8.31.2009

Keith Olbermann & Jeremy Scahill vs Dick Cheney & Chris Wallace

Keith Olbermann, and The Nation's Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater:The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, discuss the most recent Dick Cheney propaganda tour hosted by Cheney fluffer & Fox "News" Hostess, Chris Wallace.

From MSNBC:

Cheney continues to defend false truths:

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Keith Olbermann Lambastes Fox "News" Village Idiot Glenn Beck

From MSNBC:

Beck mis-educating viewers?

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Robert Gibbs Responds to Dick Cheney's Weekend Fact-Free Fox 'News' Appearance

Dick refuses to accept the facts about his war crimes now that they're coming to light, so he went to the always hard-hitting Fox 'news' to propagandize freely and without much interruption.

When asked about Cheney in today's White House briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' responded to the onslaught of lies, fear-mongering and "we haven't been attacked since..." propaganda directed at President Obama like this (from DKTV):



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Grassley Attacked By Longtime Iowa Republican In New Health Care Ad

Chuck Grassley is taken on by fellow republican who "voted for Reagan, Nixon, George W. Bush and Senator Chuck Grassley too," in a new pro-public option health care reform television ad.

Via Sam Stein:

Two progressive groups launched a hard new television ad on Monday, using the testimony of a longtime Iowa Republican voter to attack Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) for his opposition to a public option health care option.

[snip]

To deliver the message, PCCC and DFA have an ideal narrator. Kevin Shilling of Greenfield, Iowa, starts the ad by noting that he "voted for Reagan, Nixon, George W. Bush and Senator Chuck Grassley too."


read more...
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Ted Kennedy DID NOT Support FINAL Medicare’s Prescription Plan Because Bush & the GOP LIED

The GOP, Fox "news" and conservadems are spreading this particular piece of propaganda and it's disgusting. How can any civilized person do this to a man who fought all his life for what was right?

Sen. Kennedy NEVER negotiated away his core principles for the sake of bi-partisanship. Ever. Yes, he worked with rethugs, when he had too, but one of the Senator two greatest REGRETS was taking George Bush & at his word when it came to the Medicare’s prescription Drug Plan. Bush lied to him. Just like he lied to him on "No Child Left Behind," his other great regret as the program ended up being nothing more that surface bullshit because it was DELIBERATELY not funded.

Don't believe me? Check out this video from DKTV:

Fox News propaganda vs. what really happened: Ted Kennedy and Medicare’s prescription drug benefit

The fact that barely any journalist has come out and called bullshit on this so easily refuted like is astounding to me.

They used Sen. Kennedy then just like they are trying to use him now!

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8.30.2009

NYT On Health Care Reform: It's Reconciliation or Bust!

In today's New York Times, the editorial staff tells Democrats to stop caving and that with the death of Senator Kennedy, the must your majority rules -- reconciliation -- or risk not getting real health care reform done.

From the NY Times, Majority Rule On Health Care Reform:

With the death of Senator Edward Kennedy, the Democrats do not have the votes just among their 57 members (and the two independents) to break a filibuster, and not all of these can be counted on to vote in lock step. If the Democrats want to enact health care reform this year, they appear to have little choice but to adopt a high-risk, go-it-alone, majority-rules strategy.

We say this with considerable regret because a bipartisan compromise would be the surest way to achieve comprehensive reforms with broad public support. But the ideological split between the parties is too wide — and the animosities too deep — for that to be possible.

[snip]

Mr. Obama should know from sad experience the pitfalls of seeking bipartisan cooperation from a Republican Party that has sloughed off most of its moderates and is dominated by its right wing. His stimulus package was supported by no Republicans in the House and only three Republicans in the Senate, so-called moderates whose support was won by shrinking the package below the size at which it would have done the most good.

Now the same sort of damaging retreat may be happening in the Senate Finance Committee. Three committees in the House and one in the Senate have used their Democratic majorities to approve liberal health reform bills. The only bipartisan negotiations are between a rump group of three Democrats and three Republicans on the Finance Committee who hail from largely rural states with small populations, namely Iowa, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and Wyoming. Somehow this small, unrepresentative group has emerged as the focal point for bipartisan health care reform.

[snip]

Superficially seductive calls to scale down the effort until the recession ends or to take time for further deliberations should be ignored. There has been more than enough debate and the recession will almost certainly be over before the major features of reform kick in several years from now. Those who fear that a trillion-dollar reform will add to the nation’s deficit burden should remember that these changes are intended to be deficit-neutral over the next decade.

Delay would be foolish politically. The Democrats have substantial majorities in the House and the Senate this year. Next year, as the midterm elections approach, it will be even harder for legislators to take controversial stands. After the elections, if history is any guide, the Democratic majorities could be smaller.

[snip]

Knowledgeable analysts from both parties believe that these important elements of reform will probably pass muster because of their budgetary impact: expansion of Medicaid for the poor; subsidies to help low-income people buy insurance; new taxes to pay for the trillion-dollar program; Medicare cuts to help finance the program; mandates on individuals to buy insurance and on employers to offer coverage; and tax credits to help small businesses provide insurance.

Even the public plan so reviled by Republicans could probably qualify, especially if it is given greater power than currently planned to dictate the prices it will pay to hospitals, doctors, drug companies and other providers, thus saving the government lots of money in subsidies.

[snip]

Clearly the reconciliation approach is a risky and less desirable way to enact comprehensive health care reforms. The only worse approach would be to retreat to modest gestures in an effort to win Republican acquiescence. It is barely possible that the Senate Finance Committee might pull off a miracle and devise a comprehensive solution that could win broad support, or get one or more Republicans to vote to break a filibuster. If not, the Democrats need to push for as much reform as possible through majority vote.

read the entire editorial, please....
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8.29.2009

Republican's Stimulus Hypocrisy Continues Unabated

Think Progress has been keeping any eye for all those rethugs who say how awful the economic stimulus plan is from one side of their mouth while from the other side, touting their ability of bringing home the bacon as if they're the one who got it for them.

