December 23rd, 2009


So She Must Kill Michelle to Save Barack Obama But She Must Kill The President But Not Hurt Him...?

Kristy Lee Roshia In Custody: Woman Threatened To 'Blow Away' Michelle Obama

A woman accused of telling the Secret Service she would "blow away" Michelle Obama was in federal custody Tuesday as the Obama family planned to travel to Hawaii.

Kristy Lee Roshia, 35, was charged with threatening a family member of the president and assaulting a federal agent after being arrested Saturday less than two miles from the Kailua home where the Obama family planned to stay during a holiday visit later this week.

Roshia called the Secret Service's Boston office last month and told a receptionist, "I will kill Michelle Obama" and "I will kill Marines," according to a Secret Service affidavit.

During the same call, she said she would "blow away" Michelle Obama, the document states.

A message left at the federal public defender's office in Honolulu was not immediately returned.

Roshia has a history of leaving rambling messages and sending poems, love letters and photographs of herself to the Secret Service, according to the affidavit.

As early as 2004, she told the agency that "although her mission is to assassinate the president, she has no desire to hurt him," the document states.

The affidavit said Roshia acknowledged to Secret Service agents before her arrest that she had threatened Michelle Obama.

It also says Roshia said she knew where Obama would be staying in Hawaii, and the reason she had traveled to Hawaii in September was "to protect Obama."

Roshia was also charged with lunging at a Secret Service agent, striking him in the arms and face during her arrest.

She was being held without bail pending a Wednesday detention hearing.
Akuma River

China = Tea Party BFF or How China fucked us all over to lay the blame of the failure on Obama

Eyewitness: How China sabotaged climate talks

A writer and environmental activist who was present at the final Copenhagen climate talks says China sabotaged the deal and ensured Barack Obama would shoulder the blame.

While China's Premier Wen Jiabao insisted his government had played an "important and constructive" role, the talks in the Danish capital ended with a political accord rather than a binding agreement.

Mark Lynas, who was attached to the Maldives delegation, described what he saw at the talks as "profoundly shocking".

"I am certain that had the Chinese not been in the room, we would have left Copenhagen with a deal that had environmentalists popping champagne corks in every corner of the world," he wrote in the The Guardian.

"The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful 'deal' so Western leaders would walk away carrying the blame.
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Fuck China. And they are leading in the Green technology as well since the goddamn Bushies wouldn't start the funding and support Climate Change legislation. Goddamnit.

It's back...

Obama tried to kill it, but John Kerry insists on building an engine this plan does not need and the air force does not want.

WASHINGTON - Massachusetts lawmakers, over the fierce objections of the White House, have succeeded in reviving a costly plan to build a jet fighter engine at General Electric’s Lynn plant in an effort to protect thousands of Bay State jobs.

When President Obama urged Congress earlier this year to cancel a series of major weapons programs deemed no longer needed, he specifically cited the effort to build a backup engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

“We’re going to save money by eliminating unnecessary defense programs that do nothing to keep us safe - but rather prevent us from spending money on what does keep us safe,’’ Obama said in May. “One example is a $465 million program to build an alternate engine for the Joint Strike Fighter. The engine it has works. The Pentagon does not want - and does not plan to use - the alternate version.’’

But while Congress was ultimately persuaded to adopt most of Obama’s proposed weapons cuts - including canceling the F-22 fighter program - the GE program was rescued with the aid of several Massachusetts lawmakers who lobbied behind the scenes. It marked the fourth year in a row that Bay State lawmakers joined other lawmakers with GE jobs in their states to save the project from the Pentagon’s budget ax.

More here,

- Oh and this was one of those reconciliation committee shenanigans that got the funding put back in.

Christians in exodus from hostile home

RIMA, whose sister was murdered by Saddam Hussein's officers, is going to America. Hani, another Christian, is off to Sweden after surviving a kidnap by a Baghdad militia. Michael Marody, whose cousin was also abducted but did not come back alive, is heading for Australia.

War-torn, anarchic Iraq, however, is not the only place in the Middle East where fewer Christians will be celebrating this Christmas.

