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Why I Lovd Obama's Health Care Speech

Thursday, September 10, 2009

By Paul Begala
The Huffington Post

I loved Pres. Obama's speech. It rallied dispirited Democrats, reassured disenchanted independents and intimidated Republicans. He called a lie a lie, and pledged to call out the right-wing thugs if (well, when) they continue lying.

The President shone a spotlight on the sin of rescission -- the process by which insurance companies protect their profits by dumping customers when they get sick. This outrage has been under-covered by the media, but congressional hearings revealed that just three insurance companies have kicked 20,000 customers off their plans. They included the woman President Obama referred to tonight, whose aggressive breast cancer was denied treatment because she once had acne. The congressional hearings uncovered documents proving that the insurance companies had saved themselves $300 million by kicking those folks off -- and insurance bureaucrats got bonuses and promotions based on who they dumped. This is an outrage. If Sarah Palin wants to see a real-world death panel, she should look no further than the corporate insurance executives whom she and her fellow Republicans so zealously defend.

He made the case for a strong public option -- but did not threaten to veto any bill that doesn't include one. He plainly wants to maintain maximum flexibility to do as much good for as many people as he can. He paid warm tribute to the patron saint of health care, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, whose departure has left a black hole in the Senate. And he put the lie to the Republican line that somehow the party that created Medicare is out to destroy it, by pointing out that the GOP has a proposal to end Medicare as we know it, and turn it into a voucher program. (For what problem, by the way, are vouchers not the GOP's answer?)...(Remainder.)


Maggie "Homophobic Cunt" Gallagher Shocked -- SHOCKED! -- That Gays Won't Let Her Anti-'Live and Let Live' Views Live

By Jeremy Hooper
Good As You

When it comes to the fight to redress the stakes in a "culture war" battle that she's chosen to wage, Maggie Gallagher has never met a victim card that she wouldn't play. Latest example: In a new syndicated piece, she tells us all about the gay "bullies" who refuse to let her discriminate in peace. But not before she invalidates all of her false outrage by referring to a certain clergyman's beliefs as being "debased," simply because he stated a personal feeling that marriage equality increases peace :
I was in Maine on the day that marriage qualified for the ballot this November. I went to Maine as president and founder of the National Organization for Marriage, which helped local groups organize the signature drive in Maine, as we did in California for Proposition 8.

Most of the people in Maine were enthusiastic, but one clergyman asked me, "Shouldn't we live with our neighbors in peace?"

His question haunts me for its debased presumptions: Is using democracy to fight for shared values somehow an act of war against our neighbors? "Agree with me or you're a hater" is not the authentic voice of peace and tolerance. But the question underscored an increasingly obvious truth: Gay marriage advocates now rage against Americans who disagree with them, no matter how civilly we conduct the debate. They believe only one side has the moral right to be heard.
A "fight for shared values"?! Uhm, Margaret, dear: YOUR FIGHT IS TO GET EVERYONE TO SHARE YOUR 'VALUES' ON THE SUPPOSED IMMORALITY OF GAY PEOPLE!! You have every right to deny that this is an "act of war" against gay people, their families, and their supporters. But at least have the intellectual fortitude to admit that your side is intervening in the representative democracy system for the sole sake of rolling back civil liberties for a certain set of the population!...(Remainder.)


Caribou Barbie Thinks She's Been Vindicated on “Death Panel” Lies

By Alex Koppelman

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin isn't about to give up on the "death panels" myth she had a major hand in spreading. So, though she declined to appear in person after getting an invitation to testify before a committee of the New York State Senate about Democratic healthcare reform proposals, she did submit written testimony -- and, of course, she posted it to her Facebook page as well.

Palin's claims about "death panels" have been repeatedly debunked by numerous outlets. But that's not the way she sees it.

"A great deal of attention was given to my use of the phrase 'death panel' in discussing such rationing. Despite repeated attempts by many in the media to dismiss this phrase as a 'myth,' its accuracy has been vindicated," Palin wrote. "In the face of a nationwide public outcry, the Senate Finance Committee agreed to 'drop end-of-life provisions from consideration entirely because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly.'"...(Remainder.)


David Axelrod Slams Dick Morris on Fucktard O'Reilly's Clown Circus


‘You Lie!’ Rep. Wilson's Outburst

By Michael Scherer

Those words cut in politics. When directed at the President of the United States, during a prime time address to the nation no less, they cut deep.

So when Rep. Joe Wilson, a little known Republican and Army reserve veteran from South Carolina shouted them at the nation's commander-in-chief on the night of Sept. 9, heads snapped. The House Chamber took a collective gasp. Nancy Pelosi, sitting behind Obama, tensed and scowled as if she had just witnessed a crime, her disgust unhidden.

