26 February 2010

Ok Kids, Debate Over. PASS THE BILL

Health care summit reactions from around the "inter-webs"...

Washington Post's health care guru, Ezra Klein:
The Democrats are not taking reconciliation off the table, they are not paring back the bill, and they are not extricating themselves from the issue. They think they're right on this one, and they're going to try and pass this legislation.

Today was a boost for that effort. The Democrats got hours to make their case, at an event they planned, with one of their own controlling the discussion. For that reason, I imagine that this will be the last bipartisan summit we see for awhile. The format is simply too kind to the president, and he takes advantage of it ruthlessly. When the camera panned, you could almost see Republicans wondering why they'd accepted the invitation.
NY Times columnist, and Pulitzer Prize winning economist, Paul Krugman:
If we’re lucky, Thursday’s summit will turn out to have been the last act in the great health reform debate, the prologue to passage of an imperfect but nonetheless history-making bill. If so, the debate will have ended as it began: with Democrats offering moderate plans that draw heavily on past Republican ideas, and Republicans responding with slander and misdirection.
Greg Sargent:
Obama, in his closing remarks, is delicately saying that Dems will move forward without Republicans. He says he doesn’t know whether the gap between Dems and Republicans can be bridged; and adds that “baby steps,” i.e., GOP incrementalism, simply won’t do.

The message is subtle, but unmistakable: Dems will move forward alone.
After a year of debate in which the Democrats in the Senate (particularly Max Baucus and Harry Reid) proved they are not worthy of their big majority, it's time to put this thing to bed. It is vital that the House of Representatives pass the Senate bill within the next week or so. It's already passed the Senate, so the threat of filibuster is no longer there. Once the House passes it, it goes to the President for signature, becomes the law of the land, and then both houses of congress can go back and fix portions of the bill that are lackluster or questionable - and they can do so via the reconciliation process, which forbids filibusters.

If House liberals refuse to pass the Senate bill in hopes of something more progressive and the Senate bill goes down to defeat, then health care is dead for another generation. Our country and her citizens can't afford that.

If House liberals let this opportunity slip by, if Speaker Pelosi doesn't shove this down her caucus' throat, I will hold each and every one of them responsible. And I will cast my ballot against Pelosi in this November's election here in San Francisco.

25 February 2010

How Harry Reid Fucked America

The Atlantic's Derek Thompson on the recently passed "jobs bill":
Two weeks ago, I predicted that the jobs bill would follow a familiar storyline: Republicans obstruct, Democrats dither while the public sours over more Washington partisanship, and a weak bill struggles toward passage. Turns out I was wrong on the details and right about the conclusion. Harry Reid tore apart the Baucus/Grassley $85 billion jobs bill, extracted its beating heart (the payroll tax hiring credit), threw it to the Senate floor, and said: Vote on this. Good news is: Republicans didn't obstruct; Democrats didn't dither; the public didn't have a chance to sour. Bad news is: if this is the end of 2010 jobs stimulus, it kinda stinks:
By the CBO's count, $15 billion could create the equivalent of 120,000 and 270,000 full-time jobs for one year. That's not chump change. But the country would need 200,000 new jobs created each month for the next seven years to hit 5 percent unemployment by 2017. We're not talking about a game changing policy. Its impact on employment -- like the bipartisan gesture that helped move it to a final vote [pass it]-- will be small and likely without consequence.
Fuck waiting until that cuckold rooster of a man loses his re-election bid this November! The Democratic caucus in the Senate need to replace the hapless Reid NOW.

Say it with me: Worst. Majority Leader. EVER.

Get Your Shit Together, Democrats

Neera Tanden, former policy adviser to Hillary Clinton and President Obama:
Incompetence is a pretty strong attack. Democrats should be well aware of that fact. They bludgeoned George Bush for his botched response to Katrina and bungled efforts in Iraq with devastating effects.

I know that lots of Democrats are in cold hard sweats right now. It is true that they face very difficult terrain. But health care is not some issue that Democrats randomly adopted. This has been a 50-year fight for the party. The Republicans have our backs against the wall. But in reality, momentum builds in politics. If individual members think that they can survive Republican attacks by simply running away, they should recognize that it’s also possible that running away could dramatically worsen their predicament. Nothing will strike voters as more pathetic than doing nothing. And rarely in politics are pathetic politicians rewarded.

