Posts filed under ‘Democrats, Including Blue Dogs & "Liberals"’
Check out this graph (far right) showing the percentage of 19- to 25-years-olds who are enrolled in their parents’ health insurance plan(s) — thanks to Obamacare — that are Democratic or Republican. Republicans win.
Man-oh-man. Anthony Weiner’s out with a new campaign ad in which he emphasizes that “quit isn’t the way we roll in New York City.”
Not exactly the best line, given that he didn’t quit sexting when he said he would.
What a disaster.
A jury Friday awarded an Oregon woman $18.6 million after she spent two years unsuccessfully trying to get Equifax Information Services to fix major mistakes on her credit report.
The judgement [sic], likely to be appealed, appears to be one of the largest awarded to a consumer in a case against one of the nation’s major credit bureaus.
Julie Miller of Marion County, who was awarded $18.4 million in punitive and $180,000 in compensatory damages, contacted Equifax eight times between 2009 and 2011 in an effort to correct inaccuracies, including erroneous accounts and collection attempts, as well as a wrong Social Security number and birthday. Yet over and over, the lawsuit alleged, the Atlanta-based company failed to correct its mistakes.
A Federal Trade Commission study earlier this year of 1,001 consumers who reviewed 2,968 of their credit reports found 21 percent contained errors.
There’s some fury from the jury in this judgment. Oh, and it’s “likely to be appealed?” You bet it is. Equifax has lawyers on staff who do nothing but. No way will Equifax pay the sum the jury ordered. (They don’t believe in that quaint saying: The jury has spoken.)
Too bad there aren’t really high “statutory fines”* for screwing over We the People like Equifax did here, kinda like there are really low “statutory fines” for companies like Halliburton who destroy evidence and get an imperceptable slap on the pinky.
* Nobody’s advocating for We the People anymore because the folks who make the laws and decide what the “statutory fines” should be are owned by gosh, golly, gee: the corporatocarcy!
Woohoo. USA! USA! USA!
The obituary of Rep. Justin Amash’s amendment to claw back the sweeping powers of the National Security Agency has largely been written as a victory for the White House and NSA chief Keith Alexander, who lobbied the Hill aggressively in the days and hours ahead of Wednesday’s shockingly close vote. But Hill sources say most of the credit for the amendment’s defeat goes to someone else: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. It’s an odd turn, considering that Pelosi has been, on many occasions, a vocal surveillance critic.
Not exactly. If the author of this article had done just a wee bit of The Google, he’d have learned how fake Pelosi’s criticism was, this from Glenn Greenwald: Democratic Establishment Unmasked: Prime Defenders of NSA Bulk Spying.
Bottom line? We’ve been punked.
Ahead of the razor-thin 205-217 vote, which would have severely limited the NSA’s ability to collect data on Americans’ telephone records if passed, Pelosi privately and aggressively lobbied wayward Democrats to torpedo the amendment.
“Pelosi had a big effect on more middle-of-the road hawkish Democrats who didn’t want to be identified with a bunch of lefties [voting for the amendment],” said the aide.
Shorter: Liberal San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi gave cover to “more middle-of-the-road hawkish Democrats” to vote to continue the spy program, instead of leading them in the other direction.
Going back to Glenn Greenwald (link above):
None of this should be surprising. Remember: this is the same Nancy Pelosi who spent years during the Bush administration pretending to be a vehement opponent of the illegal Bush NSA warrantless eavesdropping program after it was revealed by the New York Times, even though (just as was true of the Bush torture program) she was secretly briefed on it many years earlier when it was first implemented. At the end of June, we published the top secret draft report by the Inspector General’s office of the NSA that was required to provide a comprehensive history of the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program secretly ordered by Bush in late 2001. That report included this passage:
“Within the first 30 days of the Program, over 190 people were cleared into the Program. This number included Senators Robert Graham and Richard Shelby, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Counsel to the Vice President David Addington, and Presidential Assistant I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby.”
Okay. That’s it. If Nancy Pelosi can’t stand for the difference between Democrats and Republicans I give up.
I’m not leaving the Democratic party. They party’s leaving me.
