Saturday, February 20, 2010

Marching For Health Care Reform

The latest from Health Care for America NOW!

Dear Friends,

As I hope you know a group of Pennsylvanians are, right now, marching to Washington, DC for health care reform in the name of Melanie Shouse. You can find out more about our march at our website

And now if you can get to
Philadelphia or Pittsburgh on the morning of the 24th you can take a bus to join for the last mile of the march. (Thanks to SEIU for a large contribution for the buses.)

We'll arrive in Washington on the 24th, the day before President Obama's health care summit. We expect to be joined by hundreds of people on the last leg of the march from Union Station to the Capitol. We'll march to the Dirksen Office building for an event at which we'll be joined by Senators Casey and Specter, some of our PA House members, and members of Congress from other states possibly including some from the Congressional leadership.

I know that many of you would like to join us in Washington that day. And now we can make it a little easier for you. We are running two free buses from Pennsylvania, one Philadelphia and one from Pittsburgh that will take people to Union Station.

RSVP for the Philadelphia bus

RSVP for the Pittsburgh bus here

And, if you can't join us, there are still other ways you can help
make Melanies March grow.

Why we're marching.

We're marching because we're frustrated with the slow process of reform and horrified at the possibility of not enacting legislation this year after coming so close. We're marching because too many people, like our some of our marchers, do not have access to the health care they need. We're marching because health insurance costs are becoming a greater and greater burden on middle class Americans and on businesses, large and small. And we're marching because far too many people, like Melanie Shouse, have died and continue to die for lack of health insurance.

It's time to finish the job. We hope our march will help shape the President's summit and get our members of Congress focused on the one task we demand of them: finish health care reform and finish it right.

I hope you can join us.

RSVP for the Philadelphia bus

RSVP for the Pittsburgh bus here

Thanks for your support,

Marc Stier
PA State Director
Health Care For America NOW!

PS: Make sure to arrive a little early at Capitol Hill so you have time to get through security and please don't bring any large bags which are not allowed into the Senate Office building.
And to do more about this, click here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Stuff

I support Joe Sestak for the U.S. Senate, but I gotta tell ya', I have to give Arlen Specter credit for this (former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich reminds us once more why this matters)...

...and I would call this a hell of a story to include in a Friday news dump...

Visit for

breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

...and this gives you a bit of background on the precedent as to why we don't torture (or at least, we didn't until Number 43), violated by the cretinous Bushco regime...

...returning from the criminal to the merely stupid, I give you the following featuring Fix Noise humanoid Megyn Kelly (here)...

...oh, and it seems a certain golfing fellow gave a press conference today, so I thought this was appropriate (must...resist...snark...about...a...putter)...

...and here's something nice and twangy (word?) to take us into what hopefully will be a snow-free weekend.

Where The Rubber Meets The Road (2/19/10)

As reported in last Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer, here is how Philadelphia-area members of Congress were recorded on major roll-call votes last week (and I also posted here).

(By the way, the Inky tells us that the House's voting schedule was cancelled due to last week's snow. Also, as long as I'm thinking about it, I should let you know that posting will be particularly flaky next week, even more than usual any more.)

NLRB nomination. Voting 52-33, the Senate failed Tuesday to reach the 60 votes needed to advance President Obama's nomination of Craig Becker as a member of the National Labor Relations Board. This sustained a GOP filibuster against Becker, who has been a professor of labor law and a top lawyer for the Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO.

The five-member NLRB has operated with three vacancies since 2008, leaving its two sitting members - one Democratic and one Republican appointee - able to decide only routine cases. Supreme Court arguments are scheduled for March on whether decisions by a two-member NLRB are valid.

Obama said he might use recess appointments to seat Becker and nearly three dozen other of his nominees who are being blocked by Senate Republicans. Recess appointments would be valid until the 111th Congress ends in January 2011.
A yes vote was to advance Becker's nomination.

Voting yes: Thomas Carper (D., Del.), Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Ted Kaufman (D., Del.), Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), and Arlen Specter (D., Pa.).
(By the way, here is the latest on the games the Senate Repugs are playing with holding up Obama Administration nominees.)

