Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dear Corporate Whores

Max Baucus (DINO - Montana)

Blanche Lincoln (DINO - Arkansas)

Kent Conrad (DINO - North Dakota)

These three prostitutes voted against Senator Jay Rockefeller's robust public option and against Senator Chuck Schumer’s meh public option today.

Rockefeller outlined more than $500 billion in government subsidies written into the bill that he said would ultimately go to the nation's insurers with little being asked in return. “They have never followed the rules,” Rockefeller charged, referring to the private-payer community. He added: “Which comes first, the insurance companies or the American people?”

Senator Cobag from Montana answers “As I've said before, I see a lot to like in a public option. But my first job is to get this bill across the finish line.” Baucus said that the public option could not pass the Senate as is, adding that it would “jeopardize meaningful healthcare reform” if left in the package.

Right, because cobags like Max Baucus would prevent the Senate and its 60 Democrats from passing such an option "that I see a lot to like".

They can ESAD.


Here's a link to Glenn Greenwald suggesting Jim Cooper as a primary challenge target.

Max Baucus was just reelected, so he is free to ignore the majority of Montanans who want a public health insurance option. Kent Conrad was reelected in 2006.

Blanche Lincoln reliably sucks up to Walmart while ignoring her constituents (In Arkansas, about 505,000 people, or 17.8 percent, had no health insurance in 2008). In spite of this, she is likely to lose to some old white Repuke who Walmart would prefer. Her only chance would be to actually do some good for the people of Arkansas, but she doesn't have the common sense of a farm-raised turkey. Good riddance to you, Blanche.

Monday, September 28, 2009

for the fish


UpDate: We didn't call it 'classic rock' when I was a kid. HARUMPH!

Update ii: they aren't even SERIOUS.

Mordor's favorite hair band:


Friday, September 25, 2009


UPDATE: Time for some screamcraps!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fred Hiatt is concerned.

Fred Hiatt has recently published op-eds from Dick Cheney warning us of the dangers of avoiding torture, John Bolton warning of the dangers of negotiating with foreign countries, and David J. Kramer warning of the dangers of discontinuing an expensive missile defense program that doesn't work.

For a change, he's got Jim Sleeper warning liberals that they need to take the teabaggers seriously.

The WaPo's hands are not clean in the health care debate.

A flier describing the events, which Ms. Weymouth said had been issued by the marketing department and had never been vetted by her, had promised corporate sponsors conversation ("Spirited? Yes. Confrontational? No."). Sponsors were asked to pay $25,000 to attend an event, or underwrite a series of 11 for $250,000.

The July 21 event, focusing on health care reform, had "guaranteed" a "collegial evening" with health industry advocates, Post journalists covering the field and administration officials involved with its policies.

Just for the halibut, I've submitted my own question for Mr. Sleeper:

Hi Jim,

You say "Racism is only one of many factors driving the backlash against the president in town hall meetings and in demonstrations on Capitol Hill." You then mention the example of the swiftboaters.

The link between these two things is that both were ginned up and funded by GOP operatives. FreedomWorks and American for Prosperity ("Patients United") are behind the teabagger protests, and along with FOX News promoted the 9/12 event.

Fish got to swim, birds got to fly, and Republicans scare seniors with lies about health care. Why do should we talk about these confused protesters at all? The corporate media happily ignored far larger protests against the war in Iraq. Not only were those anti-war protesters more focused, they were actually right on the facts.

Focusing on the astroturfing serves only the interests of the corporations that have a stake in the status quo. We ought to be talking about the fact that we spend more than any other country per capita on health care, yet are only 37th in terms of results.

UPDATE: Jim Sleeper took my question, and here is his answer:

Jim Sleeper: Well, here's the rub, as I feel it: On the one hand, you're right to say that we should pay more attention to the skilled demagoguery that gets at people's hurts and fears and riles them up. And there's little question in my mind that that's mainly what FOX News exists to do and what certain media personalities there and elsewhere love to do.

On the other hand, the hurts and fears are real. They pre-existed FOX and even the WW II media demagogue Father McCloughlin and, later, Senator Joe McCarthy. So we have to concentrate more on what makes people so vulnerable to the snake-oil salesmen in the first place. My column was an attempt to warn us not to focus on the symptoms (even though they're often deep and powerful) but on the even-deeper causes. The rabble-rousers actually arrive rather late in all this, I think.

It seems we are talking a bit at cross purposes here. I'm saying we should dismiss the astroturfing for what it is. We should take careful note of the importance that the Washington Post attaches to it, and examine how the paper is otherwise covering the healthcare debate.

I should clarify who the cobag tag refers to in my post: Fred Hiatt.

Jim Sleeper seems to be a decent guy.

Jim Sleeper: I'm not conservative (I'd like a single-payer, universal health care system, like Canada's!), and neither I nor other liberals had any role in the silence of the President of the United States.

This issue of race in politics is one of his specialities.

Fred Hiatt, on the other hand, is as subtle and sharp as a sledgehammer. We don't see mention of the actual numbers that matter in the healthcare debate on the pages of the Washington Post. Or how other countries do it better. I've gotten more information about health care in other countries from my own comments section than I have from the WaPo.

But an editorial saying don't dismiss the teabaggers? Fred Hiatt will publish that in a D.C. Villager minute. Not to mention, an ad from FOX accusing its rivals of failing to adequately hype FOX's own astroturfing.

UPDATE II: Correction!

This was my comment in response to Jim Sleeper's correction. But I suppose it should be above the fold, and such as. I don't think you can pull up this post and not see the comments, but here it is:

Thanks for stopping by with correction, Jim. I don't get the hard copy edition of the Post, and assumed that anything listed under Opinions fell into Hiatt's bailiwick.