I hitchhiked from Michigan to D.C. in the early 70s to protest the Vietnam War. Democrats like George McGovern and Eugene McCarthy stood with us. The differences between the parties were clear.
Nancy Pelosi is a Democrat? No way.
Democrats are melding with Republicans and it’s got to stop.
We desperately need new blood. (But good luck with that what with Citizens United huh? Geezus. We’re in a big freakin’ fix.)
The things I posted above happened on Wednesday, July 24. This would be Nancy Pelosi scrambling like a penguin stuck on ice today:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is circulating to fellow Democrats a letter she intends to send to President Obama outlinging [sic] their concerns over the National Security Agency’s phone surveillance.
The letter asks the president to “explore options which will preserve Americans’ privacy and civil liberties while protecting our national security.”
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Bye Nancy. You’ve burned my bridge.
If I were Queen, a bipartisan committee made up of average Joe and Jane citizens would decide the rules about how and when senate campaign committees filed campaign contribution reports.
Senate campaign committees remain the only federal political committees not required to file their financial disclosure reports electronically with the Federal Election Commission. This means that it often take weeks, and sometimes months, to get detailed information about who is funding these politicians’ war chests.
All the while, the government spends hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to enter the Senate’s paper records into digital databases.
Yeah, and all the while our ability to know who’s being bought off by whom is delayed.
My Tweet of the Day:
The biggest thing here in the USofA today has to do with the cover of the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine:
The cover story is about how “The [Boston] bomber” Jahar Tsarnaev (above) was a “Popular, Promising Student” who “Fell Into Radical Islam and Became a Monster.”
I think the photo choice is brilliant. It makes Rolling Stone’s point: A cool-looking, sexy, regular guy who your daughter goes to school with and might want to date turns into a bomber and a monster when radicalized by what the United States does to his people.
That’s how terrorists are born.
Bombers and “monsters” aren’t born looking like this:
We like to think we can spot them; that they’re somehow obvious, like this guy.
What the Rolling Stone cover/article attempts to teach us is that we can’t spot them and they aren’t obvious. They are everywhere and it’s about time we faced that fact.
What we’re doing as a country — as in killing innocent people with drones and starting wars hither and yawn — is coming back to haunt us and the “monsters” live among us. They are our neighbors and our friends.
The bazillions we’re spending hunting down the very last “bomber” on the planet is getting us nowhere.
Let’s not have a fit about the cover of Rolling Stone. Let’s have a fit about what the U.S. government is doing to turn the Jahar Tsarnaevs of the world against us.
I know a lot — a whole lot — can and will happen between now and November, 2014 but this headline sends chills down my spine because pollster Nate Silver got everything right in the run-up to the 2012 election. He knows his stuff:
Senate Control in 2014 Increasingly Looks Like a Tossup
This weekend’s announcement by the former governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer, that he would not seek that state’s Democratic nomination for Senate represents the latest in a series of favorable developments for Republicans as they seek control of the chamber.
Gee. If the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee put up real Democrats — instead of corporate-owned-Republican-lites — they might fire up their base and reverse this trend.
What a concept!
Earlier today Nancy Pelosi was asked what she though about Michele Bachmann’s reaction to the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision (which is here).
Here’s what she said:
This is what then-Senator Joe Biden told CBS’s Harry Smith in May of 2006 in response to the the Bush administration getting millions of phone records from AT&T:
Harry, I don’t have to listen to your phone calls to know what you’re doing. If I know every single phone call you make; I’m able to determine every single person you talk to, I’m able to get a pattern about your life that is very, very intrusive. And the real question here is, what do they do with this information they collect, that does not have anything to do with al Qaeda? There, there, there’s a whole deal when you talk about this kind of stuff where the, under the law, they’re supposed to demonstrate that they’re getting rid of and not keeping any extraneous information that they pick up on wire taps and/or pick up in sweeps like this.
And the president’s saying, I think I wrote down that he said ‘this is not mining or trolling.’ If it’s true that 200 million Americans’ phone calls were monitored ah, in terms of not listening to what they said, but to whom they spoke and to who spoke to them, I don’t know. That’s, that’s, the congress should investigate this.
