26 August 2009


...like dorothy, who had the power to go home "all along", the democratic party's long-hidden spine has finally reappeared...thanks to the CONGRESSIONAL PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS!!!

via huffpost:
(emphasis added)

"We're the group that speaks to the righteousness of an issue, [but] inevitably the decisions about how that issue's going to be addressed are conducted somewhere else," said Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), describing the traditional fecklessness of progressives in Congress. "The fact that we have stuck to our guns about the public option has surprised people."

A majority of the 81 Congressional Progressive Caucus members of the House have vowed to oppose any health care bill that does not include a "robust public option." That threat has kept it alive. With 256 seats in the House and 218 needed to pass a bill, Democrats simply can't move health care reform on their own without progressive caucus support.


"It's not a question of allow. It wouldn't have the votes," she said. When the White House went squishy last week on the public option ("not essential"/"one sliver"/"a piece"), Pelosi returned to the basic calculus. "There's no way I can pass a bill in the House of Representatives without a public option," she said.


"Quite frankly, we got motivated because there were other caucuses in the Democratic caucus who seem to get disproportionate attention based on their numbers," said Ellison. The Blue Dogs only number 51. "And we're like, wait a minute, we've got 80-plus members. How can we be ignored?"


"We've done our compromising and we're not compromising any more. We've got our shot. Let somebody else show some flexibility now," said Ellison.


As the prospect of a bipartisan bill fades, progressives hope their hand will be increasingly strengthened as Obama realizes where his allies are. "The White House does not know how to use the progressive community. They see us as kind of money in the kitty already," said Ellison. "The White House should be saying to the Blue Dogs and to the right wing, 'I cannot give you what you want because I have a progressive community that we're accountable to.'"

25 August 2009

john mccain - recipient of government subsidized/funded health care for 55 years

doesn't think everyday americans are entitled to the same level of affordable care he receives.


i *heart* bernie sanders...

...tell it like it is, bernie, tell it like it is!!!

"As a result of the greed, irresponsibility and illegal behavior of Wall Street our country has experienced the worst economic decline since the Great Depression," said Sanders. "Mr. Bernanke was head of the Fed and the nation's chief economist as this crisis, driven by reckless speculation, developed. Tragically, like the rest of the Bush administration, he was asleep at the wheel during this period and did nothing to move our financial system onto safer grounds."

"As the middle class of this country continues to shrink, we need a chairman of the Federal Reserve who is more concerned about expanding the productive economy -- increasing decent-paying jobs for all Americans -- than continuing to fan the flames of Wall Street greed and outrageous compensation packages."

24 August 2009

silly democrats...

...don't they realize that tax cuts and tax credits are only supposed to benefit the WEALTHY?!? sheesh.

New Splits in Health Care Plan Talks

Republicans are pressing to reduce the size of tax credits for families with incomes that are below three times the poverty rate. They would also like to trim back insurance coverage mandates in hopes of lowering premiums that would have to be subsidized.

it's time to a.) put the brakes on the inept clown car known as "the gang of six" and b.) stop watering down health care reform to appease those that will never vote for it in the first place.

poor widdle chuckie todd...

...his skin is so thin he's practically transparent. way to go scahill, take no prisoners!!!

22 August 2009

thank you, mr. president.

yes, i'm one of his harshest critics. however, when i see him like THIS, he appeals to my inner core.

20 August 2009

IOKIYAR...especially if you're also a talking faux spews bobble head.

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how close did the last regime come to destroying our democracy, part 1 too many plus 1

SRSLY, folks... the director of homeland security wasn't in NATIONAL security council meetings????? "pushed" to raise the security alert to influence an election?????

and people are critical of the OBAMA ADMINISTRATION? sheesh.

via US News and World Report:

Ridge was never invited to sit in on National Security Council meetings; was "blindsided" by the FBI in morning Oval Office meetings because the agency withheld critical information from him; found his urgings to block Michael Brown from being named head of the emergency agency blamed for the Hurricane Katrina disaster ignored; and was pushed to raise the security alert on the eve of President Bush's re-election, something he saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over.
...and the RIGHT (and tea baggers and town hall protesters parrot their talking points) have the audacity to call the Obama administration "fascist" and compare our president to Hitler??? somebody get those people a DICTIONARY.

19 August 2009

now, this is going to leave a mark...poor, deluded sean insHannity.


a.) you are obviously using "new math" because your numbers don't work
b.) we DON'T have the best system in the world
c.) you can't come back from an 80% increase in premiums and a 400% increase in insurance company profits

result? PWND!!1!!11!!!

don't trifle with barney frank:

poor, poor dear. she didn't know who she was triflin' with when she "engaged" barney frank.