Even Obama, who had just dismissed conservative claims that illegal immigrants would be able to take advantage of health-care reform, was taken aback. He looked to his left, adjusted his arm, part nervous twitch, part macho posturing, and shot back at Wilson, "That's not true." And there, for a moment, the nation watched two men, elected to lead, call each other the worst thing in politics — dishonorable deceivers.

At the moment Wilson exploded, the outburst seemed like an assault on the President. Soon afterwards, it was clear that it had been a gift. Wilson had, in an emotional expression, proven Obama's point: the summer of town halls had been less a discussion than a circus, a forum where misinformation was vindicated by passion, where disrespect was elevated as a virtue. Now the circus had come inside Congress....(Remainder.)


Obama is Correct that “Death Panel” Charge is a Lie

By Angie Drobnic Holan and Louis Jacobson

In his address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama brought up the most explosive charge to emerge in the health care debate: the specter of "death panels."

"Some of people's concerns (about the health care legislation) have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost," Obama told lawmakers and a national television audience on Sept. 9, 2009. "The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but by prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Now, such a charge would be laughable if it weren't so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple."

The president was referring to a notion most prominently raised by former Alaska Republican Gov. Sarah Palin in a note posted on her Facebook page on Aug. 7, 2009.

"And who will suffer the most when they ration care?" Palin wrote. "The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil."

We have read all 1,000-plus pages of the Democratic bill and examined versions in various committees. There is no panel in any version of the health care bills in Congress that judges a person's "level of productivity in society" to determine whether someone is "worthy" of health care. When we first assessed Palin's claim on Aug. 7, 2009, we gave it our lowest rating -- Pants on Fire....(Remainder.)


Belgian Schools on Alert Following Online Threat


Schools and day care centres near Brussels were under police guard on Wednesday after an apparent threat was posted on a US Internet site, local authorities said.

Hundreds of police were deployed in Mechelen after the message was posted in January on the website reading: "293 days to go until I strike at KTA Lyceum Mechelen, watch the news."

More than 330 police officers wearing bullet-proof vests were deployed early on Wednesday morning, the date believed to correspond to the threat and symbolic for its 09/09/09 formulation, authorities said.

A police helicopter also flew over Mechelen, some 30 kilometres north of the capital Brussels, Belga news agency reported.

No incident has been reported and the prosecutor’s office will launch further investigations into the threat.

The identity of the person responsible for the threat on the discussion website has not been discovered despite a number of arrests in recent days....(Remainder.)


Luxury Yacht Makes Waves for King in Cash-Strapped Belgium


A luxury yacht bought by King Albert II is causing controversy after it was revealed that the monarch had not paid VAT on it, as the state budget sinks deeper into the red.

Over the summer, Belgian media reported that the 75-year-old king had paid EUR 4.6 million (USD 6.7 million) for the 27-metre yacht and published pictures of him, wearing shorts, at the vessel's helm.

Newspapers said that the photos, snapped as the yacht entered the Sicilian port of Lipari, contradicted his warnings on Belgian National Day on July 21 about the "increasingly materialistic" nature of society.

National broadcaster RTBF said that the monarch had not paid VAT on the craft in Belgium because it was not registered in the country, or even in Italy, and because it is deemed a military vessel and is therefore exempt.

This means that the king can "retain a captain and two crew paid for by the army, and so by the Belgian taxpayer," said Flemish Greens lawmaker Luckas Vander Taelen.

In a break with media protocol, an RTBF reporter tried to question the royal couple about the yacht during a garden party at Laeken Palace at the end of last month....(Remainder.)


President Obama's Full Health Care Address to Congress


Little Jeffy & Obama

By Daryl Cagle


How Bush Corrupted 9/11

By John Avlon
The Daily Beast

The eighth anniversary of the attacks should be a day of unity and remembrance. Instead, George W. Bush’s manipulation of the legacy has led to divisiveness and amnesia.

As we approach tomorrow’s eighth anniversary of the September 11th attacks—the first since President George W. Bush left office—there’s been a creeping complacency to the remembrance, a feeling of obligation bordering on inconvenience. It’s as if America wants to turn the page, but can’t quite bring itself to ignore the hole that’s still at ground zero or the war that’s still going on against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

I understand, of course, the natural fading of memory. Time marches on. But 9/11 has defined our stubbornly nameless decade, along with the bookend election of Barack Obama. And the roots of the tragedy remain firmly in place. Eight years after Pearl Harbor, the closest historic parallel, World War II was four years over. We are still engaged in this wider war against Islamist terrorism and the original war—the "good war"—in Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden is still un-captured. The Taliban is resurgent. Al Qaeda is on the run but not yet destroyed. They still want to kill us.