Sometimes, the only way out is through.
Whatever comes of today's summit at the White House, the best way forward is still (in my opinion) to have the House pass the Senate bill from December, have the President sign it into law, and then spend the rest of the year fixing the weak bits of it through the reconciliation process (a process that doesn't allow filibusters in the Senate).

I agree with Tanden. The Democrats better grow a pair, plow through and pass a major piece of legislation on this issue. November is going to be a rough month for them anyway, but failure to pass major reform on health care in 2010 will make the 2006 mid-term elections look like child's play.

Picture of the Week

I thought this picture was really cool. Bo, President Obama's dog, plays around in the snow outside the White House...

24 February 2010

HumpDay Humor

"Kill Bill"

If it is doable, then I am all for Sen. Mark Udall's (Democrat-NM) proposal to make rules changes regarding the filibuster (or the "Tarantino," as Rachel Maddow calls it). He plans to propose the rule change at the beginning of the next congress in January, 2011.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

23 February 2010

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl

Watered Down

Eight million jobs lost in this "Great Recession," and the Senate passes a jobs bill creating 250,000?!? Congratulations, Sen. Reid. You've passed a jobs bill that has absolutely no chance of creating jobs. You useless cuckold rooster of man.

I'm not predicting anything, BUT...if President Obama loses his bid for re-election in 2012, this bill will be reason #1 why.

I understand fully that health care is top priority. Reigning in those costs and regulating that industry are absolutely essential if our economy is to survive in the long term. HOWEVER...

I am not a political scientist, but even I can assure you that the typical American voter, including a healthy dose of those who cast their ballots for Mr. Obama, are going to recoil at an American government who pass a bare-bones jobs bill that does so very little to create the jobs needed to put Americans back to work, while at the same time spending an entire day at the White House for a health care summit in an effort to pass a bill that will cost nearly a trillion dollars.

I understand why they're doing it, but unfortunately most Americans won't.

God DAMN these people need to get their heads out of their asses.


I would just rather the House pass the December Senate bill and then go back and revisit the separate elements from it that need to be fixed. Because this is going to raise the hackles of too many Americans who are already confused and bewildered by the current health care debate...

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

22 February 2010

The Long (Jobless?) Road Ahead

Two essays I read yesterday back up my contention that the recovery from this "Great Recession" will be quite slow, very bumpy, and could well serve to teach us the lessons learned by our grandparents during the Great Depression.

In Sunday's New York Times, Peter S. Goodman discusses how many of America's unemployed face years without jobs:
Until she was laid off two years ago, Janine Booth, 41, brought home roughly $10,000 a month in commissions from her job selling electronics to retailers. A single mother of three, she has been living lately on $1,000 a month in child support and about $450 a week in unemployment insurance — a stream of checks that ran out last week.

Ms. Booth, with a résumé full of well-paid sales jobs, seems the sort of person who would have little difficulty getting work. Yet two years of looking have yielded little but anxiety.

She sends out dozens of résumés a week and rarely hears back. She responds to online ads, only to learn they are seeking operators for telephone sex lines or people willing to send mysterious packages from their homes.

She spends weekdays in a classroom in Anaheim, in a state-financed training program that is supposed to land her a job in medical administration. Even if she does find a job, she will be lucky if it pays $15 an hour.

“What is going to happen?” she asked plaintively. “I worry about my kids. I just don’t want them to think I’m a failure.”

On a recent weekend, she was running errands with her 18-year-old son when they stopped at an A.T.M. and he saw her checking account balance: $50.

“He says, ‘Is that all you have?’ ” she recalled. “ ‘Are we going to be O.K.?’ ”

Yes, she replied — and not only for his benefit.

“I have to keep telling myself it’s going to be O.K.,” she said. “Otherwise, I’d go into a deep depression.”
And Don Peck has a superb essay in the current issue of the Atlantic, in which he discusses the major psychological changes Americans are about to go through as a result of this deep economic downturn:
Historically, financial crises have spawned long periods of economic malaise, and this crisis, so far, has been true to form. Despite the bailouts, many banks’ balance sheets remain weak; more than 140 banks failed in 2009. As a result, banks have kept lending standards tight, frustrating the efforts of small businesses—which have accounted for almost half of all job losses—to invest or rehire.