18 August 2009

where were they during the shrub regime?

these are the same men that buy sports cars because they're inadequate (ahem) in other areas.

if they're so enamored with guns, why don't they go down to the local recruiting office and join the service. THAT, my friends, takes courage and patriotism. showing up at a political event with a fire arm...just because you can...not so much.

it bears repeating: why weren't these people promoting their 2nd amendment rights by engaging in this activity under the shrub regime? silly me, that really is a rhetorical question with an obvious answer.

balls vs. no balls...as presented by jon stewart via the selling of war vs. selling health care reform

as awful as the shrub regime was, team obama needs to go to their playbook on "message management 101".

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thanks for depressing me, rachel:

rachel raised a good point yesterday: if health-related stocks SOAR on a day when the market is DOWN, "they" know something "we" don't.


FINALLY! the "fierce advocate" has made a good decision...

with all the fubars...health care reform (oh, wait, we've massaged the message to health insurance reform), the financial welfare bail-out debacle, throwing the glbt community under the bus (and then running over us and then backing over us to see if we were ok and then running over us again to continue forward momentum), i was skeptical that sotomayor would turn out to be what she was "packaged" as.

Sotomayor made what appears to be her first public decision as a justice on Monday, voting unsuccessfully to delay the execution of an Ohio death row inmate.

She voted along with the court's liberal bloc – Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer – to stop the execution of Jason Getsy, whose execution is Tuesday.

for once, from this administration, we finaly get WYSIWIG (borrowing from the computer world: what you see is what you get).

15 August 2009


never in a million years did i think i would see even 1:45 of reality on FAUX SPEWS GNEWS!

poor focus on the family...

...profits down by $6Million so they're going to abandon their "xristian duty" to pray away teh gay.

Focus on the Family, James Dobson’s anti-LGBT empire and the largest organization in the religious right, announced earlier this week that it would be selling off its ex-gay therapy program called “Love Won Out.” The organization says it’s part of an effort to downsize in the wake of record profit losses of nearly $6 million. The news comes days after the nation’s largest psychological organization released a report condemning ex-gay therapies.

whatever it takes...just go away dobson! you give honest people of faith a really bad name.

14 August 2009

popcorn, part II

OMFG! i *heart* lawrence o'donnel!!!

poor, poor pitiful teabaggeress. i expected her to eventually blurt out, "but, but, but BILL CLINTON!!!"

get the popcorn out...

...it's time for a little REAL hardball, courtesy of lawrence o'donnel:

video of "you just got PWND"!!! couldn't happen to a more useless congress critter.

13 August 2009

it's time.

Gay & Lesbian Civil Rights... Now. from Jeffery Hammerberg on Vimeo.

if you can find or make excuses why glbt people shouldn't have full civil equality or should patiently wait even one more day for that equality, then you ARE exposing your bigotry.

10 August 2009

the audacity of HYPE

all my fears and consternation in one article. i couldn't have said it all any better:

Does Obama have the ability to stand up to corporate interests? There's scant evidence of that so far. Indeed, most notably in the course of the financial industry bailout, he deferred to them quite spectacularly. And it's not just corporate interests, either. There's something about the military/national security complex that seems to set Obama back on his heels on such issues as dealing with Guantanamo detainees, coming clean about the Bush administration's torture legacy or "Don't Ask Don't Tell."

09 August 2009

too bad CANDIDATE obama isn't the pResident

...yet another campaign promise broken to appease lobbyists and corporate interests.

negotiating bulk pricing for Medicare recipients could literally be a matter of life and death for many people.

08 August 2009

a most glorious rant:

read it all HERE.


... and no I can't show you an original copy of my birth certificate because Woody Harrelson spilled bong water on it.

At a recent town-hall meeting in South Carolina, a man stood up and told his Congressman to "keep your government hands off my Medicare," which is kind of like driving cross country to protest highways.

And among Republican governors, only 30% got their wife's name right on the first try.

And don't even ask about cabinet members: seven in ten think Napolitano is a kind of three-flavored ice cream.

That's right, half of America looks at books called the Old Testament and the New Testament and cannot figure out which one came first.

We should forget town halls, and replace them with study halls.

