That's the plan concocted by the people who want to subvert Obama's compromise and now talk about a 2012 Democratic challenge to Obama.
Without the compromise, unemployment benefits will be cut for millions. Those are the hostages Obama is saving.
With a Democratic challenge to Obama in 2012, say hello to President Romney and VP Palin. That would be suicide for the Democratic Party.
Moral of the story: Don't kill the hostages, and don't commit suicide.
Paladino, O'Donnell, Macmahon, Angle, Whitman, Buck, Foley -- they ALL LOST and Miller in Alaska might too. The NYTimes has big headlines about the victories and strength of the Tea Party, but I count only three of them (Rand Paul who might've won anyway, Rubio and some other creep whose name escapes.) What's with the NYTimes coddling of the TP? Why do I have to start this thread? What's going on?
edited to include Foley
The European Commission is threatening to take France to the European Court of Justice, and France is running scared.
France replies to EU on Roma's free movement: EU
[br />(AFP) – 17 hours ago
BRUSSELS — France sent its reply to the EU executive on its expulsion of Roma, ahead of a midnight deadline to give assurances that it will fall in line with EU laws or face legal action, an EU spokesman said.
"We received the French documents, we will analyse them during the weekend," spokesman Matthew Newman said.
He did not give details on the French reply but France vowed earlier Friday to change its laws on the free movement of EU citizens in order to meet the European Commission ultimatum following its controversial crackdown on Roma Gypsies.
French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said earlier France was "disposed" to transfer certain measures from the Union's directive on free movement into French national law to increase the transparency and clarity of the law.]
Millions of Americans can have health insurance as of today that they wouldn't have had without the Democrat's push for the health care reform. Millions of children are now protected from discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, millions of people age 18-25 can now stay on their parent's insurance, no one has to deal with annual or lifetime limits on health care coverage from their insurance companies. It's AWESOME. K&R and get the word out! We need to wake people up for this November.
The six-month anniversary of the new health law marks the official effective date of a raft of new consumer protections, including a ban on most so-called rescissions. That's the insurance industry practice of revoking an insurance policy retroactively, after a policyholder has racked up hefty medical bills.
* Coverage for Young Adults: Allows young adults to remain on their parents' insurance policies until they reach their 26th birthday. Young adults do not have to be dependents, do not have to live with their parents, and may even be married and still qualify. But the young adults may not have access to health insurance coverage at their own job.
* No Discrimination against Children with Pre-Existing Conditions: Bars insurance companies from denying coverage or benefits to children under age 19 with pre-existing health conditions.
* No More Lifetime Limits on Benefits: Bars all insurance companies from imposing lifetime caps on the amount of coverage provided under a health insurance policy.
* Restrictions and Phase-Out of Annual Coverage Limits: Phases out the ability of insurance companies to impose annual benefits limits provided under a health insurance policy. For the first year, the annual limit can be no less than $750,000. That rises to $1.25 million in September 2011, $2 million in 2010, and -- by 2014 -- annual limits will no longer be allowed.
* Preventive Care with No Co-Pays or Deductibles. Requires most insurance plans to offer a wide range of preventive health services at no out-of-pocket cost to the patient.
read more at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.p...
Some incidents lately made me notice a major lack in the public sphere, here and everywhere. Where is the celebration of progressive victories?
The success of public opinion to show Dr Laura that her bigotry has consequences was a victory, something to celebrate in the fight against right wing insanity. The Obama admin going after both the Arizona state gov't and Sheriff Joe Arpaio is another thing to be proud of, real tangible results of having a decent group of people in the White House. These are just a couple recent examples of a constant series of such things, good news in the hope and change department, but I don't see anyone glorying in them, ever. It seems like everyone has forgotten what horrors and absurdity we experienced in the federal gov't just a few years ago, and people focus only on disappointments, both real and imagined.
Can anyone offer some insight into this, and maybe suggest places where people do celebrate the things that should be celebrated?
Johnny Cash had a song, "Starkville City Jail", about the time he got arrested for picking flowers. In its humble way, it's a protest song about the over-policing of the USA, about how easy it is to get arrested for doing next to nothing.
Two arrests are in the news this week that might have made Johnny Cash write a new song. One case is the taking of Harvard professor at his home for disturbing the peace, and the other is the arrest of the Lackawanna Six in 2002.
The former became a sensation when President Obama said the police acted "stupidly".