...The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who fears a lost decade, said in a lecture at the London School of Economics last summer that he has “no idea” how the economy could quickly return to strong, sustainable growth. Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com, told the Associated Press last fall, “I think the unemployment rate will be permanently higher, or at least higher for the foreseeable future. The collective psyche has changed as a result of what we’ve been through. And we’re going to be different as a result.”

...Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, notes that if the recovery follows the same basic path as the last two (recessions), unemployment will stand at roughly 8 percent in 2014.

“We haven’t seen anything like this before: a really deep recession combined with a really extended period, maybe as much as eight years, all told, of highly elevated unemployment,” Shierholz told me. “We’re about to see a big national experiment on stress.”
These two articles should be sent to every member of congress, as well as to President Obama's economic team. Because the current watered down jobs bill isn't going to be enough to turn the current situation around fast enough.

21 February 2010

I Wanna Take a Ride on Your Disco Stick

Your Sunday playlist includes new material from Ladyhawke, Erykah Badu, RJD2, and Massive Attack, as well as classics from Elton John, Daryl Hall & John Oates, and the Clash.

Press play and enjoy...

LoveGame - Lady GaGa
Another Runaway - Ladyhawke
He's Just a Runaway - Sister Sledge
Lost In the Supermarket - The Clash
Wave Goodbye - Bottle of Justus
Do It Again - The Kinks
All the Girls Love Alice - Elton John
Girl I Love You - Massive Attack
Window Seat - Erykah Badu
Get Used to It - The Brand New Heavies
Spring Came, Rain Fell - Club 8
I'm Beautiful - Bette Midler
Rich Girl - Daryl Hall & John Oates
The Shining Path - RJD2, feat. Phonte Coleman

20 February 2010

A Day at Fort Mason

Off to Fort Mason for the public tasting at the 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition!

Alexander Haig, 1924 - 2010

Alexander Haig, the White House Chief of Staff under Presidents Nixon and Ford, and the embattled Secretary of State during the first year of Ronald Reagan's presidency, has died. He was 85.

19 February 2010

The Reagan-Obama Parallel

The monthly unemployment rates during President Reagan's first year in office:
January 1981 - 7.5%
February 1981 - 7.4%
March 1981 - 7.4%
April 1981 - 7.2%
May 1981 - 7.5%
June 1981 - 7.5%
July 1981 - 7.2%
August 1981 - 7.4%
September 1981 - 7.6%
October 1981 - 7.9%
November 1981 - 8.3%
December 1981 - 8.5%
The unemployment rates during President Reagan's second year in office:
January 1982 - 8.6%
February 1982 - 8.9%
March 1982 - 9%
April 1982 - 9.3%
May 1982 - 9.4%
June 1982 - 9.6%
July 1982 - 9.8%
August 1982 - 9.8%
September 1982 - 10.1%
October 1982 - 10.4%
November 1982 - 10.8%
December 1982 - 10.8%
The unemployment rate during President Reagan's third year in office:
January 1983 - 10.4%
February 1983 - 10.4%
March 1983 - 10.3%
April 1983 - 10.2%
May 1983 - 10.1%
June 1983 - 10.1%
July 1983 - 9.4%
August 1983 - 9.5%
September 1983 - 9.2%
October 1983 - 8.8%
November 1983 - 8.5%
December 1983 - 8.3%
And the unemployment rates during President Reagan's fourth year in office, up to the time of his re-election:
January 1984 - 8%
February 1984 - 7.8%
March 1984 - 7.8%
April 1984 - 7.7%
May 1984 - 7.4%
June 1984 - 7.2%
July 1984 - 7.5%
August 1984 - 7.5%
September 1984 - 7.3%
October 1984 - 7.4%
November 1984 - 7.2%
Each recession is its own animal, but you can't deny the parallels between the recession of the early 80s and the current Great Recession. Each were "the worst since the Great Depression," with an economy that was hemorrhaging millions of jobs, and a president trying their best to right the ship of state following their predecessor's incompetence. Several key industries, including housing, manufacturing, and automobile production, experienced a downturn from which they did not recover until several years later. Bank deregulation phased out a number of restrictions on banks' financial practices, broadening their lending powers, and prompting them to rush into shady real estate lending, speculative lending, and other risky ventures. In both recessions the result was in an increase in the number of bank failures.

