Archive for December, 2009
I know it’s early but this tweet from FolkLive caught my eye as being so true. It’s like a law of nature — you hold onto something for years, throw it out, and invariably, two weeks later, you need it.
Three hours ago I watched the last few minutes of a live press conference held by a whole bunch of Democrats — including Tom Harkin, Harry Reid and John Kerry — during which they trumpeted the Senate’s “health care bill.” At the end, an unidentified reporter asked Reid, in essence, how the vote would be taken, i.e., whether or not it would be televised. Reid refused to answer.
The vote doesn’t necessarily have to be televised, but if Reid is being evasive because he’s contemplating a voice vote (televised or not), so there’s no record as to who voted “Yea” or “Nea,” this Democrat is going to be furious. I want to know how each and every Democratic senator voted on this piece of shit.
UPDATED: December 24, 2009, 8:15 a.m. ET — Well, my hunch was wrong, thank goodness. The vote was televised.
Hi, all. I’m trying to take some time off so my posts will be fairly sporadic through next Sunday.
I join the unlikely team, Jane Hamsher and Grover Norquist, in their call for the resignation of Rahm Emanuel.
And enjoy: The world’s smallest “snowman:”
Alexis Glick announced on her show this morning that she is leaving the Fox “Business” Network, effective immediately.
It’s a slow drip but FBN is dying.
Obama was against insurance mandates before he was for them:
If you can spare a dollar or two, go to YesWeStillCan.org. Make a donation so they can air the above ad, reminding Obama who and what we voted for in November ’08.
Excuse me President Obama, but I was there. I worked for you. I sent you money. I listened to what you said. I remember. You did campaign on the public option.
Please. Don’t tell me you’re turning into one of the crazies who denies stuff that can be refuted after spending two minutes on Google.
The right is screaming about the news that many states are on the verge of running out of money for their unemployment programs.
Dean Baker over at Beat the Press points out how simplistic their argument is and how much more complicated the reality is:
The Washington Post had a front page article reporting on the shortfalls facing state unemployment insurance funds as the unemployment rate remains in or near double-digit levels. At one point it tells readers that: “the troubles the state programs face can be traced to a failure during the economic boom to properly prepare for a downturn.”
This is not true. The state unemployment insurance (UI) programs were fully prepared for a normal downturn. They just were not prepared for the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It would be difficult to imagine states raising UI taxes in preparation for a downturn that was far more severe than any major economist predicted. The problem was the incompetent economic management by Federal Reserve Board chairs Greenspan and Bernanke, not the conduct of the states.
From Peter Daou:
So, there are only eight potential female — human — athletes of the year? Can you imagine the outrage at the AP editor’s desk if this applied to men? I can hear it now: What? You can “only” find eight male athletes — in the whole wide world — who might qualify, so you round it out with freakin’ horses? There’s this guy and this guy and this guy and this…
If you’re like me, when you hear an announcement like the one made this morning that “existing home sales are up,” it doesn’t mean much. So, I always go to the trusty site, Calculated Risk for an explanation. Short version: Don’t get too excited.
Posted without comment — I’m too mad and too tired:
I just saw a promo for a re-run of a show C-SPAN aired this morning: “How Capitalism Will Save Us,” by Steve Forbes.
Gee. Sorry I missed it. I presume the C-SPAN host was laughing the whole time, right? You know, kinda pointing out where capitalism has brung us, as of today?
That would be John Harwood.
The next time you see him on CNBC or MSNBC, or see his byline in the “liberal” New York Times, remember how extraordinarily arrogant and out of touch he is:
“Liberals who want universal health care ought to be thanking Harry Reid for getting this done rather than talking about what’s inadequate in the bill. I’m not saying the bill is a good bill. But if you’re a liberal and you want universal coverage in this country, and think that you can do better, that Harry Reid can do better than he’s done, or that the White House can do better, they ought to lay off the hallucinogenic drugs because we’ve had a vivid demonstration of the limits of political possibilities on this issue.”
Short version: Compromise means you get 5% of what you voted for. Be thankful for the crumb. There are “limits of political possibilities on this issue.” Shut up. Sit down. Go away. You’re stoned. You’re irrelevant.
From the homepage of TheFoxNation @ 8:57 p.m. ET today:
(Fox’s point isn’t to get the news out that protesters are showing up “around St. Louis” with posters depicting Clair McCaskill as the Joker in the film, The Dark Night. Fox’s point is to make sure that you see that picture and think McCaskill is the Joker in the Dark Night.)