Here's their full report, Stimulating Hypocrisy:

Earlier this year, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 without a single Republican vote in the House of Representatives and with the support of only three Republicans in the Senate. This stimulus bill, which included $552 billion in spending and $275 billion in tax cuts, has provided much-needed support to state and local economies across the country. Cognizant to this fact, conservatives have jumped on the chance to personally deliver stimulus money to their cash-strapped states and districts, while conveniently brushing past their original opposition. A two-faced approach to the stimulus debate has become routine for many Republicans, with many GOP lawmakers who are standing against the stimulus in Washington, D.C., but touting it when they travel home to their constituents.

read more...
While the report is fascinating, here are some of their more prominent headlines. Click over to each story if you want to read the infuriating details.

The most recent article is on Gov. Tim Pawlenty's hypocrisy, but no one takes the cake like Bobby Jindal though.
But, the real question is, why aren't Democrats all over the cable news shows pointing this out?!

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It's the GOP Granny Needs To Be Afraid Of

The only one who are an actual danger to the well-being of the elderly, and the GOP. That's according to Jacob Weisberg, who has biting piece up over at Newsweek right now: Death, Republican Style: It's the GOP that's out to get Granny. It's a must read.

From Newsweek:

The republicans charge that Democratic health care reform would, in Sen. Charles Grassley's words, "pull the plug on Grandma." According to Sen. Jon Kyl, the bills before Congress would ration medical treatment by age. Rep. John Boehner says they promote euthanasia. Sarah Palin has raised the specter of "death panels." Such fears are understandable. It's not preposterous to imagine laws that would try to save money by encouraging the inconvenient elderly to make an early exit. After all, that's been the Republican policy for years.

It was Grassley himself who devised the "Throw Mama From the Train" provision of the GOP's 2001 tax cut. The estate-tax revision he championed will reduce the estate tax to zero next year. But when it expires at year's end, the tax will jump back up to its previous level of 55 percent. Grassley's exploding tax break has an entirely foreseeable, if unintended, consequence: it incentivizes ailing, elderly rich people to end their lives—paging Dr. Kevorkian—before midnight on Dec. 31, 2010. It also gives their children an incentive to sign DNR orders and switch off respirators in time for the deadline. This would be a great plot for a P. D. James novel if it weren't an actual piece of legislation.

This is not merely hypothetical. Serious economists take the possibility seriously. In a 2001 paper entitled "Dying to Save Taxes," economists from the University of Michigan and the University of British Columbia examined 13 changes in U.S. tax law since 1917 and concluded that benefactors die in greater numbers just before tax hikes and just after tax cuts. A 2006 study done in Australia, which abolished its inheritance tax in July 1979, reached the same conclusion. Statistics showed that more than half the people who would ordinarily have died in the last week of June 1979—and whose heirs would have been subject to the tax—managed to avoid it by surviving into July. Republicans in Congress have created a similar inducement for Grandma not to die before January 2010, but to make sure she is gone by January 2011.

Other GOP policies promote death for senior citizens with more modest incomes....

read more...
He doesn't even get into how it's the GOP who for 60 years have been trying to dismantle Social Security (the privatization scam being just the most recent example) or how for 40 years have, in vote after vote, done their leveled best to decapitate Medicare. The GOP is a cancer that the elderly can't afford not to excise.

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Patrick Kennedy: "There was No Quit In Dad"

Patrick Kennedy & Ted Kennedy, Jr. eulogize their father.

Ted Kennedy, Jr.:

Patrick Kennedy:

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Obama Eulogizes Kennedy: "The Greatest Legislator of Our Time," "The Big Cheese, The Grand Fromage"

UPDATE:

While this was a beautiful eulogy, Obama, again, missed an enormousness opportunity to use the moment to continue the push for Ted's health care reform. Just like JFK's death was rightfully used by LBJ, Bobby & Teddy Kennedy, with great success, to push his civil rights agenda to fruition and by Sen. Kennedy when he evoked MLK's death to help pass Fair Housing Act.

Sometimes partisanship is the moral choice.

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Senator John Culver, Vice President Joe Biden & Gov. Deval Patrick Honor Sen. Kennedy At His Memorial (9/28/09)

These were my favorite moments during last night's memorial service.

Harvard Classmate and Former Iowa Senator John Culver told a hysterical story about the first time he sailed with Kennedy:

Vice President Joe Biden delivered an powerful tribute to Kennedy:

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick begin by telling his recollection of those "grainy black and white TV images of Camelot when my mother used to say, to no one in particular, "I love me some Kennedy.":

Finally, Brian Stokes Mitchell sings a beautiful rendition of The Impossible Dream:




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The Work Goes On, The Cause Endures, The Hope Still Lives, And The Dream Shall Never Die.





(Photos h/t TPM)


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How do you Defend the Indefensible Glenn Beck? Ask a Radical Birther. (UPDATED)

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From ThinkProgress:



[...] radical right-winger Gary Kreep, head of the United States Justice Foundation, is leaping to Beck’s assistance. He has established DefendGlenn.com, not to justify Beck’s indefensible hate speech, but to spread smears about Color of Change and Van Jones. On the website, Kreep instructs Glenn Beck fans to tell advertisers that Van Jones “went to prison for inciting the 1992 Rodney King riots in L.A.”:

Tell them CoC’s founder went to prison for inciting the 1992 L.A. Riots, and accused President Bush of giving troops orders to shoot black people after Hurricane Katrina.

In reality, Van Jones was a legal observer in San Francisco, not Los Angeles, during a non-violent rally that took place after, not before the riots. Jones and hundreds of others were seized in a mass arrest. He was released within a few hours, all charges were dropped, and “the City of San Francisco ultimately compensated him financially for his unjust arrest.”

read more...
UPDATE I:

Via KingOneEye:

Exposé: The Man Behind The Defend Glenn Beck Web Site

In response to the action by Color of Change, a conservative activist created a web site to counter the growing opposition to Beck. But who really is DefendGlenn?

