Saturday, July 23, 2011


That's right. Immediately after the attacks, right wing BIGOTS in the wingnut media began smearing Muslims with the broad brush of terrorism. Now we learn that the suspect in the horrible killings (so far) of 92 people "left behind a detailed manifesto outlining his preparations and calling for a Christian war to defend Europe against the threat of Muslim domination, according to Norwegian and American officials familiar with the investigation." First, Laura Ingraham at Fox "News" states that the Norway terror attacks “appears to be the work, once again, of Muslim extremists.” Then she jumps straight from the Norway terrorist attacks to the Islamic mosque in New York City, that is in no way connected to terrorism much less with this latest attack committed by right wing Christian fundamentalist(s). This is typical of Fox anti-Muslim bigotry — a Fox non sequitur to conveniently smear the religion and culture of Islam.

Oh yeah, and our buddy Jim Treacher at the Daily Caller, who runs an ongoing smear campaign against Muslims broadly titled "Not All Muslims Are Terrorists" ... etc. had to swallow his bigotry unapologetically. You can be cute about it, Treach, but you still come out smelling like a bigot and a racist. There are 2.1 billion Christians and 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. What percentage of these would you say are terrorists, hmm?

Friday, July 22, 2011

In Reply, Jean D'Orange Throws A HISSY FIT!

Here's some frightening video of the Speaker's ERUPTION at President Obama ... YIKES!


THANK YOU, Mr. President!

President Obama came out swinging today after Boehner walked out on the talks, talking tough and playing HARDBALL LIKE WE'VE NEVER SEEN HIM BEFORE. It was a VIRTUOSO political performance, and a REVELATION — one we've been waiting to see from the first moment the Republicans began their venal obstructionism.

I must say, this TOUGH GUY President, not the conciliator, not the compromiser — President Obama wears it Really REALLY WELL. I believe he was sincere about getting his "Big Deal" and so I'm glad the talks broke down, for now. But even if he wasn't, this is GREAT POLITICAL THEATER. I'll post the video presently; it's a must-see performance, from beginning to end. Watch it here.

Quotable: President Obama to Bernie Sanders, On "The Problem" With Progressives ... And Vice Versa

"That's the problem with YOU PROGRESSIVES. You see this as half-empty."
~ President Obama, holding up a glass to Independent Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders. Senator Sanders had asked the President whether he would nominate Elizabeth Warren to head the new Financial Consumer Protection Agency.
"At this point at least, despite a Democratic President and a Democratic Senate, the Republicans have won a MASSIVE victory, moving this debate FAR TO THE RIGHT."
~ Senator Bernie Sanders, earlier today on the state of play in the debt so-called "negotiations."

Just to illustrate the mentality of the Beltway Idiot Punditocracy, Jonathan Capehart of WaPo and an MSNBC "political analyst" said Senator Sanders was "amusing." They keep pounding this type of message day after day after day. It's almost a 'Fox News'-like alternate reality.

A final note about what so infuriates this progressive about President Obama. Today at his town hall at the University of Maryland, President Obama raised the example of the Emancipation Proclamation he had made in an earlier talk to young Republicans — which got rave reviews from Lawrence; something about "the politics of governing." The President said the Proclamation, which hangs in his office, did not free all slaves immediately. President Lincoln had to "compromise" with slave-holding Union territories because his first priority was to save the Union. Eventually, it happened with passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments.

Fair enough. I can understand such a rationale with respect to the Affordable Care Act, aka "Obamacare." I'm not convinced but I understand it. The President explained that to govern effectively leaders must compromise: "you cannot get 100 percent of what you want." Understood. The problem becomes, though, how to define 80 percent, or 60, or 55? Progressives have always maintained that the President's definition of a "good deal," of 80 percent, is overly broad and much too accomodating of his Republican opponents.

Eventually, in twenty years or so, we might get affordable health coverage that is cost-effective and halfway comprehensive, if and when it ever becomes more like Medicare. But then — and this is what sticks in our craw — not only is the President prepared to slam Social Security by hitting beneficiaries where it hurts them most, in the pocketbook for people living on fixed incomes, but there's an even crueler irony to such a betrayal of core, bedrock Democratic values embodied by Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Consider this: As a result of President Obama's health care act being so compromised, thousands of people approaching retirement age will have fallen through its cracks. These people may be suffering from chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, or any number of life-threatening senior diseases. They may be holding on for dear life, in the hope and expectation they'll have Medicare by age 65. But lo and behold, President Obama who gave up too much on health care reform in the first instance, now breaks bread with Traitor Joe Lieberman and Tom Coburn, and agrees to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67.

