Monday Mashup (10/21/13)

October 21, 2013
  • From the “road to hell paved with good intentions” department (still in the wake of the shut down misery), I give you this from Brent Budowsky…

    The president and Congress should agree to enact a one-time, limited-duration tax holiday to permit American companies to repatriate foreign-held capital at a tax rate of 12 percent, and use the revenue to finance a large infrastructure rebuild of American roads, bridges, ports and schools.

    This package would include a clean continuing resolution to reopen and fund the government and a clean extension of the debt ceiling, which would both expire Dec. 31, 2014. Larger talks could begin immediately without the blackmail and extortion of repeated threats to shut down the U.S. government or trigger a U.S. default and global financial crash — tactics that are repugnant to the American way and intensely disapproved of by a large majority of the nation.

    I think Budowsky is a pretty bright guy, but if he’s serious about this, then I think he should also come out in support of the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, sponsored by Democrats Carl Levin of Michigan in the Senate and Lloyd Doggett of Texas in the House (here). Because, as the Daily Kos post tells us, the Institute for Policy Studies has determined just how bad an idea a “tax holiday” would be, listing the “Top 10 Layoff Leaders” of U.S. firms between 2004 and 2011, all of who benefitted from repatriated millions from 2004-2005.

    As far as I’m concerned, if these malefactors really had any interest in helping our economy grow, they never would have offshored the earnings in the first place.

  • Next (and continuing with the corporate media post-mortem on the events of this week), I give you Howard Kurtz of Fix Noise here

    But the Ted Cruz wing is also getting beat up from the conservative side, as in this New York Times column by Ross Douthat (by the way, the “Kurtz Republicans” headline refers not to me, of course, but to Colonel Kurtz of “Apocalypse Now” fame).

    “There is still something well-nigh-unprecedented about how Republicans have conducted themselves of late,” Douthat writes. “It’s not the scale of their mistake, or the kind of damage that it’s caused, but the fact that their strategy was such self-evident folly, so transparently devoid of any method whatsoever.

    I guess this is a bit of “concern trolling” by Kurtz and Douthat; as noted here, there very definitely was a “method” behind the near-catastrophic antics of “Caribbean Cruz” and his playmates this week.

    And this tells us how the fight was set up by, among others, former Reaganite Ed Meese, who, for a time, was in charge of something called the Conservative Action Project (now run by former Repug congressman David McIntosh)…

    The defunding idea, Mr. Meese said, was “a logical strategy.” The idea drew broad support. Fiscal conservatives like Chris Chocola, the president of the Club for Growth, signed on to the blueprint. So did social and religious conservatives, like the Rev. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition.

    The document set a target date: March 27, when a continuing resolution allowing the government to function was to expire. Its message was direct: “Conservatives should not approve a C.R. unless it defunds Obamacare.”

    But the March date came and went without a defunding struggle. In the Senate, Mr. Cruz and Senator Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, talked up the defunding idea, but it went nowhere in the Democratic-controlled chamber. In the House, Mr. Boehner wanted to concentrate instead on locking in the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration, and Tea Party lawmakers followed his lead. Outside advocates were unhappy but held their fire.

    “We didn’t cause any trouble,” Mr. Chocola said.

    Yet by summer, with an August recess looming and another temporary spending bill expiring at the end of September, the groups were done waiting.

    “I remember talking to reporters at the end of July, and they said, ‘This didn’t go anywhere,’ ” Mr. Needham recalled. “What all of us felt at the time was, this was never going to be a strategy that was going to win inside the Beltway. It was going to be a strategy where, during August, people would go home and hear from their constituents, saying: ‘You pledged to do everything you could to stop Obamacare. Will you defund it?’ ”

    Heritage Action, which has trained 6,000 people it calls sentinels around the country, sent them to open meetings and other events to confront their elected representatives. Its “Defund Obamacare Town Hall Tour,” which began in Fayetteville, Ark., on Aug. 19 and ended 10 days later in Wilmington, Del., drew hundreds at every stop.

    The Senate Conservatives Fund, led by Mr. DeMint when he was in the Senate, put up a Web site in July called dontfundobamacare.com and ran television ads featuring Mr. Cruz and Mr. Lee urging people to tell their representatives not to fund the law.