So who is to blame for this? The largest portion of blame belongs to the group that made 9/11 their legacy: the Bush Administration. They politicized what was and should have remained a day of national unity and resolve, turning it into a partisan invective and an excuse for an unrelated war. This created cynicism—and that has lead to 9/11 amnesia....(Remainder.)


Glenn Beck's “Deep-Seated Hatred” of Obama and Fox News' Waiting Game

By Karl Frisch
Media Matters

If Bill O'Reilly has the "no-spin zone," Glenn Beck seems to have the "sponsor-free zone" of late. In fact, at least 62 companies have ceased advertising on his Fox News program in recent weeks.

It all started at the end of July when Beck, appearing on Fox & Friends, said President Obama had "exposed himself as a guy" with "a deep-seated hatred for white people." After the conservative morning show's co-host Brian Kilmeade uncharacteristically pushed back, Beck reversed himself saying, "I'm not saying he doesn't like white people," before dropping the race hammer once again, accusing the president outright of being a "racist."

The racially provocative comments were nothing new for Beck. Just days before making his controversial "racist" charge against Obama, Beck explained that the "thinking" behind the president's agenda "including this health care bill" was centered on "one idea": "reparations" and his desire to "settle old racial scores."

Beck's most recent racially charged attack on Obama led -- which "exists to strengthen Black America's political voice" -- to take action encouraging the Fox News host's sponsors to stop running ads on his program. As a result, tuning into Glenn Beck these days you're more likely to see ads from companies that are more at home during a 3 a.m. rerun of Golden Girls than a 5 p.m. cable news broadcast. It's out with name-brand companies like GEICO, Mercedes-Benz, AT&T, and Bank of America, and it's in with IRS counseling services, water filtration systems and, of course, convicted Watergate felon G. Gordon Liddy's great deals for the savvy gold investor....(Remainder.)


Dobbs a Headliner at Hate Group's D.C. Gathering Next Week

By Larry Keller

For those two or three people remaining in America who are still uncertain if Lou Dobbs is an immigration extremist, the CNN and radio show host has removed any doubts: He is. Dobbs is a headliner next week when the Federation for American Immigration Reform — FAIR — takes its annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” show to Washington, D.C.

Some 47 radio station talk show blabbers are scheduled to broadcast Sept. 15-16 from Capitol Hill. They will interview members of Congress, immigration reform proponents and — best of all — “high profile media personalities and activists,” according to FAIR. FAIR members also will try to buttonhole elected representatives for a chat about immigration issues, and there will be a reception to recognize those who have made “significant contributions towards true immigration reform.”

Dobbs’ scheduled broadcast at the event prompted Media Matters for America President Eric Burns to write an open letter to CNN President Jonathan Klein on Aug. 28. Burns noted that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated FAIR a hate group.

Among other things, FAIR has employed officials in key positions who are also members of white supremacist groups, and promoted racist conspiracy theories about Mexico’s secretly coveting the American Southwest, and another theory claiming secret plans to merge the United States, Mexico and Canada. FAIR was founded in 1979 by John Tanton, whose long history of bigotry toward Latinos and Catholics has been well documented by the SPLC....(Remainder.)


Protest Brews Over Cheney Center at Univ. of Wyo.

By Mead Gruver
Associated Press via Google News

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A decision by the University of Wyoming to name a new center for international students for former Vice President Dick Cheney is drawing criticism from people who say Cheney's support for the Iraq war and harsh interrogation techniques should disqualify him from the distinction.

The former vice president and wife Lynne are expected to attend Thursday's dedication of the new Cheney International Center on the Laramie campus.

Protesters plan to be there, too.

The center is funded in part with $3.2 million the Cheneys donated to the university in several installments while he was vice president.

The university's decision to name the center after Cheney, a former Wyoming congressman, prompted a petition that collected more than 150 signatures. The petition said polices of the Bush administration were "very controversial" and the name will affect how people perceive the center.

Cheney's support for harsh interrogations — torture, some say — is one reason to oppose naming the center after him, said Suzanne Pelican, who began circulating the petition a year ago.

Pelican also criticized the Bush administration's "go it alone" strategy when several U.S. allies opposed the invasion of Iraq and didn't participate in the war.

"We feel that by naming it the Cheney International Center, that the programs and UW can't avoid being identified with that ideology and that approach to global politics that the Bush-Cheney administration championed," Pelican said Tuesday....(Remainder.)