But just look at those unemployment numbers under Reagan. Not once did that rate ever dip below 7.2%. Keep in mind that most economists consider the nation's labor force "fully employed" when the rate is around 5.0% to 5.5%. That said, one has to wonder: Now that the recession is officially over, are the predictions by economists that job growth will be very slow correct? Will the unemployment rate remain above 7.0% through 2012? And if so, will American voters give President Obama credit if it is at 7.2% and trending downward on Election Day?

17 February 2010

Setbacks, False Starts, but a Steady Hand

Despite all the shit being hurled his way, despite the efforts of the obstructionist opposition to derail his presidency, and despite all the whining and moaning on the left about his centrist policies, President Obama's job approval rating remains solid and steady:
Approve 52%
Disapprove 41%
Two points I want to reiterate once again:

To independent voters: We all need to remember what this guy walked into. Yes, it has been 13 months since he took office; and yes, this Great Recession has been a bitch. But the mess left behind by the Bush administration is going to take years, if not a decade, to clean up. The recovery will be long and quite bumpy. But try and picture what things would look like right now had the McCain/Palin ticket won the election.

Plunging stock markets, bank failures, 15% unemployment, and "McCainvilles" popping up under every bridge, not to mention a war with Iran. That's how things would look today under a "President McCain."

To my compatriots on the left side of the political spectrum: I agree with your contention that the President has done little to further the progressive agenda. But given what was piled on his plate the first day he walked into the Oval Office...well...even Dennis Kucinich would have been forced to set aside much of his social agenda.

When Mr. Obama announced his candidacy in February of 2007, hopes were high for a solid swing to the left after eight years of Fascist right-wing rule. But events leading up to the 2008 election interceded and, whether it was Obama or Clinton, Dodd or Kucinich, the newly elected president was going to have to vastly alter their agenda. Saving the globe from financial ruin and repairing America's tattered reputation took top priority.

Do I have my personal disappointments with President Obama? You better believe I do. The thing is, I knew I would. I wasn't expecting perfection. In this day and age no president of any party will be perceived as perfect. As he said in his victory speech on Election Day:
There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president.
And so it is.

Setbacks and false starts are part of the game called governing. But one thing is for sure: I can't think of anyone else I would want at the helm.

16 February 2010

Little Miss Chloe

...hoping beyond hope for a little bit of dinner fallout.

Wine Country

Brent and I spent the weekend with friends up in Sonoma County. After a very hectic work week it was the perfect get away. Here are a few pics from our wine tasting excursion on Saturday afternoon...

Yours truly and the dog at Porter Creek

Me and my honey

Mark, Don, and me. Yes, we are a wee bit tipsy.

The Dumbing Down of America Continues

Quote of the Day:
I think it says something bad about our culture that people like the Hiltons and Kardashians can vault into celebrity status without having accomplished anything.

But I think it says something even worse about our culture that we are starting to pick our leaders this way. We face serious problems and a growing list of serious threats. We need leaders who are serious people. Not leaders who are famous for being famous.
-Stephen M. Bainbridge, on what I call the continued dumbing down of America.

I mean, think about it: Sarah Palin is straight out of reality TV casting. She hasn't an ounce of intelligence and she blathers on without making an iota of sense. She is a reality-TV show junky's wet dream - and her party's current front runner for the 2012 presidential nomination.

If the Miss America pageant can morph into a month-long reality TV series, who's to say the presidential contests won't do the same within the next couple of election cycles.

If they haven't already.

Color Blind Fear

Last night's superb commentary from Keith Olbermann...

15 February 2010

Happy Presidents Day

Because I think all of us - Democrats and progressives, old fashioned Republicans and Reagan/Goldwater conservatives - need to sit back, take a deep breath and remember where we came from and recall what this man faced when he took office, I ask you to celebrate this day by watching Barack Obama's election night victory speech...

