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    • The Attack In Ottawa will be used to justify losing more rights
      Prime Minister Harper pretty much confirmed it: ‘Our laws and police powers need to be strengthened’ Yup.  Never let a crisis go to waste. I’m very sad that MPs and their staff were scared, and I’m sadder that a soldier lost his life.  But one attack does not justify increasing the police state.  However, if [...]
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What’s a “Liberal” Again?


President Obama is considered a “liberal” Democrat in denial by the Village. If you ask Obama about his “shellacking” (can I take the time to point out how lame that word is and how sick I am of hearing it?) two weeks ago he will say that it was a messaging problem. While he was toiling away with legislation trying to help us ingrates he just didn’t have the time to go out and say how all of it was going to benefit our ungrateful behinds so we punished him at the voting booth for not chatting with us enough.
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I support overturning Roe v. Wade and so should you

Yep, your rights are at risk but not the way you think

Nope.  I am not a anti-choice advocate.  I am firmly pro-choice.  I wholeheartedly support a woman’s right to choose.  But when I read “hair-on-fire’ posts like Digby’s complete with a list of anti-choice proposals from Katha “Obamabot feminist” Pollitt, I think it’s time to dump this turkey and adopt a new strategy:

Katha Pollitt draws attention to the startling fact that at least 53 of the new House members and five new Senators are hardcore anti-choice zealots and makes the important observation that all this blather about the GOP keeping the abortion issue roiling for cynical political purposes is just that: blather. The anti-choice zealots will be hard at work whittling away a woman’s right to own her own body at the state level, while the GOP Congress will do its part to roll back whatever they can. And at some point, the movement is going to demand that their efforts to pack the court with wingnuts are rewarded with a reversal of Roe. They will get their case.

[...]

One would like to believe that our nominally Democratic majority in the Senate will not advance any of this legislation and if they do our allegedly pro-choice president will veto it. But I fully expect that abortion will be on the able as a bargaining chip when the Democrats try to fashion compromises on economic matters — women will be asked to give once again so that the Teabaggers can be appeased with something that isn’t vitally important to the people. (Well, except the women, but they hardly qualify.)

Controversial statement: The best thing that could happen to women in this country is for the court to overturn Roe.  Stick a fork in it it’s done.
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Monday Morning: He’s Baa-aaccccckkkk

Keith Olbermann has returned from exile at MSNBC:

Liberal groups had taken on Olbermann’s suspension as a cause. An online petition calling for his reinstatement, run by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, had exceeded 300,000 signatures Sunday, and Michael Moore had tweeted his support. The committee’s Adam Green said Griffin was repeatedly e-mailed updates on the petition drives.

“Progressives proved that when one of our own are targeted, we will have their backs,” he said.

That’s right. Why fight for REAL Health Care Reform or hold some kind of rally for the unemployed when you can fight to get a screaming moron back on the air?

Oh well. Moving on! Representative Eric Cantor refuses to take another Government shut down or a default on the National Debt off the table.

In an interview with Fox News Sunday this morning, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), the #2 Republican in the House, threatened to take the nation’s economy hostage if President Obama does not comply with House GOPers’ as yet undefined demands. When asked if he would take a government shutdown on forcing the United States to default on its debt off the table, Cantor responded that it would somehow be President Obama’s fault if House Republicans press this agenda:

QUESTION: Are you willing to say right now we’re not going to let the country go into default, and we won’t allow a government shutdown?

CANTOR:  Chris, look at this now.  The chief executive, the president, is as responsible as any in terms of running this government. The president has a responsibility, as much or more so than Congress, to make sure that we are continuing to function in a way that the people want.

Wow. Do these imbeciles ever learn? Never mind the fact that the public sector is almost the only place where people actually have jobs now, Obama is ALL READY saying he will compromise on extending the Bush Tax cuts. I wouldn’t worry, folks. No way is Bam going to have the cojones to let it come to a showdown between him and the House GOP. He might actually have to stand on his principles if that happens, and he has none. Even if it’s true that the GOP won’t accept compromise now, he will cave.

Cantor elaborates on The Hill about what message electing Nancy as House Minority Leader would send to Americans:

“I mean, the voters outright rejected the agenda that she’s been about. And here they’re going to put her back in charge,” Cantor, in line to become the House majority leader in the next Congress, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I mean this is the woman who really, I think, puts ideology first, and there have been no results for the American people,” he said. “And that seems the direction they want to take again. It just doesn’t make sense.”

She hardly puts her ideology first. This is a gal who claims to be pro choice and then passed HCR on our uteruses to please her backers in the Insurance Industry. Maybe if she had stuck to her scary socialist ideology more women would have showed up at the polls when she and Harry needed them.

And the  party doesn’t stop there. At least not the Tea party. The GOP also promises to “roll back” HCR.

Republicans, who will control the House starting in January but will remain in the minority in the Senate, acknowledge that they do not have the votes for their ultimate goal of repealing the health law, the most polarizing of Mr. Obama’s signature initiatives.

But they said they hoped to use the power of the purse to challenge main elements of the law, forcing Democrats — especially those in the Senate who will be up for re-election in 2012 — into a series of votes to defend it.

How’s that “New Coalition” working out for ya?

The Republicans are worse®?

SERENITY NOW!


Kevin Drum at MoJo:

That final quote is priceless. “The health reform law did not deliver the uninsured in the way that insurers wanted.” Apparently they wanted the uninsured trussed up and delivered to their doorsteps wallet first, but without any actual obligation on their part to provide decent service in return. And they know just how to get their wish: “The industry would love to have a Republican Congress,” says Wendell Potter, a former Cigna insurance executive. “They were very, very successful during the years of Republican domination in Washington.”

But this is creating a wee problem for everyone. You see, Republicans are loudly proclaiming right now that they want to eliminate the part of the law that forces everyone to buy insurance. But that’s exactly the part of the law that insurance companies like. In fact, they want to see it strengthened. At the same time, they want to get rid of the popular parts of the law that keep insurance companies from figuring out ways to screw patients. But those are the provisions that Republicans say they’ll keep if we turn over Congress to them.

And yet, the insurance companies are massively funding Republicans this cycle anyway. Why would that be? It’s almost as if they’re sure that Republicans are just blowing campaign smoke and will support their agenda once they’re safely in office. They’re so sure, in fact, that they’re willing to put their money where their mouths are to the tune of millions of dollars.

So which do you believe? Republican mouths or insurance industry money? Decisions, decisions…..

Lets see Kevin, the Democrats passed a bill requiring every American with two nickles to rub together to give one of them to a health insurance company and the Republicans say they want to repeal it so you think we should . . . trust the Democrats?

WTF?

I mean seriously, WHAT THE FUCK???

Seems to me I recall that the health insurance companies donated to Obama early and often, along with the Wall Street bankers, BP, and the rest of the malefactors of great wealth. And wasn’t it just yesterday that the DNC was bragging about how much money they were raking in?

Let’s not forget Stupak-Pitts and Executive Order 13535 either.

You want to know the worst part? Kevin Drum GETS PAID TO WRITE THAT DRIVEL!

I remember when Mother Jones was a liberal publication, not another propaganda outlet shilling for the DINOcrats.


Saturday Morning News and Views

Good Morning Conflucians!!!! What’s happening out there in the world?


The big story of this slow news day seems to be the attempted “terrorist attack” in Detroit.

ABC News: Man Attempts to Set Off Explosives on Detroit-Bound Airplane

Federal officials and police are interviewing a Nigerian man, who allegedly tried to “explode” a powdery substance aboard a Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, injuring himself and two other passengers, law enforcement officials said.

The man said he was directed by al Qaeda to explode a small device in flight, over U.S. soil, ABC News has learned. Authorities have no corroboration of that information, and the credibility of the suspect’s statements are being questioned, officials said.

The suspect was identified as Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, who according to federal documents is an engineering student at University College of London.

The latest from CNN: Device was on fire in terror suspect’s lap, plane passenger says

A Nigerian man is “talking a lot” to the FBI, said a senior U.S. official, after what the United States believes was an attempted terrorist attack on an inbound international flight.

The initial impression is that the suspect was acting alone and did not have any formal connections to organized terrorist groups, said the official, who is familiar with the investigation.

The suspect, identified by a U.S. government official as 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, ignited a small explosive device Friday, shortly before a Northwest flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands, landed at Detroit Metro Airport in Michigan.

Passenger Jasper Schuringa told CNN that with the aid of the cabin crew, he helped subdue and isolate Abdulmutallab.

Abdulmutallab was taken into custody and is being treated for second- and third-degree burns on his thighs, according to federal law enforcement and airline security sources.

CNN World: London police hunt airline terror link

Counterterrorism officers are searching buildings in London in connection with the alleged terrorist attempt aboard a flight to Detroit, police said Saturday.

The officers were believed to be searching locations including an apartment block in central London, but a spokeswoman for the city’s Metropolitan Police would not say specifically where and what they are looking for, or how many officers are involved.

She also said the police are making several inquiries at the request of U.S. authorities.

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Christmas Day News and Views

Peace on Earth

Merry Christmas Conflucians! I hope everyone has a lovely day today. News events march onward, of course, despite the holiday season. Here are some stories that caught my eye this morning. Please add your own important and interesting links in the comments.

If you haven’t see in it already, please go read this excellent post at Corrente by Tony Wikrent: How the status quo can kill: the example of free trade

Boy, was this writer’s talent ever wasted on the progs at dailykos! There is really no way to provide an excerpt that will do this piece justice. You really do have to read the whole thing.

A woman leaped over a barricade at midnight mass at the Vatican and knocked Pope Benedict onto the marble floor. Here is some amateur video of the events.

More Vatican news:

NYT: Vatican Defends Status of WWII Pope

In an effort to calm growing tensions with Jewish groups, the Vatican said Wednesday that Pope Benedict XVI’s decision moving the wartime pope Pius XII closer to sainthood was not a “hostile act” against those who believe Pius did not do enough to stop the Holocaust.

Really?

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, issued a statement saying that the beatification process evaluated the “Christian life” of Pius, who reigned from 1939 to 1958, and not “the historical impact of all his operative decisions.”

Moving Pius toward sainthood “is in no way to be read as a hostile act towards the Jewish people, and it is to be hoped that it will not be considered as an obstacle on the path of dialogue between Judaism and the Catholic Church,” Father Lombardi wrote.

That sounds a little odd and hypocritcal to me, but then I don’t really believe in the concept of sainthood. The Catholic Church made Maria Goretti a saint because she supposedly forgave the man who raped and murdered her. That tells me that the Church’s decisions about sainthood actually do send messages.

Amy Sullivan, Time Magazine: No Churchgoing Christmas for the First Family

But there’s one common Christmas practice not on the First Family’s schedule: a visit to Christmas Eve church services.

Why am I not surprised?

Church, in fact, has been a surprisingly tough issue for the Obamas. They resigned their membership with Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago in 2008 after Obama renounced the church’s controversial former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. And while the First Family intended to find a local church to attend when they moved to Washington, concerns about crowds and displacing regular worshippers has prevented them from finding a new religious home during their first year here.

The Obamas have attended Sunday services in Washington three times this year — once at the predominantly African-American 19th Street Baptist Church, and twice at St. John’s Episcopal Church across Lafayette Square from the White House.

Three times in a whole year! Amazing, for such a deeply religious man {snort}

At Huffpo, the ever-hopeful Cenk Uygur argues that progs can move Obama to the left! {hysterical laughter}

There are many debates among progressives now on the true nature of Barack Obama. Did he mean anything he said on the campaign trail? Is he really a progressive? Did he ever mean to challenge the status quo or was he using the word “change” as a campaign gimmick? Is he just a corporatist like most other politicians?

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! That’s funny. I know Cenk can’t possibly think there’s a chance in hell that Obama actually meant any of the promises he made while campaigning. Come on!

Does he mean well or does he have bad intentions? Come on, don’t be ridiculous. Of course, he means well. But in his own mind, George Bush thought he meant well too (for the most part). I’m positive that Obama thinks that he is doing the best he can to bring about as much change as he can within the limits of this system.

