10.31.2009

Fuck You, Joe Lieberman. Fuck. You.



Sen. Joe Lieberman not only threatened to join a republican filibuster to stop democrats health care bill, he's not saying he's planning to campaign for republicans in 2010 (via TPM).

Lieberman, from an interview with ABC News:

"I probably will support some Republican candidates for Congress or Senate in the election in 2010. I'm going to call them as I see them."

In addition to McCain, Lieberman hit the trail in 2008 for Republicans Sen. Susan Collins (ME) and Rep. Peter King (NY).

read more...
What's sad about Joe little vengence tour, is that in 1994 he called the filibuster ‘unfair’ and it isn’t ‘right’ to use it to obstruct major legislation.

From Think Progress:
[...] At that time Lieberman, a freshman senator, was working with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) to introduce legislation that would drastically weaken the power of the filiibuster. HuffPost’s Sam Stein recalls that the Connecticut senator said it was “unfair” to use the filibuster to threaten major legislation and argued it isn’t “right” to use it to obstruct progress:

The whole process of individual senators being able to hold up legislation, which in a sense is an extension of the filibuster because the hold has been understood in one way to be a threat to filibuster — it’s just unfair.”

“I’m very proud to be standing here with Tom [Harkin] as two Democrats saying that we’re going to begin this fight, because we’ve just been stung by the filibuster for a period of years, and even though the tables have now turned, it doesn’t make it right for us to use this instrument that we so vilified.”

read more...
TPM has more in this: Harkin, Again, Hints At Consequences For Off-The-Reservation Chairmen

Well, that same Tom Harkin has had enough of Lieberman's bellowing for attentional like a temper-tantrum-throwing 2 year old (via Jed Lewison):

Tom Harkin isn't worried about Joe Lieberman's bluff:

"As I said before, when it comes down to getting the 60 votes necessary to pass this bill, I do not believe that Joe Lieberman would want to be the one person who caucuses with the Democrats ... to bring this bill down. I don’t think he wants to go down in history like that," Harkin said.

"He still wants to be a part of the Democratic Party although he is a registered independent. He wants to caucus with us and, of course, he enjoys his chairmanship of the [Homeland Security] committee because of the indulgence of the Democratic Caucus. So, I’m sure all of those things will cross his mind before the final vote."

read more...

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Weekly Presidential Youtube-Radio Address: Economic Milestones & the Recovery Act

In this week's Presidential Address, Obama touts milestones on the economy and the Recovery Act.

From the White House website:

While there is nothing to celebrate until job numbers turn around, the President cites the recent dramatic turnaround in gross domestic product as a sign of better things to come. He also applauds the fact that the Recovery Act has now created or saved more than a million jobs.



Read the full transcript...
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Health Care Mash!

OK. I love just this new ad from Health Care For America (text via their email)! Love!

While you're out trick-or-treating this Halloween, the insurance companies are working overtime to make sure the health care bills moving through Congress pad their profits instead of giving us quality, affordable health care.

Our intrepid investigative activists captured video of the health care industry hard at work in their K Street labs.



More at
Health Care For America
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Understanding the Senate's Cloture (Filibuster) Process



SEIU's Matt Browner-Hamlin does a pretty good job of explaining the Senate's "cloture" process, which in simple terms means breaking a filibuster (h/t America Blog):
First, filibusters really don't happen the way they did when Mr. Smith went to Washington. Instead, the word filibuster is commonly used to refer to any time a bloc of 41 or more senators vote against considering a piece of legislation or letting it come to a floor vote. This week Andy Stern wrote in an op-ed on Huffington Post that there is no such thing as a Republican filibuster, because the GOP caucus only has 40 votes. As a result, the only way health care reform can be blocked is if members of the Democratic caucus join the Republicans to oppose moving forward.
1.Cloture Motion on Motion to Proceed to Measure's Consideration: This will be the first step, where the Senate will ask itself: Do enough of us want to start debating specific health care reform legislation on the floor? Assuming that 60 senators do, the process will continue;

If Cloture on the Motion to Proceed is "invoked" (a fancy senate term for saying 60 Senators voted yes) then the Motion to Proceed will be adopted by a majority vote and the Senate will start debating the House bill that I mentioned above. Next the very first thing that will happen is that the "merged" Finance/HELP Committee bill will be offered as a complete substitute to the House bill. Then the fun really begins. Senators offer dozens of amendments, the Majority and Minority Leaders try to work out Unanimous Consent agreements, which I will explain below, to get lots of the amendments votes and sometimes Senators even filibuster each other's amendments. But sooner or later the Majority Leader says that is enough. That's when...