How many potential lives will have been lost as a result of such a decision? This is not an abstraction; it's a moral issue. A question of life and death. And no one in those "negotiations," least of all President Obama, seems to be giving this serious consideration. Because if they did, benefit cuts in Social Security and Medicare (let's not forget Medicaid as a disabled student today implored the President) would not be on the chopping block. After all, it truly is an abstraction to those Congress persons who can get free medical care at Bethesda Naval Hospital, or afford a luxury suite at the Mayo Clinic.

Negotiating away Social Security — which was NEVER a part, however tangentially, of this manufactured debt issue — and Medicare with extremist, hostage-taking terrorists who are holding a gun to our heads is not right. What would FDR do? Or Truman? What would Bobby Kennedy do.

Where have you gone, Mr. President?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rumor Mill, Body Language, And Betrayal

The so-called "cut, cap, and balance" plan passed by the House is a REPUBLICAN feint; it will not pass the Senate, and if it does it will not be signed by the President. It's an insane Tea Party bill. Which would give the Betrayer-in-Chief the perfect cover to sell his "Grand Bargain" negotiated principally with Speaker Boehner. The President is content, I think even looking forward, to stab progressives in the back once he has assured himself of a head count sufficient to pass his plan in the House and Senate. John Boehner wasn't whistling past the New Deal graveyard after meeting with his caucus, as the aroma of cigarette smoke wafted out into the corridor — a sign of Boehner's relaxed/victorious mood. He was singing "Zippy-Dooh-Dah, it's a wonderful day," hardly a subtle sign that things are going his and the Republicans' way.

Boehner seems confident he can peel off enough Tea Party caucus votes to craft a majority for passage in the House along with Blue Dog corporatist and moderate Democrats who will go with the President. The Progressive Caucus "NO" votes will probably be irrelevant as a bargaining chip. Similarly, in the Senate, the President is confident there will be 60 votes to pass his BETRAYAL. I have never seen the combative Senator Bernie Sanders, a progressive champion, looking so dejected. His shoulders were sagging and he seemed on the verge of tears as he was interviewed by the Rev. Al. He said he could not speak for Democrats in the Senate. He was headed for a meeting with "about ten progressive senators" to "map out strategy." Then he shrugged as his voice trailed off: "But ..."

That's my interpretation of events. Boy, do I hope IT (the "Grand Bargain") doesn't come to pass. As Sam Stein from the Huffington Post reports:
The administration pressed, as it has in the past, for lawmakers to coalesce around as big a deficit reduction package as politically possible. There are conflicting reports as to what was discussed. But according to multiple sources from both parties, the administration signaled a willingness to tackle a bigger plan than even that proposed by the bipartisan Gang of Six.

hat such a deal would look like is difficult to pin down in detail, as much of the Gang of Six proposal requires congressional committees to write in the specific cuts to programs under their purview. But it would involve steep reductions in health care spending -- both in Medicare and Medicaid. In previous debt ceiling negotiations, the administration has supported further means-testing elements of Medicare as well as raising the eligibility age of the program. Cuts to Medicare suppliers would also be part of a larger package, as would adjusting the payment structure of Social Security so that a lower level of benefits was paid out over time.
So much for escapist West Wing entertainment. The reality is much too harsh and depressing. Sure, I'll take The West Wing in a heartbeat. But I fear that's not what's happening in Washington right now.

Spin This One, Lawrence: The BIG CAVE Is Imminent

This just in, from the New York Times; I've highlighted the major points of concern to progressives:
Boehner and Obama Close to Deal, Leaders Are Told
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has informed Democratic Congressional leaders that President Obama and Speaker John A. Boehner were starting to close in on a major budget deal that would enact substantial spending cuts and seek future revenues through a tax overhaul, Congressional officials said Thursday.

