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Stephanopoulous Pushes Back Against the Retarded Baby Jesus's Jennings Smears

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Rachel Maddow: John Ensign Did Have Contact With Doug Hampton on Lobbying Matters

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

From The Rachel Maddow Show Oct. 7, 2009. Yet another shoe drops on Sen. John Ensign. We just had the news on Tom Coburn apparently negotiating bribes for Sen. Ensign, and now this.
MADDOW: We begin with a follow up to Sen. John Ensign’s failed attempt to avoid the media at all costs. You know that Sen. Ensign revealed back in June that he had had an affair with a campaign staffer. A campaign staffer who was married to a man named Doug Hampton. Doug Hampton worked in Sen. Ensign’s senate office. Here was the failed media avoidance indecent.


“I never talked to Doug Hampton about any of that stuff.” The question was Sen. Ensign did you ever meet with Doug Hampton after you got him a lobbying job. “No, I never met with Doug Hampton about any of that stuff.”

What you just saw was CNN’s Dana Bash and her producer confronting John Ensign outside his office in Washington D.C. yesterday. They’re trying to ask the senator this. What was your involvement with Doug Hampton after you convinced companies to hire him as a lobbyist? It’s an important question because former staffers are required by law to wait a year before lobbying their old bosses.

And the answer that Ensign gave in this interview was zilch, nada, none. He said he had no contact with Doug Hampton on any lobbying matters.


Former Rep, Charlie Wilson (of "Charlie Wilson's War") Says Obama Needs to Withdraw From Afghanistan

By Susie Madrak
Crooks and Liars

Via Buzzflash. Yes, even the former Texas congressman who was single-handedly dragged us into our initial entanglement in Afghanistan thinks we should get out:
The U.S. military's ongoing conflict in Afghanistan is a movie Charlie Wilson has seen before, and he isn't thrilled with where the plot of this one is going.

"I think they're looking at us more and more like occupiers," he said.

[...] Out of Congress since 1997, Mr. Wilson is now 76 and two years removed from a heart transplant. Because of that, he has significantly reduced his public speaking schedule.

"I actually committed to this one a long time ago. I don't make so many anymore," he said during a recent phone interview from his home in Texas.

Most of his talk will center on Afghanistan, from his covert dealings there in the '80s to its present situation. No doubt he'll be comparing and contrasting the Soviets' experience to what the American military is going through now in its fight against the Taliban.

"I want to make them understand the dilemmas the (Obama) administration is under," Mr. Wilson said. "It's a very tough situation."

Mr. Wilson was better known for his hard partying ways - his nickname was Good Time Charlie - than for his policy credentials when he became deeply interested in Afghanistan a couple of years after the Soviets' 1979 invasion....


The Homophobic Right-Wing Scheme Machine Fabricates Yet Another Smear Against Jennings

By Media Matters

As part of their smear campaign against Obama Education Department official Kevin Jennings, conservative media figures including Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter have compared Jennings to film director Roman Polanski, stating -- in the words of Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers -- that "there needs to be zero tolerance for this kind of stuff," specifically citing Jennings and "the Roman Polanski stuff." Thus, media conservatives are smearing Jennings -- who counseled someone who was of age at the time and who has said he did not have a sexual relationship -- with the outrageous suggestion that he is comparable to Polanski, who was charged with rape and pleaded guilty to having sex with a girl who was 13 at the time after allegedly plying her with drugs and alcohol....(Remainder.)


John Boehner Hates the Gays to Much He's Willing to Screw Over the Troops

By Joe Sudbay

The House is going to vote on the Defense authorization bill soon.

GOP leader John Boehner is voting against the Defense authorization bill today because it includes the hate crime legislation. So much for supporting the troops. He really hates the gays, calling the bill "radical, social policy." It offends him....(Original.)