The Lackawanna Six case is in the news due to revelations that former vice president Cheney wanted to send the military into Buffalo, New York, to have the men arrested. He wanted it done not by the police, but by the military. That would have violated the Posse Comitatus Act, the rather central democratic mainstay that keeps the military out of law enforcement, but Bush advisors were claiming the executive branch had this new authority due to the War on Terror. What is not new about the case is that the Bush administration held daily briefings with the FBI on the supposed terrorist cell and ordered the arrest with convenient timing for publicity purposes, the anniversary of 9/11.
So in the current arrest mini-scandal, we have a president sticking up for the rights of a citizen in a case of the police abusing their power.
In the Bush case, it's the president and his cabinet themselves who are abusing their power, micro-managing the arrest of people who possibly never would have been charged otherwise (the men, who attended training camps at a young age in the Middle East when they were visiting relatives, all had faked sick in order to leave the camps when they learned how anti-America the training was.) With Bush, the debate was how far would they go in violating our rights. In their planning of arrests on US soil for War on Terror propaganda, would they call out the military to arrest people for the first time since the civil war, or would they just use regular law enforcement?
Whereas in the Obama White House, the president is taking a politically risky stand, one I would call brave and principled, speaking out against the railroading and overzealous police action that all too many of us are familiar with.
Johnny Cash sang that police are "bound to get you." Now we have a president who shows he might know a little about what Cash was singing about.
Imagine the screaming headlines, the 24/7 media coverage, the calls for a military retaliation by Fox News, the condemnation by the US gov't...
Mairead: My terror as Israelis seized aid boat
Friday, 3 July 2009
Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire has spoken from behind bars of her terror after the aid boat on which she was travelling was seized by Israeli soldiers.
Ms Maguire is currently being held in an Israeli prison and is waiting to hear when she will be deported by the authorities.
Speaking from her cell at Givon prison in the city of Ramala she told the Belfast Telegraph of the moments when Israeli gunboats surrounded her vessel as it attempted to deliver medicines and other supplies to Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.
“We were threatened by the Israeli navy when we were in |international waters and during the night they told us they would shoot if we didn’t turn back to Cyprus,” she said.
Back in the day, I was excited when Bill Clinton was elected, relieved to see the Reagan/Bush era end, to have GHW Bush lose after one term, after living through the Iran-Contra and S&L scandals, the US waging illegal wars and supporting death squads in the Americas... generally, the incredible rise in militarism during that time.
When Clinton sent missiles into Iraq in his very first year in office, ostensibly over an assassination plot against GHW Bush that sounded as laughably bogus as it turned out to be, I pretty much threw in the towel on supporting Clinton. I felt that he was just another pro-military puppet.
Later, I came to understand that I had been naive. I learned more about what is possible in politics, and came to appreciate what the very imperfect Clinton achieved, such as an economic miracle in balancing the budget and reversing the first Bush deficits, some reductions in military spending, a general PR victory against the right wing lunacy that has so much power in the US. I saw that my "everything or nothing" view had been impulsive and immature. The installation into the White House by judicial fiat of GW Bush, and his vivid example of true warmongering and maliciousness, helped cement this view.
Nowadays, I appreciate the radical voices that want change right away, that want justice immediately, that can't stand compromise in the face of the evils concocted by US military corporate control of the system, by throwing soft drug users into prisons, by the appalling lack of national healthcare, by an administration that legitimized torture and waged a war that was one big war crime going unpunished -- another long list I don't need to go into.
But I also understand that Obama has already done incredibly good things after only a couple months in office. I understand he is up against a right wing PR onslaught that is more extreme than anything seen in four decades, at least. I really see him as very promising so far (stopping Gitmo trials, opening relations with Cuba, taking strong stands against torture, reversing the US image abroad in one fell swoop -- that list is long, too), and is in some ways a positive force just by being in office at this time, I will support him even through the decisions I don't appreciate, for the time being. At this point he's batting about 700, I'd say, which is great.
Don't be so quick to reject Obama if he fails our idealistic expectations on one or two issues or instances. Appreciate what we have, while fighting for what's right. That's all.
Will your local Tea Party be officially registered with the American Family Association in their fight against the "homosexual agenda"? Or just organized by corporate lobbyist PR firms staffed by major Republicans? In either case they will be promoted by Republican organ FOX News, of course.
