Friday, July 31, 2009

Pelosi, nothing. Reid, worse.

Errington C. Thompson, MD calls for leadership on healthcare and then shows why we're unlikely to get it:
... Now, as we look back over the last three years, what is the tough legislation that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have guided through Congress? Nothing. ...
I personally think Rancid Reid's performance shows a determined and successful obstruction of good legislation and an underhand obeisance to corporate money. I suppose that's leadership of sorts. In Pelosi the House, apparently, installed a real Democrat as Speaker, but one with no personal power or will at all.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wouldn't it be wonderful ...

Hope this is accurate and true and that the prez is really working for real health care for the people and not just an increase in entitlements for big business (in this case the health insurance death industry): Obama About To Win On Health Care Reform by Steve

Steve is not always right, but he is insightful and always worth reading.
Added/9:20 pm
Yeah, yeah. Just keep telling me that Obama is really on our side and is going to get the people real health care in spite of his BlueDog buddies, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Won't ... believe ... it ... 'til ... I ... see ... it.
... the White House and the Democratic leadership got worried, and started twisting arms to make sure these progressives acquiesced to the demands of the Blue Dog Democrats ...
Those progressives just can't be allowed to worry the blue curs. That just ain't the proper order of things.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Obama and health care ...

Apparently, according to Gibbs at the July 27 White House Press Briefing, Obama has an 80% agreement on everything but actual healthcare for the citizens of the United States. After all this is no longer a country of citizens, but a country of large corporate enterprises who's longterm self defeating goal is to gather all wealth and power unto themselves and let the serfs just fend for themselves.

Q I'll take it. What is the 80-percent agreement that the President reached where -- narrowly getting the bill passed.

MR. GIBBS: Well, I think there's broad agreement that the bill shouldn't add to the deficit. I think there's broad agreement that we have to increase access. I think there's broad agreement that we have the do something in both the short term and in the long term, meaning inside and outside a 10-year budget window, to cut costs. I think there's broad agreement on insurance reforms, that we can't let insurance companies continue to discriminate against individuals that are very sick or have a preexisting condition. And I think there's some agreement on things like limiting out-of-pocket expenses for individuals.

Notice how deficits are OK on everything except services for the people. After all services for the people of the country, which are paid by the people of the country by the way, become entitlements --such a dirty word-- and what's really needed is the freedom to mainline all the country's (the people's) wealth into the coffers of GoldmanSachs because... well, because... what other reason do you need. Obama behaves as if it's obvious to him so it must be obvious to everyone else, at least everyone else of consequence.

Yesterdays' quotes ... Brian Williams, how does it feel, to fall so short?

The unctuous Brian Williams tells Jon Stewart how much he looked up to Walter Cronkite - "He was a man I wanted to be" - and Stewart responds: "How does it feel, to fall so short?" -- Jon Stewart to Brian Williams: 'How Does It Feel To Fall So Short? by Susie Madrak, Crooks and Liars

#9 --- health care decisions should be between a doctor and a patient (unless it's reproductive health in which case it should be between a doctor a patient and the Christian Right.) Unfortunately, at the moment, health care decisions are now between a doctor, a patient and a faceless insurance company bureaucrat who answers to nobody but his immediate boss and who is being paid a bonus to find reasons not to cover you. I would welcome a government bureaucrat over that system. At least they aren't allowed to personally profit from my misfortune. -- Talking Points From Dummies by digby, Hullabaloo

Three, with McChrystal in Afghanistan, and with Robert Gates at the Office of Secretary of Defense -- and given premises one and two above -- one can charitably conclude that truly not much has changed under President Barack Obama when it comes to military operations. The prohibition on the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" by the Obama administration leaves plenty of room for the use of other, SERE-based techniques, and leaves intact the core, pre-SERE torture program which relies on isolation, sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation or overload, and promulgation of fears to break down prisoners. The latter program, along with a light prohibition on only those drugs that cause "long-term damage," remains at the heart of the military's current Army Field Manual. -- FDL Exclusive: SERE Psychologists Still Used in Special Ops Interrogations and Detention by Jeff Kaye,

Strong execution? Well, that's one way of describing denying coverage I guess. -- We can’t help but love this sacred relationship by Attaturk,

... It was once the case that "the law" meant "the Constitution, treaties, and laws approved by Congress and signed by the President." Now, in Washington, "the law" means: "what John Yoo wrote." -- The Washington Post endorses Abu Ghraib scapegoating for torture by Glenn Greenwald,

Monday, July 27, 2009

You know, guys, the administration that's doing all these despicable things is the Obama Administration ...