And as Wikipedia tells us here, even though a three-member quorum currently does not exist on the board…

...the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the two-member NLRB's authority to decide cases, while the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals did not.[4][5][8][9] In September 2009, the Justice Department asked the U.S. Supreme Court to immediately hear arguments concerning the dispute, given the high stakes involved.[5] The Supreme Court granted certiorari in October and agreed to decide the issue.[10]
This situation was created when the terms of the members who once held the now-vacant positions expired in December 2007; Dubya didn’t appoint all of the nominees to fill the positions, and the Senate Dems opposed the people he did nominate.

With that in mind, this post tells us that, of the three nominees, the two Repugs nominated by Commander Codpiece in January 2008 were Robert Batista and Gerald Morales. About Batista in particular, Ted Kennedy said the following at the time…

“It’s unbelievable that President Bush would renominate Mr. Batista to the Board, after he led the most anti-worker, anti-labor, anti-union Board in its history,” Kennedy said in a statement…after Bush made the nomination announcement. “America’s hard-working men and women deserve a Board that will uphold their rights, not undermine them. With these nominations, the Administration has again demonstrated its hostility to fairness and justice in the workplace.”
There are days when I really miss that man, I’ve got to tell you.

Obama has nominated both Craig Becker and Mark Pearce to serve on the NLRB (that would fill two of the three openings), but Becker’s nomination has been blocked in the Senate (so what else is new?). As a result, Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, sent out an Action Alert as noted here to tell the White House to appoint Becker and Pearce during the President’s Day recess (yep, to me, it sounds like it’s high time for that also).

So aside from what Becker has done in the past, what exactly does he have to say in his defense?

Well, as noted here…

"The ability to be fair and impartial is, of course, absolutely critical to the credibility of the board,” said Becker, who has represented unions and has taught labor law as a professor. He added, “I completely understand that, if I’m confirmed, the role I will play will be different from those roles.”
OMIGOD, he might as well drive a Saab, listen to Barbra Streisand and visit a Harvard boutique (?)!! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Give me a frackin’ break, people!


Becker said he would recuse himself from any NLRB matters that involve the Service Employees International Union, where he has been associate general counsel, for two years after confirmation.

It was not clear that his overtures had an immediate impact. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) noted that several business groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers, oppose Becker. McCain also said he isn’t satisfied with Becker’s recusal pledge, though he did not say what additional steps he thinks Becker should take.
And it’s not just “Straight Talk” McCain sounding off against Becker; this tells us that “Democratic” Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska has pledged to join a Becker filibuster (hey, bad luck on that “cornhusker kickback” for your health care vote, Ben).

I’ve said this a bunch of times before, and I’m sure I’ll say it a bunch of times again; Bushco did whatever the hell they wanted to do and they dared anybody to try and stop them. And I wish to God I saw an impulse like that from this White House.

Judge Joseph Greenaway. By a vote of 84-0, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed federal Judge Joseph A. Greenaway Jr., 52, of New Jersey, for a seat on the Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Republicans had delayed a vote on Greenaway for four-plus months, and then unanimously supported his confirmation.

A yes vote was to confirm the judge.

All Philadelphia-area senators voted yes.
And by the way, best wishes to Sen. Lautenberg as he is treated for stomach cancer (here).

This week, Congress is in recess until the week of Feb. 22. The House then will take up the 2010 intelligence budget and a bill to end the health-insurance industry's antitrust exemption. The Senate will debate a jobs bill.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday Stuff

Yep, as far as Brown and his Repug pals are concerned, “nothing to see here, nothing that involves people of another complexion, so it’s not Terra! Terra! Terra! – move along” (lesson to every Congressional Dem running this year; don’t EVER get outworked by a Repug like Coakley, or some other putz spouting RNC-approved talking points like Scott Brown will take your place)…

…”(Not) Worst Persons” (Repug U.S. House Rep Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee can’t remember how she was ranked in an earlier “Worst Persons” segment; I don’t know how in God’s name I can set up this segment with Beck, so here it is; and Mann Coulter’s ultra-personal attacks on K.O., Richard Wolffe and Rachel Maddow reveal her own androgyny-related issues)…

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

…and since I mentioned Coulter, I am now legally obligated to embed this video by Henry Rollins (bad words ahead)…

…and as a tribute to Dale Hawkins, here is a performance of his signature song from “Apocalypse Now.”