The astroturfing (fake grassroots) of the Tea Parties came through the corporate lobbyist groups FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity with some major support by Christian extremist group America Family Association. From Sourcewatch.org:
According to its website in February, 2009, "FreedomWorks is now working with other groups to plan a massive, nationwide tea party protest day for Tax Day on April 15th, 2009" <4>, the Tax Day Tea Party protests...In 2008, FreedomWorks was behind the creation of a fake grassroots web site called Angryrenter.com which rallies opposition to "the Obama Housing Bailout." The site urges people to oppose bailing out mortgage companies. The site claims to represent "Renters and responsible homeowners against a government mortgage bailout."
Freedom Works' boss is former Texas Republican Representative Dick Armey. During its Tea Party organizing, FreedomWorks was found to have set up numerous websites Tea Party websites that all looked independent but were in fact made by Freedom Works.
From the piece in The Atlantic
we get more
They are: FreedomWorks, the conservative action group led by Dick Armey; dontGO, a tech savvy free-market action group that sprung out of last August's oil-drilling debate in the House of Representatives; and Americans for Prosperity, an issue advocacy/activist group based on free market principles. Conservative bloggers, talk show hosts, and other media figures have attached themselves to the movement in peripheral capacities. Armey will appear at a major rally in Atlanta, FreedomWorks said.
Americans for Prosperity's boss is Tim Phillips, a former partner of right-wing Christian activist Ralph Reed in the lobbying firm Century Strategies. Americans for Prosperity has done a lot of “grassroots” events for Big Oil and according to Phillips own bio:
During the 2000 GOP primaries, Tim helped spearhead Century's national efforts on behalf of George Walker Bush's campaign for president. Beginning in 1999 and continuing through the nomination, Century provided direct mail, telemarketing, coalition building and strategic services to Bush for President.
A forthright appraisal here
– Freedom Works staffers coordinate conference calls among protesters, contacting conservative activists to give them “sign ideas, sample press releases, and a map of events around the country.”
– Freedom Works staffers apparently moved to “take over” the planning of local events in Florida.
– Freedom Works provides how-to guides for delivering a “clear message” to the public and media.
– Freedom Works has several domain addresses — some of them made to look like they were set up by amateurs — to promote the protests.
– Americans for Prosperity is writing press releases and planning the events in New Jersey, Arizona, New Hampshire, Missouri, Kansas, and several other states.
This type of corporate ‘astroturfing‘ is nothing new to either organization. While working to promote Social Security privatization, Freedom Works was caught planting one of its operatives as a “single mom” to ask questions to President Bush in a town hall on the subject. Last year, the Wall Street Journal exposed Freedom Works for similarly building “amateur-looking” websites to promote the lobbying interests of Dick Armey, the former Republican Majority Leader who now leads Freedom Works and is a lobbyist for the firm DLA Piper.
Not to mention the fringe of Donald Wildmon and his American Family Association, obsessed with fighting "the homosexual agenda", who have been heavily pushing the Tea Party past and future:
The AFA sponsored TEA Party Day rallies were a smashing success! Hundreds of thousands attended approximately 3,000 rallies. Your AFA sponsored over 2,000 rallies. But the mainstream media and the "tax and spend" members of Congress still don't get it. So get ready for the American Freedom Day TEA Party rallies on July 4. Our goal is to double the number of cities in which AFA sponsors rallies.
More on AFA, which also has problems with the PTA!
"But the National PTA continued right along, increasingly becoming a tool to promote a left-wing philosophy instead of helping the children with their educational needs. The latest project for the National PTA is the promotion of the homosexual agenda…Stop the PTA from using your children to promote their left-wing political agenda. "— Don Wildmon, AFA Journal, February 2001
California director for AFA was Scott Lively of Abiding Truth Ministries and the Pro-Family Law Center. Lively is a long-time anti-gay activist who has written such books as The Pink Swastika which claims that "homosexuals
So, in addition to the FOX News promotion, organizers of the Tea Parties include well-funded, highly staffed PR firms representing such things as Big Oil and privatization of Social Security, headed by major Republicans, as well as large Christian extremist organizations. How's that for grassroots?
The tea parties, unfocused as they are, supposedly car about government spending. Why don't they protest these?
Nearly $9 billion of money spent on Iraqi reconstruction is unaccounted for
14 billion for one control tower in a field in Iraq for only two helicopters
Another billion in equipment missing
And why aren't the tea baggers celebrating a president trying to do something about it?