President Barack Obama: Restoring a Sense of Responsibility from Wall Street to Washington

Via The White House

Today the President pushed one of the core pillars of his vision of a new economic foundation back to the fore. Reforming our financial system and restoring common sense regulation and oversight is the only way to ensure that the economic catastrophe that began a year ago never returns. Having met just before with those suffering as a result of abuse, fraud, and deception at the hands of financial institutions, the need was never more evident.

This morning we launched a new page dedicated to this initiative, including a video from Austan Goolsbee of the Council of Economic Advisers laying out what's in it for you, and let there be no doubt that there will be a sustained focus on this issue from the White House as the President’s plan goes through Congress....(Remainder.)


Tony Blankley Excuses NRCC's Sexist Statements About Pelosi

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

From The Situation Room Oct. 8, 2009. Tony Blankley tries to rationalize the NRCC's sexist statement about Nancy Pelosi saying 'taxpayers can only hope McChrystal is able to put her in her place'. In Tony Blankley's world, the media doesn't pay any attention to Republicans unless they're behaving badly. Really Tony? You're joking right? Because I sure as hell don't see any shortage of Republicans getting face time in the media no matter how they're behaving. The media has had so many 'exclusive' interviews with John McCain since he lost the presidential election I'd almost swear they didn't realize who won. I can't get the man off of my television screen.

And I think Tony needs to take a look at this from the good folks over at Think Progress with a snapshot of the media coverage of Republicans from back in January-- REPORT: GOP Lawmakers Outnumber Democratic Lawmakers 2 To 1 In Stimulus Debate On Cable News
As Media Matters has documented, during the Bush administration, the media consistently allowed conservatives to dominate their shows, booking them as guests far more often than progressives. The rationale was that Republicans were “in power.”

It appears that old habits die hard. Even though President Obama and his team are in control of the executive branch and Democrats are in the majority in Congress, the cable networks are still turning more often to Republicans and allowing them to set the agenda on major issues, most recently on the debate over the economic recovery package.


Rep. Grayson To Republicans: Lead, Follow Or Get Out Of The Way

By Media Matters Action Network

Speaking on the House floor, Rep. Alan Grayson called out Republicans for their unwillingness to cooperate on health care reform and their tactic of opposing anything favored by President Barack Obama....(Remainder.)


Maddow: Democrats May Revoke Leadership of Anyone Who Filibusters Healthcare

By David Edwards and Diana Sweet
The Raw Story

On MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show Wednesday night, Maddow broke an exclusive story on the battle for health care reform, and declared, "This is cracking heads time in the Democratic Party."

"We can report exclusively tonight, that two major power brokers on the left have told MSNBC that they are encouraging a Senate strategy now, in which the leadership would revoke chairmanships and other leadership positions from any Democrat who sides with a Republican filibuster to block a vote on health reform," Maddow said.

Not revealing the names of her sources, she continued, "Regardless of how individual senators would vote ultimately on the bill, committee chairmen or subcommittee chairmen who allowed Republicans to force a 60-vote requirement for passing health care...under this type of strategy would be in danger of losing their chairmanships."

How big a deal is being tossed off a chairmanship spot? Well, as Maddow puts it, "That would be the Senate equivalent of busting a Lieutenant Colonel down to Private."

The plan that essentially is intended to shame Democrats into supporting health care reform, Maddow says.
Story continues below...

"This is cracking heads time in the Democratic Party right now," the liberal MSNBC host declared. "This is arm-twisting, vote-counting, 'are you a real Dem' time for the proponents of health reform."...(Remainder.)


Morning Joe Scarborough Goes Mano-a-Mano With the Pig-Man Over Manhood Issues

By David Neiwert
Crooks and Liars

So yesterday, Rush Limbaugh belittled Joe Scarborough's manhood over the differences regarding where the Great Gasbag is taking the Republican Party. He called him a "neutered chickified moderate."  Oooooh.

So today, Scarborough fired back, with pal Mika Brzezinski somewhat aghast at the gonadial turn of the conversation:
Scarborough: I would be careful. If I had put my testicles in a blind trust for George W. Bush for eight years I'd be careful ..

