Right here in North Carolina, the State where I stand, poverty has left its mark. Some people say that if these Americans are poor, it is their own fault. I have even heard others say that God ordains poverty for the poor. Well, I don't believe them, and I don't believe God believes them either.
Just a small comment: I know God doesn't believe that nonsense and I doubt that anyone beyond the 19% of the braindead population that follows the likes of Ron Paul and Glenn Beck believes it, either. So it isn't, like, "fringe" thinking. It's, like, "mainstream" thinking. So what we need, clearly, is a political party that won't run from reality like it was a bad smell. Ideas?
.Greg Sargent on the Dem's cowardly ways:
One last nugget from Richard Wolffe's new book on the Obama White House. In an interview with Wolffe, the President seemed to acknowledge that in pursuing bipartisan support for health reform, he and Democrats got snookered by a previously-thought-out GOP strategy to delay the process for as long as possible in order to politically damage him and the Democratic Party.
Here's the President on page 75:
"You have to give the Republicans credit, just from a pure political perspective, that they used every instrument available to them in the Senate to prolong the process in such a way that helped drive down support nationally, that gave everybody a sense that somehow Washington was broken," he told me. "At a time when everybody was worrying about jobs, for us to have to spend six to nine months on this piece of legislation obviously was not helpful."
Ok, wonderful. He supposedly gets it. Now what? Each time Dems give in to Republican demands, the goal posts get shifted further to the right. What is it going to take for the President to realize that the only end zone that matters for Republicans is the one that has them occupying the Oval Office in 2012?
Sargent is absolutely right in stating that there was no reason for the health care debate to drag on for as long as it did. It was quite evident within the first month or so that Republicans had no desire to reach agreement on any part of reform. By allowing Republicans to define the issues along their terms, Democrats saw public opinion on reform shift dramatically away from what it was at the beginning of 2009. And so it has been with every other issue Democrats have attempted to deal with in Congress.
How many more times does the anvil need to fall squarely on their heads before the President and Democrats really do indeed get it? It might be time to replace the Democratic donkey with a pic of a clueless Wiley E. Coyote.
Headline in the WaComPo: "GOP may be less eager than Obama for bipartisanship"
Gee, ya think??
After bitching and moaning these past two years that the White House has not been bipartisan (wrongly, as it were), the "newly emboldened" Party of No "have shown little enthusiasm for compromise."
Snort. Really. Wow, who could have seen that coming? Party over country, that's the gpukes in a nutshell. Asshats.
Fresh off a major shift in power in the House, we might expect another volatile congressional election in 2012.
Here's why: this year, 25 races were decided by 3 percent or less in the major-party vote share (13 Democratic and 12 Republican) pending recounts and final vote totals. Another 30 were decided by three percent - eight percent (18 Democratic and 17 Republican). Forty-two more races were decided by just 8 percent - 12 percent (25 Democratic and 17 Republican).
So overall, 56 Democratic and 52 Republicans won with majorities of 56 percent or less, and those races comprise 23 percent of the entire House. Add the unpredictable effects of redistricting to the 2012 equation, and the prospect of a 4th straight election with a turnover of 20 or seats is plausible.
Televangelist/con artist/homophobe Cindy Jacobs tells an audience of college students that she has personally "stationed angels all around this church" in order to "pierce the darkness of humanism and atheism." As a bonus in crazy, nasty homophobe Lou Engle comes on stage to babble in tongues and encourage the students to do the same. Mekka-lekka hi there!
The military is not a red state/blue state institution. It unifies our country. It draws its dedicated members from all regions. Still, it is no secret that the military is a socially conservative institution. It recruits heavily from rural areas in the South, the Midwest, and the Inter-Mountain states. In our larger cities, black and Hispanic recruits are encouraged to consider the military — which has historically been a great ladder of achievement for racial and ethnic minorities. These are the very areas and groups who have been most resistant to the demands of the homosexual lobby. These are the very regions and groups who have rallied to our side whenever we put a defense of marriage initiative on the ballot. If these regions and groups do not enlist in our all-volunteer force, President Obama will be driven to the place he does not want to go: the military draft. No action on repeal of the military ban on homosexuality should be taken in this lame-duck session of Congress. No votes should be taken — except to postpone major social changes.
Republican lawmakers who oppose the Democrats' health reforms should give up their taxpayer-subsidized health insurance and pay for their own coverage, say a group of progressive House Democrats.
In a letter to soon-to-be House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Democrats urged Republicans to stick to their principles opposing government-run health care and give up their own congressional health care plan.
"You cannot enroll in the very kind of coverage that you want for yourselves, and then turn around and deny it to Americans who don't happen to be Members of Congress," wrote Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY). "If your conference wants to deny millions of Americans affordable health care, your members should walk that walk."
How many Republicans will go along with this? None. Exactly zero.
Margaret & Helen: Palin's Denial Park
It takes a special kind of evil to deny the unemployed extended benefits while at the same time calling for permanent tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires – a move which will increase the deficit by $700 billion over the next decade.
Washington is poised to stop providing extended unemployment benefits despite the huge number of laid-off workers, the paucity of job openings, the high rate of underemployment in every sector of the economy and stubbornly slow economic growth. That's because Republicans in the Senate insist that, unlike the hefty tax cuts they covet for the wealthy, the comparatively slender subsidies for the unemployed must not be financed with borrowed money. This penuriousness is not just hypocritical, it's bad economics.
