Obama Cleans Up the Bush Debacle of the Deptartment of Justice

Dec 10 2009 Published by under Featured News

Evil President Obama is taking on the stinking cesspool that was the Bush Department of Justice by shining some light on the problem in the form of the President’s Initiative on Transparency and Open Government.

While this initiative applies to all branches of the Obama administration, its impact on the DoJ should be a huge relief to Americans, who may have been confused as to why issues from the environment to voting rights were seemingly forgotten or down right abused during the Bush administration.

During the Bush administration, the Department of Justice became increasingly politicized, or as Bush would have said, a great patriotic tool for his agenda. What harm could come from illegally filling all of the life-long career positions with far right ideologues, who were vetted based on their religious and political beliefs? Huh? Hehhheh??!

FYI, “Hehhheh??!” Is that weird sound McCain makes when he’s experiencing a strong wave of contempt and superiority:

Good times! Especially since these folks will be with us until they die or retire! Kinda hard to mandate “change” when your predecessor violated the law, thereby hampering you with an entire department hell bent on keepin’ America on the path to GOP dictatorship! But that won’t stop The Dick’s army or leftists from blamin’ the Socialist for the next 7 years, so there’s that. Heck of a job, Brownie!

“The Bush administration attempted, and succeeded in large measure, in transforming a major federal government department into an instrument for the pursuit of extreme right-wing policies.”

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/jun2008/just-j27.shtml

Only fundamentalists Christians were allowed in the Bush DoJ, and you had better not have ever whispered a word about the environment other than drill drill drill, or you were not a contender. You could take your fancy Harvard resume and your arugula-eating latte-drinking self back to the 60’s where The Dick still thinks you reside. Oral Roberts U? Game on! Hehhheh??!

Yup. You betcha, the DoJ is stacked sky high with far right ideologues; The impact of their politics can be felt in every department, from the failure to investigate anti-trust violations to their blatant disregard for the environmental laws being abused. Aw, say it ain’t so, Joe! Wink, wink.

As Obama (the un-American usurper who’s trying to restore law and order) often noted on the campaign trail, the Bush DoJ had “what may be the weakest record of antitrust enforcement of any administration in the last half century.” And by weakest record, he means the FTC and Justice Dept challenged less than half of the cases challenged during the Clinton administration’s 2nd term.

Obama the evil Muslim who does not love America as you and I do also noted that the Justice Department failed to bring a single monopolization case under the Bush administration.

Blah! What’s all of that about, Obama? Forget democracy! We need to see your long form birth certificate and discuss death panels!!!! Boogie woogie, look over here. Razzle Dazzle!!

Right wing tap dance of distraction commences. Que Sarah Palin, Newt, and The Dick: “Dithering!” “Not listening to generals!” “Weak!”. Oh, my. Rinse and repeat to the cadence of “Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!” I swear, it’s just more American when you can sing your policies. Hehhheh??!

The press saw it rightfully fit to ignore the fact that W,who started this war, never bothered to listen to his generals. At all. In fact, when told by Gen Shinseki that we would need a lot more troops than he was dedicating if he were to invade, Bush ignored him because he knew he couldn’t sell that to the American people. And, well, he was already selling crap. Didn’t think it wise to make it taste bad to boot.

So he sent our troops into the beginning of what quickly became a mismanaged, un-planned disaster helmed by several old white guys who had never served in the military, thanks to their elite backgrounds. But they have the flag pins, by golly!

Yes, who better to take advise from the press wondered? Let’s have The Dick on. Let’s ask John McCain! He said he had a way to find Osama, but he would only tell if he got elected. Country First! Hehhheh??! Or should we ask Sarah Palin?! Yes, if she can only take her eye off the airspace over Aleeska for a second, we could really use her advise. Again. There, also, for the job manufacturing and again, to shore up health care.

But no, President Obama (usurper, unAmerican, Muslim Socialist and also, too, and Commie) is working on restoring independence and integrity to the judicial branch (Department of Justice). Hey, Mr. President! That’s not American!

On Tuesday, Dec 8 2009, Uppity President Obama released the “Open Government Progress Report to the American People — and the ‘Open Government Directive,’” Ick. I don’t hear any wars in there. He should’ve called it “The War on Information” or something catchy like that. Wars scare people. Terror is good. This transparency baloney is a real problem.