Thursday Mashup (2/18/10)

(I also posted a video over here.)

  • Yes, I know we’ve all been jilted over the public option in health care reform, including yours truly, but please click here to find out how you can help bring it back to life in the Senate (pathetic that there are so many Dem senators STILL sitting on the fence, I must say…I called Specter and left a voice mail message, and Casey’s voice mailbox was full, so I completed a form at his web site, for what it’s worth).

  • Also, I’ll admit that it’s a long way from PA-08, but as noted here, Patrick Murphy recently…

    ...introduced (the) Secure Borders Act of 2010 last week. If passed, it would mandate penalties for federal agents who are found guilty of smuggling illegal immigrants and drugs into the U.S.

    The congressman's bill calls for a 20-year federal prison sentence for any U.S. law enforcement official or member of the Coast Guard convicted under the act. The legislation would amend a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which contains no sentencing guidelines, Kate Hansen, spokeswoman for Murphy's office, said Wednesday.

    Murphy's office cited several national news reports of corruption cases involving custom inspectors and U.S. border patrol officers who accepted bribes from drug and illegal immigrant smugglers. According to those reports, some of those found guilty received anywhere from two to seven years in prison.

    For Murphy that's just not enough prison time.

    "The stories of these officials blatantly breaking the law are very disturbing and what's even more offensive is the short jail time they receive once convicted," Murphy said in a written statement. "This small group of brazen criminals swore to protect our borders and instead broke our laws and they should be given far harsher federal prison sentences for betraying their oath and weakening our national security."
    To me, this makes a lot more sense than that dumb Secure Fence Act passed under our former House rep Mikey Fitzpatrick (and also noted here is the fact that he opposed increasing the number of border patrol agents; today’s Courier Times story tells us that the number of agents has increased more than 50 percent since 2006).

    And in other border enforcement news, this LA Times story tells us that “U.S. Border Patrol agents and Mexican federal police officers are training together, sharing intelligence and coordinating patrols for the first time.”

    Also, this tells us how the Obama Administration has audited hiring records of companies to go after illegal aliens in their employ versus the Bushco “big bang” tactic of raids on selected companies for PR purposes (which inevitably forced more illegals back underground). I’m not going to tell you what Obama is doing is perfect, but doing the unspectacular grunt work on this is the way to go, IMHO.

  • I should note that I haven’t had much to say about the Murdoch Street Journal since they’ve made it all but unpossible to read their content for free because of their pernicious new content subscription policy (the day that I actually subscribe, even though their reporting can be good, is the day that I launch a petition to rename our county waste management facility in honor of William F. Buckley).

    However, I did find an extra copy at a nearby lunch counter that no one used for wrapping leftovers, so I absconded with it (bold, brazen article that I am, I know).

    And appropriately enough, who did I encounter first but Turd Blossom himself, who of course had a rather benign take on those teabaggers (here)…

    A small fraction of the tea partiers’ leadership are ambitious individuals who haven’t been able to hold office in either the GOP or the Democratic Party. Some are from fringe groups like The John Birch Society or the remnants of the LaRouchies. Others see the Tea Party movement as a recruiting tool for volunteers for Ron Paul’s next presidential bid.
    Gee, I wonder if “Bush’s Brain” knows that Paul is being “primaried” by those same teabaggers for Paul’s U.S. House seat (here)? And here is another episode where those zanies give Orrin Hatch a comeuppance (and yes, I know J.D. Mullane concocted some fluffery on these frauds today also).

    The only reason the teabaggers have any importance at all is because our corporate media is fawning all over them, and also because, as David Corn recently said on “Countdown,” nobody controls the electoral “narrative” at the moment, so that creates a void for these life forms.