2.Cloture Motion on Manager's Amendment (Substitute Amendment): After considerable debate and amendment to the substitute, the Majority Leader will file Cloture on the Substitute. If there are 60 votes here, the Merged reform bill/Substitute as amended will get an up or down vote after 30 hours of post cloture consideration. Then...

3. Cloture Motion Filed on Measure (Final Passage): After the Substitute Amendment is adopted, the Senate still needs to bring debate on the entire bill to a close, so in oder to get to final passage of the health reform bill in the Senate, there will be one more cloture vote -- on the final bill (or to get super technical, on that old house bill as amended by the Substitute). Assuming 60 senators support getting to a final vote on the bill they've just spent days and weeks amending and debating (not to mention months doing the same in Committee), then there will be an opportunity for the health care reform bill to receive a straight up-or-down vote.
read more...
As it:
The most confusing part, I suspect, is that a vote FOR cloture is a vote AGAINST a filibuster (kind of reminds me how in Greek we say "ne" for yes, which people just assume is "no").
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Take Dick Durbin's Public Option Poll

Right Now.

Public Option Poll

Virtually every poll now shows most people support a robust public option to expand health insurance choice and offer coverage to more Americans. But there are several interpretations of what a public option should look like, and the American people should not settle for a "public option" in name only.

Please rank your preferences for each form of the public option currently under consideration.

Take it NOW (click here or the screenshot above).
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This Woman (and Preacher Pat Robertson) are an Embarrassment to Humanity

You just have to see this to believe it (via The Good Atheist):

This woman is an embarrassment to humanity



Every single time you hear a person start a speech with “My Gawd, my Gawd, my Gawd”, you need to pull your ear plugs out of your pocket and put them on immediately. This woman compares homosexuals with dogs, and claims that the “Devil” is now loose and running wild in her community. You don’t need a supernatural entity to commit evil, lady; you’re doing just fine spewing your bigoted hatred without any help.

read more...

While that women is an "embarrassment to humanity," she's not the only one. Lawrence O'Donnell exposed another on last night's Countdown: Pat Robertson:
Creeps in the candy

Oct. 30: Reverend Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, addresses Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network web site's advisory that "candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches."


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President Obama Lifts Abhorrent HIV Travel Ban

Reversing 20 years of banned entry into the U.S. for those infected with the HIV virus, President Obama signs order lifting the ban just before signing a bill to extend the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program at the White House yesterday.

"If we want to be a global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it," he said. Lifting the ban "is a step that will save lives," as more people will get tested and treated.

From MSNBC:

White House ends HIV travel ban


As DKos' Yalin point out, there's a lot more to be done, like repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT):

Gallup Poll on DADT Repeal

Take a look at these numbers:

SUPPORT:

69%: National Adults
58%: Conservatives
77%: Moderates
83%: Liberals
58%: Republicans
67%: Independents
82%: Democrats
60%: Attend Church weekly
70%: Attend Church nearly weekly/monthly

76%: Attend Church seldom/never

read more....
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Paul Haggis Quits Church of Scientology Over Prop 8 Calling It "Morally Reprehensible'"

I wonder if Tom Cruise this like Paul Haggis does about his wonderful cult of Scientology's support of Prop (like the Mormon Church's)? That it's "morally reprehensible?"



From the LA Times:
Everybody has his or her own take on Paul Haggis' dramatic letter, announcing his break with Scientology after 35 years of membership in the church [...]

[snip]

If you missed the news, the Church of Scientology was a public sponsor of Proposition 8, which Haggis describes in his letter as "a hate-filled legislation that succeeded in taking away the civil rights of gay and lesbian citizens of California."

Haggis had apparently been campaigning for months to get the church's official spokesman, Tommy Davis, to condemn the Prop 8 sponsorship, saying he couldn't in good conscience be a member of an organization in which gay-bashing was tolerated. But to no avail. It's intriguing to see that once Haggis saw the church in a new light, he found himself alienated from some of its others actions. For me, the letter's most astounding revelation is that Haggis calls out the church for its policy of disconnection, which apparently calls for members to cut their ties with people Scientology has deemed as unfriendly to the church.