DefendGlenn was created to instigate complaints directed at the companies who pulled their ads from Beck, and to thank his remaining advertisers. Instead, the site has become a repository of lies and disinformation, as well as a sycophantic center of blind adulation for Beck. It is impossible to gauge whether the site has any measurable influence, except to note that none of the companies boycotting Beck have reversed their positions, nor cited DefendBeck as motivation for their actions. However, the press has taken notice and is beginning to treat the site as the legitimate counterbalance to Color of Change.[...]

read more...

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Top 10 Reasons Not to Advertise With Glenn Beck

BuzzFeed has put together a video top 1o list of reasons not to advertise ON Glenn Beck's show.... It's nice to have all these videos in one place. I picked out my favorites, but you should click over to see the rest.

1. He thinks that Obama is a racist

This is the clip that started the whole controversy. Beck on “Fox and Friends” saying that Obama has a “deep seeded hatred for white people.”

4. He wants America to get attacked by terrorists


Beck and his guest, Michael Scheuer, think that we need another good, old-fashioned terrorist attacks to get us off our lazy, peaceful asses.

6. He secretly suspects all Muslims are terrorists


When Minnesota elected the first Muslim Congressman, Keith Ellison, Glenn Beck had him on to make sure he wasn't one of those sneaky Al-Qaeda in disguise.

7. He's not convinced Obama's not the Anti-Christ


Look, a lot of people are saying that Obama could be the anti-christ. Glenn isn't saying he is, but he's just keeping an open mind about it.

9. He makes fun of the handicapped


Not only that, the handicapped woman he is making fun of is President Obama's aunt of all people.

see more...

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TPM: The GOP's 40-Year Effort to "Pull the Plug" on Medicare

In light of RNC Chairman, Michael Steele's sudden conversion on the importance of Medicare and how they, Republicans, must protect it from us evil Democrats, TPM has compiled a history of the GOP's trying to kill Medicare, exploring the grotesque irony in this shameless grab of the Medicare mantle for the GOP's own.

From TPM:

During the health care fight this summer, the GOP has been warning seniors, in ominous tones, of the danger that Democrats might cut Medicare--conveniently forgetting that this has been the Republican party's official position for more than a generation.

Thankfully, their words have been immortalized.

The below clip comes from a 1961 American Medical Association recording of then-actor Ronald Reagan warning that "one of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine."

read/see more...
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Investment Group Calls for Whole Foods Board to Remove Chair and CEO John Mackey

Not all protests are ineffective. Just ask Whole Foods CEO, John Mackey (or ask Glenn Obama-is-a-racist Beck how he's doing lately).

The bad publicity Mackey drew Whole Foods into unnecessarily, has gotten under the skin of a Whole Foods Investor group. What will come of this call for Mackey's replacement, only time will tell, but Mackey's freedom of speech has drawn buyers, and now CtW Investment Group's, freedom of speech in return.

From PR Newswire (via DKos 'Hopeful Skeptic):

Investment group calls for replacing Whole Foods CEO
The CtW Investment Group called on the Whole Foods Market (NYSE: WFMI) board to remove CEO John Mackey as Chairman and to begin the process of naming a new CEO in a letter to Whole Foods' lead independent director, Dr. John Elstrott, yesterday afternoon. Citing the risk to Whole Foods' brand reputation caused by Mr. Mackey's editorial opposing President Obama's proposed healthcare reform, CtW urged the board to take immediate action to prevent continued damage in the face of a quickly-growing boycott by Whole Foods' progressive customer base.

"Mr. Mackey attempted to capitalize on the brand reputation of Whole Foods to champion his personal political views, but has instead deeply offended a key segment of Whole Foods consumer base," said CtW Investment Group Executive Director Bill Patterson. "This is not the first time Mr. Mackey's unsanctioned communications have damaged Whole Foods' image with consumers and investors. At a time when shareholders are looking for Whole Foods' management to focus on improving operations in an uncertain economy, we can not afford the risk to our Company's brand reputation caused by Mr. Mackey's indiscretion. He has become a liability and the board should begin the process of identifying a suitable replacement."

The text of CtW's letter follows:

Events of the past week establish yet again that John Mackey's lack of personal discipline makes him a liability for Whole Foods Market, Inc. Despite past indications that the board needed to exercise independent oversight of Mr. Mackey and supervise his external communications closely - most notably his postings on the Yahoo! Finance bulletin board, which led to an SEC inquiry - you and your fellow directors failed to take meaningful action to prevent Mr. Mackey's uncompensated brand and reputational risk to our Company.

The board must now recognize that managing reputational risk is central to building shareholder value at Whole Foods and act accordingly. Replacing Mr. Mackey as Chairman and CEO is the critical first step in this process. We first raised questions regarding Mr. Mackey's leadership in a July 25, 2007 letter to you in which we called on the board to immediately remove him as Chairman and determine what additional steps were warranted in response to Mr. Mackey's ill-advised Yahoo! Finance postings. As a result of the board's inaction, Mr. Mackey's indiscretion has continued to place our Company's brand reputation at risk. We therefore call on the board to immediately undertake the following:

  • Immediately remove Mr. Mackey as Chairman of the Board.
  • Establish and disclose to shareholders a clear succession plan so that he can be removed expeditiously from his position as CEO as soon as feasible; the plan should detail how the board intends to ensure that CEO succession is a routine topic of discussion by the board, there is an emphasis on development of internal candidates while remaining open to external candidates, all board members are given exposure to internal candidates, and that there is both a long-term perspective to address expected CEO transition periods and a short-term perspective to address crisis management in the event of death, disability, or an untimely departure of the CEO.
  • Quickly implement a board policy and process for supervision of executive communications in order to ensure that Mr. Mackey can cause no further damage to Whole Foods' brand and reputation in his remaining time with the company.
  • Commit to issuing a thorough and exacting annual review of all political or partisan uses of corporate resources, including a justification of any such expenditure, and make this review publicly available.
read the full text of the letter...
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Fox News’ Shep Smith Debunks McCain’s Charge That Reconciliation Would Be A ‘Drastic Change.’