    However, they are no more capable of governance than the Repugs, and their moment in the media spotlight will eventually run its course (not a minute too soon for yours truly, though).

    And sticking with the Journal, I also came across this item in which Vice President Joe Biden is being put down in typical fashion for having the audacity to take credit for cleaning up perhaps Bushco’s most notorious mess (in Mesopotamia, that is)…

    Mr. Biden, here are the facts. The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which former President Bush and Prime Minister Maliki signed, orchestrated the homecoming of U.S. troops. Mr. Obama didn’t do it.
    Putting aside the fact that I find no evidence of President Obama “orchestrat(ing) the homecoming of U.S. troops,” the following should be noted about the SOFA from here…

    The Bush administration had sought a conventional status of forces agreement that would provide a semi-permanent basis for stationing troops in Iraq, while Obama campaigned on promises to withdraw all combat troops within 16 months of his inauguration. The Arabic language version calls the final agreement a withdrawal accord.
    Oh, and for good measure, authors Austin Bay and Omar Fadhil Al-Nidawi give The Sainted Ronnie R credit for “his victorious Cold War legacy.”

    Memo to self – do not frequent that lunch counter again.
  • Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Wednesday Stuff

    Joel Surnow (above) is nothing but an utterly unrepentant scumbag...

    ...and David Corn of Mother Jones does a couple of really good things here: first, he calls out the Repugs for supposedly supporting a deficit commission before they opposed it (and I got into some of that here), but he also says that partisanship CAN BE A GOOD THING SOMETIMES...YOU TAKING NOTES HERE, YOU BELTWAY STENOGRAPHERS??!!

    And Corn also points out that that weasel Evan Bayh had plenty of opportunity to try to fix the problems of Congress he's been moaning about so tirelessly as he leaves us none too soon (Bayh joins the "K" Street crowd no later than three months from now - just you wait and see)...

    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    ...and the foul remnants of the horrific Citizens United ruling by The Supremes appear once more...

    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    ...and I thought this was appropriate given this story, though I could do without the cartoon images, thanks so much.

    Wednesday Mashup Part Two (2/17/10)

    (Part One is over here.)

  • It’s time for more of the comedy stylings of Andrew Malcolm (here, where he tells us that President Obama is apparently doomed in his quest for a second term)…

    In terms of Obama job approval/disapproval, the CNN poll of 1,023 adult Americans finds 49% yea and 50% nay.

    Part of the problem, according to CNN analyst Keating Holland, comes from the perception among a 45% plurality of Americans that Obama belongs to the upper class, which only 4% of Americans identify with.

    Holland calls it "the perception that Obama is not a middle-class kind of guy."

    Gee, go figure. How so many Americans (Harvard) could possibly get the impression (Chicago's Hyde Park) that Obama and his wife Michelle (Harvard) are out-of-touch members ("corpseman") of the elite upper class (millionaires) is anybody's guess (Arugula).
    This tells us that Obama’s predecessor enjoyed a 48 percent approval rating (one point below where Obama is now) in July 2004, just a few months before his return to office for a second term. And I wouldn’t be inclined to infer any comparisons to Number 43 (Yale) and his family (oil rich), as well as any supposedly highfalutin’ affiliations (Skull and Bones) or fancy menu items (Arugula, noted in the third course from here).

  • By the way, yesterday was the fifth anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol (entered into force on February 16, 2005), which, as noted here, is…

    …an amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an international treaty intended to bring countries together to reduce global warming and to cope with the effects of temperature increases that are unavoidable after 150 years of industrialization. The provisions of the Kyoto Protocol are legally binding on the ratifying nations, and stronger than those of the UNFCCC.
    And the article also reminds us of the following unpleasant history…

    As a U.S. presidential candidate, George W. Bush promised to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Shortly after he took office in 2001, however, President Bush withdrew U.S. support for the Kyoto Protocol and refused to submit it to Congress for ratification.