War Criminals

Former vice-president Dick Cheney, to ABC's Jonathan Karl yesterday on "This Week":
I was a big supporter of waterboarding.
Let's be clear: United States law, British law, and international law - at the very least - define waterboarding as torture and punishable by death or life in prison. The former vice-president of the United States just admitted publicly and on international television that he is a war criminal.

Andrew Sullivan:
The question is therefore not if, but when, he is convicted as a war criminal - in his lifetime or posthumously.

In fact, the attorney general of the United States is legally obliged to prosecute someone who has openly admitted such a war crime or be in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the UN Convention on Torture. For Eric Holder to ignore this duty subjects him too to prosecution. If the US government fails to enforce the provision against torture, the UN or a foreign court can initiate an investigation and prosecution.

These are not my opinions and they are not hyperbole. They are legal facts. Either this country is governed by the rule of law or it isn't.
Every last Republican who bitched and moaned about the "rule of law" when President Clinton lied under oath about a blow job really ought to think twice before dismissing that argument here. If we fail to prosecute Cheney and anyone else in the Bush administration for these war crimes (including the former president, who, I would hazard a highly educated guess, was deeply involved in this), America and the world as we know it will cease to exist. Failure to prosecute these war criminals will serve as legal precedent, thus making it open season on prisoners of war, military or civilian, everywhere.

Sullivan is right. Eric Holder needs to step up to the plate and prosecute Cheney, et. al., and if he can't do it, then he needs to step down and let someone in there who can.

Say it with me. Bush/Cheney: War criminals.

13 February 2010

Kick Ass Rock & Roll


For those of you who grew up in Chicago during the 70s and 80s, I am sure you will remember this...

After watching a Thin Lizzy post on Facebook by my friend Wendy (Best. Prom. Date. Ever.), I decided to make this week's playlist a celebration of the old WLUP, WMET, and WXRT of that era and the roll they played in the resurgence of Album Oriented Rock radio.

Press play and enjoy...

Whiskey in the Jar - Thin Lizzy
Renegade - Styx
Young Lust - Pink Floyd
Carry On My Way - Kansas
Tom Sawyer - Rush
Anytime - Journey
Roll With the Changes - REO Speedwagon
Middle of the Road - The Pretenders
We're an American Band - Grand Funk Railroad
Highway to Hell - AC/DC

12 February 2010

The Last Kennedy

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (Democrat-RI), son of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (Democrat-MA), will announce this weekend that he will not run for a 9th term in congress.

This is huge. When Patrick leaves the House at the end of year, it will mark the first time since 1947 that a Kennedy isn't serving in either house of congress.

Get Well Soon, Mr. President

10 February 2010

The Only Grown-Up In All of D.C.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Jed Lewison recaps the press conference:
Bipartisanship: During the briefing, President Obama offered his wholehearted embrace of bipartisanship, but before you go jump off a cliff, he made it clear that to him bipartisanship doesn't mean caving into Republican demands on every single issue. President Obama said bipartisanship meant finding common ground where possible, and not letting petty partisan politics get in the way of progress on important issues. He acknowledged that both parties won't always agree on substantive policy issues, and he said that was a healthy thing, but came down hard against politically motivated obstruction such as the abuse of "holds" on his administration's appointees. "I won’t hesitate to embrace a good idea from my friends in the minority party, but I also won’t hesitate to condemn what I consider to be obstinacy that’s rooted not in substantive disagreements but in political expedience," he said. "We talked about this as well, particularly when it comes to the confirmation process."

Recess appointments: President Obama condemned the abuse of "holds" on White House nominations, singling out Shelby's "blanket hold." President Obama criticized such practices as petty politics and said they were getting in the way of governing. If the practice does not cease, he said he would be forced to use so-called recess appointments to get around Senate obstructionism. "If the Senate does not act — and I made this very clear — if the Senate does not act to confirm these nominees, I will consider making several recess appointments during the upcoming recess, because we can’t afford to allow politics to stand in the way of a well-functioning government."

Deficits: President Obama continued his focus on reducing the budget deficit, but instead of buying into the Republican framework on "cutting spending," he emphatically pointed to the biggest long-term structural budget problem: health care. "Everybody out there who talks about deficits has to acknowledge that the single biggest driver of our deficits is health care spending," he said. "We cannot deal with our deficits and debt long term unless we get a handle on that. So that has to be part of a package."