Watch the video here.
This is exactly what the Obama administration has done. Where’s Joe now?
Democrats and Republicans are becoming indistinguishable.
On Thursday (May 23), my senator, “Democrat” Mark Udall
voted AGAINST a bill that would require:
Thanks to the help provided by Udall, the bill failed.
Udall paints himself as an uber-liberal, hippie trippy guy which at this point is nothing short of hilarious. The guy’s a total fraud.
Geezus. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D in name only) is nuts. Get a load of what he’s up to these days:
It all starts with the person who seems committed to win the current spirited competition as the most loathsome person in American political life: Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The same Mayor overseeing the closing of fifty-four schools and six community mental health clinics under the justification of a “budgetary crisis” has announced that the city will be handing over more than $100 million to DePaul University for a new basketball arena. This is part of a mammoth redevelopment project on South Lakeshore Drive consisting of a convention center anchored by an arena for a non-descript basketball team that has gone 47-111 over the last five years. It’s also miles away from DePaul’s campus. These aren’t the actions of a mayor. They’re the actions of a mad king.
I mean, it’s just unbelievable.
I. Am. Loving. This:
Ayotte Faces Backlash Over Gun Vote
Gun show background checks are pretty universally popular in New Hampshire…and Kelly Ayotte is facing some serious backlash from voters in the state for voting against them last week.
Ayotte now has a negative approval rating with 44% of voters giving her good marks and 46% disapproving. That’s down a net 15 points from the last time we polled on her, in October, when she had a 48% approval with 35% disapproving. 75% of New Hampshire voters- including 95% of Democrats, 74% of independents, and 56% of Republicans- say they support background checks. And 50% of voters in the state say Ayotte’s ‘no’ vote will make them less likely to support her in a future election, compared to just 23% who consider it to be a positive.
Ayotte won her seat in 2010 by 23 points. But in a very early hypothetical match up between her and new Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan, she trails by a 46/44 margin. This issue is really giving her some trouble.
“The issue is really giving her some trouble?” Good. Very good. I think the reason people are so furious about this is because polling shows that something like 87% of all Americans want some sort of background check but the senate blew them off which so clearly shows how special interests control D.C. We thought they were there to represent We the People? Silly us.
I mean, since when did 87% of all Americans want something done about anything? I don’t remember a time, other than this but what did we get? The proverbial big, fat middle finger. It just screams as to how dysfunctional our “democracy” is and folks like Ayotte are the poster child for that now.
This infuriates me:
Food, shelter, and clothing are often considered the three basic needs by humans and the actions by President Obama on Tuesday have now left millions of Americans across the land in shock as the very first tenet has been horrifically jeopardized by his signing the Monsanto Protection Act into law (H.R. 933) as mentioned on the Facebook page for Food Democracy Now.
For those that are new to this situation, the Monsanto Protection Act is the name given to what’s known as a legislative rider that was inserted into the Senate Continuing Resolution spending bill.
Using the deceptive title of Farmer Assurance Provision, Section 735 of this bill actually grants Monsanto immunity from federal courts pending the review of any GM crop that is thought to be dangerous.
Under the section, courts would be helpless to stop Monsanto from continuing to plant GMO crops that are thought — even by the US government — to be a danger to human health or our cherised environment.
Oh my God! What. Is. Obama. Thinking?
The gun industry has immunity from the courts too. Look how well that’s workin’ out for us.
Unbelievable. Obama’s brain has been taken over by the corporatocracy.
My Tweet of the Day:
Democrats actually took this wingnut conspiracy theory seriously last night and voted for it. They should have stormed out of the Capitol en masse* and held a press conference to denounce this insanity. But no, they’re sheeple…
More here: Democrats control the Senate right? Senate votes 53-46 to stop US from joining UN Arms Trade Treaty.
A few minutes ago I landed on this article about how Comcast (don’t get me started) is opposing a paid sick day ordinance in Philly: Paid Sick Days Ordinance Has Unexpected Opponent.