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The Four Bloggers Sarah Palin Bans from Her Events

Remember the Alaska kindergarten teacher Palin threatened to serve libel papers to in front of his class? He went to a Going Rogue event and discovered he is one of Palin's four worst enemies, banned from events via headshot dossier.

This story is a who's who of the Wasilla Hillbilly's pettiest feuds.

The Immoral Minority's Gryphen went with fellow Anchorage blogger Dennis Zaki to a book signing at Wasilla's Sports Center (built for $12.5M during Palin's mayoral tenure, to ethically dubious results) where the pair were barred from entry. From Gryphen's account:

My first hint that something may be wrong down in Who-ville was when I was asked for my ID, not once, but twice. Then as Dennis and I were about to sign in, and the lady behind the desk took our picture with a little digital camera! ...

Almost as soon as I had my picture taken I felt a hand on my shoulder.

I turned around and came face to face with a local police officer who quickly apologized and then informed me that I was on the "banned list".

"I am on the WHAT list?" I asked.

"The banned list sir, I am going to have to escort you off of the property. This is a private event."

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Source. Calling for alternate tag 'OH SHIT THE INTERNET IS HERE'!
misc - microphone

Pastor says shoplifting is OK - as a last resort

'It’s okay to shoplift' says Father Tim Jones, parish priest of St Lawrence and St Hilda
9:30am Monday 21st December 2009

By Gavin Aitchison

WORSHIPPERS at one York church got a shock when their parish priest used the last Sunday before Christmas to advocate shoplifting.

Father Tim Jones, parish priest of St Lawrence and St Hilda, broke off from the traditional Nativity story yesterday, and said stealing from large national chains was sometimes the best option many vulnerable people had.

He told the congregation: “My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift. I do not offer such advice because I think that stealing is a good thing, or because I think it is harmless, for it is neither.

“I would ask that they do not steal from small, family businesses, but from large national businesses, knowing that the costs are ultimately passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices. I would ask them not to take any more than they need, for any longer than they need.

He said he offered the advice “with a heavy heart”, and wished society would recognise that bureaucratic ineptitude and systemic delay had created an “invitation and incentive to crime for people struggling to cope”.

Father Jones said society had failed many needy people, and said it was far better that they shoplift than turn to more degrading or violent options such as prostitution, mugging or burglary. He cited an example of an ex-prisoner who had received less than £100, including a crisis loan, in the six weeks since his release.

He said his advice did not contradict the Bible’s eighth commandment, not to steal, saying God’s love for the poor and despised outweighed the property rights of the rich.

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Full transcript of the sermon linked at the source

Two out of the ten finalists for AP Female Athlete of the Year are... Horses.

Over at the Huffington Post Dispatch god-father Peter Daou offers his prediction that 2010 will be a horrible year for women. He writes, "Another decade closes, another decade dawns, another thing you can bet on in the years to come: women across this planet will be disrespected, beaten, abused, violated, oppressed. Simply for being born female."

About an a hour ago, this ease with which our society casually disrespects women manifested itself in a pretty shocking way. Take a look at this list of finalists for the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. (The numbers represent the number of votes they received.)

Serena Williams 66
Zenyatta 18
Kim Clijsters 16
Lindsey Vonn 15
Diana Taurasi 14
Maya Moore 13
Rachel Alexandra 10
Bridget Sloan 3
Jiyai Shin 2
Erin Hamlin 1

First things first, congratulations to tennis great Serena Williams for winning top honors. But upon closer inspection you may notice that two of the athletes listed are not human beings. Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra, in fact, are horses. That's right. We live in a world in which animals are eligable to win "Female Athlete of the Year" from one of the most important global news agencies. That's some shameful stuff. And for the record, none of the male athletes of the year were anything but human. That said, the winner was NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson. Given the AP's criteria, maybe his automobile should have won instead?


Iran's Mousavi loses public post

Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi has been fired as head of the Arts Institution.

The Council for Cultural Revolution, a high-ranking body chaired by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, dismissed him on Tuesday night, state media said.

Mr Mousavi had run the institution, affiliated to the president's office, since its inception 11 years ago.

In recent days, hardliners have urged Iran's judiciary to put Mr Mousavi on trial for instigating unrest.

Mr Mousavi came second in the June election, and anger at the result saw mass protests in Tehran and other cities that led to thousands of arrests and some deaths.