Every once in a while,the lone sane voice of Sheppard Smith steps out from the dark shadow of lies that is Fox 'news" and without apology, risking life & limb some would say in political climate, tells the truth and dares his viewers to questions the propaganda being spews by his network siblings.

This is one of those times.

From ThinkProgress:

This afternoon in his town hall, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said he is “unalterably opposed” to using the budget reconciliation process to pass health care reform. “It would be a drastic change in the way that the United States Senate does business.” Fox News’ Shep Smith fact-checked McCain’s claim immediately upon the conclusion of the town hall. “The truth is Republicans used this in 2001, 2003, and 2005 to pass then-President George Bush’s tax cuts,” Smith said. Armed with some research, he then reported this quote from Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH):

“Reconciliation is a rule of the Senate (that) has been used before for purposes exactly like this on numerous occasions.” … “Is there something wrong with majority rules? I don’t think so. … The point, of course, is this: If you have 51 votes for your position, you win.”

Smith concluded that if Democrats “were to take health care and put it in under reconciliation, they could do that.” Watch it:

read more....
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Olbermann vs United Health

Keith Olbermann goes into detail after infuriating detail about United Health Groups' AstroTurf campaign town hall meeting across the country in order to stifle health care reform:

Countdown Investigates United Health Group

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Obama’s FCC To Enforce ‘Net Neutrality’

The new FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski, has made a public statement on the FCC's position on Net Neutrality, and it looks like President Obama's campaign promise to ensure it's protection will be kept:

From The Hill (via DKos' rfall):

The Obama administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to keep the Internet free of increased user fees based on heavy Web traffic and slow downloads.

Julius Genachowski, the FCC chairman, told The Hill that his agency will support “net neutrality” and go after anyone who violates its tenets.

“One thing I would say so that there is no confusion out there is that this FCC will support net neutrality and will enforce any violation of net neutrality principles,” Genachowski said when asked what he could do in his position to keep the Internet fair, free and open to all Americans.

[snip]

Telecom corporations have often chafed at net neutrality. They have lobbied against similar limits placed in the stimulus package, saying they represented unnecessary regulation that could impede private innovation.

The FCC can also look to Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) for backing on the issue. The lawmaker introduced net neutrality legislation just before the onset of the August recess that would guard against discriminatory practices by network operators.

read more...
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Weekly Presidential Youtube-Radio Address: Lessons & Renewal Out of the Gulf Coast (9/29/09)

President Obama address the 4th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and emergency preparedness in general. From WhiteHouse.org:



Full Transcript:
This weekend marks the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of the Gulf Coast. As we remember all that was lost, we must take stock of the work being done on recovery, while preparing for future disasters. And that is what I want to speak with you about today.

None of us can forget how we felt when those winds battered the shore, the floodwaters began to rise, and Americans were stranded on rooftops and in stadiums. Over a thousand people would lose their lives. Over a million people were displaced. Whole neighborhoods of a great American city were left in ruins. Communities across the Gulf Coast were forever changed. And many Americans questioned whether government could fulfill its responsibility to respond in a crisis, or contribute to a recovery that covered parts of four states.

Since taking office in January, my Administration has focused on helping citizens finish the work of rebuilding their lives and communities, while taking steps to prevent similar catastrophes going forward. Our approach is simple: government must keep its responsibility to the people, so that Americans have the opportunity to take responsibility for their future.

That is the work that we are doing. To date, eleven members of my Cabinet have visited the Gulf Coast, and I’m looking forward to going to New Orleans later this year. To complete a complex recovery that addresses nearly every sector of society, we have prioritized coordination among different federal agencies, and with state and local governments. No more turf wars – all of us need to move forward together, because there is much more work to be done.

I have also made it clear that we will not tolerate red tape that stands in the way of progress, or the waste that can drive up the bill. Government must be a partner – not an opponent – in getting things done. That is why we have put in place innovative review and dispute resolution programs to expedite recovery efforts, and have freed up hundreds of millions of dollars of federal assistance that had not been distributed. This is allowing us to move forward with stalled projects across the Gulf Coast – building and improving schools; investing in public health and safety; and repairing broken roads, bridges and homes. And this effort has been dramatically amplified by the Recovery Act, which has put thousands of Gulf Coast residents to work.

As we complete this effort, we see countless stories of citizens holding up their end of the bargain. In New Orleans, hundreds of kids just started the school year at Langston Hughes elementary, the first school built from scratch since Katrina. The St. Bernard Project has drawn together volunteers to rebuild hundreds of homes, where people can live with dignity and security. To cite just one hopeful indicator, New Orleans is the fastest growing city in America, as many who had been displaced are now coming home.

As we rebuild and recover, we must also learn the lessons of Katrina, so that our nation is more protected and resilient in the face of disaster. That means continuing to rebuild hundreds of miles of levees and floodwalls around New Orleans, and working to strengthen the wetlands and barrier islands that are the Gulf Coast’s first line of defense. In Washington, that means a focus on competence and accountability – and I’m proud that my FEMA Administrator has 25 years of experience in disaster management in Florida, a state that has known its share of hurricanes. And across the country, that means improving coordination among different agencies, modernizing our emergency communications, and helping families plan for a crisis.

On this anniversary, we are focused on the threat from hurricanes. But we must also be prepared for a broad range of dangers – from wildfires and earthquakes, to terrorist attacks and pandemic disease. In particular, my Administration is working aggressively with state and local governments – and with partners around the world – to prepare for the risk posed by the H1N1 virus. To learn more about the simple steps that you can take to keep you and your family safe from all of these dangers, please visit www.ready.gov.

So on this day, we commemorate a tragedy that befell our people. But we also remember that with every tragedy comes the chance of renewal. It is a quintessentially American notion – that adversity can give birth to hope, and that the lessons of the past hold the key to a better future. From the streets of New Orleans to the Mississippi Coast, folks are beginning the next chapter in their American stories. And together, we can ensure that the legacy of a terrible storm is a country that is safer and more prepared for the challenges that may come. Thank you.
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8.28.2009

Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars Trailer

Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars (h/t daemonstv.com):



Also, Doctor Who: Season 5 Stays with BBC America (not Syfy)

Which has also started filming: Doctor Who: Series 5 Filming Update - SPOLIERS (so beware)

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Full Mental Beck

Or, as @mardod tweeted: more like Full Mental Moron.

