all bounds and that you can say anything you want and that it’s protected speech. He probably could stand to benefit from some therapy.”

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