Brzezinski: Can you say "testicles" on Morning Joe?

... [Crosstalk]

Scarborough: But there are a lot of people on the right that did in fact put their testicles in a blind trust for the past eight years, and stopped being conservative and started being apologists. And, um, that's about all I'll say.

Other than, other than -- you remember that, that scene with George W. Bush carrying Rush Limbaugh's suitcase into the White House? Now we know what was inside the suitcase.

It's all rather amusing to watch. It's funny, too -- both Scarborough and Limbaugh have been playing the "conservatism could not fail, it was George W. Bush who failed conservatism" card since before the election. Now they're accusing each other of not having the right brand of conservatism....(Remainder.)


Obama's Nobel Makes Wingnut Heads Explode. So Why Do Right-Wingers Hate America?

By David Neiwert
Crooks and Liars

You all remember how the wingnuts exploded in joy at the news that Chicago had been denied its bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Rather typically, our RedState pal Erick Erickson crowed:
So much for improving America’s standing in the world, Barry O. Maybe now perhaps we can hope he will mature a bit on the issues of foreign affairs. But I doubt it.
Well, now their heads are exploding at the news that President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Here's what Erickson tweeted in response:

(Via ThinkProgress.)

Then there was Fox News. As you can see from the video above, it was like Scanners on steroids on Fox & Friends this morning, with Brian Kilmeade noting that this was the third honoree whose name was not George W. Bush. (Maybe those Swedes' "pure genes" got the better of them, eh?)...(Remainder.)


Rep. Alan Grayson: I Will Not Apologize—American Doesn't Care About Your Feelings

By CSPANJunkie
Crooks and Liars

October 08, 2009 C-SPAN. Rep. Alan Grayson has a few words for both Democrats and Republicans on health care reform.
Grayson: Maddam Speaker I have words for both Democrats and Republicans tonight. Let's start with the Democrats. We as a party have spent the last six months-- the greatest minds of our party dwelling on the question, the unbelievably consuming question of how to get Olympia Snowe to vote for health care reform. I want to remind us all... Olympia Snowe was not elected president last year. Olympia Snowe has no veto power in the Senate. Olympia Snowe represents a state with one half of one percent of America's population.

What America wants is health care reform. America doesn't care if it gets fifty one votes in the Senate or sixty votes in the Senate, or eighty three votes in the Senate-- in fact America doesn't even care about that. It doesn't care about that at all.

What America cares about is this. There are over one million Americans who go broke every single year trying to pay their health care bill. America cares a lot about that. America cares about the fact that there are forty four thousand seven hundred eighty Americans who die every single year on account of not having health care. That's a hundred and twenty two every day. America sure cares a lot about that.

America cares about the fact that if you have a pre-existing condition even if you have health insurance, it's not covered. America cares about that a lot. America cares about the fact that you can get all the health care you need as long as you don't need any. America cares about that a lot.

But America does not care about procedures, processes, personalities-- America doesn't care about that at all. So we have to remember that as Democrats. We have to remember that's what's at stake here is life and death, enormous amounts of money and people are counting upon us to move ahead. America understands what's good for America....


Austan Goolsbee on Setting the Rules of the Road


Barack Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

By bluegal
Crooks and Liars

Well, well, well....:
President Barack Obama made history again Friday, winning the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples

The Norwegian Nobel Committee recognized Obama's efforts to solve complex global problems, including working toward a world free of nuclear weapons.
President Obama is the first sitting President since Woodrow Wilson to be awarded this honor. (Videos from CSpanJunkie)

Of course, the right wing is saying it's because he's not George Bush, without acknowledging the shame our country still wears from Bush being the "Anti-Peace and No Prize" President:



President Barack Obama: Building a World that "Gives Life to the Promise of Our Founding Documents"

Via The White House

In reacting to the news this morning that he had won the Nobel Peace Prize, the President struck a note of humility and recognized that the award was a nod to a vision of what is to come:
THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning.  Well, this is not how I expected to wake up this morning.  After I received the news, Malia walked in and said, "Daddy, you won the Nobel Peace Prize, and it is Bo's birthday!"  And then Sasha added, "Plus, we have a three-day weekend coming up."  So it's good to have kids to keep things in perspective.