Bush Tax Cuts Cost More Than Twice as Much as Dems' Health Care Bill

By Susie Madrak
Crooks and Liars

Citizens for Tax Justice point out what I was saying just the other day: We only hear all this crying and moaning about the deficit when it's something for regular working people, and not a powerful lobby. And of course, the Republican'ts are right out there in front of the Hypocrisy Parade:
And yet, many of the lawmakers who argue that the health care reform legislation is “too costly” are the same lawmakers who supported the Bush tax cuts.

Their own voting record demonstrates that health care reform is not a matter of costs, but a matter of priorities.

It’s difficult to see how the Bush tax cuts could provide us with two and a half times the benefits of health care reform. In 2010, when all the Bush tax cuts are finally phased in, a staggering 52.5 percent of the benefits will go to the richest 5 percent of taxpayers.

President Bush and his supporters argued that these high-income tax cuts would benefit everybody because they would unleash investment that would spark widespread economic prosperity. There seems to be no evidence of this, particularly given the collapse of the economy at the end of the Bush years.

The tax legislation enacted under President George W. Bush from 2001 through 2006 will cost $2.48 trillion over the 2001-2010 period.


Justices Are Pressed for Broad Ruling in Campaign Case

By Adam Liptak
The New York Times

WASHINGTON — There seemed little question after the argument in an important campaign finance case at the Supreme Court on Wednesday that the makers of a slashing political documentary about Hillary Rodham Clinton were poised to win. The open issue was just how broad that victory would be.

The argument was extraordinary in its timing, length and participants. It took place during the court’s summer break, almost a month before the start of the new term in October; lasted more than 90 minutes instead of the usual hour; and featured the Supreme Court debuts of Justice Sonia Sotomayor and the solicitor general, Elena Kagan.

It was, moreover, a rare re-argument. When the case was first heard in March, it centered on whether the restrictions on corporate spending in the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance law applied to the documentary “Hillary: The Movie,” which was produced by a nonprofit advocacy corporation called Citizens United. In the request for re-argument, the court raised the much broader question of whether it should sweep away restrictions on political speech by corporations.

On Wednesday, Ms. Kagan all but said that a loss for the government would be acceptable, so long as it was on narrow grounds.

She suggested to the justices that Citizens United might not be the sort of corporation to which some campaign finance restrictions ought to apply. What the Supreme Court should not do, she said, is overrule two earlier decisions and thereby allow all kinds of corporations to spend money to support or oppose political candidates, principally through television advertisements....(Remainder.)


Obama Vows to ‘Deliver on Health Care’

By Jeff Zeleny
The New York Times
Photo: Doug Mills (NYT)

WASHINGTON – President Obama sought to reframe the contentious debate over health care on Wednesday, asking a critical Congress and a skeptical nation to reach consensus on legislation to expand health coverage to millions of Americans and lower medical costs through an ambitious overhaul that has eluded lawmakers for generations.

"I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last," Mr. Obama said to a standing ovation from members of Congress. He added, "Our collective failure to meet this challenge – year after year, decade after decade – has led us to a breaking point."

In a speech to a joint session of Congress, the president attempted to regain his political footing on his signature priority of remaking the nation's health care system. He presented his most detailed outline yet of a plan that he said would guarantee all Americans coverage, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions, while letting people keep their own insurance if they wanted.

The president placed a price tag on the plan of about $900 billion over 10 years, which he added was "less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars." But he devoted much of his address to making the case for why such a plan is necessary....(Remainder.)


Olbermann Names The Retarded Baby Jesus "Worst Person in the World"


Maddow's "Special Report" on WorldNetDaily and Their Peddling of Paranoid Conspiracy Theories


Rachel Maddow Brilliantly Mocks Faux News' Obsession with Czars


Keith Olbermann Contrasts Obama's ACTUAL School Speech to the Right-Wing Fearmongering


In "Report" on Co-Ops, CNN's John King Completely Ignores Progressive Experts


CNN's Howard Kurtz Still Plays Bush Crime Family Butt-Boy in Interview with Daniel Ellsberg

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

Howard Kurtz is still playing water carrier for the Bush administration and their WMD lies used to justify invading Iraq and when called out for it by Daniel Ellsberg who says he'll name names as to who in the Bush administration knew better what does he do? Why try to change the subject of course!

Ellsberg is the subject of a new documentary The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers which debuts this week in New York, Los Angeles and at the Toronto Film Festival.
KURTZ: Do you think that the Obama administration is getting as much pressure from the press as it should, particularly compared to previous administrations, say the Bush administration?