Health care reform: President Obama said he remained committed to seeing health care reform pass into law, outlining his three key goals: (1) Reduce costs, both for government programs and families and business; (2) Provide consumer protections so that nobody can be denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition; and (3) expanding coverage to insure more Americans. Obama said he was willing to "start from scratch" in the sense that he would once again give Republicans the opportunity to offer proposals to accomplish those goals, but that without a serious plan to accomplish the goals of health care reform, Republicans would effectively be choosing to stand on the sidelines. "What I will not do, what I don’t think makes sense and I don’t think the American people want to see," he said, "would be another year of partisan wrangling around these issues; another six months or eight months or nine months worth of hearings in every single committee in the House and the Senate in which there’s a lot of posturing."

Gay Army Lieutenant Recalled

In another sign that the Obama administration and the Defense Department are more than ready to dump "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Army Lt. Dan Choi, a West Point graduate and Arabic translator who challenged the DADT policy last year, has been recalled to active duty.

Earthquake In Chicago!

No, not another one of those really bad made-for-TV disaster movies, but a real live 4.3 magnitude quake centered about 50 miles northwest of Chicago. My family and friends are all over it on Facebook this morning. So far, no major damage or injuries. But for Chicago, 4.3 is some major rattling and rolling. And it's on top of some major snow. Hang in there everyone.

09 February 2010


I have not been able to sleep very well these last couple of nights, so excuse me for the lack of posts. Once I'm back on an even keel...

John Murtha, 1932 - 2010

Rep. John Murtha (Democrat-PA), who has represented Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives since 1974, died yesterday following unexpected complications related to recent gall bladder surgery. He was 77.

07 February 2010

Sarah Palin's Cheat Sheet

During a Q & A at yesterday's tea-bagger event, former half-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin cheated. Pay really close attention at about the 0:46/0:47 mark...

It turns out the half-wit wrote the answers on her hand...

The hypocrisy would be hilarious if it weren't so fucking scary. This woman and her minions should never ever be candidates for political office, let alone elected. We have tried dim-bulb leadership before, and we are still trying to find our way out of the rubble that resulted from such ignorant governance.

Sunday Morning Respite

An eclectic hodgepodge of 17 tracks for this lazy Sunday. The set starts off with some blues from Precious Bryant before moving into some new material by Nikki & Rich, Train, Melissa Etheridge, and Corinne Bailey Rae. It also includes some solid chill from RJD2, Andy Caldwell, and Morcheeba, as well as early 70's classics from Elton John, Harry Nilsson, and the Bee Gees.

Press play and enjoy...

Black Rat Swing - Precious Bryant
Cat and Mouse - Nikki & Rich
Stylo - Gorillaz (w/ Mos Def and Bobby Womack)
Save Me, San Francisco - Train
Fearless Love - Melissa Etheridge
Waterfront - Simple Minds
Harmony - Elton John
Money, Money - Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey
Paris Nights/New York Mornings - Corinne Bailey Rae
Games You Can Win - RJD2 (feat. Kenna)
I Can't Wait (Original Flavor Mix) - Andy Caldwell
Maybe So, Maybe No - Mayer Hawthorne
Me and My Arrow - Harry Nilsson
You Know It's For You - Bee Gees
Song Away - Hockey
Meaningless Conversation - 54 Seconds
Thumbnails - Morcheeba

The Incoherent MILF

Sarah Palin, delivering her blathering, incoherent speech last night at the tea-bagger convention in Nashville, Tennessee:
For example, there are questions we would have liked this foreign terrorist to answer before he lawyered up and invoked our U.S. Constitutional right to remain silent…our U.S. Constitutional rights.
I would confidently wager an entire paycheck on the argument that if Sarah Palin was presented with a junior high school level constitutional exam, she would fail it miserably.

06 February 2010

Back-Seat Drivers

Quote of the Week:
Everything we've done over the past year has been not only to right our economy, to break the back of this recession...some of the steps we took were done without the help of the other party, which made a political decision all too often to jump in the back seat, let us do the driving, and then critique whether we were taking the right turns.
That's describes these Fascist-Republicans perfectly: the ultimate back-seat drivers.