From DKTV:

Twelve minutes of the craziest conspiracy theory rants you’ve ever heard on television, all from Glenn Beck, all targeting Barack Obama, and all delivered during the past week:



see more video from DKTV...

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8.27.2009

Vonage, B of A, Kraft, DirecTv, General Mills, Applebee’s, Travelers Dump Glenn Beck (UPDATED)

UPDATE II (via Color of Change): Fox news tries to deny some of the advertisers were ever advertisers and then gets their ass handed to them.... again.

In response to our announcement today, Fox tried to push back on the story, telling the L.A. Times that some of the companies announced in our press release never in fact ran ads on Beck's show:

[Updated at 2:15 p.m .: According to a Fox News spokeswoman, the network has not run Bank of America ads during Beck's show, so any spot for the bank that aired during his program would have been a local cable purchase. In addition, the network said that Bell & Howell was and SAM (Store and Move) were never Fox News advertisers.]

Media Matters posted video of a Bank of America ad running on Beck's show. As for Store and Move, a Fox News spokeswoman had to backtrack, telling the L.A. Times that SAM did in fact run ads on Fox:

[Updated at 3 p.m.: SAM (Store and Move) is indeed a Fox News advertiser, a network spokeswoman clarifies. The company buys ads under the name Unigroup.]

Woops.

Here's the BofA ad (via Media Matters):
UPDATE I: You can help stop Glenn Beck's race baiting: Call on advertisers to drop sponsorship of Glenn Beck

ORIGINAL POST
:

Ten more companies have either pulled or pledged not to run any future ads on Glenn Beck's, Fox 'news" hate-fest. Vonage, Bank of America, Kraft, DirecTv, General Mills, Applebee’s, Travelers Insurance and a couple of others have all taken their advertising dollars elsewhere.

Wait aaaaaaaaa second! DirecTv?!?! Rupert Murdoch's DirecTv!?!? Gotta love that. LMAO.

From Color of Change:
OAKLAND, Calif.—Adding to an increasing list of companies distancing themselves from Fox News Channel’s Glenn Beck, ten new companies whose ads were recently seen during Beck’s program—Applebee’s, Bank of America, Bell & Howell, DirecTv, General Mills, Kraft, Regions Financial Corporation, SAM (Store and Move), Travelers Insurance and Vonage—have pledged to take steps to ensure that their ads don’t run on Beck’s show. Forty-six companies have now committed not to support Beck’s show since ColorOfChange.org launched its campaign three weeks ago after the Fox News Channel host called President Obama a “racist” who “has a deep-seated hatred for white people” during an appearance on Fox & Friends.

Three of the latest defections—Travelers Insurance, Bell & Howell and DirecTv—join the list of advertisers who claim to have already placed Glenn Beck’s program on a “do not air” list, but whose ads have been seen on Beck’s program, apparently against their wishes.

“We could not be happier with the results of our campaign so far,” said James Rucker, Executive Director of ColorOfChange.org. “All 46 companies that have distanced themselves from Glenn Beck should be applauded for their stance.”

“We are still reaching out to companies whose ads we see during Beck’s nightly program,” Rucker continued. “Based on the fact that many of the recent ads on Beck’s program are for gold coins and News Corp properties, it looks like Fox News Channel is struggling to place advertisements on Beck’s show.”

[snip]

Previous companies who have corrected advertising errors and/or pulled their ads entirely include Airware Inc. (makers of Brez anti-snoring aids), Allergan (maker of Restasis), Ally Bank (a unit of GMAC Financial Services), Ancestry.com, AT&T, Best Buy, Blaine Labs Inc., Broadview Security, Campbell Soup Company, ConAgra, Clorox, CVS, Ditech, The Elations Company, Experian (creator of FreeCreditReport.com), Farmers Insurance Group, GEICO, Johnson & Johnson (makers of Tylenol), Lawyers.com, Lowe’s, Men’s Wearhouse, NutriSystem, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, RadioShack, Re-Bath, Roche, SC Johnson, Sanofi-Aventis, Sargento, Sprint, State Farm Insurance, Travelocity, The UPS Store, Verizon Wireless and Wal-Mart.

See the comments from advertisers recently distancing themselves from Beck...
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Why We Need Government-Run Universal Socialized Health Insurance

Check this cartoon explaining the Public Option and, Why We Need Government-Run Universal Socialized Health Insurance, from engio (h/t tunesmith):

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Beck: "I Was A Dirtbag & Liar But I'm Not Now!" (VIDEO)

You can't make this stuff up even if you wanted too.

From News1News:

FOX's Delusional Glenn Beck: "I Was A Dirtbag & Liar But I'm Not Now!" - [Oh Really?] - 08/26/09

Honey, you're still a dirtbag and a liar, and you're still a drunk, dry or wet.

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Conservative Sociopath Andrew Breitbart Unleashes Twitter Tirade Against Sen. Kennedy

Yesterday, Neo-con & conservative sociopath, Andrew Breitbart, unleashed and a series of venomous attacks against Senator Edward Kennedy that would make Rush Limpdick proud.

From ThinkProgress:

Early this morning, news broke that Sen. Ted Kennedy had passed away after serving in the U.S. Senate for nearly 50 years. Soon after, conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart began a sustained assault on Kennedy’s memory, tweeting “Rest in Chappaquiddick.”

Over the course of the next three hours, Breitbart unapologetically attacked Kennedy, calling him a “villain,” “a big ass motherf@#$er,” a “duplicitous bastard” and a “prick.” “I’ll shut my mouth for Carter. That’s just politics. Kennedy was a special pile of human excrement,” wrote Breitbart in one tweet.