Haggis acknowledges that his wife was ordered to disconnect from her parents because of something they supposedly did 25 years earlier when they resigned from the church. His wife followed the church's orders, refusing to speak to her parents, who'd introduced her to Scientology in the first place. As for Haggis, he says that he refused to break off contact, explaining, "I've never been good at following orders, especially when I find them morally reprehensible."

read more...

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Pew Poll Shocker: Fox News Is Conservative!

Pew has a new poll out with some surprising results: Fox 'news" is viewed as being the most ideological compared to the other big cable news networks. I know! Whodathunk it?!

What TPM's Eric Kleefeld wants to know is who are the 14% who think Fox is TOO LIBERAL??

In a shocking poll result, a new Pew survey finds that Fox News is viewed as being the most ideologically oriented of the big three cable news channels.

Fox is viewed as being conservative by 47% of Americans, as liberal by 14% (Who are these people???), and as being neither by 24%. CNN is viewed as conservative by 11%, liberal by 37%, and neither by 33%. MSNBC is seen as conservative by 11% (Again: Who are these people???), liberal by 36%, and neither by 27%.

The poll also finds that the view of Fox as being conservative is shared across groups of people who watch different networks. However, people who watch Fox are more likely to view the other networks as being liberal.

read more...
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Angry Films Video: Net Neutrality and You - Why McCain Sucks...

Another great video from Angry Films Production. This time they take Grandpa McCain & his idiocy in fighting against Net Neutrality:

Net Neutrality and You - Why McCain Sucks...

*AFO... does not posses any kill-yourself-pills, We suggest you seek the advice of a psychiatrist What is Internet Neutrality? Well to put it quite simply it's all that's good with the internet. The guys of AFO believe strongly that isps should keep their gold digger hands to themselves and respect the rights of the surfer. Also John McCain is a douchebag that is trying to regulate something he doesn't even understand.

More about Angry Films Production:
Angry Films investigates is a miniseries produced by Angry Films Productions. Angry Films Investigates uncovers and tears apart some of our times biggest scams. You don't have to thank us, all we ask is that you listen and become aware of the truth.

see more from great videos from Angry Films Production...

Take their Poll: What's your opinion on net neutrality?


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Rosanne Cash Explains Why Musicians Don't Want Their Music Used to Torture Guantánamo Detainees to Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert wants to know why musicians are suing to ensure their music isn't being played at Guantánamo Bay as a form of torture. Rosanne Cash joins Stephen and signs her petition to President Obama.

We Got the Beating - Rosanne Cash

Rosanne Cash explains why she doesn't want her music used to torture Gitmo detainees.

Rosanne's group is CloseGitmoNow.org
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Jon Stewart RIPS Fox "News" (Again)

Jon Stewart RIPS Fox "News" -- again -- for calling themselves a "news" outlet.

For Fox Sake!

Fox News defends itself against an attack by the Obama administration by explaining that most of their shows aren't real news.


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Lawrence O’Donnell & Rachel Maddow Absolutely DESTROY Little Dick Cheney (Liz)

Both Lawrence O’Donnell & Rachel Maddow absolutely DESTROY Little Dick Cheney for attacking President Obama with lies about his honoring the war dead at Dover Air Base.

Lawrence O’Donnell (substituting or Keith On Countdown):

Liz Cheney takes the low road

Oct. 30: Richard Wolffe, MSNBC political analyst and senior strategist at Public Strategies, discusses Liz Cheney lying in an effort to smear President Obama's visit to the Dover Air Base to salute the returning war dead. Also discussed are the newly released FBI notes from Dick Cheney's interview on the Valerie Plame leak.


Rachel Maddow:
For Liz Cheney, truth is optional

Oct. 30: Rachel Maddow reviews Liz Cheney's historically weak grasp of facts, leading to her most recent effort to smear President Obama with falsehoods about his honoring U.S. war dead.


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10.30.2009

Fox "News" Poll: 58% STILL Blame Bush for Economy

Well this is a shocker. If you thought with all the teabagging, 9/12 protests, town hall mobs, and these nutters are screaming about Obama turning our country into a socialist state, that rage would have convinced people that the economic problems were having were Obama's doing, you'd be wrong.