Mr Mousavi has said the poll, that returned President Ahmadinejad to power, was fraudulent.

'Plainclothes men'

News of Mr Mousavi's sacking comes a day after his car was reportedly attacked as he travelled back to Tehran from the holy city of Qom, where he had joined tens of thousands for the funeral of a dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hoseyn Ali Montazeri.

An earlier report suggested that the Arts Institution job was Mr Mousavi's only public post, but he also remains on the Expediency Council.

This is seen a key body within the Iranian politics and at times a forum for reconciling legislation when debate in the legislature becomes deadlocked.

:(, boyd, teen wolf

Music and Marijuana

Music Linked to Marijuana Use

Teens who listen to music that mentions marijuana are significantly more likely to use the drug, a new study finds.

The research was based on surveys with 959 ninth-graders.

"Students who listen to music with the most references to marijuana are almost twice as likely to have used the drug than their peers whose musical tastes favor songs less focused on substance use," said University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researcher Dr. Brian Primack, who led the study.

"Interestingly, we also found that exposure to marijuana in music was not associated with other high-risk behaviors, such as excessive alcohol consumption,"
Primack said. "This suggests that there is a real link between the marijuana lyrics and marijuana use."

Among the study participants, 12 percent identified themselves as current marijuana users, with 32 percent identifying themselves as having previously tried the substance. The researchers analyzed the content of songs that the students reported listening to.

The average participant listened to 21.8 hours of music per week and heard about 40 marijuana references in music per day.

Researchers controlled for such demographic variables as age, race, gender, parental education and school grades in analyzing the data.

"Although it may be that heavy exposure to music about marijuana causes marijuana smoking, it may also be that those who smoke marijuana seek out music with lyrics related to marijuana," Primack said.

Okay, ONTD_P, what's your take? Any weed stories to share?

Hey Guyz Universal Health Care is Unconstitutional!

Snowe Opts Out: Votes To Proclaim Health Care Bill Unconstitutional

If Democrats had any hopes of winning Sen. Olympia Snowe's vote on a health care reform bill, the Maine Republican likely put an end to them on Wednesday when she cast a vote expressing the view that a key element of the legislation is unconstitutional.

Snowe was one of 39 Republicans who voted in favor of a resolution, introduced by Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) that the reform bill, and in particular the individual mandate for people to purchase coverage, violates the Constitution's Fifth Amendment and the Commerce Clause.

The measure was ultimately defeated when all the chamber's Democrats voted against it. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okl.) was the only member not voting.

It was, as one Senate aide noted, another effort by the GOP to "kill this bill."

It also seemed to lock Snowe into a no vote on the whole bill. It's hard to imagine her expressing he opinion that the health care legislation is unconstitutional and then turning around weeks later and supporting it.

On a related note, the Senate acting on a bi-partisan basis agreed to move the time for the final vote on health care reform from 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning to 7:00 a.m. The window to get home in time for Christmas is, indeed, closing.

Rage Alert: Michele Bachmann is an Unstoppable Hating Machine!

Gingrich: Bachmann Will Become Committee Chair After 2010 Elections (VIDEO)

Newt Gingrich said at a conservative fundraiser that Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) will become a committee chair if the GOP takes back the House in 2010.

The often-controversial Republican representative and Tea Party spokeswoman has repeatedly taken the media spotlight for her outrageous anti-Obama claims and conspiracy theories too extreme even for Glenn Beck.

If Bachmann gets reelected in 2010, which it looks like she will, it would be the congresswoman's third term, making a potential chair position a huge step up from her current lone appointment as a sitting member on the Financial Services Committee.
The most junior chairs are currently seventh term representatives Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), Chair of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Bob Brady (D-Pa.), Chair of the Committee on House Administration.

Think Progress notes that though appointing junior congressional members to powerful committee seats is not standard House practice, it would be nothing new for Gingrich:

"When Gingrich steered Republicans to victory in the 1994 midterms, he similarly bypassed seniority and appointed his most trusted lieutenants to powerful committee chairs."
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Poll: Bachmann Popular In Her District -- Her Constituents Don't Think She's An Extremist!