Former special assistant to W, David Frum, says so!

“”Why don’t they just install a 24-hour Web cam in the Oval Office and be done with it?” he said in a CNN.com commentary.” This new policy is crazy, utterly counterproductive and will only make the work of the White House more sluggish and inefficient than it already is — and it is plenty sluggish and inefficient now.””

Yeah! Translation: We can’t operate under these rules and we don’t appreciate Obama trying to restore transparency, because it’s just one more thing we have to destroy when we get into office again. Sigh.

Of course, “leftist” organizations that like democracy, like CREW (nonpartisan legal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington), think this is a good thing. Tip: if it’s a non-partisan organization specializing in ethics, it’s a “leftist” org, or “opposition” research. Just FYI. ‘Cuz askin’ questions ain’t ‘Merikun!

“In a statement to CNN, Anne Weismann — CREW’s chief counsel — said the directive “represents the kind of bold and far reaching initiative President Obama promised on his first full day in office. … By establishing a new paradigm of public access to government information, the administration has paved the way for a truly transparent and accountable government.”

In addition, The White House is publishing the names of everyone who visits; publishing data online about federal spending and research; the publishing of updated Freedom of Information guidelines from the attorney general.

“There have been other advancements, from providing online access to White House staff financial reports and salaries, adopting a tough new state secrets policy, reversing an executive order that previously limited access to presidential records, and web-casting White House meetings and conferences,” Orszag added.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/12/08/white.house.transparency/index.html

Yikes!

Just like Hitler would have done!!! Oh, boy. Trouble is a brewin’ because now the Dept of Justice responded to the President’s Open Government Directive issued Tuesday by issuing the FOIA Annual Report in more accessible format yesterday.

Didn’t anyone tell Obama that you don’t make FOIA reports accessible because you don’t intend to fill them, ever? Why on earth does he think the Dick and W told him to use a yahoo account like they did (and Sister Sarah!) to avoid FOIA requests?! Ha! The non-dithering Patriots are still managing to stave off FOIA requests, destroying Government servers before they left in January and dodging subpoenae like pros.

Obama really needs to get a clue.

See, he must have read the Department of Justice’s mission statement:

“To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.”

And took it seriously. Hehhheh??! Hehhheh??! Hehhheh??!

That just ain’t right. Can we do a rewind?

Every time Obama restores a portion of our democracy, a right winger loses his freedoms.

Hehhheh??!

Edited: 12.10.09 3rd paragraph to remove error re: Dept of Justice branch of government, per Editor’s note

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Coat Hangers: a Symbolic Protest Against the Stupak Amendment

Nov 16 2009 Published by under Featured News

Selecting singularly vivid iconography – the coat hanger – as in coat hanger abortion, CredoAction launched a campaign to persuade the 20 formerly pro-choice Democratic Congressmen who voted Yes on the Stupak Pitts Amendment to change their minds, by sending coat hangers to those Democratic House members who voted to restrict access to abortion in the healthcare bill along with their petition.

The Stupak Amendment, if it remains a part of the Health Care Reform Bill, would enact greater restrictions on pro-choice than any change we have seen since the 1976 Hyde Amendment.

The Hyde Amendment of 1976, named for Republican Congressman Henry
Hyde, banned Federal funding of abortions through the Department of Health and Human Services appropriations, and led to other Federal legislation banning abortion coverage, including for those in the military and their families, but did allow payment for other health care for those individuals, so long as they paid for an abortion ‘out of pocket’ / with private funds.

The recently passed Stupak Pitts Amendment would make health care under those provisions unavailable for women who were willing to pay ‘out of pocket’ or to purchase health care with such reproductive coverage with private funds, a serious erosion of the status quo. This Amendment is anticipated to be particularly punitive to those women in low income demographics.

For every signature to their petition, CredoAction will send a coat hanger to these Congressmen, reminding them of the bad old days before safe, legal abortions were available, the days of coat hanger abortions and back alley butchers that were fatal to so many women. Their aim is to have 100,000 signatures by the end of the week before Thanksgiving, which would extrapolate to sending 2,000,000 coat hangers – 100,000 coat hangers per Congressman. As of their email update on Monday, they were already at 78,280 signatures.