From David Weigel at The Washington Independent:

Here’s a somewhat surprising result from the new Fox News poll. Asked which president is “more responsible for the current state of the economy,” only 18 percent say President Obama. Fifty-eight percent say former President George W. Bush. Nine percent blame both of them. Republicans are the only subgroup of voters who blame Obama, and only by a six-point margin of 35 percent to 29 percent.

What’s striking about this is that the numbers have only marginally gotten worse for President Obama in the three months since Fox News last asked this question. In July, it was 16 percent who blamed Obama and 61 percent who blamed Bush. That is, needless to say, not what Fox News viewers hear when they tune into the network. But it’s essential to understanding why the president remains popular and why Republicans are failing to really capitalize on economic gloom.

read more...
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Angry Films Video: "Privatize the Millitary"

Another great video from Angry Films Production:

Privatize the Millitary

The Millitary vows to protect our country, but what if we don't want protecting? Their grip on the global markets is so tight that it chokes out competition. Who says I'd rather have a green baret over a somali warlord. I know for one I'd feel safer if I could pay a little extra and know that I was safe... until my money ran out... but if I was poor I'd rather die anyway.


More about Angry Films Production:
Angry Films investigates is a miniseries produced by Angry Films Productions. Angry Films Investigates uncovers and tears apart some of our times biggest scams. You don't have to thank us, all we ask is that you listen and become aware of the truth.

see more from great videos from Angry Films Production...
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Americans United: "MONOPOLY" & "BABY HATERS!" Health Reform Ads

Two News Ad out from Americans United for Change. The first was just released, while the second is from last week. I never found the time to post it until now:

"MONOPOLY": End Insurance's Antitrust Exemption

BABY HATERS! Anti-Baby Bias of Insurers Blasted by "Patriot Baby"

more from Americans United for Change....

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Media Matters: Rise of the Conservative Media & Roger Ailes' History Of Race-Baiting:

Media Matters explains the "Rise Of The Conservative Media" in this new video:


Also, check out this news video focusing on Fox President Roger Ailes' History Of Race-Baiting:
Washington, DC - Today, Media Matters for America released a video calling attention to Fox News, which -- under the leadership of former Republican media consultant Roger Ailes -- routinely employs the same appeals to racial fears and biases when stirring up opposition to the Obama administration that Ailes used while working for Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush, and Rudy Giuliani.

Before being tapped by Rupert Murdoch to create Fox News in 1996, Ailes spent the better part of his career working as a Republican media consultant, during which time he became known for appealing to racial fears and biases for political gain.

more from Media Matters.....

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Media Matters: Fox "News" vs. Fox "Opinion"

Check out Media Matters' latest testament to Fox not being a a real news organization -- contrasting their "opinion" versus their supposed "news" sides:



see more from Media Matters...
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Headzup Triple Feature: Savage v Beck, Oprah v Palin & Obama Addresses Rape as a Pre-Existing Condition

Last week, Think Progress reported that Michael Savage says Glenn Beck does a ‘reasonably good job copying people who are brighter than him.’

Enter headzup:

Michael Savage Attacks Glenn Beck

Michael Savage attacks fellow radio host Glenn Beck, says he's copying people brighter than he is, takes ideas without giving credit.


Also, CBS reported that Harpo Productions announced that Sarah Palin will appear on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Monday, Nov. 16.

Enter headzup:
Oprah Winfrey Interviews Sarah Palin

A preview clip from the upcoming Oprah Winfrey / Sarah Palin interview to promote Palin's new book, Going Rogue.

Finally, it was reported that woman were being denied health care because they were raped, had C-sections or were victims of domestic violence, as were children for being too fat.

Enter headzup:
Health Care Denied For Rape, C Section, Baby Being Fat

President Obama is asked about how he won't demand a public option despite the fact that women are denied after being raped, or having a c section. Or how a baby was denied for being too fat, and another for being too skinny.


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10.29.2009

New DNC "Call 'Em Out" Ad: Sarah Palin

The DNC is calling liar Sarah Palin out in a new Call 'Em Out ad campaign:

A lot of folks use Facebook to stay in touch with friends and family. For Sarah Palin, it's a great way to spread lies about health insurance reform.