    When Senator Richard M. Burr, a North Carolina Republican, told a reporter that defunding the law was “the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard,” the fund bought a radio ad to attack him. Two other Republican senators up for re-election in 2014, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, were also targeted. Both face Tea Party challengers.

    In Washington, Tea Party Patriots, which created the defunding tool kit, set up a Web site, exemptamerica.com, to promote a rally last month showcasing many of the Republicans in Congress whom Democrats — and a number of fellow Republicans — say are most responsible for the shutdown.

    While conservatives believe that the public will back them on defunding, a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that a majority — 57 percent — disapproves of cutting off funding as a way to stop the law.

    Last week, with the health care exchanges open for business and a number of prominent Republicans complaining that the “Defund Obamacare” strategy was politically damaging and pointless, Mr. Needham of Heritage Action said he felt good about what the groups had accomplished.

    “It really was a groundswell,” he said, “that changed Washington from the outside in.”

    There has been a very definite, coordinated, deep-funded apparatus at work on the right to kill the Affordable Care Law, which most certainly constitutes a “method.” And we saw it come to life in truly hideous fruition over the last few weeks.

    And if anyone thinks that these fools and frauds have been chastened in any way (more here)…

    So now that we’ve returned to something approximating a “status quo” in Washington, D.C. (and I STILL can’t believe how the Dems stuck to their guns and routed Boehner and his pals – kudos), I guess that means that it’s time for the Foxies to return to one of their biggest spectator sports, and that is to blame Number 44 for the supposedly out-of-control federal deficit, that is robbing our kids and our grandkids and our grand-grandkids, or whatever (here – of course, not a peep about the environmental state of this planet, rampant income inequality, waste of alternative energy resources, etc.).

    Which means, I suppose, that it’s time for a reminder on how we got into this fiscal mess in the first place (here). And as noted here, we’re paying down the debt faster than anyone anticipated anyway.

    Oh, and also in the matter of the economy, this tells us what the party of Boehner, Cantor, Ryan, McConnell, etc. has wrought, basically killing any hope of a turnaround just to stick it to that Kenyan Muslim Socialist at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    So what remains as the hot new “boom town” in this country? Tyler Cowen gives us a commercial for Texas here (cheap energy, a potential glut of “high-tech skill” jobs, low taxes, micro-houses – ?).

    Well, that may be all well and good, but what does it matter if the whole damn state is running out of water (here)?

    This is of course to be expected from Cowen, who once claimed here that income inequality made the “99 percent” more industrious, or something (second bullet).

  • Continuing, someone named Todd Starnes decries the quite-appropriate designation of the American Family Association as a “hate group” here.

    Want to know why? Check out some of the quotes from here

    “Homosexuality is a poor and dangerous choice, and has been proven to lead to a litany of health hazards to not only the individuals but also society as a whole.”
    –AFA Action Alert, July 20, 2012

    “[Islam] is, in fact, a religion of war, violence, intolerance, and physical persecution of non-Muslims.”
    –Tim Wildmon, March 6, 2012

    “The homosexual movement is a progressive outgrowth of the sexual revolution of the past 40 years and will lead to the normalization of even more deviant behavior.”
    – Don Wildmon, AFA website, 1999 (still posted as of 2011).

    “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.”
    – Bryan Fischer, AFA director of issue analysis for government and public policy, 2010

    Basically, the AFA Is so nuts that they even accused the Foxies of having “gone gay” here.

    I report, you decide (way too damn funny).

  • Further, “Chuckles” Krauthammer of the WaPo basically says that the pro football team for Washington, D.C. should change its nickname because it’s hurtful to a minority group, or something (here).

    I’m not saying that such an argument doesn’t have merit, but I think it’s typically ridiculous for it to come from someone like Krauthammer, who has never been shy about using demeaning language against those with whom he disagrees, to say nothing of propagating outright falsehoods:

  • He called Obama a “narcissist” here (an “evergreen,” I realize).
  • He baselessly (of course) accused the Obama Administration of “lawlessness” in its policy to encourage prosecutors not to seek mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders (here).
  • He also pushed the false claim here that the Obama Administration encouraged government agencies to draft talking points without references to terrorism in the BENGHAZI!!! attacks in order to protect the ongoing investigation (in reality, agencies such as the FBI and CIA made that decision, not the White House).
  • Also, Krauthammer said that the ruinous effect of the sequester were “the most ridiculously hyped Armageddon since the Mayan Calendar” here (spoken like a truly “kept” member of the Beltway political-media-industrial complex).
  • (And this is just for this year – imagine how many links I’d have if I bothered to research, oh, say the last decade of quotes from Krauthammer?)