A new survey by Public Policy Polling (D) finds that Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-MN) high profile as a conservative firebrand doesn't seem to be hurting her back home -- in fact, a majority of her constituents approve of her job performance, and they don't think she's an extremist.

Bachmann's approval rating is 53%, with 41% disapproval. She leads both of her Democratic opponents by substantial margins, ahead of state Sen. Tarryl Clark by 55%-37%, and leading former University of Minnesota regent Maureen Reed by 53%-37%. The pollster notes that the challengers have low name recognition, but the points stands that a well-known incumbent is over the 50-percent mark.
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For many, December's a dilemma

As Christmas season went into full swing this year, Glen Fullmer's 7-year-old son came home from school with an assignment: Make a poster illustrating his family holiday traditions.

The boy wasn't sure how to proceed because he and his family are Baha'is, not Christians, and they have no holidays during the Christmas season.

Thus, Fullmer encountered the "December Dilemma" -- the term used for the quandaries and anxieties non-Christians and interfaith couples face during Christmas season.

Fullmer, a Baha'i faith spokesman who lives in Evanston, Illinois, said he saw the poster assignment as a "teachable moment" for his 4-, 7- and 10-year-old sons who associated holiday traditions with Christmas.

He reminded his boys that Baha'is have a gift-giving and charity period in February called Ayyam-i-Ha, a stretch of time not unlike the Christmas season.

And he helped his son design the poster about that holiday, which precedes a fasting period and then the Baha'i New Year in March.

"His classmates asked him questions about the holiday, and one of his friends came up to him and wants to celebrate that holiday," Fullmer said, pleased that his son's peers helped him reaffirm his identity.

Navigating the Christmas season can be a challenge for the millions of people who don't celebrate the holiday. Many acknowledge and sometime embrace the season's customs, such as gift-giving and sending out greeting cards, while at the same time they are conscious of maintaining their own religious identities.

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source. I really enjoyed this article, as someone who was brought up in a lax-Christian household but converted to Buddhism in high school. I still celebrate Christmas because for me it's not so much about the birth of Jesus and such, but about the giving of gifts that are wanted or needed and sharing of family time. What is it like around this time of year for you other non-Christian members?

Shocking News, God Hates Lady Gaga: "To Be Clear, Her Music Sucks"

Reverend Fred Phelps: 'God Hates Lady Gaga'

The Reverend Fred Phelps hates fags (not to mention Jews), and Lady Gaga loves everything gay. So somehow by the transitive property, it makes sense that the Kansas pastor would declare that God hates Gaga.

Here's the Reverend's press release with info on where you can join him and the Wesboro Baptist Church to picket Gaga's concert on January 7:

"Thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed...Will He reserve HIs anger forever? Will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest." Jer 3:3,5

"Art" and "fashion" are the euphemisms, the guise under which proud whore Lady Gaga teaches rebellion against God (incidentally, her claim to the title of "lady" is sound only if she tacks on "of the night," thereby alluding to another euphemism of what she is.) As much as she'd like to pretend otherwise, there's nothing new or different about this particular hussy's pretentious prancing. Does the simple slut truly think that she can change God's standards by seducing a generation of rebels into joining her in fist-raised, stiff-necked, hard-hearted rebellion against Him? Get real!

Even as she gives lip-service to "liberating" her young fans, Lady Gaga brings them into slavery to their own corruption, teaching them to glory in their shame. She hates you! "For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness...While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption!" 2 Pet. 2:18-19

italian spiderman

Illegal Alien Murders Teen for Speaking English in America

A Hispanic Immokalee farm worker charged with stabbing a teenage farm worker to death early Saturday after an argument over speaking English was advised of his rights Sunday at his first appearance hearing.

Mauricio Escalante, 33, who has no permanent address, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, not premeditated, at his hearing before Circuit Judge Christine Greider, a Hendry Circuit judge who set bond at $500,000.

Escalante, who will be arraigned Jan. 11, faces life in prison on the first-degree felony charge involving the death of 17-year-old Charlie Guzman. No further information was immediately available about Guzman, a juvenile.

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Naples News
Tucson Citizen
comedy | The Golden Girls

ontd_political Photo of the Day: Dec 23, 2009.