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Check these tweets out:






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8.26.2009

Thank you, Senator Kennedy. (UPDATED Several Times)


Family Statement (via Sen. Kennedy's Website):

“Edward M. Kennedy—the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply—died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port. We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever. We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all. He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it. He always believed that our best days were still ahead, but it’s hard to imagine any of them without him.”

The Accomplishments of Senator Edward M. Kennedy 1962-2009

President Barack Obama's Statement first thing this morning:

Michelle and I were heartbroken to learn this morning of the death of our dear friend, Senator Ted Kennedy.

For five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts.

I valued his wise counsel in the Senate, where, regardless of the swirl of events, he always had time for a new colleague. I cherished his confidence and momentous support in my race for the Presidency. And even as he waged a valiant struggle with a mortal illness, I've profited as President from his encouragement and wisdom.

An important chapter in our history has come to an end. Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time.

And the Kennedy family has lost their patriarch, a tower of strength and support through good times and bad.

Our hearts and prayers go out to them today--to his wonderful wife, Vicki, his children Ted Jr., Patrick and Kara, his grandchildren and his extended family.

President Barack Obama's News Conference:

Over the past several years, I've had the honor to call Teddy a colleague, a counselor, and a friend. And even though we have known this day was coming for some time now, we awaited it with no small amount of dread.

Since Teddy's diagnosis last year, we've seen the courage with which he battled his illness. And while these months have no doubt been difficult for him, they've also let him hear from people in every corner of our nation and from around the world just how much he meant to all of us. His fight has given us the opportunity we were denied when his brothers John and Robert were taken from us: the blessing of time to say thank you -- and goodbye.

The outpouring of love, gratitude, and fond memories to which we've all borne witness is a testament to the way this singular figure in American history touched so many lives. His ideas and ideals are stamped on scores of laws and reflected in millions of lives -- in seniors who know new dignity, in families that know new opportunity, in children who know education's promise, and in all who can pursue their dream in an America that is more equal and more just -- including myself.

The Kennedy name is synonymous with the Democratic Party. And at times, Ted was the target of partisan campaign attacks. But in the United States Senate, I can think of no one who engendered greater respect or affection from members of both sides of the aisle. His seriousness of purpose was perpetually matched by humility, warmth, and good cheer. He could passionately battle others and do so peerlessly on the Senate floor for the causes that he held dear, and yet still maintain warm friendships across party lines.

And that's one reason he became not only one of the greatest senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy.

His extraordinary life on this earth has come to an end. And the extraordinary good that he did lives on. For his family, he was a guardian. For America, he was the defender of a dream.

I spoke earlier this morning to Senator Kennedy's beloved wife, Vicki, who was to the end such a wonderful source of encouragement and strength. Our thoughts and prayers are with her, his children Kara, Edward, and Patrick; his stepchildren Curran and Caroline; the entire Kennedy family; decades' worth of his staff; the people of Massachusetts; and all Americans who, like us, loved Ted Kennedy.

Vice President Biden's Press Conference:
Nancy Reagan Statement on Senator Kennedy
"I was terribly saddened to hear of the death of Ted Kennedy tonight. Given our political differences, people are sometimes surprised by how close Ronnie and I have been to the Kennedy family. But Ronnie and Ted could always find common ground, and they had great respect for one another. In recent years, Ted and I found our common ground in stem cell research, and I considered him an ally and a dear friend. I will miss him."
Nancy Pelosi Statement on Senator Kennedy
Washington, D.C. — Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today on the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy:

"Today, with the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the American people have lost a great patriot, and the Kennedy family has lost a beloved patriarch. Over a lifetime of leadership, Senator Kennedy’s statesmanship and political prowess produced a wealth of accomplishment that has improved opportunity for every American.

Senator Kennedy had a grand vision for America, and an unparalleled ability to effect change. Rooted in his deep patriotism, his abiding faith, and his deep concern for the least among us, no one has done more than Senator Kennedy to educate our children, care for our seniors, and ensure equality for all Americans.

Ted Kennedy’s dream of quality health care for all Americans will be made real this year because of his leadership and his inspiration.

Sadly, Senator Kennedy left us exactly one year after he inspired the nation with his speech of optimism, vitality, and courage at the Convention in Denver.

On behalf of all Members of Congress, and personally on behalf of my family, today and in the days ahead, our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Kennedy family, especially with Senator Kennedy’s devoted wife Vicki, and with Kara, Teddy Jr., and our colleague Patrick, who made their father so proud. I hope it is a comfort to them that our nation and the world mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time."
Harry Reid Statement on Senator Kennedy
Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today… “The Kennedy family and the Senate family have together lost our patriarch. My thoughts, and those of the entire United States Senate, are with Vicki, Senator Kennedy’s children, his many nieces and nephews, and his entire family. “It was the thrill of my lifetime to work with Ted Kennedy. He was a friend, the model of public service and an American icon.

"As we mourn his loss, we rededicate ourselves to the causes for which he so dutifully dedicated his life. Senator Kennedy’s legacy stands with the greatest, the most devoted, the most patriotic men and women to ever serve in these halls. Because of Ted Kennedy, more young children could afford to become healthy. More young adults could afford to become students. More of our oldest citizens and our poorest citizens could get the care they need to live longer, fuller lives. More minorities, women and immigrants could realize the rights our founding documents promised them. And more Americans could be proud of their country.

Ted Kennedy’s America was one in which all could pursue justice, enjoy equality and know freedom. Ted Kennedy’s life was driven by his love of a family that loved him, and his belief in a country that believed in him. Ted Kennedy’s dream was the one for which the founding fathers fought and for which his brothers sought to realize.

The liberal lion’s mighty roar may now fall silent, but his dream shall never die."

Robert Byrd Statement on Senator Kennedy:

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), the only senator to have served longer than the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), mourned his friend Wednesday, saying his "heart and soul weeps."

Byrd said he hoped healthcare reform legislation in the Senate would be renamed in memoriam of Kennedy.

"I had hoped and prayed that this day would never come," Byrd said in a statement. "My heart and soul weeps at the lost of my best friend in the Senate, my beloved friend, Ted Kennedy."