Is it my imagination? It used to be: The Bush Administration. Now that Bush is gone --though Cheney's not-- we appear to have just: The Administration.
Administration's Anti-Trust Chief Gets Pushback From... The Administration.
Isn't it amazing how much the new is really very similar to the old? Isn't it amazing how much the new is catering to the same groups as the old? Isn't it amazing how fast the Dems are losing all moral authority.

Liberals aren't going to hide the problem Obama has turned into by omitting his name.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Prez and Rancid Reid, not to mention Pointless Pelosi ...

Either Barack Obama is only faking it about Health Care for all Americans or Rancid Reid is Obama's enemy. Either-or or both are very definite possibilities. Can you name any populist strategy that Obama has carried through?
Harry Reid wimps on Health Care
The Democrats plan to shoot themselves in the foot by failing to provide honest healthcare for all Americans. Even after all these years I'm still amazed at how blind and stupid Democrats can be. The Republicans are shouting in their faces --as well as all over the media-- about how much they want Obama, and thus Dems in general, to self destruct and yet Democrats regurgitate the Republican's --and the medias-- crap on virtually everything. Letting one's avowed enemy lead one by the nose is shortsighted at a minimum. In this case it is utterly insane, but every indication is that they intend, through the 'leadership' of Rancid Reid and Pointless Pelosi, to do so. Good Luck in the 2010 Dems. The Thugs have you boxed and it's your own doing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Oh, those 14 year olds ...

Jon Taplin writes: "I'm well aware that the American studio movie business is now almost exclusively aimed at 14 year old boys."

And here I thought movies --and most TV shows-- were being written by 14 year old boys. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that 14 year old girls would do any better though a change in perspective might be a relief.
Where have all the adults gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the adults gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the adults gone?
HMO's have executed them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

[With appologies to Pete Seeger who wrote WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE]

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Yesterdays' quotes --remember their names--

... they'll celebrate Walter Cronkite (like they did with David Halberstam) only by ignoring the fact that his most celebrated moments were ones where he did that which they will never do. -- Celebrating Cronkite while ignoring what he did by Glenn Greenwald, salon,com

If the Gang of Six really does kill reform, remember their names ... -- The six deadly hypocrites by Paul Krugman, NY Times

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Yesterdays' quotes ...

... War Crimes are heinous and intolerable acts that all decent people reject; "anyone suspected of war crimes should be thoroughly investigated"; and War Criminals must not be allowed in any positions of authority . . . . except when the War Crimes in question are committed by Americans, in which case all investigations and accountability must be blocked and those who defended and even approved them are perfectly welcomed in our highest positions of authority ... -- Our political class in a nutshell by Glenn Greenwald,

Today, we [California] are captive to the monster that the vindictive and harsh policies which do nothing to rehabilitate prisoners have wrought, guaranteeing that we will continue to spend more money to keep someone in prison than we do to put them in good schools. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. -- California's budget problems by Mary, The Left Coaster

Sunday, July 12, 2009

You want justice? ...

Think it used to be call the Rule of Law, or something.
I don't know about you, but I find it somewhat distasteful that such an important and serious matter is being tested in the press for political reaction. I guess it's better than nothing, but I would think that Justice Department investigations should be undertaken without regard to public reaction.
Well not in the Obama administration anymore than the Bush administration. The more we 'change' the more we stay the same ...

Good luck America. I don't know which will get us first --global warming or our own elected politicians.

As usual, Glenn Greenwald gets to the heart of the matter:
Prosecuting only obscure "rogue" interrogators while immunizing powerful, high-level officials would not be an act of courage but of cowardice.
I do have a quibble with the following though:
... If Holder is too frightened to include the parties truly responsible for America's torture regime in the scope of the investigation he orders, then he ought simply to appoint a strong and independent prosecutor with the mandate to investigate anyone and everyone who might have broken our nation's torture laws ...
I doubt Holder or Obama have the courage to even delegate the responsibility. It seems that they think their job is to cover up and therefore their inclination, or at least Obama's inclination, is to manage the public perception by play acting. The last thing they want is for their act to get a life of its own.