The fact that all workers in the United States don’t have three or four or ten or 15 paid sick days per year is one of my new peeves.
A few months ago, during the height of what wasn’t an all-that-bad flu season, I learned that restaurant workers don’t get paid sick leave. So what do they do? They go to work while sick, potentially infecting everyone they serve. So hello — this is a no brainer imho – giving them paid sick days is good for everyone.
Anyway, read more about the greedy, selfish dicks at Comcast via the link above but what struck me most about the article was this:
Last week, the Philadelphia City Council passed a bill that would require nearly all employers in Philadelphia to provide paid sick days for their workers. (The only exemptions were “mom and pop” companies with less than 6 employees.) The bill now awaits Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s signature. Many expect the mayor to veto the bill, as he did a similar bill in 2011.
If passed, the bill would make Philadelphia the fifth major U.S. city to mandate paid sick days, following Portland, which passed just such a bill last week.
Again, read more at the link above.
Nutter is a “Democrat.” I am so sick of “Democrats” abandoning democratic principles; not standing for working people.
Nutter has got to go if he doesn’t sign this thing. Everyone should have a bare minimum number of paid sick days for God’s sake.
Milquetoast Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who wimped out on reforming the filibuster in January because, like an idiot, he thought he could trust a gentleman’s agreement he made with Mitch McDonnell that Republicans would only use under the most serious of circumstances is, maybe, possibly, having second thoughts.
Reid is apparently having “private, if informal, discussionswith other Senate Dem leaders” about taking more concrete action now that McDonnell has gone back on his word. (Shocking, I know.)
How many times have we heard this before?
Right on to Greg Sargent over at the Washington Post for this stern warning, wise warning:
Empty threats just risk further angering Dem base voters who are already ticked about the filibuster reform punt earlier this year. Empty threats needlessly inflate expectations that Dems are finally going to take real steps to deliver to their supporters a functional Senate, one that is at least somewhat more capable of moving forward with the agenda so many of them worked so hard for in the last campaign.
Empty threats make Dems look weak and do nothing to discourage continued GOP obstructionism. If the status quo is really acceptable enough to Democratic leaders to forestall further action, they shouldn’t bother pretending otherwise. If this is the Senate we’re going to have to live with, Dems should just level with their voters on this point. No more feints and hints without real action.
My sense is Reid — exactly the wrong kind of leader for these times — doesn’t have the guts but as Sargent says, it would be nice if he’d either pass the reform or let it go and level with us.
Holder Tells Senator That Obama Does Have Authority To Kill Citizens With Drones On U.S. Soil Without Criminal Charge or Conviction
Attorney General Eric Holder this week held out the possibility that the President could kill an American citizens with a drone attack on U.S. soil without any criminal charge or trial.
It will be difficult for people to find someway, as in the past, to blame this policy on Republicans. The kill list policy of Obama belongs to him. As I discussed in earlier columns [...] it is astonishing how citizens, including so many liberals and civil libertarians, have remained relatively silent in the face of a classic claim of authoritarian power. The relative silence over this latest development shows just how passive the country, and particularly liberals, have become in challenging Obama on his aggregation of executive power. It also is the latest evidence showing Obama’s evisceration of the civil liberties movement in this country. There is little observable movement left after it was divided over loyalty to Obama in the first term. A president has previously said that he can kill U.S. citizens on his own authority. It was then revealed that the citizen does not actually have to be involved in an imminent terrorism attack. Now he claims the right to use that authority in the U.S. The response at every stage has been a collective and prolonged yawn from a people growing comfortable with a burgeoning security state and an imperial president.
Remember civics class? Innocent until proven guilty?
Remember the right to be formally charged with a specific crime and to know what those charges are? Remember the right to a lawyer? Remember the right to be presented with all the evidence against you? Remember the right to question those who present evidence against you? Remember the right to present evidence in your defense and to challenge that presented against you? Remember the right to a jury of your peers? Remember the right to be judged guilty, or not?
Constitutional lawyer Barack Obama has tossed those apparently trivial (to him) rights out the window. He, and he alone, can now decide if you’re guilty of whatever. And he, and he alone can execute you. We the People have no right to a trial by jury anymore.