Byrd's wistful statement focused on the work accomplished with Kennedy during decades together in the Senate, and called on the healthcare bill before Congress to be renamed in honor of Kennedy.

"In his honor and as a tribute to his commitment to his ideals, let us stop the shouting and name calling and have a civilized debate on health care reform which I hope, when legislation has been signed into law, will bear his name for his commitment to insuring the health of every American," Byrd said.

Here was Senator Byrd in May 2008, Byrd just after Kennedy was diagnosed with brain cancer (via Think Progress):
Orrin Hatch Statement on Senator Kennedy
"Today America lost a great elder statesman, a committed public servant, and leader of the Senate. And today I lost a treasured friend. Ted Kennedy was an iconic, larger than life United States senator whose influence cannot be overstated. Many have come before, and many will come after, but Ted Kennedy's name will always be remembered as someone who lived and breathed the United States Senate and the work completed within its chamber."
2008 Democratic National Convention Tribute to Senator Kennedy:

Kennedy's best speeches (via MSNBC):

The following Statements come via HuffPo:

Senator John Kerry's Initial Statement (there's a more complete statement below which he released later in the day):

No words can ever do justice to this irrepressible, larger than life presence who was simply the best -- the best senator, the best advocate you could ever hope for, the best colleague and the best person to stand by your side in the toughest of times.

Senator Chris Dodd

"I'm not sure America has ever had a greater Senator, but I know for certain that no one has had a greater friend than I and so many others did in Ted Kennedy.

"I will always remember Teddy as the ultimate example for all of us who seek to serve, a hero for those Americans in the shadow of life who so desperately needed one.

"He worked tirelessly to lift Americans out of poverty, advance the cause of civil rights, and provide opportunity to all. He fought to the very end for the cause of his life - ensuring that all Americans have the health care they need.

"The commitment to build a stronger and fairer America, a more perfect union, was deeply ingrained in the fiber of who he was, and what he believed in, and why he served.

"That's why he stands among the most respected Senators in history. But it was his sympathetic ear, his razor wit, and his booming, raucous laugh that made him among the most beloved.

"Whatever tragedy befell Teddy's family, he would always be there for them. Whatever tragedy befell the family of one of his friends, he would always be there for us. And in this moment of profound grief, our hearts are with his wonderful wife Vicki, his fantastic kids Ted Jr., Patrick, Kara, Curran, and Caroline, his grandchildren, and the wide and wonderful extended family for whom he was always a safe harbor.

"I will miss him every day I serve, and every day I live."

Former President Jimmy Carter

Sen. Kennedy was a passionate voice for the citizens of Massachusetts and an unwavering advocate for the millions of less fortunate in our country. The courage and dignity he exhibited in his fight with cancer was surpassed only by his lifelong commitment and service to his country.

Former President George H.W. Bush:

While we didn't see eye-to-eye on many political issues through the years, I always respected his steadfast public service - so much so, in fact, that I invited him to my library in 2003 to receive the Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service. Ted Kennedy was a seminal figure in the United States Senate - a leader who answered the call to duty for some 47 years, and whose death closes a remarkable chapter in that body's history.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown:

Senator Edward Kennedy will be mourned not just in America but in every continent. He is admired around the world as the Senator of Senators. He led the world in championing children's education and health care, and believed that every single child should have the chance to realise their potential to the full.
AFTERNOON UPDATES:
Senator Edward M. Kennedy was not only one of the greatest senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy. Over the past half-century, nearly every major piece of legislation that has advanced the civil rights, health, and economic well-being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts. With his passing, an important chapter in our American story has come to an end.
As a mark of respect for the memory of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on August 30, 2009. I also direct that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff until sunset on the day of his interment. I further direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same periods at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

read more...

Kennedy to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery (via HuffPo):

WASHINGTON — Sen. Edward M. Kennedy will lie in repose Thursday and Friday at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston before his funeral at a city church, the senator's office said.

Kennedy is to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery near his slain brothers, said Kennedy spokesman Keith Maley.

[snip]

Kennedy, who served in the Senate for nearly half a century, will then be laid to rest near his brothers, former President John F. Kennedy and former Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, on the famous Virginia hillside that serves as the burial sites of others from the storied clan, including former first lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because arrangements were still being made.

[snip]

Kennedy is eligible for burial at Arlington by virtue of his service in Congress as well as his two years in the Army, 1951 to 1953. He was a private first class and served in the military police at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, then located in Paris and now in Belgium.

read full details...


Kennedy Successor To Be Chosen By Special Election (also via HuffPo):

BOSTON — Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Wednesday he would support changing state law to allow him to appoint an interim successor to Sen. Edward Kennedy's seat while a special election is held.

Unlike most states, a successor to a vacant U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts is chosen by special election, not appointed by the governor.

In a recent letter to lawmakers, Kennedy, who died Tuesday night, said the law should be changed to allow the governor to appoint someone to serve in the Senate during the course of the election – provided that person pledge not to run for the seat.

In radio interviews Wednesday morning, Patrick called the idea "entirely reasonable" and told WBUR-FM that he would sign the bill if it reached his desk.

"Massachusetts needs two voices" in the Senate, Patrick said.

Although Massachusetts is dominated by Democrats, a change in the law isn't a sure thing.

Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo, both Democrats, issued statements of condolence early Wednesday, but neither has expressed support for giving the governor the power to name an interim successor. Republicans in both chambers, who hold about 10 percent of legislative seats in Massachusetts, oppose the idea.

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UPDATE - Massachusetts Democrats are working to fulfill Senator Kennedy's last wish (h/t TomP):

House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo has given his behind-closed-doors blessing to an effort to hand Gov. Deval Patrick the power to appoint a temporary successor to U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, sources say.

Elections Law committee co-chair Sen. Tom Kennedy (D-Brockton) said he and House co-chair Michael J. Moran (D-Boston) may bump up a hearing date for a bill that would give temporary appointing power to Patrick to Sept. 17.

"(The bill) was originally grouped in with the October hearing, but we’re trying to take into consideration the interest of the legislators," said Kennedy.