Palin has taken to Facebook to spread the "death panels" lie and claim that reform will raise costs for families. Independent fact checks and even the conservative Tax Foundation refuted her claims.

So Sarah Palin, we're calling you out.


More from The DNC here...

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Rep. Alan Grayson Breaks Down While Reading Letters About The Uninsured Dead

This is Rep. Alan Grayson reading stories from the site http://www.NamesOfTheDead.com (video h/t GottaLaff). Grab your hankies:



Partial transcript courtesy of MinistryOfTruth:

"Ladies and Gentleman, I could go on and on and on. I have receieved hundreds upon hundreds of stories like this at this website NamesOfTheDead.com. These are the stories of America. These are the stories of the who are suffering, and people who sent us to Washington D.C. to solve their problems for them. Not to debate, not to delay, but to keep them alive.

Now, the reason why I read these stories is this; again, as Lincoln said, in talking about these people, is their loved ones who speak best for them. As Lincoln said at the Gettysberg address; "It is far beyond my poor power to add or detract, rather, it is for the living to be dedicated here for the unfinished work for which these people have died.", and that, my friends, is the unfinished work of Universal Health Care in America. That is our unfinished work. And I look forward to a day that I hope wil come very soon, not soon enough for all these people, all these people who've died, but a day to come very soon when there will be no more stories like this, when there will be no more names to add to the website NamesOfTheDead.com, and for Gods' Sake, I look forward to a time when we will have finally done our jobs."

***Donate to any one of these Alan Grayson groups on Act Blue to keep this real Democrat in Congress!

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New Ad From Maine's *No on 1* Campaign: "Stand"

This is the new ad from Maine's No on 1 Campaign from Protect Maine Equality:

It's time to promise a fair and equal future for all Maine families.



do something...
FLASHBACK:

Philip: WWII Vet & Life-Long Republican Gives Impassioned Testimony in Support of Gay Marriage

If you haven't seen this powerful and heartbreaking testimony by an 86 year old WWII Veteran and lifelong republican -- in support of Gay Marriage in Maine -- you don't know what you're missing.

From EqualityMaine (h/t InfinityLincoln):
Testimony given for and against Maine's marriage equality bill on April 22, 2009. Nearly 4,000 people attended the hearing, with marriage equality supporters out-numbering the opposition 4 to 1.



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Pelosi Unveils $894B House Health Plan on Capitol Steps; 10 Teabaggers Show Up To Protest

This bill is not the robust public option that were were expecting. Why Nancy Pelosi didn't do what Harry Reid did and just put it in, which would lay the onus of removing it on the backs of the obstructionist blue dogs, is beyond me.

Anyway, here's the announcement (via TPM):



Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is unveiling the House health care reform bill this morning. In her opening remarks, she said, "Today we are about to deliver on a promise of making affordable quality health care available for all Americans, laying a foundation for a brighter future for generations to come."

Pelosi said the bill will "insure 36 million more Americans" and "will not add one dime to the deficit" -- covering 96 percent of Americans and costing less than $900 billion. The bill includes a public option and will end "discrimination for preexisting medical conditions."

She said the plan will be put online "for all Americans to see." You can read it here.

read more...
From the AP (via MSNBC):

WASHINGTON - After months of struggle, House Democrats unveiled sweeping legislation Thursday to extend health care coverage to millions who lack it and create a new option of government-run insurance. A vote is likely next week on the plan patterned closely on President Barack Obama's own.

[snip]

The ceremony marked a pivotal moment in Democrats' yearlong attempt to answer Obama's call for legislation to remake the nation's health care system by extending insurance, ending industry practices such as denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions, and slowing the growth of medical spending nationwide.

[snip]

Obama issued a statement saying House Democrats had reached a "critical milestone" on the road toward a health care overhaul, and singled out the proposed government insurance option. He also said the bill "clearly meets two of the fundamental criteria I have set out: It is fully paid for and will reduce the deficit in the long term."

[snip]

Democrats issued a statement saying their measure "lowers costs for every patient" and would not add to federal deficits. They put the cost of coverage at under $900 billion over 10 years, a total that didn't include money needed to avoid a scheduled 21 percent cut in doctor fees under Medicare, and omitted other items as well.