James Madison wrote that "pure democracy" doesn't work because "there is nothing to check... an obnoxious individual." Then, in the margins, he doodled a picture of Joe the Plumber.

oh, bill, these are going to leave MAJOR marks!

whether or not you acknowledge the 800 pound gorilla in the room or not...

does not mean it isn't an 800 pound gorilla.

note to "fierce advocate": big PhRMA is an 800 pound gorilla. refusing to allow the negotiation of bulk pricing and less expensive reimportation of prescription drugs is NOT an acceptable component of health care "reform".


once again, dan savage knocks it out of the park

President Obama: Was It a One Night Stand?

anything i try to add would diminish the impact of the article. clicky teh linky.

05 August 2009

These are the people "fierce advocate" is afraid of offending

if "fierce advocate" wants to be truly "bipartisan", he should start negotiating with the Progressive Caucus!

"The Family", UPDATED!

it's too bad that the only person to be covering this story effectively is rachel maddow!

this is a nice overview:

fascinating interview with author, jeff sharlet, on The Thom Hartmann Show:

some of rachel's reporting:

...so, where ARE our leaders?

...we're ready to fight the good fight, but we lack a cohesive strategy that can only come from a leader of the glbt civil rights movement. this is the subject of a very good, albeit long, article in The Advocate.

buried in the 3rd page of the article, larry kramer speaks up and tells us what we need to hear: that we need to follow the strategy employed by Act Up that was so effective in the early days of the HIV/AIDS awareness fight.

from the article, emphasis added:

History offers an uncomfortable answer. At the start of the 1990s, when Bill Clinton had a vision for America and we were part of it, gay people were intoxicated with excitement and a sense of opportunity. By decade’s end, the president had signed DOMA and “don’t ask, don’t tell.” “The movement was not honest enough with itself about our own failures,” Guerriero says. “The president caved to Congress because we didn’t show up and provide the air cover he needed with smart, strategic, robust activism.”

That’s because, on the federal level, “we don’t have an organization that fights for us with sufficient teeth in their arsenal,” says novelist, playwright, and gay rights pioneer Larry Kramer. “I’m sick of saying it, and everyone thinks I’m nothing but a curmudgeon. But I am approaching closer and closer to death, to my death, without being able to marry my lover, without being able to leave my estate to my lover without it being taxed into oblivion.”

Kramer’s tone isn’t curmudgeonly. It’s weary, almost shell-shocked. Gay activists in Washington are feckless, he argues, because they are enchanted by a false idea of power. “We are not here to make friends,” he says. “We are here to get our rights. And these two statements do not join together to blend into one happy halo.”

The national gay rights movement is trapped between activism and politics, between anger and ambition. We are trapped between wanting equal rights and wanting to get invited to parties at the White House. Even Joe Solmonese, the president of HRC, who according to Kramer represents the movement at its most complacent, suggests that to become real players we are going to have to start acting a little more like heroes: “One of the things our movement does not give enough appreciation and reverence to is ACT UP. Their rage. Their anger. But always with an endgame, always with a strategic center,” he says.

Kramer, who cofounded ACT UP in 1987 to address the AIDS crisis, says the group worked on very simple principles. “We all, hundreds of us, got ourselves in a room, and we planned very specific points of attack, and we divided the various plans into segments, each of which was taken over by one or another of our committees and put into operation. You go after the things that you want. Marriage, inheritance, adoption, ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ repeal of DOMA. And then you start doing public demonstrations about each of them. Passing out detailed literature explaining the action. Naming names of the people who are preventing progress on these actions. You are merciless in confronting [those people], day after day. Consistency is so important. You have to be an activist every day, seven days a week, until you reach your goal. It’s not rocket science, any of this. You want something that somebody won’t give you? You find out how to get it.”

The gay movement today, he contends, lacks leaders with the level of commitment that animated ACT UP -- people who are willing to employ the shaming techniques that ACT UP used, and people who are willing to identify as gay first and foremost.

Kramer’s right on both points. Yet the problem is intractable. Shy of another dozen equally well-publicized Matthew Shepards or a new plague, it’s hard to see how a critical mass of gay people might be moved to experience themselves as “gay first and foremost,” how we might be moved to choose the radically separatist identity that has been, in our own history, our best weapon. Is it possible that the enemy has changed? If so, is it possible that different techniques are called for?

“I do not see a different enemy,” Kramer says. “The enemy is the enemy. We are hated too much by too many. And we are afraid to acknowledge this and to look it in its face for what it really is, hate, and to stare it down and fight it back. And become, as we did in ACT UP, our own heroes."

04 August 2009

Blue Dogs, You Have Been Warned...