The current federal program, which offers up to 73 extra weeks of unemployment benefits to idled workers, is due to expire Nov. 30. If it does, about 2 million unemployed people will have their benefits cut off in December.
…and it takes a special and pathetic kind of stupid to buy into so blatant an example of Republican hypocrisy.
Creedocide Pest Exterminator: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Z297UtcJ8g&feature=player_embedded
McConnell too busy for dinner with Obama, eats with Federalist Society instead
So Obama is snubbed, and the White House covers McConnell's ass. McConnell won't appreciate the gesture, in fact he'll perceive it as a show of weakness by the President, and the President will try that much harder next time to make McConnell like him, likely by unilaterally conceding something incredibly important. Which will only make McConnell perceive the President as an even weaker character, which will only make the President try to please McConnell that much harder next time. It's just incredibly sad to watch.
First Gitmo detainee tried in real court not guilty on 284 of 285 counts
The system probably needs to be overwhelmed - by Kay
One of the many, many things that drove me nuts about the health care debate was this framing:
There are not enough primary-care doctors to meet current needs, and providing health insurance to 46 million more people would threaten to overwhelm the system.
Obama administration officials, alarmed at doctor shortages, are looking for ways to increase the supply of physicians to meet the needs of an aging population and millions of uninsured people who would gain coverage under legislation championed by the president.
Health care is always presented in terms of scarcity and fear, where those who we politely term "the uninsured" are going to be mobbing in and grabbing a piece of a fixed "system" that is currently parceled out to "the insured".
Now that those of you who go without primary care might have a way to pay for it, we've hit a brick wall on delivery.
We in the system are afraid you will overwhelm the system. There simply isn't enough to go around. Sorry.
Is this how a mature grown-up country behaves?
Why not just calmly and deliberately look to providing the service, now that the payment mechanism is or will be in place? People who are terrified generally don't make good decisions. Maybe we could stop scaring both those "in the system" and those with their noses pressed up against the glass?
Thirty million people who will now have a method to pay for health care isn't horrible and frightening. It's a good problem to have. It's simply the predicate to the next step, which is delivery. An opportunity for someone to step up, fill the huge, gaping hole we decided was "acceptable" for some insane reason, and provide primary care to the people who aren't getting any. Because if they are going to be flooding waiting rooms when they are insured, they aren't just "the uninsured". They're "the people who don't get health care".
Whichever provider group is first in with a proposed solution should get serious consideration, like, 28 states serious, and that's happening. That's good. It's what's supposed to happen.
It doesn't have to be a frightening scenario where those of us in "the system" are protecting the allotment we've managed to secure, leaving 30 million people to "crowd the waiting room", fighting for scraps.
Jill: Another dispatch from the "Figure That Out All By Yourself, Einstein?" file
Only in the army, is blowing up a man's home viewed as a P.R. success
One has to wonder if our Army is being led by sociopaths:
In another recent operation in the Zhari district, U.S. soldiers fired more than a dozen mine-clearing line charges in a day. Each one creates a clear path that is 100 yards long and wide enough for a truck. Anything that is in the way - trees, crops, huts - is demolished.So, by Army logic, if they destroy the homes of ten thousand Afghan families, that will bring them all closer to our side because they will all file for compensation.
"Why do you have to blow up so many of our fields and homes?" a farmer from the Arghandab district asked a top NATO general at a recent community meeting.
Although military officials are apologetic in public, they maintain privately that the tactic has a benefit beyond the elimination of insurgent bombs. By making people travel to the district governor's office to submit a claim for damaged property, "in effect, you're connecting the government to the people," the senior officer said.
That's bullshit, of course. What it does is swell the ranks of Taliban sympathizers. Every one of those families whose homes and fields are blown up the by Army will become a family with people who will cheer when they hear of an American soldier dying.
Doesn't matter a fuck that for the last sixty years, it has been the practice in hard times to extend unemployment benefits. Doesn't matter a shit that unemployment benefits are stimulative, since damn few unemployed people can afford o save anything.
No, now, after eight years of going along with the Bush deficits, now Republicans feel a need to do something about the deficit. And when Republicans want to "do something" about Federal deficits, their targets are always the programs who help people who have fallen on hard times. But whisper the magic words "tax breaks for the rich", and you will see those same deficit hawks stumbling over themselves to vote "yea", no matter how much those tax breaks increase the deficit.
So if you are unemployed in this holiday season, go and properly thank a Republican politician or pundit for their concern and caring. (Do try not to injure them too badly, though.)
Whether it's true or trumped up to punish him, it's despicable. "Sweden is to issue an international arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a rape case. Prosecutors said they would seek the warrant after a court ruled he should be held for questioning. An initial inquiry had been dropped in August. Mr Assange, an Australian who does not live in Sweden, says the allegations are part of a smear campaign. Wikileaks has published confidential material relating to US military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr Assange, 39, denies allegations of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion, which stem from a visit to Sweden in August. A Stockholm prosecutor started an investigation shortly afterwards, but the case was dropped by the chief prosecutor a day later."
National Enquirer: Willow Palin Had a 'PREGNANCY SHOCKER'