Obama signs new law to fight mililtary rip-offs and waste
I think we know the answer, but feel free to submit your own.....
The situation of the Republican Party now can be compared, in some ways, to the Communist Party here in Central Europe where I live. The Communist Party reigned over years of disaster and corruption while insisting it was right, even past the point of self-defeat. Communism was finally overturned, but true believers refused to admit it did anything wrong. Hence in your average contemporary Communist party official or member you find some combination of looniness, corruption, mendacity and gigantic lies.
I see the same attitude and similar rhetoric coming from Limbaugh, Cheney, the usual FOX news agents and the sponsored scores of right wing talk show hosts. To America's credit, currently only something like 22% of the people are now publicly identifying with the Republican Party, just as the majority reject Communism outright in Central Europe. But at the same time this could be leading to a dangerous situation.
I see something alarming going on in the US and it's getting worse. Essentially the right wing forces, because of the repudiation of their message and the rejection of the Republican Party in the last two election cycles, are lashing out like a wounded animal. Also lashing out in desperation, because of the election of an African American president, are racist hate groups as represented by the neo-Nazis and white supremacists at Stormfront. These two are combining in the "tea parties", a series of public protests organized and promoted by FOX News, Christian Right extremists and major PR firms funded by powerful, wealthy conservative interests, which Stormfront groups are using to recruit new members. Moreover, national voices of the right that have in the past been pushed as legitimate but rhetorically belong in the right wing fringe are starting to make racially-slanted statements that should not pass for decent debate in America. Look at what these media voices and politicians such as Rep. Tom Tancredo are saying lately and you would think we live in 1930's, not the 21st century.
The parallels are far from exact, and I would not directly equate anything that has gone on in the USA to the reign of the overt totalitarianism of Communism in this part of the world. But there are similarities between the unyielding, irrational positions and views of the Communists and the current Republican spokespeople. I see a comparable mania that would go down with a sinking ship rather than admit the ship is sinking. With the pressure being constantly applied by such a major figure as former Vice President Cheney, it's a critical time in the US -- just as critical as the post-Communist era here has been.
I noticed that the last "Tea Party" rallies were looking a bit like "White Power" rallies. I guess I wasn't the only one: the Anti-Defamation League reports that white supremacists, neo-Nazis and anti-Semites have used the Tea Parties in the past, and will vigorously use the next “tea party” rallies on July 4th in order to recruit new members.
Extremists plan to recruit at Tea Parties
Stormfront, the most popular white supremacist Internet forum, is home to discussion between extremists eager to influence the events. In addition to circulating a list of local organizers and promoting planned rallies, Stormfront members are trying to find ways to involve themselves in the events. In posts to the forum, many voice their intent to attend the Tea parties for the purpose of cultivating an "organized grassroots White mass movement."
Please educate your friends, family and colleagues about this dangerous development.
The Republican Party is bordering on a vicious, lunatic fringe, but the Democratic Party is showing itself as close to useless.
In the words of Cenk Uygur: "For weeks now, Republicans have been talking about how we can't bring Guantanamo detainees to the US as if we'd be bringing them in for a picnic. They have pretended that bringing them to the US is the same thing as releasing them out in the middle of Kansas or Oklahoma (or right by Ground Zero as the dumbass Peter King suggested). We've talked about this on our show from time to time to mock them mercilessly, but I didn't bother writing about it because who would be dumb enough to believe this inane talking point? Well, now we have our answer. Almost the entire Senate.
They just voted 90-6 to say that the Obama administration cannot have the funds they need to close Gitmo and bring the detainees for trial here in the US."
Here are the only six Dems who voted with Obama: All six opponents of the proposal were Democrats: Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Carl Levin of Michigan, and Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.
Posted by bos1 in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Mon Sep 22nd 2008, 05:14 AM
I remember when the League of Women voters, the traditional organizers of the US presidential debates, withdrew in 1988, back at the end of the Reagan reign when we were about to say hello a former CIA director, George H.W. Bush, as president. The League's statement read in part
"The League of Women Voters is withdrawing sponsorship of the presidential debates ... because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter . It has become clear to us that the candidates' organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public."
Obama was in his 20's at this time. I wonder to what extent he knows that he is working within a process that, way back then, had already become intolerably corrupt to even a staid middle-of-the-road institution like the LWV? And to what extent "hope" and "change" can come out a process that was certifiably rotten 20 years ago, and has only become worse since?
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