...and while olbermann's commentary was directed at the health care reform issue, progressives are going all the way in opposition. if you cast your lot with the republiCONS, you WILL be targeted for replacement in the primaries.

if you don't have time to read the full transcript or watch the full special comment (both of which i highly recommend), here's the "money" portion:

But I think you get the point. We don't need to call the Democrats holding this up Blue Dogs. That one word "Dogs" is perfectly sufficient. But let me speak to them collectively, anyway.I warn you all. You were not elected to create a Democratic majority. You were elected to restore this country. You were not elected to serve the corporations and the trusts who the government has enabled for the last eight years.

You were elected to serve the people. And if you fail to pass or support this legislation, the full wrath of the progressive and the moderate movements in this country will come down on your heads. Explain yourselves not to me, but to them. They elected you, and in the blink of an eye, they will replace you.

If you will behave as if you are Republicans — as if you are the prostitutes of our system —you will be judged as such. And you will lose not merely our respect. You will lose your jobs!

Every poll, every analysis, every vote, every region of this country supports health care reform, and the essential great leveling agent of a government-funded alternative to the unchecked duopoly of profiteering private insurance corporations. Cross us all at your peril.

and now, presented without comment, olbermann's "special comment":

the full transcript (the names have not been changed, but they have been placed in bold, as have the health care lobby dollars secured by these crooks, to protect the guilty and links within the special comment are retained from the transcript at MSNBC):

Finally tonight, as promised, a Special Comment on Health Care Reform in this country, and in particular, the "public insurance option." In March of 1911, after a wave of minor factory fires in New York City, the City's Fire Commissioner issued emergency rules about fire prevention, protection, escape, sprinklers. The City's Manufacturers Association in turn called an emergency meeting to attack the Fire Commissioner and his 'interference with commerce.'

The new rules were delayed. Just days later, a fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. The door to the fire escape was bolted shut to keep the employees from leaving prematurely. One hundred and fifty of those employees died, many by jumping from the seventh floor windows to avoid the flames. Firefighters setting up their ladders literally had to dodge the falling, often burning, women. This was the spirit of the American corporation then. It is the spirit of the American corporation now. It is what the corporation will do, when it is left alone, for a week. You know the drill. We all know the drill.

You get something done, at a doctor's, at a dentist's, at an emergency room and the bills are in your hands before the pain medication wears off. And if you're one of the lucky ones, and you have insurance, you submit the endless paperwork and no matter whether it's insurance through your company, or your union, or your non-profit, or on your own dime, you then get your turn… at the roulette wheel.

How much of it is the insurance company going to pay this time? How much of it is the insurance company — about which you have next to no choice, and against which you have virtually no appeal — how much is this giant corporation going to give you back? What small percentage of what they told you they were going to pay you, will they actually pay you? You know the answer. And, you know the answer if you don't have insurance. But do you know why that's the answer?

Because the insurance industry owns the Republican Party. Not exclusively. Pharma owns part of it, too. Hospitals and HMO's, another part. Nursing homes — they have a share. You name a Republican, any Republican, and he is literally brought to you by... campaign donations from the Health Sector. Sen. John Thune of South Dakota? You gave the Republican rebuttal to the President's weekly address day before yesterday. You said the Democrats' plan was for"…government run health care that would disrupt our current system, and force millions of Americans who currently enjoy their employer-based coverage into a new health care plan run by government bureaucrats."

That's a bald-faced lie, Senator. And you're a bald-faced liar, whose bald face is covered by…your own health care plan run by government bureaucrats. Nobody would be forced into anything; and the Public Insurance Option is no more a disruption than letting the government sell you water, and not just Poland Spring and Sparkletts. But, as corrupt hypocrites go, Senator, at least you're well paid. What was that one statement worth to you in contributions from the Health Sector, Sen. Thune?

Five thousand dollars? Ten? We know what you are, Sir, we're arguing about the price. What about your other quote? "We can accomplish health care reform while keeping patients and their doctors in charge, not bureaucrats and politicians." Wow, Senator — this illustrates how desperate you and the other Republicans are, right? Because Sen. Thune, if you really think "bureaucrats and politicians" need to get out of the way of "patients and their doctors," then you support a woman patient's right to get an abortion, and you supported Michael Schiavo's right to take his wife off life support, and you oppose "bureaucrats and politicians" getting in the way, and we'll just mark you down on the pro-choice list. That's a rare misstep for you Sen. Thune. No twelve-thousand dollar payoff for that statement! I am not being hyperbolic, am I, Senator? On the money?

Sen. Thune has thus far received from the Health Sector, campaign contributions — and all these numbers tonight are from "The Center For Responsive Politics" — campaign contributions amounting to one million, $206,176. So much for Sen. Thune. How about Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite? Good evening Ma'am. You are the Florida representative who claimed on the Floor that Democrats had…"…released a health care bill which essentially said to America's seniors: drop dead."