I’ve lived my life resting in knowing I had the right to due process. Knowing that if I faced charges of any kind I was guaranteed a trial by jury. I’d have my say in court; I could defend myself.
That’s gone. Obama has decided he can kill me without any of that if that’s what he wants to do.
Ed Rendell, the former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania makes regular appearances on “Morning Joe.” They tout him as a liberal but he’s nothing more than a greedy old ba*tard who has sold his soul (if he ever had one). Still, we have a right to know that:
Ed Rendell today is a co-chair of Fix the Debt — nevertheless, in media appearances on [the MSNBC] network he is regularly introduced only as the former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania.
He is special counsel to the law firm Ballard Spahr, where he focuses on privatization in housing and infrastructure. Rendell is a senior adviser at Greenhill & Co., a multinational investment bank. Rendell is also on the advisory board of Verdeva, a technology development firm, and an operating partner at the venture capital firm Element Partners, a company that has recently invested in natural gas “fracking” in Pennsylvania and nearby states.
Ed Rendell has numerous conflicts of interest that belie his role as neutral or “liberal” commenter.
Let’s not let MSNBC lie about it’s supposed liberalism. Ed Rendell is a corporate hack. It should disclose that when he’s on. “Former Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania?” Yeah, technically true, but Ed Rendell’s been doing a whole lot of things since he was that.
I emailed this letter to Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) today:
On Tuesday, 2-26-13, my husband, a 61-year-old msn who delivered mail in south Boulder for 36 years, was diagnosed with a brain disease called frontotemporal degeneration. In essence, his frontal lobe is disintegrating.
No known cause. No known cure.
The trajectory of this disease is, unless he dies of some other cause [my husband] will linger for 8 to ten years in a state of incoherence while I spend my time caring for him and paying for his care.
The insurance retired Post Office employees get is good, but it doesn’t, by any means, cover extraordinary expenses like we’re facing.
When was the last time you held a freakin’ town meeting?
Not only that, but the treat of breaking up the P.O. adds an incredible amount of stress to our lives because taking away letter carriers’ benefits is part of that whole deal. [As in the Republicans' plan to break all of our backs].
The only way I can pay for my his care is to try to qualify for Medicare/Medicaid. That means we sell all the assets we’ve built up over the years and put all that money into caring for my sweet Dan.
When he dies, I have nothing. I’m on the street.
What the hell are you all doing in Washington when we are desperate out here?
I want to offer a (slight) apology to Udall. I’m angry and I lost my temper. I could have worded this a little better but at the same time, I’m furious. As in seeing red.
Where are you Marko?
Republicans are out with new spin on the sequester today: Where’s Obama? He’s supposed to lead.
And here’s the perfect response to that:
Here’s a brilliant take-down of the (ridiculous) Obama-should-lead argument.
Uh oh. Republicans are undoubtedly seething and probably working the phones behind the scenes trying to get one of these posthumously awarded to Ronald Reagan:
On Israel Trip, Obama to Get Medal
(CNN) – When President Barack Obama visits Israel next month, he’ll be awarded the Presidential Medal of Distinction, Israeli President Shimon Peres’ office announced Monday.
Obama, the first sitting U.S. president to receive the recognition, will be awarded the medal for making “a unique and significant contribution to strengthening the State of Israel and the security of its citizens,” according to a release announcing the news.
He’ll receive the award at a dinner at Peres’ residence in Jerusalem, slated to be attended by senior figures from Israeli public life and the Obama administration. The award is given to “private” individuals and organizations that have made “outstanding contributions to bettering the world.”
Democrats should be ashamed of their behavior here. So inconsistent and hypocritical:
President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign famously trolled Mitt Romney for having bank accounts in the Cayman Islands throughout 2012, with campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt calling it proof that the Republican “bets against America.”
It’s a line that was echoed during the election by Governor Martin O’Malley, the Democratic National Committee, and several web ads on Obama’s own YouTube channel, which featured at least 20 videos mentioning Romney’s Cayman accounts. A search for Cayman Islands on the Obama campaign’s website brings back more than 1200 results.
