Saturday, December 12, 2009

Singling Out ACORN Unconstitutional

Well, we all knew that was the case. And so did Rep. Alan Grayson when he dressed down Rep. Paul Broun on bills of attainder and the ACORN witch hunt.

Now the judicial system agrees with Grayson as well.

A federal judge today issued an injunction preventing the implementation of a congressional ban on funding for ACORN. Judge Nina Gershon concluded that the ban amounted to a “bill of attainder” that unfairly singled out ACORN.
“[The plaintiffs] have been singled out by Congress for punishment that directly and immediately affects their ability to continue to obtain federal funding, in the absence of any judicial, or even administrative, process of adjudicating guilt,” Gershon wrote in her decision.
Gershon said ACORN had demonstrated “irreperable harm” from the ban, while “the potential harm to the government, in granting the injunction, is less.”

Must Reads

Matt Osborne: Climategate and the Life-Cycle of Nontroversy

The Rude Pundit: Limbaugh Doctored Jesse Jackson Quote to Make It Look Like Jackson Opposes Obama and From Oslo, Barack Obama Wasn't Talking to You

Karoli: Tell me again: What was the public option supposed to do?

David Michael Green: America's Race To The Bottom

Paul Krugman: Bernanke’s Unfinished Mission

Laura Bassett: Networks Still Hosting Military Analysts Without Identifying Massive Conflicts Of Interest

Jane Hamsher: Letter to Susan B. Komen Foundation: Donations Shouldn’t Go To Hadassah Lieberman

Mike Stark: Russ Feingold, Ninja

President Obama's Weekly Address - December 12, 2009

Learning from History to Reform Wall Street

Read the transcript here.

Something Happened...

...while everyone was too busy worrying about Tiger Woods' lust life and Sarah Palin's global warming denying op-ed.

On December 8th, a memorandum on the topic of Open Government was issued by the OMB per the directive of the president:
In the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, issued on January 21, 2009, the President instructed the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue an Open Government Directive. Responding to that instruction, this memorandum is intended to direct executive departments and agencies to take specific actions to implement the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration set forth in the President’s Memorandum.
...In addition to the steps delineated in this memorandum, Attorney General Eric Holder earlier this year issued new guidelines for agencies with regard to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). With those guidelines, the Attorney General reinforced the principle that openness is the Federal Government’s default position for FOIA issues.
One step at a time.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Seriously, Oh Fair & Balanced Ones?

A question on a Fox News Poll: "What do you think President Obama would like to do with the extra bank bailout money -- save it for an emergency, spend it on government programs that might help him politically in 2010 and 2012, or return it to taxpayers?"

As TPM notes:

The basic assumption here, of course, is that the only reason Obama would want to spend money on the economy is to use the cash as a sort of political slush fund -- not simply saying that one disagrees with spending the money or thinks it's a bad idea, but that it is inherently illegitimate -- while saving the money or cutting taxes have purer motives.
I don't know about you, but anytime I see the words "Fox News" in front of "Poll" I chuckle and dismiss it with the rest of the trash.

The Steelers Suck

That is all.


It is amazing to me that the supposed leaders in the Republican party have absolutely no sense of cohesiveness in the reasons for their opposition besides a kneejerk "No" when in opposing... well, everything, not only among themselves but sometimes even within the same person.

Take Senator Mike Enzi. For months, all we've heard about the health care reform bill was how long it was. Boy, how are we ever going to get through all this paperwork?! It's soooo long. Look at all these pages? They spent more time bitching about the length of the bill than they did actually reading it. But not Sen. Enzi. He pulled a little GOP jujitsu.

And we talk about 2,074 pages, which seem like a lot, and it would be for a normal bill that you could debate in a limited period of time, which is what we’re being asked to do. But 2,074 pages isn’t nearly enough to cover health care for America. So why is it only 2,074 pages?
Not long enough?! I suppose they ran out of pages to count.

But in a stunning turnaround that would give anyone whiplash, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was able to encompass the entire GOP platform on Medicare within 24 hours. They've been trying to destroy it for years, and are now feigning protection of the senior's plan when health care reform includes streamlining the Medicare system of ridding it of fraud and abuse to the tine of $500 billion. But what does the Incredible Mr. Limpet say when the opposition wants to expand it?
...Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.) sent out a press release on Sunday, titled: "Cutting Medicare is not what Americans want." That was followed by a new press release on Monday. Its title: "Expanding Medicare 'a plan for financial ruin.'
You'd think that he has a point, if it weren't for the fact that those between the ages of 55 and 64 would buy-in to Medicare and pay the full premiums, thus adding funds into the system, not subtracting from it. Oh, Mitch... what will you be for/against tomorrow?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Music Break! Aaron Copland

The Promise of Living

President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize Speech

The Wrong Side of History

For anyone who still believes the Grand Obstructionist Party is stalling the ongoing health care debate and doesn't want reform to pass for the right reasons instead of their own self-serving ones, comes word that no matter what emerges from this debate, no matter how much the Democrats compromise, they're going to hold their breath and their votes.

Senate Republicans predicted on Wednesday that the 40 members of their caucus would unanimously oppose health care reform despite changes made by Democratic leadership to make the product more palatable to conservatives.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) told the Huffington Post that he did not think the dropping of a public option for insurance coverage from the bill would be enough for Democrats to win even the support of moderate Republican Senators Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins, both of Maine.