With the government staring at a potential default in less than two weeks, the officials said the administration on Wednesday night notified top members of Congress that an agreement between the president and Mr. Boehner could be imminent. The Congressional leaders, whose help Mr. Obama would need to bring a compromise forward, were told that the new revenue tied to the looming agreement to increase the debt limit by Aug. 2 would be produced in 2012 through a tax code rewrite that would lower individual and corporate rates, close loopholes, end tax breaks and make other adjustments to produce revenue gains.

Officials knowledgeable about the conversations between the administration and Congressional leaders said the details of the potential package remained unknown but they presumed it would include cuts and adjustments in most federal programs, including Medicare.

However, officials on all sides of the tense negotiations warned that no firm deal was in hand yet, and tried to play down the progress — if only to stave off attempts to block it or influence its shape by hardliners on both sides of the debate on taxes and spending.

“While we are keeping the lines of communication open, there is no ‘deal’ and no progress to report,” said Kevin Smith, a spokesman for Mr. Boehner.

The White House denied that any deal is imminent. Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said that “there is no deal. We are not close to a deal.”

The same fiscal and political issues that stymied earlier negotiations between Mr. Obama and Mr. Boehner remain, including how much a deal would raise in new revenues over all. Democratic and Republican leaders in both chambers were resistant to an Obama-Boehner deal for separate political reasons — the Republicans because of party opposition to new taxes and Democrats because many want to campaign in 2012 against Republicans’ proposed deep cuts in Medicare and Medicaid and a compromise, they believe, would make that harder.

The agreement was likely to rile Democrats, who could view it as more tilted toward Republican priorities than a bipartisan plan issued by the so-called Gang of Six senators this week; its prospects with conservative House Republicans were uncertain as well. Though it would initially appear to meet Republican demands for less reliance on new revenues as part of what Democrats have called a “balanced” approach, Republicans could be uneasy about accepting a plan tied to a higher future revenues through tax changes.

“The trick on this has always been the tax issue,” one Republican said. [READ MORE HERE ...]
Can't you just see it coming; the President is about to sell us out on Medicare and Social Security — ISSUES THAT SHOULD BE DECIDED THOUGHTFULLY AND TRANSPARENTLY, NOT AS PART OF A FAKE DEBT "CRISIS" — just as he handed us a fait accompli on extending the Bush tax cuts when Nancy Pelosi, the only leader who could represent the people's interests, was cut out of the dealmaking. The same pattern seems to be repeating itself here. And if it's true, progressives CANNOT take this sitting down; no matter how big a selling job the President throws out there. If there are benefit cuts or a raise in the retirement/eligibility age of either or both programs, DEMOCRATS.MUST.SAY.NO TO THE PRESIDENT.

Cenk Ousted At MSNBC By Washington Elites

But The Beltway elites LOVE Chuck, Andrea, Dylan, Chris, and Lawrence.

Unbelievable. To Cenk's credit, he tells us what the inside story is. He didn't take the money and his integrity is intact. The power elites did not like the fact he was speaking truth to power. They wanted him to be "more like a senator." (Huh?) To not gesticulate so much. (Too ethnic?) To have more Republicans on his show. (You're off the hook, Cenk. I complained about that, but now know you had no choice. Meanwhile the audience has to put up with political hacks like Michael Steele.) To basically "tone it down" even though when he was his Young Turk self his numbers went through the roof.

THE MAN has spoken. The Idiot Punditocracy rules MSNBC content. Chuck the MSNBC mascot, who made the snarky comment about "liberal elites" in the D.C.-New York corridor, can claim its first (second, sorry Keith) casualty among his colleagues. Lawrence the fake "liberal" is safe. Beltway insiders Chris and Andrea are the "Washington people" who speak the language of the elites. Rachel is the outlier. But she's an institution, so THE MAN can't touch her. Big Eddie has a measure of autonomy because he brought in the numbers and consolidated his position.

But there's a great FREEDOM OF NEWS alternative over at CURRENT TV. I really hope, for everyone's sake, that Keith extends Cenk an invitation and he accepts it. MSNBC's loss could be our gain for unfiltered, unbiased, non-corporatist political news and commentary.