A look at the chart below shows how incompetent they are with the economy, yet when a president of the opposite party begins to make the corrections needed to clean up the mess, they sit back and criticize his every move. Perhaps Mr. Obama should leave them to whither, ask them to sit down, shut up, and let the grown ups do what they need to do.

Reality Check

Unemployment under Bush in red, unemployment under Obama in blue.

The Backbone of America's Economy

The President's weekly address...

05 February 2010

Unemployment Dips to 9.7%

January's decrease in the unemployment rate is a big step in the right direction (it's no longer in "double digits"), but the 20,000 jobs lost in January reaffirm my belief that recovery from the Great Recession will be quite long, very slow, and extremely rough.

The Great Fascist From Alabama

Sen. Jeff Sessions (Fascist-AL) accused Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, of illegal command influence, a very serious charge against a military man according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Watch as Defense Secretary Robert Gates leaps to Mullen's defense. The exchange takes place between about the 4:30 mark and 6:00.

The Haves & the Have Nots

Quote of the Day:
My belief is that Medicare is far too generous to prosperous boomer retirees, while the healthcare system is far too cruel to the working poor...
-The Daily Dish, laying out the truth.

Pass the Senate bill...now!


Uhh, Chris Wallace...Todd Palin would like to have a word with you.

Cluster-Fuck In Illinois

Well, we can put the race for Illinois governor in the "likely Republican" column:
It turns out that Scott Lee Cohen (D), the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor in Illinois, has more extensive problems than were reported yesterday.

In an extraordinary interview with the local CBS news affiliate, we learn Cohen's own brother sued him for $200,000, he tried to choke his wife before they were married and he didn't pay child support while spending $3 million on his primary race.

In an interview with the ABC News affiliate, Cohen also admitted to using "inject-able steroids" which "contributed to periodic episodes of violence against his family."

As for the allegations that he pulled a knife on his prostitute ex-girlfriend, Cohen claims the wounds on her throat were "self-inflicted."
For the record, no one thought Cohen would win, but now that he has the Democrats are stuck with him.

How does this effect the race for governor? In Illinois the candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor are listed as a single ticket (much like president and vice-president). So this can't be good news for the Democrats.

04 February 2010

The Fascist Republicans

Pronunciation: \ˈfa-ˌshi-zəm also ˈfa-ˌsi-\
Function: noun

a) A system of government marked by a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship;
b) Any ideology, movement, programme, tendency, etc., that may be characterized as right-wing, chauvinist, authoritarian, etc;
c) See "Republican"
THIS is why they should never (N-E-V-E-R) be allowed to regain power. Ever.

Should these Fascist-Republicans ever regain the presidency and both houses of congress America as we know it is finished, and we will enter a truly dark period.

03 February 2010

Ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Part 2

Two clips from Rachel Maddow's excellent reporting of yesterday's Senate hearings regarding the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"...

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The Oscar Nominations

I am running late this morning and will comment more tomorrow, but in so far as having ten best picture nominees is concerned...

Hate it. ("District 9?" Come on!)

02 February 2010

Ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to announce today that the military will stop discharging gay service members while it begins a "special investigation" into the effect a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" will have on the armed forces.

President Obama renewed his call for a repeal in his State of the Union address last week (and Gates stood up to applaud). Obama has also reportedly told Gates and Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, that repealing DADT is a priority for 2010.

The DADT law can only be overturned by congressional vote, which may be a tall order as mid-term elections approach. But with the President and his Defense Secretary pushing for it, and with public approval for a gay military ban at an all time low, one can have a glimmer of hope.

Unfazzy Math

I have yet to read anything of substance about the President's 2011 budget, but I will say I like his increases for education and job creation. Yes, there is yet another record-breaking deficit, but to cut spending now, while unemployment remains high, would be irresponsible.

That said, once the job situation improves, our government will need to get serious about getting our financial house in order. And the only way to get serious is include cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and defense, in addition to a significant across the board tax increase. Any congressman or president who resist such measures shouldn't be taken seriously. Failure to implement those four specific items within the next 3 to 4 years will mean financial catastrophe for the United States over the next two decades.

Mark my words.