So even before the Congressional Budget Office scores the current bills sent to them, the GOP is saying no way. Even without any form of public option, the bill makes rescission illegal, outlaws insurance denial due to pre-existing conditions and ends caps on what insurance companies pay out for care.

And still 30% of the population identifies with this sorry excuse for a political party. A party that cares more about the profits of corporations than the constituents they are elected to represent.

ADDING... The Republican party is rudderless. And while Sen. Harry Reid's slavery comparison may be a little over the top, although in my opinion it was apropos since Reid's emphasis wasn't the issue so much as the consensus around the issue, isn't it ironic that the leader of the RNC should call someone else an "incompetent leader?" And good job by Donny Deutsch in calling out Michael Steele and not letting him get away with a simple dismissal.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holy Joe Lieberman Strikes Again!

He opposes any form of public option, even one with a trigger. And now, Lieberdouche is fretting while poised over the Medicare buy-in idea, ready to take a dump on it, even though he thought it was a good idea when he ran for Veep just eight years ago.
"'Regarding the 'Medicare buy-in' proposal that is being discussed, we must remain vigilant about protecting and extending the solvency of the program, which is now in a perilous financial condition,' Lieberman said. Back in 2000, Lieberman ran for Vice President on a platform of allowing people under 65 to buy into Medicare."

Well That Didn't Take Long

A couple of weeks ago, after almost daily embarrassments due to inaccurate information that they'd then have to apologize for, Fox News decided to implement a "zero tolerance" policy for on-screen errors, complete with possible termination for offenses.  I commented then that it would be two or three days max before FNC went out of business for firing it's entire staff. Well, I was wrong... but not really. If they make a mistake, they'll just deny it was a mistake.  Problem solved!

... Lauren Petterson, executive producer of Fox & Friends, told POLITICO that she sees no error in the graphic. And for that reason, there will be no reprimand of staff under the "zero tolerance" policy.
"We were just talking about three interesting pieces of information from Rasmussen," Petterson said. "We didn't put on the screen that it added up to 100 percent."
While Petterson maintains that Fox & Friend's didn't err in displaying the information from Rasmussen, she acknowledges that the presentation wasn't perfect. "The mistake I do see is we could have been a little clearer here," she said.
Right.  A poll showing 94% of respondents favoring an outcome that Fox News prefers with totals equalling 120% would never be misconstrued as manipluating the data, especially in a poll about manipulating data.  As usual, Jon Stewart and his finely honed staff eviscerates the mistake and takes no prisoners on Fox & Friends.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

When Is Enough Enough?

Leave it to the Senate to take a good idea and turn it into a pile of shit within the blink of an eye.

A gang of ten Democratic senators, five progressive and five conservative, worked their asses off over the last few days in an attempt to hash out a system whereby they could agree on a form of health care that would be a fair compromise instead of the bastardization the public option has become, including lowering the Medicare age eligibility to 55 in order to buy in. And just when everything starts to look a little rosy, the Wicked Witch of the North sticks her fucking nose in and starts the ball rolling to derail the whole, goddamn thing.

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) says a Medicare buy-in approach will be a hard sell with her. She told reporters this afternoon that she's notinclined to support the idea, currently being discussed by liberal and conservative Democrats seeking a compromise on the public option.

Of course, if she doesn't throw a wrench in the works, we can always count of douchebags like Ben Nelson to cup the balls of the insurance companies. Nelson said he'd take his ball and go home if his abortion amendment failed, which it did this afternoon.

And now it looks like they're starting to cut and slash this Medicare option to make it more palatable for the same fuck-os who castrated the public option. When does this stop? No more fucking compromises! The sabotage has to end.

(H/T Cesca)

Monday, December 7, 2009

GOP Douchebaggery Backfire

These oh so smart GOP Senators really stuck their heads in their asses this time, and I don't mean that as a kinky call girl sex act for Vitter. Republican Senators David "Diaper Boy" Vitter and Tom "C Street Negotiator" Coburn concocted an evil little plan in which they'd kill the public option by offering an amendment to the health care bill requiring Congress to enroll in the public option if passed. MWWAHAHAHAHA! There's only one problem: it's a good fucking idea.

So good in fact, that Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) wanted to co-sponsor the bill. But Vitter and Coburn wouldn't let him.

“They’ve not said yes to allow me to be a co-sponsor,” Brown told The Hill on Thursday. “I’ve called their office four times. I’m proud of the public option, I think it would be great and we ought to join it and show the country how good it is. I think my interest may be more genuine than theirs, but I’d like to work with them if they’ll let me. If they just want to score partisan points, I still want to work with them.”
If this was a serious attempt to make the bill better, why not allow co-sponsors? Because we all know this was a serious attempt, not at health care reform, but to shame health care reform proponents into backing away from the evil public option. It's a legislative poison pill. But instead of scaring away Democratic senators, they've been called on their bluff.

Okay, so Vitter and Coburn didn't want to allow Brown to co-sponsor. So what did he do instead?
Sen. Brown asked to be added as a co-sponsor to the Coburn/Vitter amendment by unanimous consent. The motion was approved.
Senators Mikulski, Dodd and Franken quickly followed suit.

Another GOP FAIL.

Quote of the Day

"Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all the Republicans can come up with is, 'slow down, stop everything, let's start over.' If you think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right. When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said 'slow down, it's too early, things aren't bad enough.'"
- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

On This Date in 1941