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Here are the basic details about the bill via the NY Times (h/t mcjoan):

Members of the House Democratic leadership team offered these details of their bill, to be unveiled on Thursday. It would provide coverage to 35 million or 36 million people. The 10-year cost of expanding coverage would be less than the $900 billion ceiling suggested by President Obama. The cost would be offset by new taxes and by cutbacks in Medicare, so the bill would not increase the federal budget deficit in the next 10 years or in the decade after that.

The new bill, like an earlier version, retains a surtax on high-income people, but increases the thresholds. The tax would hit married couples with adjusted gross incomes exceeding $1 million a year and individuals over $500,000 — just three-tenths of 1 percent of all households, Democrats said....

The new House bill would expand Medicaid to cover childless adults, parents and others with incomes less than 150 percent of the poverty level, or $33,075 for a family of four. This goes beyond the earlier House bill and a companion measure in the Senate, which would extend Medicaid to people with incomes less than 133 percent of the poverty level ($29,327 for a family of four).

This change saves money. It is less expensive for the federal government to cover low-income people under Medicaid than to provide them with subsidies to buy private insurance.

read more...

The problem with this less robust version of the public option is spelled out by DKos' slinkerwink, who has been fighting the good fight on health care reform from day one:
I've been thinking about the recent developments over the night and into this morning where the House unveiled their merged bill without the robust public option that Speaker Pelosi had been fighting for and that our Progressives in the House had been fighting for as well. Am I disappointed that the robust version of the public option isn't in the House bill? Yes, I am, only because it sends us to the conference process with a weaker hand where the debate likely would be moved to the right without consistent grassroots pressure from us. It's why so many of us were hoping that Speaker Pelosi would ignore the Blue Dogs and put in the robust version of the public option, just like Senator Reid had ignored the conservadems in the Senate that wanted a triggered public option, and instead went in with a trigger-free national public option.

[snip]

And there won't be any amendments offered on the floor, so Rep. Weiner's single-payer amendment and the Medicare plus 5% amendment by Grijalva will never get offered because the House leadership didn't want the Blue Dog Democrats to offer their anti-abortion amendments. I can understand the reasoning behind that, but Rep. Weiner and other single-payer advocates in the House had been promised that they would have the chance to bring forth a single-payer amendment. Also, the Rep. Kucinich amendment which was voted on in committee and made its way into the bill, won't even be a part of the final House bill, so the states would not have the ability to ask for a waiver to create a single-payer plan for their states.

People will have to pay a higher share of their premiums, which means lower subsidies, because the Blue Dogs didn't want the House to go with the robust public option, which would've saved more money and had more subsidies to make health care affordable for Americans. And you can see the price of giving in to the Blue Dog Democrats from the changes made to the bill,as provided by this link.

read more....
On a lighter note, just 10 Teabaggers or so showed up to protest Pelosi's health reform bill announcement.

LOL (via TPM):

It certainly wasn't the "flash mob" organizers were hoping for, but a small but determined group of Tea Party Patriots gathered on the Capitol Lawn this morning to protest the announcement of a final House health care reform bill.

TPMDC counted about 10 Tea Partiers holding signs denouncing a "government takeover" of health care and looking with disdain as House Democrats gathered on the Capitol Steps. They stood in a larger group of protesters from other groups, mostly focused on abortion rights.

Joann Abbott, a grandmother from Northern Virginia, made the drive to the protest this morning after seeing the email sent by Tea Party leaders last night. When asked if she was part of the "flash mob," she laughed. "I'm here on my own," she said, looking around at the scattered protesters around her. "If this is organized, we suck."

read more...
Check out Pelosi's reaction to the protesters. It's priceless:
"Thank you, insurance companies of America."



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10 Teabaggers Show Up To Protest Pelosi Health Reform Bill Announcement

LOL.

It certainly wasn't the "flash mob" organizers were hoping for, but a small but determined group of Tea Party Patriots gathered on the Capitol Lawn this morning to protest the announcement of a final House health care reform bill.

TPMDC counted about 10 Tea Partiers holding signs denouncing a "government takeover" of health care and looking with disdain as House Democrats gathered on the Capitol Steps. They stood in a larger group of protesters from other groups, mostly focused on abortion rights.