    By the way, I really don’t have a dog in the fight, as it were, on the question of the Washington Redskins being renamed – the owner of the Washington Bullets basketball team changed the name to Wizards after the murder of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (he and Rabin were friends), so there is a precedent.


    I just think it’s a little funny that there’s such a brouhaha over the Washington pro football team, but I don’t hear a word spoken about the logo of the Cleveland, Ohio professional baseball team.

  • Finally (and sticking with sports, and minority rights) this tells us that last Friday was the 45th anniversary of the removal of Tommie Smith and John Carlos from the 1968 Olympic Games after their “black power” salute.

    And as noted here

    (Today), that frozen, dramatic moment of 1968 resistance is far more likely to be celebrated than criticized. Smith and Carlos are now routinely lauded for their bravery and daring. As ESPN proclaimed bluntly upon giving Smith and Carlos their Arthur Ashe Courage Award in 2008, “They were right.”

    No one was saying that in 1968. Amidst the angry denunciations, there was one column, published in the Chicago American newspaper, that was particularly ugly. The journalist responsible has never deigned to comment or explain, let alone apologize, for why he decided upon the words he chose. The writer became an iconic broadcaster who now sits comfortably as the elder statesman of the sports world. He appears in family friendly movies like The Waterboy and Cars 2. His name is Brent Musburger.

    In 1968 Musburger was a restless, ambitious young sports writer looking to make his name. He found his opportunity when Smith and Carlos made their stand. Musburger didn’t see a demonstration. He saw a target.

    “One gets a little tired of having the United States run down by athletes who are enjoying themselves at the expense of their country,” he wrote. Musburger then infamously called Smith and Carlos “a pair of black-skinned stormtroopers.”

    To this day, mention Musburger’s name to John Carlos and he grits his teeth. This is particularly illustrative because Carlos is fond of saying that he has no hate in his heart toward anyone even after all the isolation and criticism he endured. As he is fond of saying, “Bitterness leads to cancer which leads to death and I have too much work to do to have time for any of that.” Name a nemesis of his from 1968, like Jesse Owens or another member of the media and he responds with a smile and recounts how in private, they buried the hatchet. But not Musburger.

    “We are talking about someone who compared us to Nazis. Think about that. Here we are standing up to apartheid and to a man in Avery Brundage who delivered the Olympics to Hitler’s Germany. And here’s Musburger calling us Nazis. That got around. It followed us. It hurt us. It hurt my wife, my kids. I’ve never been able to confront him about why he did this. Every time I’ve been at a function or an event with Brent Musburger and I walk towards him, he heads the other way.”

    The actions of Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the Olympic Games long ago showed courage and fortitude. They knew full well the consequences of their actions, and they engaged in them anyway. It’s what real men (and women) do.


    And apparently, Brent Musburger, by his failure to owe up to his callow, hurtful words and deeds (for which he should have apologized long ago), doesn’t know a thing about the behavior of real men.

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    DeMint Brings “DeStupid” On Immigration

    April 27, 2010

    Buried in this story, we learn the following…

    (South Carolina Repug U.S. Sen Jim) DeMint… accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, who is up for re-election this year, of “playing politics with immigration to try to show the people back home he wants to do something about it.”

    In a note of support for the senior senator from South Carolina, DeMint said fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham has taken “an important stand” in withdrawing his support for a climate change bill since Reid and Democrats began to signal their desire to prioritize passing an immigration bill this year.

    Yep, such bald-faced partisan posturing as Graham and DeMint are both engaged in doesn’t make any sense to me either (and what Atrios sez here on Graham, by the way).