The petition says, simply:

“We know what happens when women are denied access to reproductive health care including abortion. And we can’t go back to an era of coat hangers and back alley abortions. Reconsider your vote on the Stupak Amendment. Tell House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that the final health care bill that emerges from the conference committee can’t turn the clock back on women’s rights.”

The Congressmen destined to receive the coat hangers are:

Representative Jason Altmire, Pennsylvania – (District 4);

Representative Joe Baca, California – (District 41);

Representative Sanford Bishop, Georgia – (District 2);

Representative Dennis Cardoza, California – (District 18);

Representative Christopher Carney, Pennsylvania – (District 10);

Representative Albert Chandler, Kentucky – (District 6);

Representative Jim Cooper, Tennessee – (District 5);

Representative Jim Costa, California – (District 20);

Representative Artur Davis, Alabama – (District 7);

Representative Bob Etheridge, North Carolina – (District 2);

Representative Baron Hill, Indiana – (District 9);

Representative Michael Michaud, Maine – (District 2);

Representative Richard Neal, Massachusetts – (District 2);

Representative David Ross Obey, Wisconsin – (District 7);

Representative Earl Pomeroy, North Dakota – ( All );

Representative Silvestre Reyes, Texas – (District 16);

Representative Ciro Rodgriguez, Texas – (District 23);

Representative Victor Snyder, Arkansas – (District 2);

Representative Zachary Space, Ohio – (District 18);

Representative John Spratt, South Carolina – (District 5);

If you wish to sign this petition and send a coat hanger, symbolic of coat hanger abortions, go to http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/send_a_coathanger/?rc=homepage .

If one of these is YOUR representative, I urge you to contact them directly, and express your views on the subject as a constituent, both on provisions denying women the right to use their own PRIVATE FUNDS NOT FEDERAL FUNDS to purchase insurance which includes full coverage for legal reproductive procedures, and on the larger Health Care Reform legislation.

We can only hope that this timely reminder of how making abortion more difficult if not impossible affects women, and that it will be as persuasive as it is intended. There were 64 Democrats who voted with the Republicans for the Stupak Pitts Amendment, this despite the pro-choice plank in the 2008 Democratic Platform.

Personally, I wish the Credo Action group would send coat hangers to Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak of Michicagn, and co-sponsoring Republican Congressman Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania, along with their co-sponsoring Congressmen: Republican Brad Ellsworth of Indiana, Democrat Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, Democrat Kathy Dahlkemper of Pennsylvania, Democrat Dan Lipinski of Illinois, and Republican Chris Smith of New Jersey. Both Stupak and Pitts have ties to / membership in the ‘Family’, the secretive C-Street Christian cult that gained notoriety over the extra-marital misconduct of Governor Sanford of South Carolina, and Senators Coburn and Ensign.

9 responses so far

126 Days Later and Still No Republican Healthcare Reform Proposal

Oct 21 2009 Published by under Featured News

This morning House Democrats took to the floor to point out that it has now been 126 days, and Republicans have still not offered their healthcare reform proposal. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) said, “Rather than working with Democrats, Republicans are choosing to be the party of no and the status quo. No is not a solution.”

Here is the video courtesy of Daily Kos TV:

Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ) said, “It’s been 126 days and the minority party has not given us their plan for health care. What they have given America’s seniors is a lot of misrepresentations on Medicare. This bill does not cut Medicare benefits for seniors. It cuts corporate welfare for insurance companies.”

Rep. Christopher Murphy (D-CT) said, “I’m a patient man so I have been willing to take my Republican colleagues at their word that they’re not really trying to obstruct health care reform that they want to fix the system as well. So I have been willing to wait for a plan and many people out there in the public have been willing to wait as well for the Republicans to produce a health care reform plan before they pass judgment on what the best course is to fix our broken health care system. 126 days later, we are tired of waiting. Americans are ready for health care reform now because they want an affordable choice that competes with private plans. They know that they are one bad checkup, one pink slip away from being kicked off their coverage. And they can’t wait any longer for Republicans to share their solution.”