TEA PARTY Remedial Ed: The Truth Hurts ... Unless You Read Rolling Stone

It was bound to happen. The Tea Party extremists representing a narrow slice of the electorate — the white racists toting execrable ani-Obama signs from two summers ago ostensibly protesting a black president who didn't cut their taxes enough, lashing out at Latino immigrants and non-Christian religions — now control the House of Representatives and are dictating terms to the rest of the nation, at least 80 percent of us. When Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz criticized Teabagger Allen West for supporting the Tea Party's insane "cap, cut and balance" bill (it cuts spending to 1965 levels when people could live on an $8,000 salary), the wingnut went ballistic. In an e-mail to Wasserman Schultz cc: to House leadership (good move, Einstein), he said:
“You are the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district! You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!”
This individual is clearly unbalanced and won't be returning to the House after 2012. Such conduct is completely unacceptable. One gets the sense the guy has unresolved rage issues that could erupt unless he gets help and attends anger management classes. It's up to the House leadership to censure his conduct. *CRICKETS* In the meantime, Rep. Wasserman Schultz responded mildly, that "the truth hurts."

Allen West is but one example of Tea Party extremism. Rep. Joe Walsh, a bomb thrower from Illinois, called President Obama a liar for warning of dire consequences to the economy should the government default. This is another "crazy" dude who has to go. HOW DO THESE PEOPLE GET ELECTED? Their anti-government nihilism is hurtling us toward a Teabagger anarchist grand finale. The hard deadline is August 2nd. So far they have voted to SLASH  Social Security, KILL Medicare, Medicaid, jobs, health care for women, shut our government down, as they hurtle headlong toward plunging our economy, and the world's, into another Great Depression.

MEMO to Chris Matthews: Tom Coburn voted for every one of these measures. Explain why "kids who read Rolling Stone" should "love" Senator Coburn unless, to use your term, they're "HARD RIGHT." Why, is it because he's a folksy extremist that stands up to Grover Norquist, who's been making the rounds saying the President is having "a hissy fit"? Or is it because he's a right wing Southerner with an ounce of civility and manners that sticks out like a sore thumb among the extremists he keeps company with? Bottom line, Coburn's proposal is every bit as radical as what the Teabaggers want, outside of destroying our government and economy. These days, that's a real distinction.

But wait. This is the new normal — our millionaire President (from Lawrence, the fake lib wordsmith) "welcomes" it — stick it to the poor and the middle class. It stands to reason that affluent kids "who read Rolling Stone" should feel good about stomping on the middle class, the poor, and the underprivileged. I'm sure Senator Coburn is a decent man. But he'd help more people by quitting his full-time job and concentrating on his medical practice. The end of his term cannot come soon enough. Along with West, Walsh, and as many Teabaggers as can be bagged in 2012.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

TEA PARTY Remedial Ed: George Romero's Ronald Reagan

GOP god Ronald Reagan raised the debt ceiling 18 times. Here's the Gipper's disembodied voice reminding extremist Tea Party House Republicans of their responsibility to the country. For them, this reality about their hero must seem like a George Romero horror movie.

Funny Moments From The Murdoch Parliamentary Inquiry

And none involve shaving cream ...

In this Q&A a persistent MP with a funny accent asks Murdoch why he was invited to enter No. 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister's residence, by the back door on the many occasions he was invited for "a cup of tea." Never through the front door, like any normal person:

And here CNN becomes for a day the TV equivalent of a British scandal sheet when the alluring MP Louise Mensch used her Q&A time on the Murdoch inquiry parliamentary committee to accuse Piers Morgan, the British wingnut who replaced Larry King on CNN, of being a boastful hacker. Morgan had been News of The World editor from 1994 to 1995 and of the Daily Mirror from 1995 to 2004. The boorish Morgan sputtered that Ms. Mensch “show some balls” quite possibly because he has none himself. Doesn't feel so well when the shoe is on the other foot, eh Piers, you little weasel.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Elizabeth Warren Is AWESOME!

So naturally she gets passed over to head the new Consumer Financial Agency because she's too toxic for the Republican jackals in the Senate. Well, maybe she'll have the last laugh when she beats Scott Brown for senator from Massachusetts and returns to Washington to throw stones at Alabama Senator Shelby ... FROM THE INSIDE.

Lawrence Unplugged: Decoding The Decoder

The Politics Of Arrogance And Condescension . . . Last Friday Lawrence O’Donnell became Larry-O yet again, just when I thought that obnoxious Lawrence was buried. For some unfathomable reason, Lawrence used the President’s presser as the vehicle to double-down on his weird theories about the President’s superior political skills while lecturing his audience —he called us “civilians” — on how government really works.