    And it makes even less sense when you see Graham, supposedly a mythical GOP “moderate,” making common cause with DeMint and his pals on this issue; as noted here from last July…

    Last week, Republican lawmakers were also busy playing a huge role in passing a series of enforcement-only immigration amendments proposed by Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC), David Vitter (R-LA), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) that had anti-immigrant groups celebrating. Meanwhile, the July 4th tea parties charted a course for the Republican Party that further cemented anti-immigrant sentiments within the GOP’s base: White supremacists eagerly recruited new members and right-wing celebrity “Joe the Plumber” punctuated the event, saying immigrants should get the “hell out of our damn country.”

    And as noted here, DeMint blames labor unions for illegal immigration, and he also held up a vote on Marisa Demeo, an Obama judicial nominee for the D.C. Superior Court who has worked on immigrant rights issues (here…she was eventually confirmed).

    Right now, the epicenter of the illegal immigration fight is in Arizona, where that state has basically made it illegal to be brown (or any other color, probably).

    But if DeMint has his way, that will soon shift to The Palmetto State (and given his odious track record on this issue, he has zero room to criticize anybody when it comes to “playing politics”).

    (I wonder, if DeMint ends up scuttling genuine immigration reform due to his antics, if “it will break him…it will be his Waterloo”?)


    DeMint Brings “DeStupid” Against Obama

    March 29, 2010

    South Carolina’s Repug U.S. Senatorial mistake tells us the following from The Hill today (here)…

    A day after the Senate adjourned for Easter recess President Obama said he was going to appoint 15 of his nominees during the break, depriving the Senate the opportunity to vet and vote on any of them.

    Wrong – as Think Progress tells us here (quoting White House Communications Director Jen Psaki)…

    Many of these fifteen individuals have enjoyed broad bipartisan support, but have found their confirmation votes delayed for reasons that have nothing to do with their qualifications. … Because of political posturing, these fifteen appointees have waited an average of 214 days for Senate confirmation. […]

    To put this in perspective, at this time in 2002, President Bush had only 5 nominees pending on the floor. By contrast, President Obama has 77 nominees currently pending on the floor, 58 of whom have been waiting for over two weeks and 44 of those have been waiting more than a month.

    And DeMint went onto the Bob Schieffer program “Faze The Nation” yesterday to trot out the same old whine about the Senate being denied an opportunity “to vet and vote on any of them,” to which TP says in response…

    Despite what DeMint is saying, the problem is that Republicans were preventing (Craig) Becker (nominated for the NLRB) from receiving an up-or-down vote. Becker, in fact, has never received such a vote, thanks to a GOP filibuster (which was joined by Democratic Sens. Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln). In February, the motion to file cloture on his nomination was defeated by a 33-52 vote (with 15 senators missing the vote), eight short of the 60 needed to proceed to debate and a final vote. Even if all of the non-voting members had voted no, Becker still would have received the approval of a majority of the Senate.

    There’s a similar story for many of other Obama’s nominees, including Erroll Southers, the man Obama chose to lead the Transportation Security Administration. DeMint led the opposition to Southers — in an attempt “to prevent TSA workers from joining a labor union” — who eventually chose to withdraw from consideration because of the delays.

    More on Southers in a minute; the Hill article by DeMint includes him in a list of President Obama’s “Top 10 Failed Nominees and Appointees,” including the following (I’ll just look at 5 from the list for now):

    White House “Green Jobs” czar Van Jones resigned after he it was discovered he signed a statement in support of a 9/11 “Truther” group.

    Which, last I checked, was perfectly legal behavior (free speech and all that, you know).

    Former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) withdrew his nomination to become Health and Human Services Secretary after it was discovered he failed to properly pay his taxes.

    Concerning Daschle, DeMint is actually correct, but the following should be noted (here)…

    WASHINGTON — President Obama’s pick for health and human services secretary, Tom Daschle, failed to pay more than $128,000 in taxes, partly for free use of a car and driver that had been provided to him by a prominent businessman and Democratic fund-raiser, administration officials said Friday.

    Mr. Daschle, concluding that he owed the taxes, filed amended returns and paid more than $140,000 in back taxes and interest on Jan. 2, the officials said.

    After over a year of ridiculous partisan warfare with the Repugs, though, I wonder if Obama would have been as quick to accept Daschle’s resignation now as he was soon after he was inaugurated, when he was still all “hopey, changey” and like that.