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) said, “Rather than working with Democrats, Republicans are choosing to be the party of no and the status quo. No is not a solution. Saying no costs the average family $1,800 in increased health costs each year. Health insurance reform is about putting the American people and doctors back in charge, not the insurance companies to guarantee stability, lower costs, higher quality, and more choices of plans. Our friends on the other side of the aisle can’t run away from the fact that they have no plan as much as they might like to.”

The political timing is right for Democrats to turn up the pressure on Republicans when it comes to healthcare. The GOP used up all of their ammo at the town halls in August. Public opinion has turned in favor of reform, and the Republicans are offering nothing, but repetition of the same scare tactics that they used this summer.

One of the reasons why Republicans are going to end up losing the debate on healthcare is that they completely underestimated the support for reform. They were able to mount a month long campaign to drive support down, but they made a huge mistake when they decided that they didn’t have to offer their own solutions.

Democrats are going to pass a healthcare reform bill, and the Republicans can kid themselves into believes that this will carry them back to victory, but the truth is that their just say no stance is just likely to hurt them in 2012 as it is to help them in 2010. Whatever short term morale boost this gives to the base will be offset by the ground they will lose with Independents.

2 responses so far

Poll: Heading in 2010 the GOP Has Gained No Ground

Oct 20 2009 Published by under Featured News

According to the new Washington Post poll, the Republican Party has gained no ground on the Democrats on the generic congressional ballot. Those polled favor Democratic candidates 51%-39%. This represents no change from 2008 when Democrats led 52%-37%, and 2006 when Democrats led 51%-45%.

Greg Sargent looked at the numbers on his The Plumline blog. It is not surprising that the GOP would not be able to make up any ground, due to the fact that they are still proposing the same ideas that they ran on in 2006 and 2008. Recent polling shows that we are starting to see Obama and the Democrats recovering from a rough summer.

The main problem for Republicans is that their numbers remain abysmally low. In the Washington Post poll, only 19% of those surveyed trust the Republicans in Congress to make the right decision for the country. This is a ten point drop from a January poll where confidence in congressional Republicans was at 29%. Congressional Democrats have also seen their number decline from 43%-34%.

Republicans also hit a new low in party identification. Only 20% of those surveyed identified themselves as Republicans. This is down from a high of 29% in February. Judging from these numbers, it would appear that the GOP’s slash and burn, just say no strategy is appealing to the base, but not helping their party grow.

As far as 2010 is concerned, mid-term elections are a different animal. Republicans are planning to run on healthcare reform, which I believe is gigantic mistake, as the issue that will likely decide many of these races will be the economy. If the economy improves, Democrats will be able to minimize their losses. If the economy is bad Republicans could gain 20 seats in the House.

The wild card, as is the case with any midterm election, is turnout. If Republicans show up and Democrats, don’t, it will be a good day for the GOP, but Republicans could just as easily give back any gains they make in 2010 in 2012. The right likes to tell themselves that a win in 2010 will mean that the GOP is back, but this looks like wishful thinking and fantasy.

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How Five Democrats Sold Their Votes and Betrayed Their Party on the Public Option

Sep 29 2009 Published by under Featured News

Two different amendments that would have added the public option to the Senate Finance Committee’s heathcare reform bill were defeated today. Five Democrats joined the Republicans in voting against the Rockefeller amendment, Bill Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, Tom Carper, Kent Conrad, and Max Baucus. These five are Democrats in name only.

The Rockefeller amendment would have created a strong public option that would have been required to be financially self sustaining. It would have been subject to the same regulations as private plans, and would have included subsidies for lower income people to help offset the costs of premiums. All of this was completely unacceptable to the Democratic Gang of Five, who joined with Republicans on the committee to vote down the amendment, 15-8.

Schumer’s amendment also contained a public option, but would have allowed providers to negotiate reimbursement rates. Schumer’s public option was a tiered plan that allowed for basic, enhanced, premium, and premium plus plan. This was more acceptable to Nelson and Carper, but Lincoln, Conrad, and Baucus voted against it, as the amendment lost, 13-10.

It would appear that all of the advertising by progressive groups, including the ad below, designed to sway Baucus failed.

Why would these Democrats betray their own party? The answer can partially be found by following the money. The two largest industries in terms of contributions to Finance Committee are the Health, and Insurance industries. According to Open Secrets, the healthcare industry gave $7 million in PAC contributions to committee members. Not to be outdone, the finance, insurance, and real estate industries also gave $7 million to the committee.