    Instead, Bush proposed a plan with incentives for U.S. businesses to voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions 4.5 percent by 2010, which he claimed would equal taking 70 million cars off the road. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, however, the Bush plan actually would result in a 30 percent increase in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions over 1990 levels instead of the 7 percent reduction the treaty requires. That’s because the Bush plan measures the reduction against current emissions instead of the 1990 benchmark used by the Kyoto Protocol.
    And as Time Magazine told us in July 2001 here…

    President Bush gambled that withdrawing from the negotiations — that is, removing the indispensable polluter — would force the international community back to the drawing board to seek an agreement more favorable to the U.S.'s gas-guzzling economy. But summary withdrawal from a decade-old process and failure at the same time to advance any alternative was read by the Europeans as a lack of seriousness. Indeed, there was spontaneous booing in the conference hall at Bonn when U.S. delegate Paula Dobriansky told the meeting, "The Bush administration takes the issue of climate change very seriously and we will not abdicate our responsibility." On global warming, the "indispensable nation" is looking rather more like a "rogue nation."
    This tells us that as of last October, 187 countries had signed and ratified the Kyoto agreement, pledging to reduce emissions of six greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs and PFCs. The goal of the Kyoto Protocol is to reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions to 5.2 percent below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.

    And in place of Kyoto, the Obama Administration has advanced the so-called Copenhagen Agreement, which, as noted here, provides for the following…

    • All major economies must commit to reducing their emissions.
    • There must be a transparent review to ensure nations are keeping their commitments to reduce emissions
    • There needs to be financing to help developing nations adapt to these new standards

    “It is a clear formula -- one that embraces the principle of common but differentiated responses and respective capabilities,” Obama said. “And it adds up to a significant accord -- one that takes us farther than we have ever gone before as an international community.”
    As noted here by Bob Herbert, although China has not signed onto the Copenhagen Agreement (here, with lack of signoff by India and China serving as a sticking point for the Bush Administration, which, as far as I’m concerned, was never serious about this issue anyway), they are moving full steam ahead, as it were, in development of a clean energy economy, which might end up satisfying or even exceeding the Kyoto standard. Meanwhile, “the world’s greatest deliberative body” continues to collectively dawdle on this matter, as they have on seemingly everything else (here).

    And I don’t know exactly what it says about al Qaeda that bin Laden has attacked this country on global warming and our currency as he did here; hopefully it means that his bunch of terrorist cowards has been hampered by our efforts all of this years to the point where this is the most dramatic threat he can muster (we can only hope). However, it may also mean that he knows this country’s relative inaction on global warming is yet another arrow in his metaphorical quiver that he can use for propaganda attacks.

    At least our defense community has its “eye on the ball” on this issue, as noted here (as opposed to a certain Arizona senator who was in favor of a “successor to Kyoto” before he was against it, as noted here).

  • And finally, David Brooks of the New York Times wrote the following yesterday (here)…

    Long-term unemployment is one of the most devastating experiences a person can endure, equal, according to some measures, to the death of a spouse. Men who are unemployed for a significant amount of time are more likely to drink more, abuse their children more and suffer debilitating blows to their identity. Unemployed men are not exactly the most eligible mates. So in areas of high unemployment, marriage rates can crumble — while childbearing rates out of wedlock do not.

    Young people who enter the work force in a recession, meanwhile, are psychologically altered. They are less likely to get professional-level jobs throughout life. They are less likely to switch jobs later in their career, even in pursuit of greater opportunity. But there’s also reason not to be too despairing. The country endured stagflation and recession between 1977 and 1983, and rebounded smartly in the 1980s and ’90s.
    Wow, color me shocked. Sounds like BoBo has been reading Bob Herbert.


    That’s because people are not passive pawns of economic forces. Recessions test social capital. If social bonds are strong, nations can be surprisingly resilient. If they are weak, things are terrible. The U.S. endured the Great Depression reasonably well because family bonds and social trust were high. Russia, on the other hand, was decimated by the post-Soviet economic turmoil because social trust was nonexistent.
    Uh oh, I think we’re in trouble…

    This recession has exposed America’s social weak spots. For decades, men have adapted poorly to the shifting demands of the service economy. Now they are paying the price. For decades, the working-class social fabric has been fraying. Now the working class is in danger of descending into underclass-style dysfunction. For decades, young people have been living in a loose, under-institutionalized world. Now they are moving back home in droves.
    OK, now we’re in familiar territory with Brooks. So…the reason our economy stinks is that “men have adapted poorly” and young people are moving back home…???