Rep. Robert M. Koczera (D-New Bedford), who filed the bill, spoke to Moran yesterday and said he received assurances that his bill would be heard before the original Oct. 7 hearing.

Successor plan gains steam


Senator John Kerry today released the following statement on the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy:

"We have known for some time that this day was coming, but nothing makes it easier. We have lost a great light in our lives and our politics, and it will never be the same again. Ted Kennedy was such an extraordinary force, yes for the issues he cared about, but more importantly for the humanity and caring in our politics that is at the center of faith and true public service.

"No words can ever do justice to this irrepressible, larger than life presence who was simply the best -- the best Senator, the best advocate you could ever hope for, the best colleague, and the best person to stand by your side in the toughest of times. He faced the last challenge of his life with the same grace, courage, and determination with which he fought for the causes and principles he held so dear. He taught us how to fight, how to laugh, how to treat each other, and how to turn idealism into action, and in these last fourteen months he taught us much more about how to live life, sailing into the wind one last time. For almost 25 years, I was privileged to serve as his colleague and share his friendship for which I will always be grateful.

"Teresa and I send all our love to Vicki, Teddy Jr., Patrick, Kara and their family, and to the entire Kennedy family for whom Teddy was always a rock at times like this. Massachusetts and our entire nation shares their loss and grieves with them."

EVENING UPDATES:
Obama to deliver a eulogy at Kennedy funeral (via The Hill):

President Barack Obama will deliver a eulogy Saturday at the funeral of Sen. Edward Kennedy, who will be buried later that day alongside his brothers at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Kennedy family announced his funeral will be held in Boston at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica. Both the funeral and burial service will be closed to the public.

Kennedy will lie in repose this week at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Dorchester, Mass. A motorcade on Thursday will bring Kennedy’s body from Hyannis Port, Mass., to the library, which Sen. Kennedy helped build for his brother.

[snip]

Obama signed a proclamation Wednesday that flags at the White House and all U.S. public buildings, grounds and military posts will fly at half-staff until sunset Sunday as an honor to Kennedy.

Democrats said Wednesday that the legendary senator’s passing is even more reason for them to pass healthcare reform in his honor, a point echoed by outside interest groups like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

In a sign of respect, some Republicans and opponents of the legislation took a break from the debate.

read more....
In a sign of respect, they should have put away their partisanship, thought of the American people for a change and worked in good faith to pass real health care reform already.

This is a great find by Greg Sargent over at Plum Line:
VIDEO: Ted Kennedy In 1971 Fighting For Health Care Reform — And Slamming Insurance Industry

Ted Kennedy has been fighting for health care reform for a very, very, very long time. A friend unearths some video of Kennedy arguing for a national health insurance system way back in 1971 — and slamming Richard Nixon’s just-introduced health care plan as a giveaway to the insurance companies.

As an added bonus, Kennedy is introduced by none other than Walter Cronkite, who also passed away recently, underscoring the degree to which an era has drawn to a close:

Kennedy appears about a minute and a half in, and slams Nixon’s plan by saying it will “provide billions of dollars to the health insurance companies.” His moral urgency about health care reform is already on display as he urges for a real “partnership between patients and doctors in this nation.”

The Kennedy alternative plan is described here as “cradle to grave Federal health insurance,” and was what we’d call “single payer today.”

read more...

Chris Dodd's Emotional Press Conference:

Then, of course, there's the fat, sweaty, addicted head of the Republican Party, Mr. Bouncy Bouncy:
Rush claims vindication in predicting health care legislation will be "called the Ted Kennedy memorial health care bill" (via Media Matters):

From the August 26 edition of Premiere Radio Network's The Rush Limbaugh Show:

Or, this cretin from the bowls of Fox "news":
Sean Hannity Employee Calls Kennedy "Piece Of Garbage"

I wonder how Mr. Hannity, Premiere Radio Networks and ABC Radio/Citadel Broadcasting feel about his Facebook comment concerning Ted Kennedy's passing (emphasis added):

The irony is that the media is already positioning Ted as a champion for the little man against wealth and privilege. This piece of garbage was the poster child for wealth and privilege. Hopefully, this event will mark the end of this repugnant family and all the endless crap, entitlement, personal indulgences and collateral damage (Kopechne, Bessette, Bowman, Moxely, etc.).

Anyway, back to sanity....

Ted Kennedy's view on Health Care Reform, in his own words: ‘The Cause of My Life’:

In 1964, I was flying with several companions to the Massachusetts Democratic Convention when our small plane crashed and burned short of the runway. My friend and colleague in the Senate, Birch Bayh, risked his life to pull me from the wreckage. Our pilot, Edwin Zimny, and my administrative assistant, Ed Moss, didn't survive. With crushed vertebrae, broken ribs, and a collapsed lung, I spent months in New England Baptist Hospital in Boston. To prevent paralysis, I was strapped into a special bed that immobilizes a patient between two canvas slings. Nurses would regularly turn me over so my lungs didn't fill with fluid. I knew the care was expensive, but I didn't have to worry about that. I needed the care and I got it.

Now I face another medical challenge. Last year, I was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Surgeons at Duke University Medical Center removed part of the tumor, and I had proton-beam radiation at Massachusetts General Hospital. I've undergone many rounds of chemotherapy and continue to receive treatment. Again, I have enjoyed the best medical care money (and a good insurance policy) can buy.

But quality care shouldn't depend on your financial resources, or the type of job you have, or the medical condition you face. Every American should be able to get the same treatment that U.S. senators are entitled to.

This is the cause of my life. It is a key reason that I defied my illness last summer to speak at the Democratic convention in Denver—to support Barack Obama, but also to make sure, as I said, "that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American…will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not just a privilege." For four decades I have carried this cause—from the floor of the United States Senate to every part of this country. It has never been merely a question of policy; it goes to the heart of my belief in a just society. Now the issue has more meaning for me—and more urgency—than ever before. But it's always been deeply personal, because the importance of health care has been a recurrent lesson throughout most of my 77 years.

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