Committee chairman Max Baucus has taken $1.1 million each from the health and insurance industries. The two largest contributors to Tom Carper of Delaware for 2010 have been the health and insurance sectors. The same holds true for Kent Conrad. The top donor for 2010 to Blanche Lincoln was the healthcare industry. The insurance industry has given $1.5 million to Bill Nelson for the 2010 cycle.

It is easy to understand why the Finance Committee bill was so watered down. The key industries that would be impacted by reform are in essence buying enough Democratic votes to kill the provisions that they don’t want to see in the bill. Even though today’s votes were a foregone conclusion, they once again point out the fact that if Democrats are serious about passing healthcare reform, that are going to have to do through reconciliation.

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Democrat and Reform Killer Ben Nelson Wants 65 Votes in Order to Pass Healthcare

Sep 29 2009 Published by under Featured News

It appears that Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) will stop at nothing to kill healthcare reform. Nelson made his latest proposals while speaking to constituents yesterday. He wants to split the bill in half to pass a cost saving bill before the 2010 election, and pass expanded coverage, “at a later date.” Nelson also claims that any bill that passes without 65 votes isn’t legitimate.

According to the Lincoln Journal-Star, Nelson has set the impossible standard for passage of a bill at full Democratic support plus five Republican senators. He said, “I think anything less than that would challenge its legitimacy.” Nelson also opposes the use of reconciliation to pass healthcare reform, “It would be a tremendous mistake to jam it through with 50 votes.”

He echoed Republican claims that a public option would hurt private insurance companies and would add to the deficit, “I’m concerned a public option up front could undermine (private) insurance coverage for 200 million Americans…I’m not going to support anything that would add to the (federal) deficit.”

Nelson made it clear, that his concerns are more about winning elections than passing healthcare. He is essentially supporting splitting the bill in half, to pass the popular items with bipartisan support before the 2010 election. If anyone believes that Nelson would support expanding coverage after 2010, they are wrong.

Sen. Nelson is up for reelection in 2012. Being that he won reelection in 2006 with 51% of the vote, it is a certainty that he would not support expanding coverage at a later date. There is ideological opposition to a public option on the right, but within the Democratic Party much of the opposition is based on electoral calculus, not the issue of healthcare reform.

Some Democrats, like Nelson, are worried that if they support a public option, it will cost them their seat. They are also terrified that if Democrats pass the bill on their own, even with 51 votes, Republicans will use it against every Democrat, whether they supported it or not.

Going strictly by the numbers, the best of both worlds solution would be that Democrats use reconciliation to pass healthcare reform with 50+ votes. This would free up vulnerable red state Democrats to oppose the bill, without harming its prospects.

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Why We Must Save the Public Option

Aug 12 2009 Published by under Featured News

With Democrats signaling willingness to compromise on the public option, health care reform is quickly morphing into health insurance reform, which is great for everyone who already has insurance, but what about those who don’t?

I’m beginning to realize how very much I was hoping the national healthcare plan with the public option would pass. I’ve been spending a good part of all the money I’ve gotten on holding my body together for over twenty years now, and I have some definite opinions about what’s going down nationally.

My ex-husband gave me enough money when we split up to have covered me for the rest of my life had I been a normal person physically. But I was not. When I was a young woman I began to deteriorate physically and mentally as undiagnosed hypo-thyroidism and bipolar disorder savaged me. I received a diagnosis and some real help twenty years after I first started manifesting symptoms, but damage had been done, and I’ve needed a lot of maintenance work since then to stay functional. There have been times when I have not been capable of functioning, and without the help of others I would have been on the street by now. I don’t know what my future holds, but I understand the fear of it.

On a good year my body has cost me $10,000 and on bad years more like $25,000 – including the cost for the health insurance I’ve always had to get. These expenses have been catastrophic for me, and having been hit particularly hard in real estate as well, my financial life is in ruins.

Thank god for government programs such as Medicare, which I hope will take some of the crushing burden from me in a few years if all goes well. I am hanging on by my fingernails, and I know there are thousands and thousands more like me.

And in response to this, what do we see? We see these politically oriented or corporate shills revving up dangerous emotions in masses of people! We have a right to gather in public in order to discuss our future with public officials. This discourse is being prevented by people who are operating from the most base and calculated of reasons: greed, personal & corporate gain and political dogma.

