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Your Breakfast Read, Served By The Confluence

Health-Care Nightmare “Waterloo” Reform

President Obama’s health plan passes key hurdle

President Barack Obama tallied a much-needed win Friday when a critical House committee approved legislation that would provide health care to millions of uninsured Americans.

But the bill’s turbulent passage widened longstanding rifts within his party, rifts that imperil his landmark push for vastly expanding health care coverage when Congress returns to session in the fall.

Boeing, Xerox Join 185 Groups Objecting to House Health Plan

Boeing Co., Xerox Corp. and Caterpillar Inc. are among 185 companies and business groups objecting to health-care legislation in the U.S. House that they say would hurt their ability to cover employees.

We wish a speedy and full recovery
Dodd has prostate cancer, prognosis good

Dodd told reporters at his Hartford office that he’s going to be “fine” and that he’s known about the cancer for six weeks but didn’t want to make himself a health care “exhibit” during health reform mark-ups and didn’t want to tell his sister, who died of small-cell lung cancer in July.

War On Terror 2.0

Did bad decisions set stage for 9 U.S. deaths in Afghanistan?

[O]n July 12, headquarters commanders diverted drones — remotely operated planes outfitted with cameras to spot enemy movements — to another area. Pry argued so hard to undo that decision that he said he breached professional etiquette. Still, he was unsuccessful.

“We had no support from brigade, division or theater level assets at the time,” Pry told Army historians in a study obtained by The Seattle Times.

That study, written by historian Douglas Cubbison of the U.S. Army Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., documented missteps that preceded some of the bloodiest combat to date for American troops in the Afghanistan war.

Has America Been Too Nice in Afghanistan?

U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the hard-driving American commander who took over a few weeks ago, went so far as to tell his troops at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan on June 25 that they have to make a “cultural shift.” This war isn’t about killing the enemy and accepting collateral damage as inevitable. “When you do anything that harms the people you just have a huge chance of alienating the population,” he said. A few days after McChrystal’s remarks, in a widely reported incident, Marines trapped Taliban fighters in a residential compound, then allowed them to send out the women and children — only to discover the fighters had slipped on burqas and walked out as well.

M—–f##@ing bastards!

2 more US troops killed in deadliest month of Afghan war

Economy Watch

What does the not so badly shrinking GDP means? Tobin Harshaw of the NY Times Opinionator has a nice compendium of opinions and analysis, including that of our own Dakinikat
Happiness Is a Shrinking Economy?

“What do you need to look for in order to feel more secure about the rest of the year?” asks Dakinikat, the Confluence’s Cajun-country economist. Her answer:

Well, first, there needs to be some indication that small and medium sized businesses are willing to hire or rehire.


Next, look for any continued improvement in the housing market where much of the world’s troubles began.

The Beginning of the End of the Recession?

The second quarter saw a much slower real GDP decline, an indication that the economy has hit bottom and is ready to grow

The stimulus money is not all bad.
House Approves $2B to Extend ‘Clunkers’ Plan

The House approved a bill Friday afternoon to provide $2 billion to continue the federal government’s week-old “cash for clunkers” program, which has proven so popular with consumers that it was almost out of cash.

No ‘rhyme or reason’ to bank bonuses

CITIGROUP, Merrill Lynch and seven other US banks handed out $US32.6 billion ($39.4 billion) in bonuses last year while receiving $US175 billion in taxpayer funds, according to a report by the New York Attorney-General, Andrew Cuomo.

Why is China’s stimulus working so much better than ours?

The major signposts for the U.S. economy–namely GDP growth and employment–have stopped plummeting, but that is the best that can be said. China, meanwhile, has seen its economic activity recover faster than almost anyone anticipated, and on July 15, the government reported its most robust sequential economic growth ever. In short, China’s stimulus has exceeded expectations to date, while the U.S. response has been underwhelming.

How did this happen?

Around The Nation

Gates Sends Flowers to Woman Who Called 911

Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. has sent flowers and a note to the woman who unwittingly sparked a national debate on race by calling police to report what she thought might be a break-in at Gates’ home.

Was there a better way to conduct Gates-Crowley debate?

The national discourse over the Harvard professor’s arrest, fueled by bloggers and media, was torrid. Some who leaped into the fray got burned.