Joann Abbott, a grandmother from Northern Virginia, made the drive to the protest this morning after seeing the email sent by Tea Party leaders last night. When asked if she was part of the "flash mob," she laughed. "I'm here on my own," she said, looking around at the scattered protesters around her. "If this is organized, we suck."

read more...
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Jon Stewart & John Hodgman Mock Wall Street Reforms

From last night's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:

You're Welcome - Wall Street Reform

Express your outrage against corporate greed while earning valuable rewards points with the Angry Mob Platinum Diamond Card.

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Stephen Colbert Mocks Joe Lieberman's "Independence"

From last night's Colbert Report:

Joe Lieberman Is a True Independent

Joe Lieberman proves he's independent of his Connecticut constituents by opposing a public option in health care reform.


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Jon Stewart Mocks Media Coverage of Health Care Debate

From last night's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:

Public Option Limited

Liberal protesters sing show tunes to pressure Harry Reid into putting the public option back into health care reform.


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Maddow Takes Aim at FOX "News" Stossel's Anti-Health Reform Political Activism

Fox news is a 24/7 Political Operation. The ink isn't even dry on John Stossel's first paycheck and he's already attending anti-health reform rallies for Republican organizations, who dress themselves up to look like grass roots campaigns fighting health care reform.

Stossel demonstrates Fox News' non-news-ness

Oct. 28: Rachel Maddow shows that Fox News' John Stossel's work with anti-health reform group Americans for Prosperity is a perfectly acceptable and legal form of political activism but seriously hinders his and his network's credibility in reporting on health care reform in a news capacity.


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Calling MSNBC "The Left's Equivalent of FOX" is Simply Ridiculous (UPDATED)

Greg Sargent explains why the comparison/meme that MSNBC is the left's equivalent of FOX is just ridiculous:

...it’s plainly obvious that there’s a much brighter line between reporting and commentary at MSNBC than there is at Fox.

Consider MSNBC’s daytime content. Morning Joe is hardly a liberal program. Throughout the day you get lots of reporting and commentary from Chuck Todd and David Shuster. Todd fits squarely in the “nonpartisan Beltway analyst” category. Shuster? Sure, he’s aggressive in debunking conservative attack lines, but agree with him or not, Shuster calls them as he sees them on the facts, and he’s fundamentally a reporter.

More to the point is MSNBC’s news judgment throughout the day, which contrasts sharply with that of Fox. You’d be hard pressed to argue that MSNBC’s choice of stories to report on is as ideologically driven as Fox’s editorial choices. There’s simply no equivalent on the MSNBC news side of Fox’s constant “news” coverage of the tea partiers, the czars, the ACORN story, the crusade against gay education adviser Kevin Jennings, etc. etc. The point is that Fox’s news judgment is far more ideologically motivated than MSNBC’s is.

read more...

Greg also points to two of my favorite Media Matters videos as proof you can't compare the two. MSNBC does NOT behave like this:
Fox "News" vs. Fox "Opinion"



Fox News: A 24/7 Political Operation


UPDATE I:
As Markos says, "MSNBC will be like Fox News when Olbermann anchors its midday programming, and Fox gives its three-hour morning show to Phil Donahue."
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Maddow Goes After Lieberman, Who's Afraid To Debate Her on Health Reform

Glenn Greenwald joins Rachel Maddow to explain who will be responsible if health care reform fails (and why): Sen. Joe Lieberman. Oh, and he's afraid to come on the show and debate her, which should surprise no one. Holy Joe will only go on FOX and on Morning Joe. He hasn't got the balls to go on anywhere else, especially where he'd be proven a liar.

Lieberman defends insurance industry interests

Oct. 28: Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-CT, is threatening to filibuster a health reform bill that includes that public option, even though he’s been against this tactic in the past. Could this be because of his ties to the big insurance companies? Rachel Maddow is joined by Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald.


Also see (via Think Progress): Joe Lieberman is afraid to debate Rachel Maddow on health reform.
For the past couple of nights on her MSNBC show, Rachel Maddow has skewered Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) for his stated willingness to filibuster health reform. Decrying his “demonstrably and obviously untrue arguments” about the public option, Maddow told her audience last night that Lieberman could end up being “the reason we won’t get health reform if we don’t get health reform.” For his part, Lieberman appears afraid of defending his views to Maddow’s face.