    As noted here, though, this is a variation on the same tired, disproven BoBo theme; the following excerpt illustrates this point…

    DAVID BROOKS (New York Times columnist): Maybe. You know, I guess the one thing I'd say is, one of things (Obama and the Democrats) cannot do is go back to the New Deal. One of the things they're talking about is building roads, building bridges. Well, sometimes it takes 80 months to get an infrastructure project actually going. The amount of money spent in the first couple of years in infrastructure -- miniscule. So, the one thing I'd say to them: Think about the new economy. This is a human capital economy. Think about relationships and not roads. And so, if I were designing employment plans –

    STEPHANOPOULOS: And what does that mean exactly?

    BROOKS: Right, if I were designing employment plans, the things I would think about is do some road building, build some schools -- that's fine -- but think about national service. Think about how you're going to build relationships. Think about how you're going to build federal money to create communities that actually employ a lot of people in a service sector sort of economy. To me, they're -- the way they're talking now, they're doing a lot of reading about [Roosevelt adviser] Harry Hopkins. I would spend a lot more time thinking about, "How am I going to build relationships using service, building communities?"

    ROBERT KUTTNER (co-founder, The American Prospect): I really think -- respectfully, I disagree. It's a kind of a straw man. I mean, I think you have to do all of the above. I think the hit to the economy is so serious. Contrary to the usual belief, you can get infrastructure programs going pretty quickly, and by giving relief to state and local government, you get help on the way instantaneously. Right now, state and local governments are laying off people. They're deferring projects. They're cutting health and education. If the government cuts a check to state and local governments to the tune of $100, $150 billion dollars, not one of those layoffs have to occur.
    And I suppose it’s also the fault of men adapting poorly to the shifting demands of the service economy that, for the first time ever, women surpass men on U.S. payrolls, noted here (one explanation offered by Economics Professor Casey Mulligan, the person who found this out, is that women tend to work more in winter months because many men working in construction cannot do so because much of this type of work is seasonal employment).

    Oh, and did you know that The Sainted Ronnie R was responsible for an 8-point drop in unemployment according to Brooks? Me neither, mainly because that’s not true, as noted here.

    And Brooks concludes by saying that “Somehow there must be a way to use the country’s idle talent to address freshly exposed needs.”

    I would tend to agree with that. And one of those “freshly exposed needs” should be a new New York Times Op-Ed columnist.

  • Update 2/19/10: I was having a horrific time with Blogger while working on this post, and I forgot these two links: here, our media applauds the "recovery" while unemployment supposedly falls, and this tells us of "disposable workers."

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010

    Tuesday Stuff

    I had a feeling today was going to end up as a non-posting day, and I was right (I also put up some odds-and-ends stuff over here).

    Yep, it sounds like, in a desperate attempt to remain relevant outside the universe of Fix Noise while the Obama Administration bags a terrorist leader for real (remember all of Bushco's stories about supposedly capturing this week's Number 3 al Qaeda operative?), Big Time implicated himself in a future criminal proceeding here...

    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    ...and I think some of the bad karma of "Deadeye Dick" infuses itself in this video a bit.

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Monday Stuff

    Gee, how many ways do I detest Evan Bayh at this moment?

    He criticized “far left-wing blogs” for attacking his bogus spending freeze idea here, he said that Obama raised taxes here (he didn’t), and he attempted to establish some sort of senatorial “Blue Dog” coalition here (and as we know, that idea has worked so well in the House, hasn't it?).

    And now, four days before the deadline of 2/19 for entering the Senatorial election, he’s done a good job of making some Democrat(s) scramble to get into the race by then, while the Repugs already have two nominees not named Mike Pence ready to run. And all the while, Bayh thumbs his nose at the supposed “partisanship” that made it sooo unattractive for him to serve, apparently.