I am both surprised and deeply humbled by the decision of the Nobel Committee.  Let me be clear:  I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations.

To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who've been honored by this prize -- men and women who've inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

But I also know that this prize reflects the kind of world that those men and women, and all Americans, want to build -- a world that gives life to the promise of our founding documents.  And I know that throughout history, the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it's also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes.  And that is why I will accept this award as a call to action -- a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century.
These challenges can't be met by any one leader or any one nation.  And that's why my administration has worked to establish a new era of engagement in which all nations must take responsibility for the world we seek.  We cannot tolerate a world in which nuclear weapons spread to more nations and in which the terror of a nuclear holocaust endangers more people.  And that's why we've begun to take concrete steps to pursue a world without nuclear weapons, because all nations have the right to pursue peaceful nuclear power, but all nations have the responsibility to demonstrate their peaceful intentions.

We cannot accept the growing threat posed by climate change, which could forever damage the world that we pass on to our children -- sowing conflict and famine; destroying coastlines and emptying cities.  And that's why all nations must now accept their share of responsibility for transforming the way that we use energy.

We can't allow the differences between peoples to define the way that we see one another, and that's why we must pursue a new beginning among people of different faiths and races and religions; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect.

And we must all do our part to resolve those conflicts that have caused so much pain and hardship over so many years, and that effort must include an unwavering commitment that finally realizes that the rights of all Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and security in nations of their own.

We can't accept a world in which more people are denied opportunity and dignity that all people yearn for -- the ability to get an education and make a decent living; the security that you won't have to live in fear of disease or violence without hope for the future.

And even as we strive to seek a world in which conflicts are resolved peacefully and prosperity is widely shared, we have to confront the world as we know it today.  I am the Commander-in-Chief of a country that's responsible for ending a war and working in another theater to confront a ruthless adversary that directly threatens the American people and our allies.  I'm also aware that we are dealing with the impact of a global economic crisis that has left millions of Americans looking for work.  These are concerns that I confront every day on behalf of the American people.

Some of the work confronting us will not be completed during my presidency.  Some, like the elimination of nuclear weapons, may not be completed in my lifetime.  But I know these challenges can be met so long as it's recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone.  This award is not simply about the efforts of my administration -- it's about the courageous efforts of people around the world.

And that's why this award must be shared with everyone who strives for justice and dignity -- for the young woman who marches silently in the streets on behalf of her right to be heard even in the face of beatings and bullets; for the leader imprisoned in her own home because she refuses to abandon her commitment to democracy; for the soldier who sacrificed through tour after tour of duty on behalf of someone half a world away; and for all those men and women across the world who sacrifice their safety and their freedom and sometime their lives for the cause of peace.

That has always been the cause of America.  That's why the world has always looked to America.  And that's why I believe America will continue to lead.

Thank you very much.


Georgia Restaurant Uses N-Word on Anti-Health Care Reform Sign

By David Edwards and Muriel Kane
The Raw Story

An Atlanta, Georgia area restaurant owner with a history of racially provocative behavior is attracting renewed attention with a sign outside his restaurant saying "Obamas plan for healthcare: N****r rig it."

"When you walk into the Georgia Peach Oyster Bar in Paulding County, you feel like you've walked into a different era," CBS Atlanta reports. "Behind the pool table's a mannequin in a Ku Klux Klan costume."

When the CBS reporter asked owner Patrick Lanzo why he'd put the sign up, he insisted, "I put all kinds of political signs up. ... I've used the N-word most of my life. And there is different ways to put your opinion up, but that's just the words I choose to use."