BU student fined $675,000 for illegal music downloads

A Boston University graduate student was ordered yesterday to pay four record labels a total of $675,000 in damages for illegally downloading 30 songs and sharing them online in only the second such lawsuit to go to trial.

Corzine’s Re-Election Woes in New Jersey

The corruption arrests are just the latest boon to Christie’s challenge of Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine, an off-year race that both parties are watching for its national implications. In the midst of a recession, Corzine, a former Goldman Sachs CEO, would seem to have a natural advantage over Christie, who boasts no policy experience and in fact seems to delight in telling crowds, “I will never be the smartest man in the room.” But with Wall Street (and in particular Goldman Sachs) being blamed for much of the financial crisis, Corzine’s professional background has turned into a major liability. His unpopular moves of late — he’s raised taxes and cut services, and New Jersey still faces massive budget deficits — have only made things worse

We know: there’s no sexism. People like us who complain about this stuff are just humorless and politically correct.
Time To Cancel “Mouthpiece Theater”

Milbank tells the viewer, “And we won’t tell you who’s getting a bottle of Mad Bitch.” At that point, a photo of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears briefly on screen.

That’s unacceptable. I realize this was supposed to be a silly comedy routine, but this is offensive and stupid. Milbank doesn’t get to say he “won’t tell” us who the “Mad Bitch” is, and then show a photo of Clinton, as if coy and unsubtle rhetoric makes his little “joke” tolerable.

Opinion Columns & Editorials

America’s healthcare should no longer be tied to jobs (By Matt Miller)

Democratic Senator Ron Wyden has been the lonely voice arguing that America must move beyond job-based healthcare to boost business competitiveness while assuring family health security. Mr Wyden mustered a small bipartisan coalition around such a plan, but the weight of dead ideas in Washington has stifled the proposal.

Take Me to the River (or Somewhere Nearby) (By Robert Wright, author of The Evolution of God)

If I no longer believe in a personal God, looking down and judging me, why do I still feel guilt over my wrongdoings and shortcomings? Why do I still want some father figure (a God, ideally, though a resurrected version of my dad would do) to pat me on the shoulder and tell me I’ve done O.K. and can now go play golf for a millennium or so? Is godlessness not, in fact, as some born-again atheists seem to promise, a path to happiness? And, anyway, where did this need for forgiveness and affirmation come from?

Trying to Recover (NY Times Editorial)

The stimulus is helping, and more stimulus would help even more. But going forward, new policies to stop foreclosures and to jump-start lending must also be part of the plan for economic recovery.

Medicare proves health insurance reform will work (By Senator Sherrod Brown)

Forty-four years ago this week, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law. Medicare, the program that ensures our parents and grandparents have access to affordable health care. Medicare, which protects seniors and their families from backbreaking health expenses. Medicare, which operates more efficiently than any other health care coverage – public or private – in our country.

Around The World

The New Colonialism: Foreign Investors Snap Up African Farmland (Highly recommended)

Governments and investment funds are buying up farmland in Africa and Asia to grow food — a profitable business, with a growing global population and rapidly rising prices. The high-stakes game of real-life Monopoly is leading to a modern colonialism to which many poor countries submit out of necessity.

Divided, demoralized Palestinian movement hopes to hit ‘restart’

For half a century, the fortunes of the Palestinian people have been inextricably linked to the fate of Fatah, the once-dominant political movement founded by Yasser Arafat. Five years after Arafat’s death, the movement is divided, and hopes of establishing even a weak Palestinian state alongside Israel appear as elusive as ever.

Iraqis fear latest bombings signal return of al Qaida in Iraq

Bombings at five Shiite Muslim mosques killed 29 worshippers Friday in a series of attacks that Iraqi army and police officers are interpreting as a sign that insurgents are determined to destabilize the country now that American forces have withdrawn from Iraqi cities and towns.

Trials of Iran election protesters under way

The defendants face a variety of charges that include attacking government facilities and setting fire to them, destruction of public property, creating panic in public and beating up members of the security forces.

In memoriam
People Power’s Philippine Saint: Corazon Aquino, 1933-2009

The arc of Corazon Aquino’s life lent itself to maxims, but two hard-nosed ones seem particularly worth pointing out. First, political sainthood is a gift from heaven with a Cinderella deadline — once past midnight, you are a pumpkin. Second, personal virtues are never a guarantee of effective or successful governance. What was truly shocking about Aquino’s tumultuous six-year term as President of the Philippines was that those maxims proved untrue.

From The Media World

Is another beer summit on the horizon?
Murdoch and Immelt tried to broker MSNBC-Fox News peace accord

News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch and General Electric chief Jeffrey Immelt met up at — appropriately enough — the Microsoft CEO summit in Redmond, Wash., to figure out how to diffuse tensions between the two channels, Company Town has learned. The primary focus of the chit-chat was the back-and-forth sniping between MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Fox’s Bill O’Reilly. The two often exchange insults, Olbermann by name, O’Reilly by insinuation.

Fox and G.E. Reach Deal to End O’Reilly-Olbermann Feud

It was a media cage fight, televised every weeknight at 8 p.m. But the match was halted when the blood started to spray executives in the high-priced seats.

Should the rest of us really care about this? Some pompous asshole against another asshole. And no, I don’t which one is douchier.

From The World of Science

What do you see here? (the answer could say a lot about you)

For decades, the Rorschach test has been used to decode the human mind. But now the secret’s out – and psychologists are hopping mad.

7 Ways Your Siblings May Have Shaped You

Ah, siblings: both a blessing and a curse. Approximately 80 percent of Americans have at least one brother or sister; in fact, kids today are more likely to grow up with a sibling than a father, experts say. What’s more, the sibling relationship is the longest relationship that most people will have in their lives. Yet brothers and sisters have gotten short shrift in the research about what affects who we are and how we behave, experts say.

Reportage of The Week

Why it’s time to end the war on drugs

For decades many academics and professionals have regarded the current blanket prohibition on recreational drugs (though not alcohol or tobacco) as absurd, counter-productive and destructive. But there has never been any political imperative for change, and a thousand reasons to do nothing.
But 2009 has seen a change: among the academics and professionals who study this issue, from Carlisle Racecourse to the think-tanks of Washington, there is growing sense that reform is possible and increasingly urgent. The argument is not that drug use is A Good Thing. It is that the collateral damage caused by the so-called war on drugs has now reached catastrophic proportions. And even some politicians have started to think this might be worth discussing.

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81 Responses

  1. That Faux/MSNBC summit is not the first. Notably, Murdoch met with Obama last summer to promise support…Oops! I mixed Obama with MSNBC – whatever made me make THAT mistake?
    And in the same spirit, after the Millbank beer jokes, B0bots are extremely shocked

  2. Who is Millbank?

    • Dana Millbank writes for the Washington Post and often appears on MSNBC. Read the previous post:


      • Well, I’ve registed my complaint with WaPo over Milbank’s egregious remarks about Hillary.


        The News Boys always have Hillary and Sarah Palin to knock around – to compensate for their daily frustrations and insecurities. And it’s an hourly occurrence at MSNBC.
        But will WaPo take a stand against misogyny?

    • speaking of Milbank, I hadn’t realized the depth of stupidity.

      I just read Washington Monthly, which says:

      David Vitter could enjoy “a nice cold Happy Ending.” Dennis Kucinich would have a bottle of “Insanely Bad Elf.” The French delegation could be served “Frosty Frog.” You get the idea.

      The F– insult is probably the worse thing you can throw at a French man or woman. It’s a very derogatory term.

      Milbank has no clue. Washington cocktails have eaten his brain up.

      • I’ve noticed that Jon Stewart also loves to insult foreign countries. Isn’t that a new thing? Or maybe it’s just … change?

  3. No idea what Sherrod Brown is talking about. To the extent that Medicare works, it’s because it’s based on a single payer system. The current health insurance reform does not move the rest of the population (not even a part of it), to that model. The reform fiddles with some savings and extends (mandates) some coverage, but mostly it’s moving deckchairs. Insurers, providers, employers, taxpayers, all have too much to lose in this economy. Body is too weak for surgery, so we’re being asked to take some painkillers instead, which could further complicate the core ailment.

    As Dkat sums it up in her Times entry, this recovery is all about jobs and income in the end. A jobless recovery would be beneficial to the haves but not to the have nots.

    As for the China stimulus working faster than ours, China is a mainly a producer economy, so the stimulus goes to the consumer side and works through the system faster. We OTOH are mainly a consumer economy, so the stimulus is skewed to the producer side which probably takes longer to work through the system. Guessing.

    • But isn’t there a big lesson there? China is bailing out its producers by stimulating the economy through the consumer side. The cash for clunkers success shows that the same direct consumer stimulus would work for the US. I think if you were to come up with other programs that mimic the essentials of the clunker bill, it would have similar effects. What if you had a cash incentive program through home improvement stores to incentivise homeowners to immediately green their homes and green their appliances? I think it would have the same popularity and it would directly create jobs for small business and construction workers.

      • I love your idea to help consumers green their homes.

        Sadly, the UAW doesn’t stand to benefit, so I don’t think the Dems will be interested.

      • Everything labeled “stimulus” is not stimulus. We have been doing it wrong. More cash incentives for consumers, and some cheap easy money to small businesses would do wonders, as would big infrastructure projects. There are at best piddling amounts of those in the stimulus bill.

        Also note that China poured that money in RIGHT AWAY. We’ve been carefully doling ours out, with an eye to timing the impact to boost the Dems re-election in hard districts, not the economy itself.

      • They do that here-they’re called eco-incentives. The latest was on A++ fridges, but there’s solar panels too.

        • The problem is that you have to wait until the end of the year to claim the credit.

          The two programs that have had success have done so because it offered the cash up front to consumers. With the husing credit the $8,000 could be applied directly to a loan as a downpayment. Likewise, on the car credit(which is why there was a bit of frustration when EPA upgraded fuel consumption rates.

  4. Another great roundup, mablue.

    Glad to see our excellent Dakinikat has finally received some notice from the “big boys.” IMO, you won’t find better economic articles anywhere. Thank you, Dakini. We are lucky to have you here.

    Interesting opinion piece by Matt Miller, especially this part:

    President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress feared that moving beyond the employer-based system would leave them assailed as “socialists”. Business feared being slammed by unions for “shirking responsibilities”. Unions feared that if health benefits were no longer shaped through collective bargaining, their standing would fall further. Everyone in Washington feared too much “change”.

    That’s the pathetic thing about the Democrats. The Repubs are going to call them “socialists” no matter what they do, so instead of getting out their own message–and cutting the Repubs off at the knees–they cower in fear and never end up doing the right thing. I suspect Miller is correct about the unions. Union leaders are another group desperate to keep their power and their large salaries. Health insurance is one of the few benefits unions can claim to provide to their membership anymore and, even there, most unions are selling out new members in order for existing members to keep benefits.

    I disagree with Miller about the reasons corporations have for not wanting UHC, however. I think they realize the serfdom that many employees feel due to fear of losing job-provided health care and they take advantage of that. It also allows the corporations to deny higher wages to employees (while paying huge executive bonuses) because the corps can whine about the high cost of insurance preventing them from paying more in wages.

    Miller is also wrong that Wyden is the only one trying to move beyond employer-provided health insurance. Bernie Sanders continues to fight for UHC, bless his heart.

  5. Steny Hoyer and Dem allies stand before the cameras and brag about how this president and the Democrats have restored Wall Street and corporate profits while the same economic report shows that another half a million Americans are applying for unemployment. Do Democrats have NO clue? For Americans the economy is about JOBS not Wall St..

    • But of course they are bragging about restoring Wall Street because that who the New Democrats are working for.
      It wasn’t so much as a brag but an infomercial.

      “Is your industry flagging because of poor decisions?
      Do you need relief that only federal legislation can bring?
      Well then, turn to us, the New Democrats, just look what we did for Wall Street after they wrecked our economy.
      Instead of serving time in prison it’s raining bonuses and we can do the same for you!
      Just leave a brown paper bag full of unmarked C-notes on the door step of your local New Democrat Representative, Senator, or President. “

    • The audacity of clueless arrogance. But hey have no IDEA why the American public is so pissed off and unruly in those town hall meetings, or why people are skeptical about healthcare.

      I’m telling ya, if the People do not fully support single payer in the end, it won’t be because they are selfish and unwilling to do so. It will because our Congress demonstrated their own corruption and untrustworthiness in such a breathtaking way that no one TRUSTS them to do healthcare and do it right.

      It is one thing to say “I want UHC.” It is quite another to say “I trust these guys to enact UHC”. Those two sentiments are MILES apart. And the current Democrats are widening that gap in sentiment at a prodigious rate. They are BLOWING any chance they had.

  6. Cookie Monster’s masterpiece theatre parody is more entertaining than Milbank’s.

      • This video has been removed by the user.

        Looks as if the Mouthpiece Theater put TAPE OVER THEIR OWN MOUTHS…seeing that we ‘wimin’ folk aren’t smiling over the Hillary joke.

        Yup, Hillary’s Army is still assembled BOYZ, and we aim to PUSH you back each time you use sexism/misogyny to attack her.

        We Must Divest From Misogyny NOW!

  7. iirc – there are about 3 million MORE homes that will face foreclosures this year.
    And some homeowners are facing foreclosure because they can’t pay the NEW property tax rates that have escalated since the financial meltdown.

    • Property taxes should have dropped since property values have dropped. That’s one of the reasons states and localities have been struggling with steep drops in revenue(as well as flagging sales on non consumables).

      That being said even a smaller property tax is difficult to pay if you are on a small fixed income because you were laid off.

  8. So, the menz involved in the Gates affair, who all behaved pretty badly, get invited to the White House for a beer and a “serious conversation about race”. But the woman involved, the only person who acted like a mature grown up throughout the whole mess, she got flowers.

    You just can’t make this shit up. What a wonderful example of just how fucked up this country is about gender.

    • Well said.

      And the Black sergeant is being called an Uncle Tom because he stood by his fellow cop.

      In frikkin credible.

    • AmericanThinker had a picture up from the Beer Summit showing Obama walking out of the White House – or swaggering? – totally oblivious of Crowley behind him gently assisting Gates down the stairs. Very telling picture.

      And while I’m at it, Obama would have shown style (I know, I know!) if he had worn a jacket so as not to make the two guests feel “over-dressed”. That’s something a gracious host would have been aware of. In my opinion.

  9. She also defended racial profiling, pointing to the fact that black men make up the majority of the US prison population.

    I would defend Lee Landor Free Speech Rights, but would be down at City Hall wanting a meeting to discuss the ACLU’s report with her, her boss and how ‘DIVERSION’ isn’t offered to Blacks and Latinos, especially the youth (all youth). Once they are in the system, it is a done deal… They may go in with some small charge and while in the system be charged with additional charges, often more serious one.

    She is also lucky she is not a an underage woman or this could have been her fate:

    Hillary Transue, who was sentenced to a wilderness camp for building a spoof MySpace page that lampooned her assistant principal in White Haven, Pa., on Friday. Transue says she did not have an attorney, nor was she informed of her right to one, when she was sentenced by Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella.

    I often would attend meetings on this very issue locally and most recently found out of some most disconcerting facts, which are on my to do list once I get back in motion.

    This story is something that all Americans should be outraged about:

    In one of the most shocking cases of courtroom graft on record, two Pennsylvania judges have been charged with taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers.

    That is right the story says ‘judges’!

    • Just goes to show when some legislator comes up with a plan to “privatize” any government service, from Social Security to prisons, for whatever reasons, it’s because they are on the take.

    • I live in NE PA, the judge who is in charge of trying the two judges has stated she/he (can’t remember) will not accept the terms of their plea bargains because they have shown no remorse. Ciavarella was all over the local news yesterday saying he never said he was guilty of sentencing children to youth camps. Well the judge says if he is going to keep denying he did this then he can either change his plea or go to trial.
      But this is not a race thing. There were plenty of white kids sent away. It was about which parents had money and power and connections and which did not.
      The truth is that AA do commit more crime in relation to their percentage in society and years of excusing that for sociological reasons has done the black community no favors.

      • especially the youth (all youth)

        I did say all youth, but given what I have seen, and the years I did spend on the matter it is a little more complex. I still think her statement would not hold up given the statistics and the lack of access to adequate representation, and prevention services (many in the system were abused as children). Keep in mind, it is costs less to do diversion and it gives kids a chance at a life, without leaving them in a spiral that is all but certain to make them in to life long criminals.

        When I volunteered on committees for children I advocated on behalf of all children, because I believe we must give children a fighting chance to have a good life. That is why I believe in Community Policing which was started under President Bill Clinton, which aims to make the police part of the community and builds on positive police interaction. The latter would result in a safer community and one that sees the police as part of the community, working with the community and building positive relationships. Many police under this model do preventive and diversion police work and are seen as great assets, rather than someone to fear or avoid.

        • I read earlier that states were having problems funding diversion programs and as a result alot of juvenile offenders were out of luck. It’s a shame too because studies show that the diversion programs were more effective than the traditional juvenile justice system.

  10. didn’t want to tell his sister, who died of small-cell lung cancer in July.

    Hemmm…scratching my head about the Dodd story…(((doesn’t compute)))

    • Dodd’s sister died earlier in the month (July) and he knew about his diagnosis then but presumably didn’t want to burden her even more.

      • I disagree with Dodd, I am of the thought that people shouldn’t lie to those that are ill, it robs them of giving comfort and love and just because a person is ill, doesn’t take away their right to know. My mother was ill and I told her something, and well it made all the difference to a sibling of mine. My mother died young, she was ill at the time, but I didn’t think it was my right to rob her of her offering her love and understanding to my sibling.

        Maybe it’s a woman thing?

    • MAblue2, that burqa story reminds me of these sort of cartoons:

  11. Cannonfire has a note up that Waxman got Pelosi to allow a debate and floor vote on HR676 aka single payer.
    Hope this isn’t another canard to quiet the real Democrats.

    • Hope this isn’t another canard to quiet the real Democrats.

      I have the same concern.

    • Well, Rep. Weiner is completely serious. Have you read his op-ed about the “public option” punching bag for both Parties?

      Yes, we have the opportunity to pass the most significant legislation since the equal rights amendment. We need to push Congress to drop Obama-Care and pass Medicare for All. Pelosi thinks the vote will be symbolic, but it doesn’t have to be!

      Sadly, the Obama foot soldiers (FDL, MoveOn, HCAN, etc.) are more concerned with making sure Obama is successful than fighting for what is right. It’s quite pathetic. Even with this opportunity to finally, unapologetically secure the right for every American to have health care from cradle to grave, these effing morons are STILL pushing Obama-Care! Well, screw them! They are not the only game in town! Thank goodness the people who actually go door to door to Congress are actual single payer advocates. Not half-baked Obama-Care salespeople.

      Deep thought: Ever notice the Hilllary supporters want to go to the mattresses for the BEST policy, while the Hopey-Changey crowd favors half-baked approaches?

      • That because all those blogs were founded by lapsed republicans. they can’t bring themselves to really support a real Democratic agenda.

        • That’s not fair!

          Some of those blogs belong to people who dream of sitting at the Kewl Kidz table – getting the chance to rub elbows with the semi-big wigs at the DNC convention was all it took to get Jeralyn to dive head first into the Kool-aid punchbowl.

      • Sadly, the Obama foot soldiers (FDL, MoveOn, HCAN, etc.) are more concerned with making sure Obama is successful than fighting for what is right. Even with this opportunity to finally, unapologetically secure the right for every American to have health care from cradle to grave, these effing morons are STILL pushing Obama-Care!

        You hit the nail on the head, and Obama is busy saying ‘It isn’t about me’, when indeed it is, because otherwise his foot soldiers/mouthpieces would be supporting HR 676 Single Payer.

      • Um, you do realize that the ERA didn’t pass?

    • Do you think that eventually even the O-bots will be tired of being preached to?

      • I am tired already and I am religious. 😯 I also, don’t like his preachy voice thing…irritates the heck out of me, because he isn’t a preacher.

    • At one point I was a ‘single parent’, is he going to do a tour for single parents? Me thinks Obama wants to be Michael Jackson as he is always going on tours and frankly he can’t sing.

      I want to know when the Presidential Desk WORK TOUR is going to start! At the Very least give us the HR 3200 (all 1017 pages) READING TOUR before going on the stump…to promote it (sing about it). Maybe if he reads it, he may give his support to HR 676 Single Payer (only 23 pages), which is ALL CARE, NO PORK or BULL.

  12. End the war on drugs?
    And put all those narcs out of work?
    That would be one less hot button issue for republicans to stir up their masses.
    Face it, if weren’t for abortion, gay marriage, bombing the heathens in the Middle East back to the stone age, and free loaders on drugs, the only votes republican pols could get would be from Wall Street banksters.
    And not even them since Obama has sold out.

  13. Window into Obama/Axelrod world…some of this is BS but a lot of it is interesting if you can get past the BS part:



    If Iowa launched his candidacy, New Hampshire the next week almost ended it. Clinton’s come-from-behind triumph was a moment of crushing disappointment for Obama and his team. The candidate took the news stoically when his advisers came to tell him that she would win after everyone had counted her out. To aides, he quoted Frederick Douglass, who had said that if there is no struggle, there is no progress, that power concedes nothing without a demand.

    We asked Obama what had happened in New Hampshire. “What our pollsters told me was every undecided woman swung to Hillary that last three days,” he said. “All of them. Which just doesn’t usually happen. I think the combination of her choking up; an inartful comment by me during the debate that wasn’t intended in any way the way it came out, but I understood it came out as sort of dismissive; John Edwards doing a weird thing and kind of ganging up on her, despite the fact that I had won [Iowa]. . . . And I just think the sense that, ‘Gosh, you know, we shouldn’t just hand it to this guy, and she’s really fighting for this thing and has paid her dues.’ I think all those things just converged for people to say to themselves, ‘Let’s keep this going a little bit.’ ”

    • oh yeah, it was just sympathy and people wanting to keep it going. I wonder if he thinks it was sympathy that made her the popular choice of democrats when all was said and done? I wonder if he even realizes it was only the money he poored into the coffers of the super delegates and the machinations of his supporters in the DNC that stole him the nomination?

      • But, I mean, just try to look past Obamaworld framing of the issue…look who he is quoting for instance…

        Frederick Douglass…it’s ironic

      • Following the NH primary the Obama campaign started playing the race card – hard.

        It started immediately with allegations of the “Bradley (aka Wilder) effect” and claims that white people lied to pollsters.

        We also heard allegations of voting fraud.

    • she’s really fighting for this thing and has paid her dues

      Apparently women have more and more, and more dues to pay, even to get a Roll Call Vote, they earn….the bar is higher. Rights, are rights, but they are thrown out when it is a woman…Teddy got a Roll Call Vote and he didn’t even have 200 delegates. Still ticks me off.

  14. Uh, I haven’t read through all of the comments, so I’m not sure if someone brought this up, but when referring to Afghanistan, “we” are not to use the term “war” anymore. It’s an Overseas contigency operation. That’s much nicer, isn’t it?


  15. An interesting piece by Shelby Steele re: the Gates incident.

    From Emmitt Till to Skip Gates
    Black victim, white oppressor. It’s a narrative we know well.


  16. Putting the polling numbers into perspective:

    The Ongoing Misread of Obama’s Poll Numbers


  17. Don’t get upset (it’s Krauthammer), he makes a good point about how compromised this bill will eventually be. It’s now called “health insurance reform,” not health care reform, and will be a marginal change Obama can sell as revolutionary.

    Obamacare in Retreat
    By Charles Krauthammer


  18. Franken seizes an opportunity to confront Pickens:

    Franken feuds with T. Boone Pickens

    Franken, who was seated talking to someone else, did not stand when Pickens said hello. Instead, Franken began to berate him about the billionaire’s financing of the Swift Boat ads in 2004.

    According to a source, the confrontation grew heated.


  19. Delurking to say: Anthony Weiner rocks!

    Mablue — I love all your breakfast read images, but particularly this one. Where is it from?

    • tpfka nycblue, if you’r still around: By holding down the ctrl-button and clicking on the picture, you will get some options. If you choose something like “property” (is my guess, my computer “speaks” Danish so “Egenskaber” won’t help you much, lol), it will eventually get you to this:


      … and the pictures there are beautiful!

  20. Remember this blunder. I swear this bunch would screw up a one car funeral.





    For Dakinikat



  22. Did the extra 2 Billion for the clunkers campaign get taken from the already passed stimulus? or was it in addition to?

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