Ordinary Congressional representatives trying to serve the public good are being shouted down synchronistically in a savage, brutal way we have not seen in my lifetime in this country! Today I read that a gun was left behind at a meeting held by a Democratic congressperson.

I think it’s time for more people to speak up! I want that public option – medical expenses have decimated my financial health and the only kind of insurance I can afford now has a deductible of $2000. I understand the fear of the people in the crowds. There are days this year where I’ve been just about scared to death. I can see that fear on the face of the people in the town halls.

At first I honestly thought those meetings were entirely fake, but it seems now that the emotions being expressed by many of the people are real, but based on profound disinformation about the system under which they live. This disinformation is being deliberately fed to them by those who would profit from their ill health and debt.

That is why education is the most important issue in America today. We are seeing the results of decades of the under-education of large sectors of the public. It is much easier to manipulate the badly educated, who then become the pawns of those who don’t have their best interests at heart.

People need to understand that the same people denying them care under their current policies are feeding them propaganda like “it’s socialized medic$ine!” which somehow has an evil, anti-American feeling to it in the minds of those who would make a killing in medicine, if you’ll pardon the expression.

I would imagine a lot of the upset seniors have forgotten that the Medicare program which exists to protect them is a government program that could easily be considered “socialized medicine”. That’s one of the reasons always given for the benefits of its potential demise – it’s “socialized”! Have you ever wondered why it is that the word “socialized” gets such play, for conservatives, it is right up there in the A List of Buzzwords – “socialized”; gay marriage”; “liberal media”; “elitists” – words that are relied upon to generate a certain set of emotions in the people who hear them. Propaganda, I think that’s called.

When I see those poor people down at the town halls blindly working against their own best interests I am flummoxed. By God we get the government we deserve, and the failure of decent human civility at these meetings is absolutely disgusting to me. There has been enough investigative reporting shown on programs like “The Rachel Maddow Show” to let people know that corporate shills and GOP hacks – some of the same people that were involved in the 2000 Bush v. Gore “stop the re-count” organization – are stimulating, in a calculated, abhorrent fashion the most base and ugly aspects of mob mentality in this country.

Good work, boys. More of that “bully boy” mentality at work in this country and I do not like it. In fact, I don’t like much of what I’m seeing right now, and that has kept me quiet for a few weeks. One doesn’t wish to appear negative, but if all that one sees is the transformation of this country into a land of uneducated louts and easily stimulated rabble being goaded into violent action by greedy merchants and bought politicians – I’m starting to get a little angry myself.

I read today that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), one of President Obama’s primary progressive allies in the Senate, has signaled that he is willing to compromise on the public option. WAIT JUST A DAMNED MINUTE!! NOBODY ASKED ME!! WAKE UP, EVERYONE!!! You are being fed lies and manipulated by a bunch of people who certainly do not have your best interests at heart.

I know the world is changing and it’s scary sometimes. However, the reason I am a Democrat is because this party has traditionally stood with the regular person. I learned this at my mother’s knee and I still believe it true. I also believe that this administration has the best interest of all of the classes of people in mind, and we haven’t seen that for a while. But the spin machines are powerful, and the news cycles are full of stories illustrating what effect the constant repetition of untruths will have on an untrained, susceptible mind. Perhaps it’s even easier to sway people during times of profound change.

Patrick and I have come to know a young man who has lived a very marginal life in our society through no fault of his own. His mother was and is addicted to methamphetamine and he does not know who his father was. He lived in foster homes for years and then after high school has had long periods of homelessness. As I have a brain chemistry disorder, it is fairly easy for me to spot another of my own kind, and this boy has some problems. He is wonderful – whip smart, charismatic, and somehow he has managed to raise himself despite so little support. He’s just turned 21, and is at a crucial time in his life. Without help, he could easily end up on a corner raving to people who turn away from him. What about that, people?

I bring him up for another reason than the obvious one that he is a clear and natural candidate for the public healthcare option. This kid is employed by what my mom used to call “reactionary Republicans” and are now known as neo-conservatives of the “Rush Limbaugh school of thoughtful policy.” To hear this formerly homeless youth rage against the “they” that are taking all of “our” money is hard to describe; it ranges between being hilariously, naively funny to being tragic, because I see this kid’s future, and without public healthcare of some sort he could be a needless casualty.