Lawrence renewed his disdain for the liberal blogosphere, netroots progressives, and others on the left who are skeptical of the President’s commitment to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. As if we didn’t have cause. This “professional” political analyst who brags of 1990s inside knowledge of the “politics of governing” and made the hapless Tim Pawlenty his top choice to win the Republican nomination — yup, Ti-Paw or should I say, typo — doubled down on his ridiculous portrait of President Obama as a brilliant, Machiavellian political chessmaster who would think nothing of placing the Big Three (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) on the chopping block in a $4 trillion cut & slash package in exchange for modest tax increases because he knew a priori it couldn't pass. Lawrence postulates the President has god-like powers of divination that the Republican leaders could never take the deal or control their caucuses.

Well, now it seems the Gang of six Seven, once another Republican senator, Lamar Alexander, joined the corporatist Democrats, reconvened to re-propose the President's "Big Deal." The new nomenclature for right wing DINO corporatist reactionary “Democrats” is the “adults in the room,” according to Chris and Lawrence-the-faux-liberal/socialist and the Idiot Punditocracy. Interestingly, the most liberal Democrat in the room, my Senator Dick Durbin said, hopefully I think, because it’s such a raw deal for the people, that their plan will not be ready for prime time by the August 2 deadline.

Typical of how these things work, the Democrats who hold the White House and the Senate majority were outnumbered in the “Gang of Seven” four-three, sort of like the Supreme Court. What kind of deal can we expect from these right wing corporatists, hmm? President Obama was enthused. He lectured kids on the "politics of governing" that you can never get 100 percent of what you want. The President will push hard on our behalf for about 40. And it looks like Lawrence has pie on his face. (Of course, the deal has a 50-50 chance or less of passage, so Lawrence may end up claiming victory with another West Wing episode.) But the real adults know better. Even his suck-up guest Jonathan Alter wouldn’t go as far in The West Wing direction; the part where he said he disagreed with Lawrence was redacted from the transcript:
“I think [President Obama] was genuine when he wanted a big deal because it would create a sense of certainty that could help boost the economy in the next several months, which would help his reelection.”
[APPLAUSE] Yay, Jonathan. You can still be somewhat objective about Mr. Obama. Put your head together with Frank Rich, who gave Lawrence his hang-dog look, and you might yet be objective. The President is enthused about signing on to the package. Meaning, if he does, his legacy would forever be that of the first Democratic President to sink a dagger into the heart of the New Deal. I think he’s OK with that.

Larry-O's Pearls of Wisdom . . . Excerpted, from Lawrence, unhinged, lecturing his audience:
O‘DONNELL: OK, for people who want to believe every word Barack Obama is true, my Republican friends have said they are not willing to do revenues. My Republican friends—you know he doesn’t have any Republican friends. This press conference today is filled with language like that, political language, that isn‘t in any important way actually true.
Um, Lawrence FYI, when I wrote on this blog you were our “friend,” I was being ironic. Anyone in your dwindling audience, as you persist in turning viewers off, knows that “my Republican friends” is neither unique to the President or Democrats nor uncommon. It is a vestige of the institutional comity of our legislative branch, particularly among senators. Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders typically prefaces his harsh attacks on Republicans with “my Republican friends”... President Truman set the standard for irony, by saying “if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” Next.