Now those are strong, terrorizing, words — that's exactly what your Insurance and Medical Overlords wanted to hear. But are you truly worth every dollar of the $369,000,255 of them you have received over the years from the Health Sector? I'd reed the rest of the operative part of your speech myself, but your rendition actually cannot be matched:

Listen up, America, seniors have special needs. This bill ignored the, ignores the needs of Florida's health care system. We should be fixing what is broke. Not disseminate, disseminating, decimating, the care of our senior population. -- July 21, 2009

You can always tell, can't you, Congresswoman, when the hostage is reading her own ransom note, and when she is reading one written for her? So much for Rep. Brown-Waite. There are so many other Republicans, bought and sold — like the unfortunate Congresswoman there —by the Health Sector. Minority Leader McConnell of the Senate.

Rep. Bart Gordon of Tennessee. Congressman? Undecided on the public option? At $1,173,000 in donations from the Health Sector, I'm surprised. You should have already said no — and loudly. The only thing you should be "undecided" about, is whether or not you're really a Democrat. So much for Rep. Gordon. Sen. Max Baucus of Montana. Good evening, Senator.

So you're supposed to be negotiating all this out with the Republicans and hesitant Democrats? To gain bi-partisanship with a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Health Sector? Bi-partisanship that will get you, what? A total of no votes? And your price has been, let's see $414,000 in donations from Hospitals. About $667,000 from the insurance companies and just over a million from Big Pharma. There was a $1,300,000 from other health professional and $237,000 from Nursing Homes.

When you think of getting $237,000 in campaign contributions from nursing homes, Sen. Baucus, do you ever think about whether they subtract that amount of money evenly from all the patients suffering and dying in the lousy ones, or just from a few of the lousy ones? So much for Sen. Baucus. Sadly, this list could go on almost all night, too.

I could ask Blue Dog Congressman, Democrat John Tanner of Tennessee, if, since he's gotten $215,000 from hospitals over the years, if I and the appropriate number of my friends were willing to make it $216,000, if we could buy his vote — or would there have to be an auction?

We could bring up Senator Hagan, and Congressman Pomeroy, who, at 628-thousand, appears to represent the Insurance Industry and not North Dakota. I could bring up Sen. Carper, and Sen.Blanche Lincoln.

Senator Lincoln? By the way, considering how you're obstructing health care reform, how do you feel... every time you actually see Sen. Kennedy? I could bring up all the other Democrats doing their masters' bidding in the House or the Senate, all the others who will get an extra thousand from somebody if they just postpone the vote another year, another month, another week, because right now without the competition of a government-funded insurance company, in one hour the health care industries can make so much money that they'd kill you for that extra hour of profit, I could call them all out by name.

But I think you get the point. We don't need to call the Democrats holding this up Blue Dogs. That one word "Dogs" is perfectly sufficient. But let me speak to them collectively, anyway.I warn you all. You were not elected to create a Democratic majority. You were elected to restore this country. You were not elected to serve the corporations and the trusts who the government has enabled for the last eight years.

You were elected to serve the people. And if you fail to pass or support this legislation, the full wrath of the progressive and the moderate movements in this country will come down on your heads. Explain yourselves not to me, but to them. They elected you, and in the blink of an eye, they will replace you.

If you will behave as if you are Republicans — as if you are the prostitutes of our system —you will be judged as such. And you will lose not merely our respect. You will lose your jobs!

Every poll, every analysis, every vote, every region of this country supports health care reform, and the essential great leveling agent of a government-funded alternative to the unchecked duopoly of profiteering private insurance corporations. Cross us all at your peril.

Because, Rep. Ross, you are not the Representative from Blue Cross.

And Mr. Baucus, you are not the Senator from Schering-Plough Global Health Care even if they have already given you $76,000 towards your re-election. And Ms. Lincoln, you are not the Senator from DaVita Dialysis.

Because, ladies and gentlemen, President Lincoln did not promise that this nation shall have a new death of freedom, and that government of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation, shall not perish from this earth.

Good night and good luck.

best. quote. evar. regarding Senator Thune:

we know what you are, sir. we're arguing over the price.

that's gonna leave a big mark!

03 August 2009

"town hall" meetings under the Shrub Regime were carefully screened to weed out dissent...

what a difference a "change" makes. now, look at the civility of the birthers, freepers, wingnuts, et. al...

these folks really need to be carrying pitchforks with amerikkkan flags attached to them: