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Thursday: The Quiet Coup of 2008

And it’s still cloudy over the northeast.  The less said about it the better.  It’s just too depressing.

"Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam
and the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word
and the skies are not cloudy all day"

Yellowstone Lake, Montana

Yellowstone Lake, Montana

Does anyone care about Governor Sanford of South Carolina?  Me neither.  Just resign already for keeping your Lt. Governor in the dark.   This story isn’t worth two front page pieces at the NYTimes.  FOCUS people!  There’s still a problem in Iran.  You know, crazy Ayatollahs and the Revolutionary Guard threatening to further destabilize an unravelling region of the world?!  Aw, jeez, why do I bother?

StateofDosbelief asks a very good question:

How can the failbots defend what’s going on with so-called healthcare reform?  This latest update from the Senate Finance committee notes that their ideas include:

Dropping the employer mandate
Dropping the public option
Including a new “tax credit to purchase insurance”
Taxing employer-based health benefits

Uh…doesn’t this sound a whole bunch like someone else’s ideas?  yeah, Bush II and McCain.  WTF is going on?  My head will explode if this is what we end up with and the failbots try to paint it as a victory.

She also wonders what ever happened to Franken in Minnesota.  The unresolved senate case was presented before the Minnesota Supreme Court in the first week of June and we’ve been waiting ever since.  Franken is the Democrat’s 60th vote.  He is the filibuster proofer.  OoooooOOOOOooooo!  Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln might have to act like Democrats since there would be no reason for them to give away the store anymore.  Well, we’ll have none of that.  It appears that nothing is happening in Minnesota.  One *almost* suspects that there’s a deal to get most of the tricky legislation off of the table before the Senate recesses and THEN the Minnesota Supreme Court will say Franken won. The delay is somewhat inexplicable.  From what I read previously, there was virtually no way that Coleman could emerge victorious.  The ruling imeediately previous to this one pretty much told him to give it up already.  So, what gives?

Now, a lot of you dislike Franken and, hey, if you want to hold his former profession against him, who am I to tell you you’re wrong?  But there comes a point when past resentments should take a backseat to current events.  Franken is a true liberal senator, or he will be once he’s sworn in.  If you want healthcare, the end of the wars, equality for all, financial accountability and someone who will stand against the coup of 2008, your best bet is with Franken.  You can donate to his recount fund here.  Yes, the guy still needs money.  It’s expensive to keep this going for 7 months and lawyers need to eat too, damn them.

Americans aren’t the only ones wondering what they heck is going on with their government.  One of my French colleagues just got back from a trip from Paris.  She tells me the French are thoroughly disgusted with Nicolas Sarkozy, who recently booked a night at Versailles to hold an unprecedented meeting with the legilative branch.  Yep, Versailles, that beautiful white elephant and former diggs of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI.  I don’t get it either.  Versailles is about 30 minutes trip from Paris via the RER.  The setting is beautiful but why would you want to have a meeting there when presumably there are suitable meeting facilities in the city?  D’oh!  It’s a perfect photo drop:

Nicolas Sarkozy at Versailles to give a speech

Nicolas Sarkozy at Versailles to give a speech

Surprisingly, the French do not seem to approve of such excess and staging.  Who knew?  My colleague says he’s been a little imperious with his cabinet as well, reshuffling the deck chairs, getting rid of people and generally acting like an arrogant little prince.  She thinks it’s funny that he’s so short too.  Yep, “short people got no reason to live” ridicule is not a good sign for Sarkozy.  Not good at all.

Podcast of the day: Donald Kagan teaches the history of ancient Greece at Yale.  You can find his fascinating lectures online at youtube, so technically, this isn’t a podcast recommendation.  In lecture number 8 on Sparta, Kagan discusses the origins of the word “tyranny”.   It’s all just a little bit of history repeating.

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102 Responses

  1. Just how far up the coast are you? Here in central PA we’ve had cloudy with sun or vice versa the past few days.
    All we need for the circle to be complete is for Obama to land on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln in a flight suit complete with cod piece.

  2. It’s a bright sunny day here already in central PA. Looking at 90 degrees later today.

    BTW…I love the pic of Yellowstone Lake. We’ve spent two glorious vacations in Big Sky visiting Yellowstone and it’s the most beautiful, incredible, and intriguing place I’ve ever been to. The wide array of geothermal features are spectacular and the wildlife is amazing. Anyone who has never been there should try to see it — before it explodes. It sits on a volcano that erupts every 600,000 years and it’s apparently waaay overdue and ‘burping’

  3. God, I envy you. I don’t think we’ve seen the sun more than 2-3 days in June. I checked the weather this morning, and it’s going to be warmer, but still raining all weekend and all next week. We had no June.

  4. Wow Chris!

    Who knew you had that in you? In fairness when Chris is good, he’s really good.

    Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

  5. ABC ObamaCare Special Turns Into Presidential Filibuster
    President Obama uses network primetime special and overtime ‘Nightline’ coverage to talk for more than 45 minutes of combined 75-minute programs, revealing nothing new.

    Call this a teachable moment, but even with ABC’s best-laid plans to kickstart the debate about health care reform and not allow the “Prescription for America” special to become an “infomercial,” as many have complained – the president spent more than twice as much time as his questioners vaguely answering or not answering the questions asked of him.


    Oh God, where is Hillary? She would have nailed a forum like that.

    • But Hillary would have actually wanted to achieve UHC, while B0 wants to block it becaue that’s what his big biz purse-holders tell him.
      So he accomplished his goal by sucking up all the airtime.

      • I fell asleep right after Charlie Gibson asked (with Bambi eyes) Obama, if they let in all those 45 million people (I think he said 45) in, how would they ever get an appointment, if it is hard to get a medical appointment now. Good, grief, their went the whole argument of the GOP about having the best care in the world, when Charlie Gibson is worried about getting an appointment.

        The sad thing, about that little drama was the blatant elephant in the room; Americans (some, mainly GOPers types) are willing to let others die, because they want to have ‘theirs’, rather than finding solutions to take care of EVERYONE. Charlie’s voice inflection reminded me of the people that will trample over others to get out of a burning building, or pummel someone to make sure they get ‘their’ food and survive. WOW…that is when I dropped of to sleep…to much for my little Ole heart to watch.

        • Wasn’t Charlie Gibson the one who said that $150,000 was an average middle class salary during one of the Dem. primary debates last year? I think it was. I certainly remember everyone on stage rolling their eyes and laughing until one of the candidates eventually informed him how clueless he was.

  6. Here is Chris Matthews vs the Morning Joke Crew.

    It’s really worth watching because Chris nails the “Scary Costs” argument.

    • Awwwwww someone must have forgotten to wear their Aqua Velva.

      Matthews is a misogynistic @sshat. The conclusion we can reach is that even a broken clock can be correct twice daily.

      • Seriously.

        Chris: You think we need leadership in the issue, and then you support a wishy-washy right winger? If you’re out to find fault, I think some of that fault lies with YOU.

        Hating Hillary Clinton…not good for America.

    • Chris looks like he’s in a really bad mood.

      • He’s definitely right about what needs to be done. Too bad he supported the wrong candidate.

        • I think he just got fed up with this “It’s too expensive” argument, understandably so.

          “Costs” have never stopped us at doing things, most of them worthless?
          Remember the Missile-Defense Shield? The same people who were forcefully for it, no matter the costs are among those crying about the costs of healthcare reform.

  7. Chris Matthews has more money than all the posters on all the blogs i go to put together and more, he doesnt give a rats ass about anything but seeing to it Obama is the best pres evah, he’s also said that, that’s his job.
    Since Obama has taken office because of two of the things he’s already done, im 900 dollars a year worse off. And you want to convence me i should just keep being worse off, i should share while the little bit i do earn dwindlles, go cry in Argetina

  8. Hmmm:

    President Obama struggled to explain today whether his health care reform proposals would force normal Americans to make sacrifices that wealthier, more powerful people — like the president himself — wouldn’t face.

    The probing questions came from two skeptical neurologists during ABC News’ special on health care reform, “Questions for the President: Prescription for America,” anchored from the White House by Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson.