Despite the fact that I was sick every day of my adult life I raised two daughters, and I raised them well, if I may say so. I’m not a throwaway person. Neither is my young, formerly homeless friend. Don’t even get me started about the uninsured – I have been hearing shocking stories regarding hospitals in Southern California dumping patients with colostomy bags in the Skid Row of Los Angeles!

Our society treats illness with more greed than compassion, and the human results of that moral and policy failure gibber at us unintelligibly on the streets. Because of primarily GOP and Corporate interests, many people like me who haven’t had been protected by family or a noble ex-husband have lost their jobs, their homes, and in some cases, their sanity and their lives. What about these people? What about the lame, the sick and the halt? What about us?

One response so far

Of Liberals, Obama, and the Pope

Jul 11 2009 Published by under Featured News

President Obama is in Rome for an historic meeting with Pope Benedict XVI. Oh, noes! Cue the freak outs; He’s going to give validity to all of the far right religious extremists and he should never, ever talk to the Talibangelists! He’s a baby-killing sinner who should not be welcomed to the Vatican!!! In case you aren’t aware, it seems the very act of speaking to someone you don’t agree with could be the end!!

The end of what?

Oh, right. The end of W style self-confidence, marked by a faux cowboy swagger and slow drawlin’ scorn that your side is God’s side. The kind of governing which brings about Palin Holy Wars. You know, the sort of people who never doubt themselves. Ever. Gee, thanks but no thanks. How many times do we have to say that? NO THANKS FOR THAT BRIDGE TO NOWHERE.

The President is doing what any sane, rational leader should do. He is open to hearing those he disagrees with. He is not running a theocracy. He knows what he stands for, but is willing to find a common thread of agreement. I dig.

This is, after all, what I voted for. America was built on the founding ideal of separation of church and state — precisely to protect us from the many pitfalls of religious extremism.

Obama’s genius, which we saw in Russia, is that he truly does respect those he disagrees with. Respect goes a long way. I know what I believe and I’m confident that POTUS isn’t going to cave to the religious extremists and start mixing religion and law, so I’m not bothered by his desire to sit down with those he disagrees with.

And speaking of disagreement (but not respect), Chris Korzen –Co-founder and Executive Director, Catholics United, explains how we liberals went wrong and what we were thinking and are thinking and all other kinds of stuff (hey, being a religious leader apparently means you are also a psychic…which is kinda a nice hybrid of religion and witchcraft, so I really feel like we ARE getting somewhere!).

I mean, I was all “gee, isn’t it great that Obama is having this meeting, listening to all”….. until I came across Chris’ interpretation of events:

“Proponents of the “small tent” strategy are livid now that the common ground values which put Democrats back in the White House in the first place are playing a vital role in the Obama government. Many feel that those who harbor moral concerns about abortion don’t deserve a role in helping to craft social policy. More extreme voices write off the values of large swaths of the American public categorically, calling people of faith backward-thinking, dismissing even moderate pro-lifers as woman-haters or terrorists.

That these moderate voters also disdain the divisive tactics of the religious right and are swayable on health care and clean energy is, to the small-tenters, irrelevant. Because they don’t subscribe to the far left’s “do what feels right” dogma, many average Americans aren’t even allowed in the campground.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-korzen/at-the-vatican-a-democrat_b_229477.html

Don’cha love the screech of moral superiority, disdain and scorn?

It seems to me like the Catholic church is kinda desperate here; not really in the position to be dictating judgment on the evil liberals who only want to feel good. I mean, the numbers of the Catholic church membership are not exactly growing….

Wondering if that “not throwing stones” bit was is in the Catholic bible? I coulda sworn I read that story whilst attending the tomb-like Catholic school I suffered through until my teacher/nun went nuts and ended up where all morally superior beings belong — in the mental ward — But I could be wrong. I probably got the liberal elite version.

And I confess that I couldn’t possibly have anything of value to offer a discussion of morals, since I instinctively clutch the reigns to my uterus like a desperate drunk holding on to their car keys. All I know is I should never, ever give up control of my uterus. I could forget everything else, but this I know.