ELLSBERG: None. No administration has gotten the pressure that it should from the press on this point. We got into Iraq with as much deceptions as occurred in Vietnam, a generation earlier. A performance by the press no better than we saw of pressing behind the lies of the administration than we got during the Johnson administration when I was in; nor did we get a single person within the administration, the Bush administration now, who saw that the adventure into Iraq was going to hurt our counter-terrorism efforts, hurt our security, and was violating the Constitution in terms of treaties. Another example would be treaties on torture and our domestic laws on torture. People who saw that clearly, not one of them leaked to Congress, or to the press.


KURTZ: Obviously, there were conflicting opinions and conflicting evidence, for example on WMDs. But let me come back to this.

ELLSBERG: No, pardon me.


Glenn "Syphilis-for-Brains" Beck Wants His Followers to Pray for Protection Against the Left


CNN's Michael Ware Reports on Afghan Death Highway

By John Amato
Crooks and Liars

The Afghan war is going very badly and support is shrinking. I heard Michael Ware say on CNN (above clip) that the big multimillion dollar Highway #1 which runs from Kabul to Kandahar that we repaved has been almost destroyed and the Taliban can attack at will. Drivers are left completely exposed to attacks, but what choice do Afghan truckers have?
More troop losses are mounting....
Eight soldiers have died on a bloody day for US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Three died in a roadside bombing in northern Iraq - the US military's deadliest single incident in five months - and one died in Baghdad.

Four soldiers died in what was described as a "complex attack" in Kunar province, eastern Afghanistan.

Violence in Afghanistan is at a record high, while attacks have increased in Iraq since a US-led pull-back in July.
In Afghanistan, violence has surged to a record high eight years after the US-led invasion which toppled the Taliban.

Some 820 US soldiers are thought to have died in Afghanistan in those eight years.


CNN Once Again Gives Forum to FL GOP Festering Anal Wart, Jim Greer, Over School Speech

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

CNN just can't stop themselves from giving this guy some more air time, can they? Apparently hypocrite Jim Greer thinks that with no proof what so ever that the White House rewrote the speech the President was going to give to school children this week after they "got their hand in the cookie jar caught".

From TPM- Florida GOP Chair: White House Rewrote School Speech After Conservatives Caught Them Indoctrinating Children!:
"Clearly last week there was a plan with the Department of Education," said Greer. "When you ask students to write a letter to the President on, how we can help you with your new ideas, Mr. President, that is leading the students in an effort to push the President's agenda. Now that the White House got their hand in the cookie jar caught, they changed everything, they redid the lesson plans, they released the text, and tomorrow he's gonna give a speech that every president should have an opportunity to give."

Suzanne Malveaux asked Greer if he had any inside information that the White House changed the speech.

"No, I don't," said Greer. "But I would anticipate, based on this President being so vocal and so aggressive about his vision of America, where government is in every aspect of our lives, I believe that the speech that he was gonna give, based on the lesson plans, is different."


A 9/11 Reality Check

By Robert Scheer

What if eight years ago the World Trade Center had been leveled by a small nuclear bomb that took out most of lower Manhattan as well? How many millions of innocent civilians would we have killed in retaliation? Would we still be a free society, or would Dick Cheney have attained the power of a demented king, having moved on from snooping on our phone calls and outing honest CIA agents to destroying the last vestiges of the rule of law?      

As assaults on a society go, the 9/11 attacks, which left 3,000 dead and are sure to be described in this anniversary week as being among the greatest of historical outrages, were something less than that, given the world’s experience with the ravages of war. The countless Russians and the 6 million Jews killed by those so finely educated Germans come to mind. The 3.4 million Vietnamese, mostly rice farmers, whom Robert McNamara admitted to having helped kill with his carpet-bombing of their country, are a forgotten footnote. Yet we who have never experienced such carnage on our home front all too easily poke out tens of thousands of eyes for each lost one of our own.

Surely two planes crashing into office buildings and another hitting the Pentagon doesn’t compare to the leveling of every major city in Japan with conventional bombing, capped off by the mass murder of hundreds of thousands more at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Speaking of eyes lost, mark the words of Hiroshima’s mayor two years ago: “That fateful summer, 8:15 AM. The roar of a B-29 breaks the morning calm. A parachute opens in the blue sky. Then suddenly, a flash, an enormous blast—silence—hell on Earth. The eyes of young girls watching the parachute were melted.”

We assumed that the Japanese people would readily forgive us and, having been raised in the spirit of total obedience to their emperor, they accommodated our occupation quite well, even injecting industrial-grade silicon into their women’s breasts to satisfy the erotic appetites of our soldiers....(Remainder.)



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