But now that one of Obama’s own cabinet nominees is defending his own Cayman account, Democrats are suddenly silent on the matter.
Jack Lew, who has been nominated for Secretary of Treasury, invested $56,000 in a CitiGroup venture capital fund based in the Cayman Islands’ Ugland House, a building that Obama called in 2008 “either the biggest building or the biggest tax scam on record.”*
Lew sold his investment in 2010 for $54,418 when he was confirmed as the White House budget director, and his Cayman fund went unnoticed until the Obama campaign effectively used Romney’s offshore bank accounts to paint him as greedy suit willing to do anything to earn a dollar.
I have no respect for hypocrites.
* BTW, here’s a photo of Ugland House:
Ugland House is notorious because it’s the registered home address of some 18,800+ corporations.
I just came across this great quote:
When a government becomes invisible, it becomes unaccountable. To expose its lies, errors, and illegal acts is not treason, it is a moral responsibility. Leaks become the lifeblood of the Republic.
– Daniel Ellsberg and John Perry Barlow
The article from which this quote comes is about the White House’s “White Paper” on targeted killings and drones but its wisdom applies across the board. As the government becomes more and more secretive (as in the kill list, drone strikes* and its deliberation on approving (or not) the Keystone XL pipeline, for example), the less, obviously we know. And as those things happen under the ever-creeping tendency of our government to side with the corporatocracy and against the people, leaks become more and more important. We have a right to know what our government is doing because after all, it works for us and if it won’t tell us so we can hold it accountable, we need leakers who will.
Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, John Bolton, Lindsay Graham and Erick Erickson Praise Obama’s Drone Plan/Kill list
They’re all warmongers so if they love it, I don’t!
To wild GOP crowd cheers, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachman vehemently defend Obama’s assassination policy.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will offer a resolution next week commending President Barack Obama’s use of drones and the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.
We no longer have to transport ourselves to a magical alternate reality to ponder what a love child between Richard Nixon and Dick Cheney would look like. Given a Justice Department memo obtained by NBC News, we can conclude that child would look like none other than President Barack Obama.
“Just kill the terrorists before they kill us.” Land of the free and home of the brave? No. When I saw folks tearing up at the Super Bowl over those words I gagged.
We’re a scared bunch of sheeple. We stood by while almost 60,000 Americans were killed in Vietnam because our leaders told us the commies were coming to get us. Ten years ago yesterday, Colin Powell lied his face off in front of the United Nations Security Council and as a result, we invaded Iraq because they (I’m gagging again) supposedly had WMD and were ready to send a mushroom cloud over the U.S.
None of that was true.
Yet, again, we’re so scared of the lies we’ve told ourselves, all in the name of kill them before they kill us.
Defense spending — our tax dollars! — has doubled since 2001.
Ten years ago there was no such thing as the Department of Homeland Security but now we’re dumping untold billions dollars into that agency because it’s supposedly keeping us “safe.
And now we have drones — millions going to defense contractors for their new toys that we’re paying for — AGAIN, out of our tax dollars that — and President Obama’s kill list predicated on his supposed authority to kill Americans without their Constitutional right to be charged and tried by a jury of their piers.
They tell us these drone strikes are keeping us safe. But they aren’t: “Drone attacks are doing nothing but inciting more hatred” say Pakistani protesters. Google it yourself. There’s a whole bunch of info out there about how drone attacks are actually making us less after
So when will be again become the land of the free and the HOME OF THE BRAVE and when will we stop being scared little people who sacrifice their future for defense contractors and politicians who want to enrich them?
I like the plain truth President Obama told Steve Kroft in his 60 Minutes interview tonight:
You know, Steve, I gotta tell you, the — you guys in the press are incorrigible. I was literally inaugurated four days ago. And you’re talking about elections four years from now.”
And I like the plain truth he told The New Republic too:
One of the biggest factors is going to be how the media shapes debates. If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it.
Memo to Obama and all Democrats: Keep it up, hammer away at it, drive it home and for God’s sake, don’t let up!