    I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that we’re finally rid of him without having a solid Dem in place (as in Connecticut, with Dodd bowing out in favor of Richard Blumenthal), or the fact that this Senate seat will now probably flip to the “R” column with Bayh whining “I told you so.”

    Bayh is now what he has always been – a coward. Nothing more (and Atrios is right – Bayh will never be president…also, David Corn makes a good point below about no one controlling the narrative at this point).

    (And I won’t be able to come up with any more bad puns using his name either.)

    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    “Worst Persons” (Dan Quayle, another genius from the Hoosier State, gives us some more crackpot history on the filibuster – I can almost hear the ghost of Lloyd Bentsen saying in the background, “You’re no Jack Kennedy”…51 votes in the House, huh? Way too damn funny; somebody named Joshua Vasquez allegedly tried to deface a door near the meeting room housing L.A. County Sheriff's deputies and police officers training to back up each other during an arrest – “just say ‘oops’ and get out,” as Max Bialystock once said; but Dick Morris gets the nod here for, in essence, accusing Dubya of treason – K.O. explains)…

    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    ...and Keith is a lot kinder to the teabaggers here than I would ever be in his "Special Comment"...

    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    ...and Indiana may want Bayh and Quayle, but I'm not sure anybody else does at this moment.

    A President's Day Meditation

    Here are some quotes from the individuals we recognize today along with some commentary from yours truly…

    George Washington

    1) Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.
    Sounds like our first president just explained the Patriot Act and the FISA “compromise.”

    2) Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.
    Oh, and speaking of “the devil,” I actually thought this was a good column by MoDo about “Deadeye Dick.”

    3) Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.
    And in that vein, here once more is the report of Lawrence O’Donnell’s “smackdown” of Bushco hack Marc Thiessen (who never does answer O’Donnell’s question about Bushco, by the way, after Thiessen makes that scurrilous charge that Obama is making us “less safe” – class act by Joe Scar to hoot down O’Donnell and cut his mic).

    4) The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.
    I guess there are a lot of directions I could go with this one, but when I think of “burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments,” I think of TARP (full disclosure: I supported TARP originally because I thought it would be accompanied by legislation allowing “underwater” mortgage holders to restructure their principal amounts so they could keep their homes…silly me).

    And as noted here, Dem Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio is sponsoring legislation that would “impose a 50 percent tax on all bonuses — both cash and stock pay-outs — in excess of $25,000 given to executives at firms that received taxpayer-funded assistance through the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008” (another great idea likely to die an unnatural death due to the filibuster).

    General Washington also said some stuff about “God and guns” that I’ll leave to posterity for now.

    Abraham Lincoln

    1) Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose - and you allow him to make war at pleasure.
    Would that our elected officials had remembered that before they voted for this (or this).

    2) America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
    Oh, and that reminds me – any idea of what those “Tea Party” nutballs are up to these days (here)?

    3) Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.
    We already knew what our first president would have thought of the Patriot Act and the FISA “compromise.” Now we know what our sixteenth would have thought also.

    4) I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.
    Interesting (Was Lincoln a closet supporter of PETA? Just kidding). And I’m just noting this as long as the New York Times just wrote that magazine piece about our founding fathers supposedly embracing only Christianity…sounds like it wasn’t a sticking point to Honest Abe.

    And finally, here’s a bonus…

    5) That, “all men are created equal” is the sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence. Now, my friends, can this country be saved upon that basis? If it can, I will consider myself one of the happiest men in the world, if I can help save it. If it cannot be saved upon that principle, it will be truly awful. But if this country cannot be saved without giving up that principle, I was about to say I would rather be assassinated on this spot, than surrender it. “If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?”
    File this under “be careful what you wish for,” however noble a sentiment it may be.

    Sunday, February 14, 2010

    Happy Valentine's Day 2010

    The late, great Sam Kinison explains it all (the audio/video for this seems to get worse every year).