    DeMint also mentions Bill Richardson, who “withdrew his nomination to become Commerce Secretary because of an ongoing investigation into whether he doled out government contracts in exchange for campaign money” (as Wikipedia tells us here, “In August 2009, federal prosecutors dropped the pending investigation against the governor”).

    Now, about Southers; here is DeMint…

    (He was) Obama’s nominee to serve as director of the Travel Security Administration, (but he) withdrew after refusing to answer questions about collective bargaining and false testimony he presented to Congress.

    From HuffPo (here)…

    Southers said he couldn’t give DeMint a definitive answer on the collective bargaining issue because it wasn’t a yes or no question (the type of answer DeMint demanded), and required access to information he wouldn’t have had until he was confirmed.

    And finally from DeMint…

    Maj. Gen. Robert A. Harding, Obama’s second nominee to service as director of the Travel Security Administration, withdrew his name after it was discovered he received “service disabled veteran” status for sleep apnea.

    Call me crazy, but based on this, it looks like sleep apnea could be a legitimate service disability (I would imagine that it would be difficult to, say, navigate a tank if you’re dozing off due to such a condition).

    This is all typical for DeMint and his childish little games, though, also in evidence here in which he opposed the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act in 2007 after an agreement had supposedly been reached on it between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Mr. Elaine Chao.

    As usual for a Repug, DeMint isn’t interested here in the whole “advice and consent” thing the Senate is supposed to perform here as opposed to trying to score cheap political points (which I’m sure will comfort DeMint’s equally clueless legion of teabagger followers).

    Of course, having looked like a first-class rube over the passing of health care in the wake of DeMint’s call to stop it because “It will break (Obama) – It will be his Waterloo,” I suppose DeMint has to do something to try and remain relevant somehow.


    Patrick Murphy Faces Some Truly Taxing Nonsense

    March 3, 2010


    It is unbelievable, even for the Bucks County Courier Times, that this “story” was run across the banner of the front page today, including the following…

    Back in December, when he pushed a bill to reduce waste, fraud and abuse in federal agencies, Congressman Patrick Murphy was quick to say he was proud to have the National Taxpayers Union endorse the legislation.

    Last week, when he spoke of his bipartisan plan to end the Market Access Program that could save taxpayers $2 billion over 10 years, Murphy again pointed to the NTU’s endorsement as a fiscal stamp of approval.

    But when the NTU last week released its 31st annual Rating of Congress, it gave Murphy an 8 percent, or an F grade.

    (Actually, they featured Murphy on the front page yesterday in this actual news story where he and his office aided some constituents ripped off by Bernie Madoff, so I guess the paper thought it was time to even the score.)

    Through one of the easier Google searches I’ve ever performed, I found the following link on the National Taxpayers Union. And I learned that James Dale Davidson began the organization in 1969.

    Why is Davidson noteworthy? Well, he is an investor in typically conservative causes, including the Newsmax wingnut web site, and he funded a supposed documentary film investigating the death of Bill and Hillary Clinton aide Vince Foster as part of Richard Mellon Scaife’s “Arkansas Project” (here).

    And who took over the NTU in 1978? That would be Grover Norquist, of “drowning government in a bathtub” fame, or words to that effect (here).

    And as you can see from the NTU Wikipedia article, the winner of the supposed “Taxpayer’s Friend” award from the group in 2007 was Jim DeMint (and as noted here, DeMint’s supposed plan for economic growth involves – you guessed it – tax cuts that would result in a pittance of new employment and piling on of additional debt for years to come).

    And by the way, buried way, waaay down in the NTU story today is the following information…

    NTU’s ratings, which don’t deal with degrees of liberal or conservative but simply how members of Congress vote on spending issues, has issued the chambers failing grades for three decades.

    I would have thought that even the Courier Times would know how far they could go when it came to right-wing pandering before they realized that they were merely performing sock puppetry on behalf of wingnuts disguised as supposed paragons of fiscal prudence. Silly me.


    Friday Mashup (10/30/09)

    October 30, 2009

  • Over at the AEI blog, Baby Newton Leroy Gingrich opined as follows on Wednesday (here, specifically concerning health care legislation)…

    …Senator Jim Bunning (R-I Hear Voices) recently introduced an amendment that would require legislators to make all bills public for 72 hours, with legislative text and an official budget analysis from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), prior to being considered. Democratic senators blocked the amendment.