The Urban Dictionary defines the phrase on Lanzo's sign as "a term used to describe a temporary fix or quick fix for an object using any tools at hand. Derived from the ingenuity of early African-Americans who did not have the means to fix every day objects and had to come up with these temporary fixes."

Lanzo told the CBS reporter that he was only trying to criticize current health care reform plans and denied being a racist. He pointed to the pictures of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela on the walls of his restaurant and even pulled out a 2005 NAACP membership card....(Remainder.)


Colbert: Perhaps Glenn Beck and I ‘Shouldn't be on TV At All’

By David Edwards
The Raw Story

The mainstream media is attacking Glenn Beck and Stephen Colbert doesn't think it's fair. "They are attacking the silver gopher because he dominates the coveted demographic of 18-to-49-year-old voices in his head," said Colbert.

Colbert explained, "He has said himself that he is 'not a journalist.' He's just 'a rodeo clown' and if you believe what he says 'you're an idiot.'"

"Which itself proves Glenn believes what he says," concluded Colbert.

Beck is well known for his theatrics like crying on cue. "Those feelings -- something Glenn and evidently thorazine can't control -- are being doubted," Colbert complained.

Democratic strategist James Carville has called Beck "nuts." And even some Republicans doubt him. "Only in America can you make that much money crying," said Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Beck has defended his theatrics. "Either I believe what I say or I'm a fraud," Beck said on his Sept. 14 show. "I respect Glenn for not telling us which one it is," joked Colbert....(Remainder.)

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Bend It Like Beck
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Michael Moore


President Obama Weekly Address: New Momentum for Health Reform


Maddow: GOP Using ‘Flawed’ Poll to Oppose Health Care Reform

By David Edwards and Murial Kane
The Raw Story

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow wondered on Tuesday why Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell insist that health reform is not "what the America people actually want," when "the polls, broadly speaking, are not really obviously on the Republican side."

Maddow suggested that "the Republican leadership may have been watching a lot of Fox News lately" and pointed to a recent Fox poll which shows only 33% of Americans supporting the "current health reform plan" and 53% opposed.

Nate Silver of has noted that Fox polls on health care reform consistently show more negative sentiment than other polls do. He points out that in the latest poll, the health care question was preceded by a number of other questions that could have influenced the response, such as "Do you think President Obama apologizes too much to the rest of the world?" and "Do you think the size of the national debt is so large it is hurting the future of the country?"

"That flawed figure was treated as news by Fox all day," Maddow said of the poll. "Doing this sort of polling makes good business sense for Fox, I imagine. ... But ... it's possible that it is messing Republicans up. It's giving them bad information with which to make strategic policy decisions."...(Remainder.)


President Obama: Restoring a Sense of Responsibility from Wall Street to Washington


Here's Your Real Death Panel: CIGNA Employees Flip Off Mother of Nataline Sarkisyan

By Nicole Belle
Crooks and Liars

One of the things that you can never anticipate fully before becoming a parent is the absolute ferocity of the instinct to protect your child. It's innate, feral, and so deep that it can actually scare you. I am profoundly grateful every day that my children were born healthy, but I know that should my luck run out and one of my kids develop some sort of life-threatening illness, there is no stone I would leave unturned in my quest to save my child. There is no length I wouldn't go for my babies.

And if all those efforts were in vain, I don't know how I'd survive the loss of my child. I had a miscarriage some years back, and I carried that loss like a huge, gaping wound inside me for so long. And that was for a child with whom I never got a chance to know or develop a real bond.

Now imagine how Hilda Sarkisyan feels. The daughter she bore, raised and nurtured for seventeen years dies just hours before the insurance company she battled finally relented to give her daughter the liver transplant she needed. Can you imagine that grief, that anger at how unnecessary Nataline's death was? All the obstacles placed in their way by a for-profit insurance company in addition to just missing Nataline had to be paralyzing in its pain....(Remainder.)


Peace Prize

By Ed Stein
Ed Stein Ink



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