The president‘s willingness to discuss raising the retirement age in Medicare or Social Security has met rage from some who don‘t know that the eligibility age of Social Security has already been raised, that a gradual increase of a retirement age was enacted in 1983, increasing the full retirement age from 65 to 67, and that increase had the support of liberals in the House and the Senate.
By conflating Social Security and Medicare, two complementary but different programs (the first is a government retirement benefit and the second provides health care for seniors), O’Donnell makes a sophistic argument that insults his audience’s intelligence. The President not only expressed his willingness to “discuss raising the retirement age in Medicare and Social Security,” he actually proposed raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, according to USA Today which cited Eric Cantor as a (dubious) source but also Sam Stein of the Huffington Post, who noted categorically:
According to five separate sources with knowledge of negotiations — including both Republicans and Democrats — the president offered an increase in the eligibility age for Medicare, from 65 to 67, in exchange for Republican movement on increasing tax revenues.
As for Social Security, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (S.C.) was joined by two Teabaggers, Rand Paul (Ky.) and Mike Lee (Utah) who unveiled a plan to raise the Social Security retirement age to 70, and means-test it by cutting benefits to the wealthy. They falsely claim Social Security is "broken" although it would remain solvent on its current trajectory for the next 26 years.
"The senators said that their plan would gradually raise the retirement age from 67 to 70 and would not affect individuals age 56 or older. Graham said that the proposal uses the same formula Congress used to raise the retirement age from 65 to 67, so that people born in 1970 would become the first group to have a retirement age of 70. The early retirement age would also go from 62 to 64 by 2032."
These aren’t just negotiating points from Larry-O’s imagination — they are concrete GOP proposals embraced by President Obama to effectively begin undoing the New Deal under the guise of addressing our deficit. ‘Traitor’ Joe Lieberman and Republican Tom Coburn (a member of the Gang of Seven) propose to increase the Medicare eligibility age, now 65, for two months each year, beginning with people born in 1949, until it reaches 67 in 2025. The age would then remain 67. Despite Larry-O’s misleading and illogical rant, this increase in Medicare’s eligibility was not part of the Social Security Amendments of 1983, but it’s been kicked around by Republicans for years.

This is what I wrote on the President’s presser; I specifically referred to Medicare, and was careful not to conflate it with Social Security:
The President reiterated that he wants the "big deal" and it's still possible to cut it. He also said it will only require "modest changes" to entitlements, throwing out the dreaded code for major slash-and-burn (depending on one's definition of what's necessary) that "current beneficiaries" will not be affected. Emphasis on CURRENT. Translation: The President is on board with means-testing Medicare and raising the eligibility age from 65 to 67.
I cannot speak for liberals on the blogosphere, but it seems to me Lawrence is the one who is confusing the two in order to make a specious point about progressives. He continues his childish attacks, dripping with condescension:
Some of the new-found liberal defenders of Social Security that will reject any discussions of any adjustments in the program to maintain insolvency were voting Republican back in the ‘80s when the retirement age was raised or were not voting at all, not even bothering to register to vote. Some, of course, were not yet of voting age. They are all capable of getting up to speed on these issues reasonably quickly, but until they know more history, until they know where we have been, they will not have any comprehension of where we might be going.
I'll tell you. One of the reasons I still have faith in this country is that young people who were born after Larry-O's arbitrary Age of Reason, would so valiantly fight for programs they came to know of through their parents and grandparents. Most of the progressives I know have never missed a vote and have done great grassroots work registering other young people to vote. Republicans? I don't think so.

The reference to history is scatter-shot and idiotic. I don't know to whom Lawrence refers, since it's so obvious that the history-challenged aren't liberals and progressives but the wingnut zombie imbeciles in RightWingVille. In fact, I would argue that what distinguishes the right from the left, liberals from conservatives, is that our knowledge and understanding of history is much deeper than theirs.
The president’s been attacked today for considering the means testing of Medicare, as you heard him describe, the possibility of rich people like him paying a little more on premiums or co-pays on Medicare. As rich people on Medicare already know, that‘s nothing new, they already pay more. The president is willing to entertain a discussion in which they might pay even more. And suddenly some liberals have found what is, in effect, a small tax increase on the rich that they can oppose.
Really. I don't think we'd have much argument from those who follow the House that California Rep. Henry Waxman is probably its single most distinguished consumer advocate and an expert on so-called entitlements. Means-testing Medicare would not only change the nature of the program but could have severe unintended consequences. Would you trust Tom Coburn and Joe Lieberman proposing such a scheme? Here's Henry Waxman:
Further changes to Medicare at the expense of the wealthier or middle class seniors may push them to leave the program and end up with Medicare costing more because it would still have the sickest and poorest people left. In other words, this idea may undermine Medicare and cost beneficiaries more at the same time. Medicare is a social insurance program where you get back for paying in, whether you are middle class, poor, or rich. If Mr. Boehner wants to have the wealthy contribute more to deficit reduction, he should look to the tax code.
Lawrence takes great umbrage that Adam Green's Progressive Change Campaign Committee collected 200,000 signatures of former campaign contributors and workers warning that cuts in the Big Three would keep their campaign contributions and support at bay. Of course, with wealthy contributors like Jon Corzine and Lawrence himself, Mr. Obama may feel he does not need the grassroots this time around. Here's Lawrence crowing prematurely:
These protestors (Adam Greene's Progressive Change Campaign Committee — a "friend" of the show) are actually helping the president‘s negotiating position, strengthening it, as well as his public appearance of being reasonable in the eyes of independence and swing voters by adding credibility to statements like this.
No, 200,000 signatures indicate a great deal of unease in the base about this President's imminent sellout of the Big Three. As Big Eddie in his inimitable style advised the "basers," we should brace ourselves for bad news. We're hip. We know it don't come easy.