Gay rights activists Ruben Duran, 23, left, and Saul Aparicio, 27, kiss as they celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage in front of Mexico City's local assembly, Monday, Dec. 21, 2009. Mexico's capital's lawmakers on Monday made the city the first in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage, a change that will give homosexual couples more rights, including allowing them to adopt children.
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Photographer | Alexandre Meneghini (AP Photo)
  • de_wood

Rock the Vote says abstinence will win health care reform

A new initiative from youth voting campaign Rock the Vote is encouraging young people to “hold out for health care” by refusing to have sex with people who don’t support health care reform.

Rock the Vote, an organization which works to “engage and build the political power of young people,” is currently collecting signatures for the celebrity-endorsed petition to “hold out for health care.”

“We pledge ourselves to the health and liberty of young Americans and to government for the people … and to never fucking you if you are against us,” the video announces. “We will vote against you, work against you, and once again, just in case you forgot, never ever, never ever, never ever, never ever fuck you.”

The strategy strikes me as counter-intuitive. After all, what do Republicans hate even more than public health care? Young people having premarital sex! If I were a Republican, I would love this Rock the Vote campaign. It reads like a conservative porn script: No health care, plus a bunch of young hot chicks sexily announcing that they’re not going to give it up!

But I’m not a Republican, so I find a few aspects of this Rock the Vote campaign unsettling that have nothing to do with the young people admitting to F-wording each other. First, Rock the Vote President Heather Smith told FOX News that the fucking-withholding petition aims to remind the youth of America that “they have a stake and a say” in the debate over health care. Huh. I thought young people had a stake in the health care debate because they’re human beings with a civil right to engage in our country’s political process. But I guess it’s actually because they’re hot and like to fuck. Second, the unsettling sexual stereotypes: According to Rock the Vote, women are sexy teases; men are insatiable buffoons. Finally, this line, meant to to ward off a skeezy Tea Party guy who wants to fuck our hot liberal heroine: ”I’m on my period. I don’t have a vagina.” Would you like some transphobia with your abstinence?

' jules
  • schmiss


This is your Most Influential People reminder post! If you haven't voted yet, skedaddle over there.

Also, two more things:

As you've probably noticed LiveJournal's Rich Text editor is currently not working. Please use the HTML form! As LJ says in the FAQ: You can switch between the Rich Text editor and the HTML editor at any time by clicking on the tabs next to the entry's Subject field. This site has the code for bolding, italics, underline, etc. This site has the code for linking. And this is how to make an LJ cut. Here's a basic post code, you can save it and use it if you post frequently:

And, if you don't mind, please fill out this poll? :D?

Poll #1502849 No checkboxes, DEAL WITH IT.

Do you think that overall, ontd_political:

Has too many posts
Has just the right amount of posts
Doesn't have enough posts

Do you think ontd_political has too many "off topic" stories? ("Off topic" meaning any story that is not about politics, politicians, the media, war, or specific political/social/economic philosophy. Examples of off topic stories: "odd" news about births or crime, human interest stories, and stories that are only tangentially related to such topics - such as the classic "bacteria on the school bus" story.)

Yes, there are too many off topic stories
No, there aren't too many off topic stories

THANKS!! ~fyt~:


Stephen Colbert: Glenn Beck Raised The Stupid Bar to Impossible.

Colbert Dishes On Bush, Glenn Beck, and MSNBC

When Chicago's Second City comedy troupe held a weekend-long 50th anniversary bash, the obvious highlights were Friday and Saturday shows with Martin Short, Steve Carell, Bonnie Hunt, Jim Belushi, George Wendt, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Harold Ramis, Shelly Berman, Rachel Dratch, Robert Klein, Jack McBrayer and tons more.

There were also panel discussions, including one in which alumnus Stephen Colbert and writers on his "The Colbert Report" held forth. Along the way, they revealed what didn't get said at a controversial Washington engagement, underscored the impossibility of parodying Glenn Beck and wondered just a bit about the comedic forays of serious-minded news hosts like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow.

With a tape of the hour-long session from Second City, I just watched as Colbert explained the creation of the "well-intentioned idiot" he portrays. ("The character really means well. He's willfully ignorant of what you know and care about. He's not mendacious and stupid. He's innocent and stupid, like a puppy who's urinating on your politics, not destroying your politics.") But a question-and-answer period inspired the best exchanges, starting with one on Colbert's appearance at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.