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New Rechargeable Zinc-Air Battery 3x Energy of Lithium Ion (Safer Too)

I don't pretend to understand this stuff, so I'll keep my thoughts to myself on this one. Well, except to say this is cool.

From DKos' FishOutofWater:

Share this on Twitter - New Rechargeable Zinc-Air Battery 3x Energy of Li Ion
Three times the power for half the price. That's the promise of new rechargeable Zinc-air batteries with three times the (mass) energy density of Lithium ion batteries. The new technology looks like a big step forward for power storage for uses for electronic applications such as laptop batteries. Moreover, it has potential to extend the time before recharge of electric cars and off the grid solar systems. Zn-air batteries were previously not rechargeable because the electrodes tended to dry out or short out by the formation of elongated crystals. The new technology uses multiple engineered layers to contain and control the electrochemical reaction so it can go through over 100 charge/discharge cycles. How much over 100 cycles is not yet shown.


read the full, very technical piece by FishOutofWater...

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10.28.2009

President Obama Signs Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill Into Law (UPADTED)

This is great news (via News1News):



UPDATE:

The
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has a dairy up at Daily Kos about this historic bill: History in the Making

As President Obama today signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the following 30 organizations issued this joint statement:

It took much too long, more than a decade. And it came at too great a price: the brutal killings of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. are just two among the thousands of crimes motivated by hate and bigotry.

But this week, the president put pen to paper and fulfilled a campaign promise, the signing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, extending the federal hate crimes statute to include sexual orientation and gender identity along with race, religion, gender, national origin and disability. Our deepest hope and strong belief is that this new law will save lives. Now, lawmakers and the president have made an imperative statement to the country and the world: Our nation will no longer tolerate hate-motivated violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

We have worked long and hard for this and its passage is historic.

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Harry Reid: Reconciliation "Always an Option" | Durbin: "Failsafe on this is Reconciliation"

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made something crystal clear on Monday. Reconciliation is on the table and Democrats won't be held hostage by anyone. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin added, "the failsafe on this is reconciliation."

Via Ryan Grim (h/t mcjoan):

"Sure, it's always an option," Reid said after leaving his press conference Monday, when he announced that he'd be pushing forward with a public health insurance option with an opt-out provision that would give states the right not to participate.





Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who is in charge of corralling and counting votes, also said that reconciliation is still being considered. "The failsafe on this is reconciliation," Durbin said. "I hope we don't reach it because you can only do a limited amount of things on reconciliation."

[snip]

If only 50 votes are needed, Lieberman becomes irrelevant, the most damning sentence that can be handed down to a Senator.

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Sen. Arlen Specter was asked if if he'd support using reconciliation during a conference call with progressive bloggers (via Think Progress):
[...] during a conference call with progressive bloggers, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) was asked if, given Lieberman’s position, he would support using the reconciliation process to pass health care reform with a public option, which would require a mere simple majority for passage. Specter said that he might eventually but added that he thinks the Democratic caucus will get 60 votes:


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And yet, Reid's Spokesman quoted as saying, "Nothing Has Changed" on Lieberman's Position in the Democratic Caucus (via TPM's Eric Kleefeld):

We asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's spokesman Jim Manley whether Sen. Joe Lieberman's (ID-CT) position as a senior member of the Democratic caucus and a committee chairman is still secure, in light of his new comments that he will filibuster the public option.

"Nothing has changed," Manley told us.

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Lieberman FLAT OUT LIED About The Public Option On FOX "News"

Joe Lieberman FLAT OUT LIED about the public option and since it was on FOX "news" today. I guess you could say it was the appropriate forum for it, but boy does this fucker have nerve.

From Think Progress:

This afternoon, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) appeared on Fox News to defend his intention to filibuster any health care reform bill that includes a national public option. Lieberman argued that a public plan would “stifle” the economic recovery and increase “the debt.” “It’s just unnecessary,” Lieberman said. The public option is “a new entitlement program and the taxpayers and the premium-payers are going to end up paying for it, or else the debt will go higher.”

Responding to proponents of the public plan who argue that it would actually lower costs, Lieberman insisted that if the public option paid lower reimbursement rates than private insurers, medical providers would shift costs to Americans with private coverage:


Think Progress also explains why this is an outright lie...

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