    It is unfortunate that the Democratic leadership has decided it would be easier to rush their legislation through rather than honoring the people’s right to know. At healthtransformation.net, we have posted a petition to Washington to support the principle of Senator Bunning’s amendment by requiring Congress to make all bills public for 72 hours before voting.

    Openness is never a bad thing, I realize, even though this is tantamount to a publicity stunt by the about-to-retire Sen. “High And Tight” Bunning (can YOU read a nearly 2,000 page bill in three days? I can’t). And Gingrich is right that the amendment was voted down in the Senate.

    However, this TPM story from last month tells us the following…

    Accepting Republican demands, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has promised to post health care reform legislation online for 72 hours before a final vote on the bill, The Hill reports.

    House Republicans, including Minority Leader John Boehner, have introduced a petition to require three days for lawmakers to read the final bill before voting. Two Democrats, Brian Baird and Walt Minnick, have also signed on. At today’s press conference, Pelosi said she would “absolutely” support the petition.

    Besides, House Bill 3200 has been available from the House HELP site for months (how else do you think Bucks County’s big mouth pundit J.D. Mullane was able to supposedly find his “angel of death” clause?), as has the HELP bill from Sen. Bob Casey’s site, among other places.

    Oh, and the following should be noted from here concerning Mr. Former House Speaker Who Resigned In Disgrace and his alleged “openness”…

    Gingrich was the author of an infamous secret memo to GOP leaders in 1995 titled “Language: A Key Mechanism of Control”, which one of America’s foremost linguists called an outline of a strategy to frame the word “liberal” as “something akin to traitor” in the media. This was in line with his once-described goal of “reshaping the entire nation through the news media” (New York Times,12/14/94).

    And I’m still waiting to hear about Newt’s space-based air traffic control system, by the way (from here).

  • Repug Senators Orrin Hatch and Jim DeMint also inflicted us with the following from the Murdoch Street Journal site today (here, opposing the Net Neutrality rules proposed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski)…

    Ten years ago, we effectively had no broadband marketplace. Dial-up Internet was common, but not ubiquitous. Consumers had a choice of service providers, but they were typically confined to walled gardens of preselected or preferred content. The broadband revolution led us out of that desert. Instead of dog-paddling, we could surf the net, choosing between broadband service offered by traditional phone and cable companies and, now, wireless companies as well.

    Compare that to the last decade of success at government dominated companies like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, GM or Chrysler.

    Of course (as alluded to here, concerning what is probably the “granddaddy” of all the Repug big lies out there, right next to Casey Sr. not being allowed to speak at the ’92 Democratic National Convention because he was pro-life), if it weren’t for the “government,” there probably wouldn’t be an internet at all, something the Journal and their Repug playmates are counting on people to forget (heaven forbid that Al Gore actually get any credit here, right?).

    Also, it’s a good thing Hatch and DeMint opposed the “stim” and the 7.2 billion for “complete broadband and wireless Internet access,” right (here – snark)? Especially since the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued a report from the summer of ’08 that lists the U.S. as 15th in broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants (here, with Japan, Francesacre bleu, wingnuts! – and Korea 1, 2 and 3 respectively).

    And it wasn’t that bad “gumint” that was found guilty of violating Net Neutrality principles by “secretly degrading or blocking peer-to-peer traffic — specifically that used by BitTorrent,” was it? Nope, it was Comcast (here).

    And by the way, to learn more about the principles of Net Neutrality (which, not coincidentally, debunk in total this ridiculous Journal column), click here.

  • Finally, House Repug John Shadegg of Arizona patted himself on the back as follows (here)…

    October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. It is a time for women across America to highlight the importance of prevention and to celebrate the millions of breast cancer survivors across our nation. This year, it is also a time to recognize the looming danger of government-run health care and what it could mean for America’s women. If Democrats in Congress pass a bill that allows Washington to take over health care, future generations of American women may be at risk.

    Shadegg then goes on to say that he “offered an amendment that would have ensured that US (breast cancer) survival rates remain high and women had the option of choosing (another health care plan). But Democrats shot it down.”