This from the Fox “News” home page today:
“Celebrate the holidays with Fox News Channel?” What? Does Fox secretly hate Christmas too?
Watching The Ed Show. Two people who I thought would be lions in the fight for single payer — Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) — are explaining why we should be happy about mandates and handing millions of guaranteed customers to the insurance companies.
Here’s an interesting article from the National Geographic about the winter solstice.
This is a tale about this year’s “it” toy, “Zhu Zhu Pets” and the caste system in the United States:
Lawrinowicz worked for Target for eight years before he was fired. He and other employees worked overnight at their Target unloading items. Before leaving for the day at 5 a.m. the next morning, he and six other employees lined up to buy a few of the plush hamsters each. He bought two. (Well, below the store limit of four per customer).
A few days later, Lawrinowicz was called into the human resources office and told employees were not allowed to purchase “popular items” until the store opens at 8 a.m. That would seem an appropriate response and he returned to work. However, two weeks later, all of the workers and their team leader were called in and fired pursuant to the company’s policy about buying “two-day ad items.” None of the employees ever saw a posting on the policy, though the store insisted it was posted.
This is the way the lower caste is treated in this country. They get fired and screw them if they might have a point that they “never saw a posting on the policy.” Contrast that to the way the highest caste is treated, which is illustrated by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. He looks the other way while the U.S. economy crashes. Millions of people lose millions of dollars and millions of jobs. Does he get fired? No. As a matter of fact, he gets rehired when the term of his job expires.
UPDATE: More here on Bernanke’s history of blowing monumentally important stuff off. Guess he kinda got tired of doing his job. (Makes me feel all the sadder for the Target workers who are so innocent in comparison. The disparity in the way the classes/castes are treated in the United States is despicable.)
Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who President Obama nominated to head the Commerce Department (but who later decided he didn’t want the job), said this over the weekend:
“An ideological supermajority in Congress, along with a government run by community organizers, has taken over.”
Here’s my favorite headline of the day: Leadership, Obama Style, and the Looming Losses in 2010: Pretty Speeches, Compromised Values, and the Quest for the Lowest Common Denominator.
What’s costing the president and courting danger for Democrats in 2010 isn’t a question of left or right, because the president has accomplished the remarkable feat of both demoralizing the base and completely turning off voters in the center. If this were an ideological issue, that would not be the case. He would be holding either the middle or the left, not losing both.
What’s costing the president are three things: a laissez faire style of leadership that appears weak and removed to everyday Americans, a failure to articulate and defend any coherent ideological position on virtually anything, and a widespread perception that he cares more about special interests like bank, credit card, oil and coal, and health and pharmaceutical companies than he does about the people they are shafting.
I don’t honestly know what this president believes. But I believe if he doesn’t figure it out soon, start enunciating it, and start fighting for it, he’s not only going to give American families hungry for security a series of half-loaves where they could have had full ones, but he’s going to set back the Democratic Party and the progressive movement by decades, because the average American is coming to believe that what they’re seeing right now is “liberalism,” and they don’t like what they see. I don’t, either.
What’s they’re seeing is weakness, waffling, and wandering through the wilderness without an ideological compass. That’s a recipe for going nowhere fast — but getting there by November.
Read his Tweets.
You can just feel him lying low, waiting for the Democrats to commit suicide.
On November 28 I posted about how Comcast was trying to kiss my ass by sending me a coupon that I had to use within 48 hours. One of the responses I got to that post was this, from Comcast’s “Mark Casem,” a “Comcast Customer Contact – National Customer Operations”:
So, have I heard from Mark? No.
Hey, I’m all for doing away with boxes as part of the gift-giving process. They’re wasteful and almost anything can be wrapped or disguised without one, but I’m pretty sure Lands’ End isn’t thinking about the environment here when it wants $6.00 for a freakin’ box. (See the bottom of the screenshot below.)
Time magazine is out with its “Top 10 Obama Gaffes.“
Please, someone, anyone, show me a list of Time‘s “Top 10 G. W. Bush Gaffes.”
On Wednesday we learned that Rupert Murdoch, the owner of News Corp., Fox’s parent company, sent an end-of-year email to his employees that didn’t include the word “Christmas” despite the fact that Murdoch’s minions have made the supposed “war on Christmas” their annual stock-and-trade.
Today we see the ah, “Christmas card” Murdoch’s Fox “business news” set out. Yeah, there’s a Santa hat on the fox but where’s the baby Jesus? How about a Christmas tree? The north star? Joseph and Mary? A manger? Some donkeys or camels? Some bedding? Some “wise men?” A cross?