In character, Colbert created apparent dyspepsia among some portion of his Washington A-list political and media audience. The dinner draws more than 2,500 and is a very curious function, underscoring the depressingly incestuous relations between the political establishment and a few too many journalists, some of whom so deeply crave the acceptance of whoever's in power. It's morphed from a rather staid gathering into a smoochy celebrity gang bang and sucking up to politicians, with media organizations inviting both people they cover and famous actors and other pop culture stars as guests, and doing so with competitive fervor in their search to look hip.
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a touch of life

EMTs who refused to help pregnant woman might face jail time for her death

Pictured: Eutisha Revee Rennix, 25. (Maisel/News)

Jason Green and Melissa Jackson, the two emergency medical technicians suspended without pay for abandoning a pregnant woman, might now face jail time for her death.

On December 9th, Eutisha Revee Rennix, six months pregnant, collapsed at Au Bon Pain, the eatery where she was working.

The office of the Emergency Medical Service dispatch center, was directly above Au Bon Pain. Two EMTs, Green and Jackson, were on site for their break, but as Rennix gasped for air on the floor of the shop, they left with their bagels after advising her co-workers to call 911.

"We've known them for years," said Au Bon Pain employee Tareen Brown, 29. "We thought they'd do something ... [but] they said there was nothing they could do."

"They wouldn't put in any effort," said barista Lourdes Colon, 19. "She was lying on the floor and they just told me call 911."

- NYDailyNews, December 22nd 2009, Kerry Burke and Jonathan Lemire

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Tyrrany Eve.......mitoteros

Some christian conservatives called the Sons of Liberty (of course), are planning on protesting tyrrany and socialism  other wise known as the 2009 Health Care Reform Bill. According to their site "American patriots should not be lulled into easy peace while such a galactic blow to American Liberty is being dealt" and that "The festive cheer of the season cannot mask the ugly reality that is being advanced on “Tyranny Eve” by legislators drunk, not with spiked eggnog, but with the sense of unchecked power that is run amok."

Here is their video:

I'm a college student and I can't afford health care, on top of the fact that I have a pre-existing condition and this just makes me angry! I've lived in europe and have received great health care from their systems. G-d forbid people get the chance to go see a doctor when they need to.  Instead they get to pay 80-200 bucks a visit ,if they can afford it, to see a gp; or they end up eventually having to go to the emergency room and paying even more because they couldn't afford to go see a doctor in the first place. Government subsidised health care is just so tyrranical,  taking away our liberties and helping people get medical care.

the stone
  • gmth

Dean No Longer Urging Dems To Kill The Bill: ‘Let’s See What They Add To This Bill And Make It Work

This morning, Howard Dean walked back from earlier statements encouraging Democrats to “kill” the Senate health care bill. On Thursday, Dean wrote that “this bill would do more harm than good to the future of America,” but during his appearance on Meet The Press, Dean argued that yesterday’s manager’s amendment significantly improved the legislation. “I would let this thing go to conference committee and let’s see if we can fix it some more,” Dean said:

Well, let’s start with the positive things. Over the last week, there were things that were improved. There were some cost containment mechanisms that were gutted. They got restored. I would certainly not vote for this bill if this were the final product, but there are, the House bill is quite a good bill. This bill has improved over the last couple of weeks, I would let this thing go to conference committee and let’s see if we can fix it some more…so there are a lot of things that need to be fixed, but if they are fixed you may actually get the foundation of a bill, coming out of the House. If most of the House provisions survive, then we can have a bill that we could work with….I hope this isn’t the compromise that’s been achieved. I think we have yet to see the compromise that we could achieve.

Watch a compilation:

Video didn't embed, see it here:

Dean didn’t advocate for pushing the bill through the reconciliation process or restarting reform after the midterm elections, as he had suggested several days earlier. Instead, the former Vermont governor expressed optimism that the bill could be improved in conference, going so far as to say that some of the goals of the public option could be accomplished through regulatory means.

“Here is the major problem,” Dean said. “We have committed to go down a path in this country where private insurance will be the way that we achieve universal health care. That means we’re going to have a 30-year battle with the insurance industry every time we try to control costs and try to get them to do things.” “My position is let’s see what they add to this bill and make it work, if they can make it work without a public option, I’m all ears. I don’t think that’s possible,” he said.

DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas, who strongly opposed the Senate bill, also appeared to soften his position. “This, this is not a done deal, we still have reconciliation to go to,” he said during a round table following Dean’s appearance.


So what happened here? Do Dean and Markos know something the rest of us don't? Did they sell out? Something else? Thoughts?


Andew Sullivan speaks the truth

My own view is that 2009 has been an extraordinarily successful year for Obama. Since this is currently a minority view and will prompt a chorus of "In The Tank!", allow me to explain.

The substantive record is clear enough. Torture is ended, if Gitmo remains enormously difficult to close and rendition extremely hard to police. The unitary executive, claiming vast, dictatorial powers over American citizens, has been unwound. The legal inquiries that may well convict former Bush officials for war crimes are underway, and the trial of KSM will reveal the lawless sadism of the Cheney regime that did so much to sabotage our war on Jihadism. Military force against al Qaeda in Pakistan has been ratcheted up considerably, even at a civilian cost that remains morally troubling. The US has given notice that it intends to leave Afghanistan with a bang - a big surge, a shift in tactics, and a heavy batch of new troops. Iraq remains dodgy in the extreme, but at least March elections have been finally nailed down.

Domestically, the new president has rescued the banks in a bail-out that has come in at $200 billion under budget; the economy has shifted from a tailspin to stablilization and some prospect of job growth next year; the Dow is at 10,500 a level no one would have predicted this time last year. A stimulus package has helped undergird infrastructure and probably did more to advance non-carbon energy than anything that might have emerged from Copenhagen. Universal health insurance (with promised deficit reduction!) is imminent - a goal sought by Democrats (and Nixon) for decades, impossible under the centrist Clinton, but won finally by a black liberal president. More progress has been made in unraveling the war on drugs this past year than in living memory. The transformation of California into a state where pot is now more available than in Amsterdam is as remarkable as the fact that such new sanity has spread across the country and is at historic highs, so to speak, in the opinion polls. On civil rights, civil marriage came to the nation's capital city, which has a 60 percent black population. If that doesn't help reverse some of the gloom from Prop 8 and Maine, what would? And, yes, the unspeakable ban on HIV-positive foreigners was finally lifted, bringing the US back to the center of the global effort to fight AIDS as it should be.

Relations with Russia have improved immensely and may yield real gains in non-proliferation; Netanyahu has moved, however insincerely, toward a two-state solution; Iran's coup regime remains far more vulnerable than a year ago, paralyzed in its diplomacy, terrified of its own people and constantly shaken by the ongoing revolution; Pakistan launched a major offensive against al Qaeda and the Taliban in its border area; global opinion of the US has been transformed; the Cairo speech and the Nobel acceptance speech helped explain exactly what Obama's blend of ruthless realism for conflict-management truly means.

The Beltway cannot handle all this. And that's why they continue to jump on every micro-talking-point and forget vast forests for a few failing saplings.

But when you consider the magnitude of shifting from one conservative era to one in which government simply has to be deployed to tackle deep structural problems, the achievement is as significant as his election year.

I remain, in other words, extremely bullish on the guy. There is a huge amount to come - finding a way to bring down long-term debt, ensuring health insurance reform stays on track and reformed constantly to control costs, turning the corner on non-carbon energy, reforming entitlements, finding a new revenue stream like a VAT, preventing Israel from attacking Iran, preventing Iran's coup regime from going even roguer, withdrawing from an Iraq still teetering on new sectarian conflict, avoiding a second downturn, closing Gitmo for good, ending the gay ban in the military ... well, you get the picture.

Change of this magnitude is extremely hard. That it is also frustrating, inadequate, compromised, flawed, and beset with bribes and trade-offs does not, in my mind, undermine it. Obama told us it would be like this - and it is. And those who backed him last year would do better, to my mind, if they appreciated the difficulty of this task and the diligence and civility that Obama has displayed in executing it.

Yes, we have. And yes, we still are the ones we've been waiting for - if we still care enough to swallow purism and pride and show up for the less emotionally satisfying grind of real, practical, incremental reform.