Then again they haven't gotten their stories straight about how to best screw the country and protect the thugs, yet.
UPDATE: Harper's Scott Horton, who has been working on this story for a couple of weeks using DOJ sources of his, now reports at The Daily Beast that Holder's investigation would be broader than suggested by other reports today: ...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Does this mean I'm not a liberal? ...

This appealingly funny quote made me laugh out loud:
"We're liberal Democrats -- we have a Buddha on our table."
Now since I don't have a Buddha on my table, or anywhere else, does that mean I'm not a liberal?

Yesterdays' quotes ...

Today's QUOTES:
I don't understand the mentality that dictates that these groups must continue supporting a politician once he's given them lies, lies and more lies. Oh, I forgot about the champaign (and the money). Political organizations (and non-profits) become self perpetuating and entrenched just like large corporations and large media. In other words they become, or rather join, the problem. And at this moment in time, Obama has become a problem and not a conduit for improvement or change of any kind. --gail
MoveOn has been running strong ads in Louisiana against Mary Landrieu, who -- as Chris Bowers notes -- is against anything resembling a public plan.

Obama wants them to stop: [...]

These groups have acted as firewalls to shield Obama from liberal critique. As the traditional institutional liberal validators and stakeholders, their silence on a variety of issues -- from financial regulation to the escallation of the war in Afghanistan to energy and beyond -- have acted as insullation for the administration as it breaks one campaign promise after the other. We saw it last week with the hastily arranged cocktail party for LGBT leaders last week -- the way Obama mutes liberal criticism is by reaching out to those at the top and rewarding them personally with access.

But it's clear that on the issue of health care, they can't have it both ways any more. And everyone is going to be watching to see what happens. -- Will MoveOn Cave To Obama’s Pressure? by Jane Hamsher,

... American education has deteriorated inversely with the rise of right wing politics! An example is 'Texas' and every child that Bush left behind. Texas beats out Mississippi for DEAD LAST in high school graduations at the same time that it LEADS the nation in executions due to the state's extremely high crime rate! -- Texas: The Gulag Wasteland Bush Left Behind by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowbow
Wish I'd written this.
We would call a doctor an idiot who tells you to just keep on doing whatever it is that's making you sick. Yet the GOP does that repeatedly, mistaking the illness for the cure and making it worse with greed and incompetence. Confronted with rising crime and swelling prisons, the GOP will propose even newer programs guaranteed to raise crime rates even as they enrich cronies which privatized prison systems, privatized Blackwater storm-troopers, a robotized surveillance system. -- Texas: The Gulag Wasteland Bush Left Behind by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowbow

But the Democrats and the Press cooperate and even conspire with the Republicans. Does that make them the same or worse? -- gail

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Yesterdays' quotes ...

Today's QUOTES:

Ah yes, America is so "exceptional" and free that it takes us decades to do common sense things that other countries do all at once. And even then it's two steps forward one step back a good part of the time. -- How It Happens by digby, Hullubaloo

I am an American, it is my RIGHT to die on the curb outside of the hospital WITHOUT being disturbed.

It is my right!

Unless of course I am darkly complected in which event I may be arrested for SOMETHING first. Or maybe shot.

I’m reminded how ordinary things seemed in the very civilized, pretty Berlin in the 1930’s, the clean parks, brilliant operas, stately museums and orchestras. Seasons passed so normally as one year the books burned, the next year more Jews were hounded and gone. Total political failure seemed so ordinary, plain and slow, with much of everything else appearing exactly the same.

Is that what where going through now, watching some insane Republican rant global warming is a hoax while Arnie the Hoover god smashes California? I don’t know, of course not. It’s extremely upsetting and terrible for the country the question has to be asked at all. -- Failed States by paradox, The Left Coaster

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Yesterdays' quotes ...

Today's QUOTES:

... it would be a strange conspiracy considering that Obama dodged the question. -- Nico Pitney in YouTube video at Hullubaloo (Pitney vs Milbank)

The Mark Sanford Extravaganza:
I care that Mark Sanford has once again revealed the rot at the core of Republican "values." I care that he abused his office. I care that the career of another right wing asshole is over. All of it is good. But I don't care about the details of his most private moments. Even Mark Sanford deserves his right to privacy. Even Richard Nixon had soul. -- "Even Richard Nixon Has Got Soul" by Turkana, The Left Coaster
Really, really well said. --gail