    Dr. Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist and researcher at the New York University Langone Medical Center, said that elites often propose health care solutions that limit options for the general public, secure in the knowledge that if they or their loves ones get sick, they will be able to afford the best care available, even if it’s not provided by insurance.

    Devinsky asked the president pointedly if he would be willing to promise that he wouldn’t seek such extraordinary help for his wife or daughters if they became sick and the public plan he’s proposing limited the tests or treatment they can get.

    The president refused to make such a pledge, though he allowed that if “it’s my family member, if it’s my wife, if it’s my children, if it’s my grandmother, I always want them to get the very best care.[“]

    • That’s absolutely a silly argument and is absolutely besides the point of reforming our healthcare system. I have noticed that many people who just oppose a healthcare reform jumped on that little exchange as if it annihilates any attempt at reforming our system.

      The plan is not to turn our healthcare system into the one of Cuba. People who have more means will and should be able to go elsewhere but the underlying system has to be good enough for all of us.

      I think Germany’s healthcare system is really good but people who can still have the option to go to some private praxis if they think they’ll get a better service there and if they can afford it.

      • It’s not silly.

        It’s like a politician who assures you that we have the finest public schools in the world but sends his kids to private school.

        If our leaders are using the same health plan the rest of us are you can bet it will be the best.

        • All government employees including Congress and the President should be mandated to use the same health plan the rest of us get.

          • The only way the country will get a reasonably decent plan is if the people designing it have to live with it, as well.

            To provide congress with the incentive to think this through with care, I believe BO needs to put all of congress on Medicare until they come up with a solid, reasonable plan for all. If they need better than Medicare, they can buy a supplemental plan the way the Seniors of this country are forced to do.

          • That’s what I’ve always maintained whenever anyone says that a UHC plan won’t be as good as the private plans. As long as every member of Congress has to use the same plan, you can be sure it will be gold-plated.

          • HA! I’ve got a very good private plan. I still can’t go to the doctor…those co-pays, deductible, and 20% out of pockets add up to a lot of money even for a simple visit.

        • If our leaders are using the same health plan the rest of us are you can bet it will be the best.

          That will never happen in a capitalistic society, especially not in the US.

          Reforming the healthcare system shouldn’t hinge on Joe Shmoe getting the “exact same” healthcare as the POTUS.

          The people who are opposing any type of reform are the equivalent of “finest public school” crew.

          • So we’re just supposed to lie back and think of England?

          • I disagree, I think it should not hinge on joe shmoe getting the same healthcare as a billionaire, but POTUS and all government employees should be on the same healtcare as Joe.

          • You obviously don’t think of yourself as one of those Joe Schmoe’s or the tune would be different.

          • Turn it around, mablue. If POTUS gets exactly what Joe Schmoe gets, what Joe gets will be pretty good.

  9. Napoleon was short, too.

  10. Wes Clark had the nerve to send me a donation request for Blanche Lincoln. Sure, Wes, let me go get my checkbook. Not.

    • DINO Blanche is worthless. If you have a few $$ for politics, you might consider sending a few to Joe Sestak who is going to challenge POS Specter in the Dem primary.

  11. I think that Matthews betrays his real agenda and allegiance when he says “we have to get something done…” he essentially admits that it doesn’t matter if it is something good or something that actually “fixes” anything. It is only important that BO, Reid and Pelosi have something that they can call a “victiory” when midterms come along.

    Politicians, important. Patients, not so much.

  12. OT: Meanwhile the Palin haters in the name of helping the Alaskan Dem party are at their usual pathetic hate mongering:


    • I became ashamed of the Democratic Party when they gamed the primaries last year – enough so, that I registered independent. This hateful, uncensored and non-stop moronic behavior toward a Republican Governor simply because she is an intelligent woman and formidable force in politics will keep me from ever acknowledging myself as a member of the dispicable group of people who now make up the D-party.

      • Did you read the comments on that story????? What have we become? I don’t like the new us.

        • These people do not realize that with their actions soon no one with any decency will run for office and the parties will just select not elect.. Just like this year will will have people with no real interest in the American people just the corporations who back them. Keep dumbing down Americans and you can take over the country.



          • It was so bad that CNN closed the comments.

          • Interesting. I hope that CNN has a serious plan to do some sensitivity training among their employees and anchors. If they were finally able to see how vile and crazy the democrats have become, perhaps they will lead the way toward reforming some of the media attitudes projected on their network. Those are their viewers, and they wouldn’t be there if they didn’t feel they were in friendly territory.

        • Those people are not us. That is for sure.

        • Yes.

          I wonder what those same people would say if Sasha’s face was replaced with say Hannity’s, or Rush Limbaugh’s, or Cheney’s and published for a laugh.

  13. I don’t care about Sanford, but i care about this country’s apparent addiction to hating women.

    “Too bad,’’ Kerry said, “if a governor had to go missing it couldn’t have been the governor of Alaska. You know, Sarah Palin.’


    • How shameful, that Kerry a United States Senator finds it useful to wish ill to Sarah Palin. If he thinks he is cute saying that, NO it is not CUTE!

      We Must Divest From Misogyny, Our Very Lives Depend On It!

    • Ugh, I was totally just about to post that. Boring douchedirtbag. His wife is literally the only thing I like about him. It’s been so long since I’ve seen her that I’d be surprised if he hadn’t bored her to death. I’m still surprised that she hasn’t drowned him in ketchup.

    • 2 thoughts:

      If John Kerry went missing would anyone even notice?

      Yes they would, because the wind would settle and the oxygen would improve due to the lack of the oxygen sucking blowhard.

      What a creep that man is… he’s the same guy who said there weren’t votes for a mandate — prior to even knowing the structure of the 2009 Congress.

      Go back to Mass and rot, Mr. Kerry. We don’t need your kind in our presence.

    • Considering the source, of course. Scarey to think he could have been POTUS…and just on his second term!!

      When men go missing, the immediate thought is they are off having an affair. When women go missing, the immediate thought is they have met with foul play and will be found dead. Kerry needs to find himself the focus of an IMPEACH JOHN KERRY website, with petition/letter of demand, and a comment section that accommodates his non-stop efforts to destroy his own career.

      • Now we know why Bush gained a second term — the alternative was JOHN FREAKAZOID KERRY.

        If I’d had half a brain, I may have voted for Bush too –nah, just kidding — but I’d have stayed home.

        • Are you referring to Midnight Star’s android “Freak-A-Zoid”, or to the cartoon character “Freakazoid!”? :mrgreen:

    • I am ASHAMED that I voted for Kerry in 2004. What an all around loser.

      Gore & Hillary will remain the best presidents we never had.

    • I voted for that SOB Kerry in 2004.

      I even sent his campaign one hundred fornicating dollars.

      I wish to Haruhi-sama I had a time machine so I could go back to 2004 and vote for Nader.

  14. In case you didn’t see what the NY Senate is up to a few threads back, enjoy! NY Senate coup leaves policy, dignity in its wake

    ALBANY, N.Y. – It should have been clear when state Democratic senators resorted to flicking off the chamber lights to try to thwart a shocking Republican power grab that this wouldn’t be the brightest moment in New York politics.


    It climaxed Tuesday with a surreal display of simultaneous sessions in the Senate chamber, the factions shouting over – and at – each other. Democrats stayed in their seats for the Pledge of Allegiance to spite Republicans who started the pledge. As a Democrat banged with one gavel at the podium, protected by the sergeant at arms, a Republican banged on a reporter’s desk with another. One senator exclaimed, “Duh!”


    The coup began June 8 when Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton, presented what appeared to be a routine bill to the Senate’s presiding officer at the time, Neil Breslin, D-Albany. Following the chamber’s rules, Breslin started reading the bill.

    The trap was set.

    The motion called for replacing the Democrats’ top two officers and turning over Senate control. Democrats hemmed and hawed, countered at every turn by Republicans.

    “It’s a coup!” uttered Sen. Ruben Diaz, D-the Bronx. On the Senate floor, Libous loudly told the stunned Democratic leadership, frantically whispering into phones about legal options, to act on his motion or step down.

    “I move that we adjourn!” shouted Sen. Jeffrey Klein, D-the Bronx.

    “Roll call! Roll call!” Libous shouted back, windmilling his hand to keep the parliamentary plotters moving.

    The Democrats stormed out, cut the lights, TV and Internet feeds, and silenced the microphones.

    In 26 minutes, 30 Republicans and two dissident Democrats from New York City had seized control.

  15. Hi RD & Co.

    It’s what Sarkozy did at Versailles that matters. He said burkas not allowed. Perhaps he picked Versailles not to be kingly but because it represents the ancientness of France?

    The more I think about this –I applaud him. Yesterday I wrote a giant piece that traced the fashion from 1979 forward. Iran looked just like here or Paris in ’79.

    As I looked at the pix of Parisian streets you had the full black tent right next to Parisienne normality. He’s on to something.

    I don’t know if you see that at all back east?

    We haven’t seen it here yet — but given what O seems to have told the east? Hmmm. it was only last year as we were following this whole deal that I read over at Violet’s about Sharia Law?

    Perhaps Sarkozy is making a statement for the whole of the west?

    Anyway, there must be trigger words we can’t publish?

    That thing I wrote yesterday would not publish and frankly it was just on fashion?


  16. Out of Iran, Escape from Hell (First hand account of Iran Protests)

  17. Regency, this is just a note to say that I will be in Houston in August. Let me know if you would like to get together.

    • Got ya. Because school starts back that month, I don’t know if I’ll have a ton of spare time but I’ll certainly try. My email’s still the same if ya want to try to work something out.

  18. Holy crap, Farrah Fawcett just died.

    • Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that.

      RIP, Farrah.

      • RIP… I hope her son gets himself together now and stays clean.
        She loved him and thankfully she didn’t/wasn’t aware of the latest mess he was in. One day I may watch her film… 🙂

  19. The only true voice we could have had in the health care debate was removed from her position. The old white men – Kennedy and Reid with their supporters Kerry, Baucus, Conrad, Dodd and even Tom Daschle let her know she would not be allowed a committee position to push the agenda.

    Fearing that even without a leadership position on healthcare she would still find a way to strongly influence the conversation they knew they had to get her away from domestic policy discussions period.

    Therefore they had to get Obama on board to give her a really big carrot to get her out of the senate. A foreign policy position was where she had to be moved to.

    Their plan has worked.

  20. OT, but some good news for a change:

    “Supreme Court Says Child’s Rights Violated by Strip Search”


    The court ruled 8 to 1 (Clarence Thomas dissenting) that the 13-year-old Arizona school girl who was ordered strip-searched by her assistant principal for the alleged possession of ibuprofen (Advil, for God’s sake!) had her 4th amendment rights violated.

    • Really, Clarence Thomas?

      At least the Supreme Court has some sense of how humiliating that is for a young girl. I know I can’t give all the credit to RBG (heh, initial twins) but I’d like to.

    • Good to know that ‘Little People’ (children) have rights.

    • Is Clarence Thomas sane? There should be no question that stripping a 13 year old girl is wrong.



      • maybe he didn’t want to rule against one of his favorite fantasies?

        • Teresa, your insinuation about Justice Thomas is vile and vulgar and mean-spirited and I am SO jealous because I didn’t think of it first! :mrgreen:

          • lol, you had me there for a secound. I still remember the Anita Hill hearings. The man is clueless when it comes to women…so why not girls?

    • Now, why do I think Mr. Justice Thomas might have enjoyed doing that search himself?

  21. Oh, Iran. I had a rather revealing conversation about this last night with an unnamed Barky supporter who was laughing about some segment they did on the Daily Show about how your average Iranian on the street knew who our presidents and other leaders were, and most Americans didn’t know anything about who their president or big religious leader were.

    Did SHE know?

    Nope. “Some ah-something, I can’t pronounce it.” I can. It’s Ahmadinejad. While she was laughing smugly over how stoooopit the other Uhmurkins on the segment were for not knowing. And she mentioned the religious leader, and I said, “Khamenei?” Her response? “Oh, is that it?”


    And yet it was me, the Hilly-and-Sarah-Palin-Supporting friend, who knew both names.

    I have lost the ability to have a conversation with almost every single member of my former social circle about anything other than the weather.

  22. The upside to the Palin hate is that it reminds me who the Democrats have become.

    The sick twisted people who can even lay off the baby are going to burn in hell.

    Sorry guys, i can hardly contain the disgust.

  23. RD, you missed what I consider to be the most incredible quote from the Bloomberg article that SOD discussed:

    Members of the panel today spoke by phone with Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf to help whittle down costs that Conrad said still total around $1.2 trillion. One possible way to curb the expense is reducing subsidies to lower-income Americans, he said.

    Hello? Why do these idiots think that we lower-income Americans don’t have health insurance? It’s because we can’t afford it!!!!! I’m sorry to tell you, girls and boys, but I think we’re very close to the same tipping point that resulted in the French Revolution.

  24. I still can’t believe O is throwing a luau for the Congressional picnic. Work, go do some.

  25. OT, but I had just flicked on FOX in passing, and saw Judge Napolitano GROPE the female commenter (very tall blonde, I think a lawyer?). At the end of a segment on Bernanke and Bank Of America, he reached over, grabbed her, slid his arm around her waist and pulled her up VERY tight against his side, mumbling something that sounded like “C’mere, honey”, smiling and mugging for the camera like she was there to pose as the hot eye candy beside him.

    I was floored. It was THAT bad. It was smarmy as hell – he PAWED her! She looked like she wanted to reach over and slap him, hard.

    • Megyn Kelly? Ick. Someone needs to get told.

      • No, not Megyn. I think Megyn would have told him what for. She’s gutsy.

        • True. I wish someone would have said something along the lines of “Get the fuck out with that,” but I have a big mouth so I’ll never again be on television.

          • I always wish that when those things happen on TV, the woman would back up, pull the man’s hands away, and say “EXCUSE me???!! Take your hands off me!!” and glare at him like the slug he is.

            Maybe after that happened a few times on national TV, that crap would stop.

  26. Atlas Shrugged has a headline paraphrased Day 13 of Iranian revolution twitter stopped , news rooms dark.
    I do not know anything about twitter but have read that this was the only contact with the outside that the protesters had.
    Did it stop?



  27. Well duh:

    President Obama’s town hall meeting on health care delivered a sickly rating Wednesday evening.

    The one-hour ABC News special “Primetime: Questions for the President: Prescription for America” (4.7 million viewers, 1.1 preliminary adults 18-49 rating) had the fewest viewers in the 10 p.m. hour (against NBC’s “The Philanthropist” debut and a repeat of “CSI: NY” on CBS). The special tied some 8 p.m. comedy repeats as the lowest-rated program on a major broadcast network.

    • Hehe. Maybe average people aren’t completely in the bag after all.

    • hmmm…guess Americans are getting tired of seeing Obama on their tv screens every night but not seeing any results from his media overexposure.

  28. More on what’s going on with our government/country:

    Musings on the Recession and the Effect on Police Departments–With Chicago as a Prime Example


    Setting the stage for the Obot Army?

  29. I loved the article by J. Lightfoot and I found the following paragraph pretty interesting:

    “For the first time since 1875, the French chief of state spoke directly before the assembled members of the legislative branch. Until last year’s reform of the French Constitution, the President could only address Parliament through written notes. This long-standing rule limited the power of the presidency and protected a once-fragile republican form of government from manipulation by excessively talented orators.”

    Wow, I never knew that the executive and legislative bodies were separated by a paper trail in France. That sounds like a good idea & a great way to dismiss the spell that charismatic orators can cast over their audience. Too bad that this law has been changed.

    Perhaps Sarkozy sees the cult of personality & political control that Obama is wielding over his own legislature…and wants a piece of the same Barnum and Baily pie to dole out, that “the one” is currently serving.

    ……Alas, so many world leader egomaniacs and only a limited amount of political pie to be divided amongst them.

    And regarding the “Insecurity” poster, I ask:

    Why does it seem that history & empire always comes down to pissing contests? 😦

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