Ooops! I guess Cenk has a way to go before he finally gets all that Koolaid out of his system.

Is he a true progressive or a corporatist sell out? Well, that depends on what you mean. Has he wound up helping corporate America tremendously through health care “reform,” finance “reform,” etc.? Well, Wall Street certainly seems to think so (and so do most progressives). Did he do that because he thought, “I can’t wait to help corporate America and screw over the little guy”? No, I’m sure he thought he had to accommodate the powers that be in order to affect any change at all in this system. But the bottom line has been the same, either way – the system has been tweaked but corporate America chugs along with even more government largesse than before.

I’m sure Obama is a progressive that would help the average American if he thought he could. But apparently he thinks he can’t. He can only bring them a small amount of change because of what he thinks the system will allow.

Uh huh. Keep on telling yourself that, Cenk. Maybe it will somehow make you feel better about being hoodwinked into voting for Bush III.

Paul Krugman thinks that the Heath Care bill will save millions of future Tiny Tims–after 2014, that is.

Krugman scolds people like us who think the bill is nothing but a big mess of corporate giveaways and efforts to control women’s bodies:

Finally, there has been opposition from some progressives who are unhappy with the bill’s limitations. Some would settle for nothing less than a full, Medicare-type, single-payer system. Others had their hearts set on the creation of a public option to compete with private insurers. And there are complaints that the subsidies are inadequate, that many families will still have trouble paying for medical care.

Unlike the tea partiers and the humbuggers, disappointed progressives have valid complaints. But those complaints don’t add up to a reason to reject the bill. Yes, it’s a hackneyed phrase, but politics is the art of the possible.

Oddly, Krugman never mentions either the anti-abortion language in both the House and Senate versions of the bill; nor does he address the shoring up of the Bush conscience rules in the Senate version. How very very strange. I guess Krugman thinks it’s just fine if Congress passes a health care bill for men that allows the government and health care workers to control women’s choices.

The News side of Krugman’s paper isn’t as sanguine as he is.

Health Care Changes Wouldn’t Have Big Effect for Many

what about the roughly 160 million workers and their dependents who already have health insurance through an employer? For many people, the result of the long, angry health care debate in Washington may be little more than more of the same.

As President Obama once promised, “If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan.”

That may be true even if you don’t like your health plan. And no one seems to agree on whether the legislation will do much to reduce workers’ continually rising out-of-pocket costs.

Chris Good at The Atlantic: Insurance Industry’s Reaction: Senate Bill Would Raise Costs


And some Christmas-oriented stories:

BBC News: In pictures: Christmas around the world

Longmont Times-Call: The true Father Christmas: Before there was a Santa Claus, there was the generous St. Nicholas

BBC News: Christmas in Iraq: Muslims buy Christmas decorations in a Baghdad market, where both faiths have worshipped side by side for centuries

China View: World pray for peace on Christmas Eve in Bethlehem

NYT Op-Ed: Everyone Is Invited

Kansas City Star: Excerpts from Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’

Christmas Eve in West Fargo, North Dakota

HAVE A FABULOUS FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!

Christmas Eve at The Confluence

Good Morning Conflucians! It’s hard to believe, but The Confluence is nearly two years old. In early 2008, Riverdaughter started this blog as an oasis for disaffected Kossacks who dared to question whether Barack Obama was the right choice for the Democratic nomination.

Riverdaughter hung in day after day, posting her intelligent and snarky commentary on daily events in one of the most hard-fought nomination fights I can remember. Gradually this blog grew into a small but powerful alternative voice in the liberal blogosphere.

After the RBC meeting on May 31, 2008, when the deal was sealed to install Obama as nominee, SM came up with the PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) acronym, and her idea went viral. Although we have been reviled for our dissident views, and we had to fight off numerous ugly troll-storms, we hung together through the Convention farce and the general election campaign.

After the election we continued on as an alternative liberal voice–a thorn in the side of the prog blogs and Obama syncophants who thought we would slink off and never be heard from again. Fat chance! Unfortunately, the puma label was twisted into things we had never intended, so we don’t use it anymore. We’ve moved on to be a voice in the wilderness, providing political commentary from the point of view of people whose eyes were wide open all along instead of clouded by Koolaid haze.