Finally, this bit of silliness from Larry-O:
The politics of governing are far more complex than the politics of campaigning. Indeed, it is the unwritten volume. There are a few great books out there about the politics of campaigning. There is not one about the politics of governing.
Really? Two books come to mind almost immediately: The Best And The Brightest, by the late, great David Halberstam, a compelling journalistic narrative of the "politics of governing" inside the JFK White House; and The Promise, by Lawrence's guest on the segment, Jonathan Alter. It is an inside account of President Obama's first year in office. Oops, had to be an oversight. Lawrence and Jonathan must have been too busy to notice as they jumped in the tank for Obama, stomping on those wine grapes to keep producing the nectar of their demigod.

Lawrence reminds me of a pretty good line from a cyberbullying TV movie I was watching: "Dude, check your ego. There's a lot more going on here."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Okay, Maybe The Sports Karma Gods Decreed Japan Was Meant To Win ...

The U.S. played its best game of the competition but failed to put the game away in the first 30 minutes. Four balls hitting the post is pretty Karmic, to say the least. And Japan twice came back when the U.S. went ahead. It just wasn't the U.S. team's day. As coach Pia Sondhage said, "the difference between winning and losing is (holding thumb and forefinger a half-inch apart) this close." But they'll be back. And I bet we'll be seeing a lot more of Hope Solo, too. Check out her Nike commercial, in exercise skin tights, showing off her abs and washboard stomach:

Beauty in flight:

Update: Rebekak Brooks ARRESTED By British Police In "Pre-Arranged Appointment"

WHEN THE FOURTH ESTATE BECOMES THE FIFTH COLUMN — THE FALL OF THE MURDOCH EMPIRE is no longer the "Drip Drip Drip" of revelations characterized by the NON-ALIGNED MEDIA. It is a TORRENT of shockers threatening to breach Murdoch's crumbling levee and drown his media empire worldwide, with far-reaching repercussions that could topple the British government. Who's next? James Murdoch? The "old man" himself? With the resignation of Dow Jones & Co. Wall Street Journal CEO Les Hinton on this side of the pond, how exposed are Murdoch's holdings in America to prosecution under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as both CYA Republicans and Democrats call for a Justice Department investigation?

When MEDIA goes BAD on such a TITANIC SCALE, it's not just the coverup. It's the loss of the people's reliance (not its trust) in a fundamental part of any independent, democratic state: A FREE PRESS. It's the GREAT UNMASKING of what was hiding in plain sight all along, the convergence of government and media, of the 1970 plot hatched by Roger Ailes in the Nixon White House — a memo entitled “A Plan For Putting the GOP on TV News”— that was the genesis for Fox "News" and became the template which governed every relationship between the Murdoch media empire and government. The extent to which successive Prime Ministers, beginning with Margaret Thatcher through Labor and Conservative governments, colluded with Murdoch's media empire is only now coming to light.

The question is, how much of Rupert Murdoch's influence on the British government directed major policy decisions, among them to follow George W. Bush with FOX's cheerleading full throttle into Iraq? Given that intelligence was doctored to make the case for war; that the "Downing Street Memo" story was broken by a Murdoch paper, the Sunday Times; and the subsequent revelations by Gordon Brown, Tony Blair's Labor Party successor, one can reasonably infer Murdoch discredited Labor to pave the way for the return of Conservatives to power under David Cameron with his even closer ties to the Murdoch Empire.

Rebekah Brooks was arrested "on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, contrary to Section1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977 and on suspicion of corruption allegations contrary to Section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906." Or as Rebekah said in her best FOX Media Corp. Ministry of Truth mode, it was a "pre-arranged appointment." Incidentally, who will be "arresting" Scotland Yard?

The tangled webs we weave are vanishing as swiftly as a Cat's Cradle between our fingers.