    This tells us more about Shadegg’s amendment, which would have…

    … require(d) the Government Accountability Office to perform an annual study of breast cancer survival rates. Based on the study’s findings, if five-year survival rates for breast cancer decreased by more than .1 percent, women and families with at least one female member would be allowed to purchase health insurance that does not meet the requirements set forth in the bill, 22-36.

    So basically, the amendment would not have “ensured” anything, except portability of insurance if the GAO allowed it.

    And as far as Shadegg’s record on women’s health issues is concerned, the following should be noted from here…

    • (He) twice co-sponsored legislation to override the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone (RU 486), a safe and effective early abortion medication. [H.R.3453, 108th Cong. (2003); H.R.1079, 109th Cong. (2005)]
    • Twice co-sponsored legislation crafted establishing “personhood” at the moment of fertilization. [H.R.552, 109th Cong. (2005); H.R.618, 110th Cong. (2007)]
    • Co-sponsored legislation forcing women to undergo a medically unnecessary ultrasound procedure before receiving abortion care. [H.R.5032, 110th Cong. (2008)]
    • Voted to de-fund Title X, the nation’s only federal program dedicated exclusively to family planning and reproductive-health services. [House vote #614 (8/2/95)]
    • Voted five times to deny federal employees the right to choose a health plan that covers abortion care. [House vote #526 (7/19/95); House vote #320 (7/17/96); House vote #288 (7/16/98); House vote #301 (7/15/99); House vote #422 (7/20/00)]
    • Voted against contraceptive equity for federal employees – a provision of law that ensures health plans cover birth control equally with other prescription medications. [House vote #493 (10/7/98)]
    • Voted twice to eliminate funding completely for all international family-planning programs. [House vote #358 (9/4/97); House vote #360 (8/3/99)]

    And to get an idea of how this has worked for Shadegg’s constituents, this tells us that teen birth rates have risen sharply in his state. Also, this Think Progress post tells us more about Shadegg’s flair for demagoguery; he claimed that the congressional Democrats are trying to give us “full on Russian gulag, Soviet style health care.”

    Actually, given Shadegg’s contempt for basic women’s health care, a gulag might one day be more preferable as a location to obtain services than his own state if it continues on its present, ruinous path.

  • Update 11/7/09: Wow, I’d never consider bringing the young one to my job, and he’s way older than this baby Shadegg uses as a prop here (words fail me).


    Monday Mashup (10/5/09)

    October 5, 2009

  • I have to tell you that I, for one, am already sick of this narrative that “ooh, Obama suffered such a loss of prestige over visiting Copenhagen to lobby on behalf of Chicago for the 2016 Olympics, only to see Chicago eliminated in the first round” (and this reads like it was dictated directly from the RNC…why don’t you try commenting on some of this instead?).

    As noted here, “Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Spanish King Juan Carlos (also came) to support Rio de Janeiro and Madrid” in their bids for the Games, with da Silva eventually winning the Rio bid.

    Which, to me, begs the following question: I wonder if King Juan Carlos suffered a “loss of prestige” over the elimination of Madrid?

    And as Think Progress notes here, the tourist Visa policies instituted by Dubya and his pals may have had more than a bit to do with the “Windy City’s” early elimination, though I’m sure you won’t hear a word of that from our beloved corporate media (more related commentary from Paul Krugman appears here, in which he quite rightly compares the Repugs to “bratty 13-year-olds” on this and other matters).

  • Update: And it will be interesting to see how our corporate media spins this against Obama, though they will try of course.

  • This Pew study tells us what we already knew, and it is that most stories having to do with everyday Americans were absent from the coverage of the economic crisis (and by the way, speaking of strange media coverage, can anyone hazard a guess as to why the Inky decided to publish a column by former sports columnist Bill Lyon about former Phillies closer Brad Lidge in its “Currents” section yesterday, which is supposed to pass for Sunday Review and Opinion?).
  • I just have three words to say in response to this: pot, meet kettle.
  • Another point over which Obama has been beaten up lately is the supposed controversy over speaking directly with Gen. Stanley McChrystal “only once since June” (not counting recently), reiterated by Turd Blossom here as part of Obama’s alleged “hands off” style (yes, I know this is about what we can expect from the supposed political genius whose fingerprints are all over our current foreign policy and domestic miseries).