Nightmare images of a Handmaid’s Tale and vague references to caged women playing mommy with their Barbie homes keeps me clutching.

Still, I’m reasonable. I’ll listen. I just wish the screeching and the scorning wasn’t involved….Yikes, but it sets my nerves on edge. Still, I’ll find common ground on lots of stuff.

But, not the uterus.

Speaking of how the far left only wants to do what feels good (where did that come from? I wish someone would have told me a long time ago…I thought I was giving up material things to do spiritual things like fighting for justice and freedom! Boy, I was gypped and I’m pissed), what would really feel good right now is just to say….

No.

I do not accept your moral superiority. I do not accept your scorn. I don’t even accept your right to feel disdainful of my position, since you have never listened to it with respect.

I’m still at the table, but I’m not buying the crap.

This is another reason I voted for Obama. He’s a better person than I. Go be good, Obama! You’re doing the right thing so I don’t have to!

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Poll: PA Democrats Want Specter to Face a Primary Challenger

Jun 02 2009 Published by under Featured News

Despite the fact that Gov. Ed Rendell has been in the media bellowing and warning Rep. Joe Sestak not to challenge Sen. Arlen Specter in next year’s Pennsylvania U.S. Senate primary, a new poll released today by Susquehanna Polling & Research finds that 63% say that Specter should face a primary challenger.

Despite Gov. Rendell’s warnings that Specter will crush him the primaries, yesterday on MSNBC’s Hardball, Rep. Joe Sestak virtually all but formally announced that he was challenge Specter next year.

Here is the video:

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Sestak’s decision to run would be very popular with primary voters who believe by a 63%-28% margin that Specter should face a primary challenger. Most PA Democrats are well aware that Rendell is trying to make the primary as easy as possible for his pal Arlen Specter. The problem is that rank and file Democrats, not Rendell and Joe Biden should be allowed to choose the Senate nominee.

Sestak isn’t the ideal choice to challenge Specter. He and Specter agree on more issues than they disagree, including The Employee Free Choice Act, but Sestak makes a powerful argument when he claims that the state’s Democratic voters deserve a choice in the primary. The party leadership has been telling Sestak to wait his turn, but he is actually doing the Democratic Party a favor by running against Specter.

Specter came into the Democratic Party assuming that he could do whatever he wanted and would not be held accountable until the general election, but a Sestak candidacy will keep Arlen in check within the Democratic Party. Most importantly, a contested primary gives Democrats a chance to decide if they want Arlen Specter to represent them. All in all, Joe Sestak’s candidacy is a good thing for the state of Pennsylvania.

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Rep. Barney Frank: Calls for Conservative Democrats to be Kicked Out of the Party

May 04 2009 Published by under Featured News

After 12 Senate Democrats voted to block an amendment that would have rewritten the bankruptcy laws to allow judges to renegotiate mortgages with banks, Rep. Barney Frank went off, and called for those who side with the moneyed interests to be kicked out of the party.

Here is Barney Frank on Bill Mahr:

Host Bill Mahr stated that Wall St. calls the shots in the Democratic Party, “Let’s be honest, the Democratic party, starting in the 90’s, also became the party of business and Wall Street. So what we really need is another party that’s the progressive party.”

Frank responded, “We who don’t feel that Wall Street should call the shots are in the majority of the Democratic Party. Yes, I agree with you that I wish there were more Democrats on one side. But what you’re saying on the Democratic side, who are on the side you want, should leave to become the second party. No, I’m the first party. Let the minority, who doesn’t agree with us, let them become the second party.”

By the way, all of the Democrats who voted against the amendment came from red states, with the exception of Democrat come lately Arlen Specter. Frank’s comments illustrate one of the biggest problems that the Democrats have in their majority. The more conservative Democrats often aren’t in agreement with the rest of the party. I disagree with Frank’s idea that the party should be made smaller, by kicking out those who disagree.

The fastest way for the Democrats to lose their majority would be for them to adopt the Republican strategy of forcing its members to toe the party line, or get out. Frank is suggesting that the Democrats move more to the left, which is the worst thing that the Democratic Party could do right now. The party has grown by becoming the party of inclusion. It would be a major mistake to start kicking party members out who are more conservative.

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