Each day that passes shows how right we were in our trepidation about Obama. More and more Americans are waking up to the reality that Obama isn’t much of a change from Bush. These days you see griping about Obama’s policies all over the liberal blogs, but no one wants to acknowledge that we were right all along. Jane Hamsher, for example would rather work with Grover Norquist and the tea party crowd than include us in her efforts to fight the health insurance bailout bill.

Something tells me we’ll continue to hang in there. My best Christmas present this year is waking up in the morning knowing that TC is here and I can count on all you Conflucians to pick me up when I’m down. And lately there have been more mornings when I wake up to find a brilliant Riverdaughter rant to read! I appears that RD’s hypergraphia is back, and that makes me really happy this holiday season.

So on this Christmas Eve, 2009, I want to thank each and every one of you for your contributions to this blog. That is the best Christmas present I can think of.

Here are some links to get the discussion going. Please post your own choice links in the comments.

Danny Glover: I See No Difference Between Bush And Obama Policies

“I think the Obama administration has followed the same playbook, to a large extent, almost verbatim, as the Bush administration. I don’t see anything different,” the activist movie actor said of Obama’s policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East. “On the domestic side, look here: What’s so clear is that this country from the outset is projecting the interests of wealth and property. Look at the bailout of Wall Street. Why not the bailout of Main Street?”

That’s a good start, but Glover goes on to blame the system for Obama’s actions:

“What choice does he have—in four years, eight years? Let’s just call a spade a spade. Really. There are no choices out there. He may be just a different face, and that face may happen to be black—and if it were Hillary Clinton, it would happen to be a woman—but what choices do they have within the structure?”

Um…How come the Republicans always had choices–even when they didn’t control Congress–but the Democrats don’t? The Democrats have a supermajority and they’re still acting like Republicans. Danny Glover has a way to go before he completely wakes up to reality, but it’s a start.

And from the Black Agenda Report where no one was fooled by Obama’s lies: Barack Obama and Langston Hughes on “Grumblers” and “Merry Christmas”

When US presidents offer us their holiday greeting messages, do we know what are they really saying? How hard can it be to figure that out? Langston Hughes died in 1967, but he knew what every US president, including Barack Obama is really saying, underneath and behind the mask.

Go read the whole thing!

Of course the big news of the day is that the Senate has passed their monstrosity of a “health care reform” bill.

Senate Passes Sweeping Health-Care Bill

Thursday’s vote was a victory for President Barack Obama, who made the issue his top domestic priority despite lingering divisions among Democrats and the fierce opposition of Republicans. And it was a validation of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to build consensus on his side of the aisle, rather than reach across party lines, a move that would have forced a lowering of ambitions.

What a pile of crap that is! What ambitions? Does the WSJ really believe that Republicans don’t want to hand over wads of money to giant health care corporations? And if Obama is the victor, who are the vanquished? Women mainly.

If the Stupak and Nelson language survives reconciliation between the House and Senate versions of the bill, abortion will effectively be abolished in many parts of the U.S. If the abortion isn’t covered by health insurance, doctors won’t perform them, and medical schools won’t provide training (many already do not). On top of that the conscience rules are strengthened in this bill to protect health care and pharmacy workers who refuse to provide treatment to women who need abortions, including rape victims who ask for the morning after pill and women who want birth control in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

More articles on the Senate vote:

NYT: Senate Passes Health Care Overhaul Bill

Ezra “anything Obama does is OK with me” Klein: Winning ugly, but winning

From some formerly united-behind-Obama prog blogs:

Crooks and Liars: State Prosecutors Probe Constitutionality Of Nelson’s “Nebraska Compromise” In Health Reform Bill

Emptywheel: Peace on Earth Air Strike in Yemen

David Sirota at Open Left: Permanent Militarism: When Bioweapons & Land Mines Aren’t Even Mentioned

At the Great Orange Cheeto, they are still busy bashing their new object of hatred, Jane Hamsher.

HAVE A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS EVE!!!!!

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