    (By the way, let’s not forget that McChrystal is Number 47 on this list.)

    Of course, being a filthy, unkempt liberal blogger, I would consider President Obama’s interactions with his generals as nothing more than following the chain of command. But what do I know?

    bushmiers
    You want a portrayal of “hands-off style,” Karl? Here it is, you dirtbag (based on this, and we know what happened a month after this photo was taken – your good buddy decided to go “clear brush” for awhile and then go and sit dumbfounded in a Florida classroom while this country burned).

  • And comparing Obama to his predecessor once more, it should be noted that (from here), our current president has chosen not to meet with the Dalai Lama, a move intended to avert the rage of our “good friends” the Chinese.

    However, Obama’s predecessor did decide to meet with the Tibetan leader, as noted here. And before you think to yourself that, “gee, Bush actually had a spine on this while the ‘aloof’ Obama…another pointless editorial slam disguised as news aimed at Number 44…didn’t,” consider that Bush had to more or less make amends with the country holding the vast majority of our debt by attending the Olympic games in Beijing last year in the face of protests from other countries over China’s atrocious record on human rights.

    You tell me who made the right moves here and who didn’t.


  • And Now, A Word About Health Care

    August 7, 2009

    From the usual gang of idiots (apologies to the crew of the late Mr. Gaines)…

    Update: I’ve been meaning to add this for a little while now – here it is.

    There’s been a lot of media coverage about organized mobs intimidating lawmakers, disrupting town halls, and silencing real discussion about the need for real health insurance reform.

    The truth is, it’s a sham. These “grassroots protests” are being organized and largely paid for by Washington special interests and insurance companies who are desperate to block reform. They’re trying to use lies and fear to break the President and his agenda for change.

    Health insurance reform is about our lives, our jobs, and our families — we can’t let distortions and intimidation get in the way. We need to expose these outrageous tactics, and we’re counting on you to help. Can you read these “5 facts about the anti-reform mobs,” then pass them along to your friends and family?

    5 facts about the anti-reform mobs:

    1. These disruptions are being funded and organized by out-of-district special-interest groups and insurance companies who fear that health insurance reform could help Americans, but hurt their bottom line. A group run by the same folks who made the “Swiftboat” ads against John Kerry is compiling a list of congressional events in August to disrupt. An insurance company coalition has stationed employees in 30 states to track where local lawmakers hold town-hall meetings.

    2. People are scared because they are being fed frightening lies. These crowds are being riled up by anti-reform lies being spread by industry front groups that invent smears to tarnish the President’s plan and scare voters. But as the President has repeatedly said, health insurance reform will create more health care choices for the American people, not reduce them. If you like your insurance or your doctor, you can keep them, and there is no “government takeover” in any part of any plan supported by the President or Congress.

    3. Their actions are getting more extreme. Texas protesters brought signs displaying a tombstone for Rep. Lloyd Doggett and using the “SS” symbol to compare President Obama’s policies to Nazism. Maryland Rep. Frank Kratovil was hanged in effigy outside his district office. Rep. Tim Bishop of New York had to be escorted to his car by police after an angry few disrupted his town hall meeting — and more examples like this come in every day. And they have gone beyond just trying to derail the President’s health insurance reform plans, they are trying to “break” the President himself and ruin his Presidency.

    4. Their goal is to disrupt and shut down legitimate conversation. Protesters have routinely shouted down representatives trying to engage in constructive dialogue with voters, and done everything they can to intimidate and silence regular people who just want more information. One attack group has even published a manual instructing protesters to “stand up and shout” and try to “rattle” lawmakers to prevent them from talking peacefully with their constituents.

    5. Republican leadership is irresponsibly cheering on the thuggish crowds. Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner issued a statement applauding and promoting a video of the disruptions and looking forward to “a long, hot August for Democrats in Congress.”

    It’s time to expose this charade, before it gets more dangerous. Please send these facts to everyone you know. You can also post them on your website, blog, or Facebook page.

    Now, more than ever, we need to stand strong together and defend the truth.

    Thanks,

    Jen O’Malley Dillon
    Executive Director
    Democratic National Committee

    And to get good information on this issue, click here.


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