I grew up in D.C. reading the Washington Post, and I find it immensely disappointing these days. Ultimately, responsibility for the paper goes to the publishers, Donald Graham and now Katharine Weymouth.

In light of K.W.'s ham fisted attempt to sell access, it doesn't appear as if things are improving anytime soon.

To add to this, I have probably tended to overstate Fred Hiatt's power at the Post. And he wouldn't be there doing his thing if the publishers didn't want him to.

And here's more Somerby: Less than half what we spend, despite the therapy—and the baby-sitters! Does anyone have any idea how that works? We read the Post and the Times every day. We’ve never seen the slightest attempt to work through this giant conundrum.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Co-cobags of the week

Cobag 1:

Bill O'Reilly receives “Media Courage Award” at the "VALUES VOTER SUMMIT 2009".

Word had leaked out that no non-Fox News cameras would be allowed in, but there had been no indication that no reporters could attend even if they left their recording equipment and notebooks outside.

COURAGEOUS! It was only 2 years ago that Bill O'Reilly ventured into Harlem. And lived to tell the tale!

Cobag 2:

Holy Joe Lieberman is very disappointed with the Obama missile defense decision.

“This deeply regrettable decision sends the wrong message to Tehran, Moscow, and our European allies at a critical time in our effort to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program,” Sen. Holy Joe Liarman says in a statement.

If Holy Joe is against it, then it's the right decision.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Bush’s Gilded Age - Scott Horton

Scott Horton did a terrific job on the Bush-Rove US Attorney scandal. I should have put No Comment on the blogroll when I first made it.

Bush and Rove brought back the Gilded Age: through deregulation and tax cuts benefiting the wealthiest 1% of Americans, they reintroduced a period of vast wealth accumulation in the hands of a tiny fraction of the country.

The story is similar again for access to health care. When Clinton left office, the number of uninsured Americans stood at 38.4 million. By the time Bush left office that number had grown to just over 46.3 million, an increase of nearly 8 million or 20.6 per cent.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Goldman Sachs - Boeing 2012!

I don't see how we're ever going to get this cat back into the bag.

I see a 2012 election between Goldman Sachs-Boeing and United Health Care-Archer Daniels Midland. Guns and money versus health insurance and corporate farming.

May the greediest and most corrupt win (as usual)!

P.S. If the above wasn't entirely clear, I blame the hour and the headache. What I'm saying is with representation like this, why not just give up the pretense that our Senators and such as do anything besides serve the corporations that purchased their souls.

Anyways, here's TIME magazine, seeking to improve my day!

If you get your information from liberal sources, the crowd numbered about 70,000, many of them greedy racists. If you get your information from conservative sources, the crowd was hundreds of thousands strong, perhaps as many as a million, and the tenor was peaceful and patriotic.

Take it away, Glennzilla

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

El Calderon cinder cone, El Malpais National Monument, part 2

El Malpais means the badlands. The El Calderon Lava Flow is estimated to be 115,000 years old and is the oldest lava flow within El Malpais.

Mouse over pics for captions, click on pics for larger views.

Site visit finished 8.21.09 2:47:27
Gallup 34

Red Rock State Park – Church Rock 3:35:33 – 5:05:31
(Gallup 44 - Gallup 102)

Mount Taylor 7:15:41 – 8:07:09
(Mount Taylor 20 - Mount Taylor 41)

Comfort Inn – Grants 11:28:38 8.22.09
(El Morro 001 – El Morro 008)

El Morro 12:43:16 – 2:33:00
(El Morro 15 – El Morro 115)

El Calderon 3:22:49 – 4:58:47
(El Calderon 3El Calderon 49)

Comfort Inn – Albuquerque 7:51:49
(El Calderon 58)

P.S. Here's a couple more:


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Teabaggers 9/12 and assorted astroturfing, American Idiot, and Billionaires for Wealthcare

A nation of teabaggers, controlled by the media

P.S. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© Enterprises, LLC, LP, LDHA, and such as proudly announces our endorsement of

Billionaires for Wealthcare

By the way, Patients First is a project of Americans for Prosperity™:

One of the key conservative interests groups helping to organize the town hall protests we’ve been covering. The speaker repeats the debunked conservative canard that Democratic health care reform will mandate physician assisted suicide. “Adolf Hitler issued six million end of life orders–he called his program the final solution. I kind of wonder what we’re going to call ours.”

And after comparing Democratic health care reform efforts to the murderous regimes of Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot, the speaker advises his audience to “go to offices of members of Congress and put the fear of god in them.”


And yes, it is past time to put up the cobag tag.


From the fine folks at Wizbang, who are expert countermentaters:

Thomas Lifson quoted Dan Bana, a spokesman for the National Parks Service, as saying that the 9/12 protest was "a record ... We believe it is the largest event held in Washington, D.C., ever."




Friday, September 11, 2009

A brief interruption to extend Congrats to HTML Mencken and the Sadly, Naughts

Glenn Greenwald today:

As HTML Mencken insightfully noted in what is one of the best blog posts ever written, our political mores demand vehement repudiation of petty acts of incivility (not all, but most) while tolerating and even approving of extremely consequential acts of indecency as long as they're advocated with superficial civility.

We will return to posting pictures from our National Parks in short order.


Tea Party Patriots Cheer Congressman Joe Wilson vs. Obama; Call For Defeating U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd in 2010

teabaggers...all of 1500 strong!
Health care doesn't fit in their throats
Old Navy fondly remembers GW Bush
Liberals can only call names and attack as they have IDIOT VOICES
Our Cindy Speaks for Our Troops!, and also, POOP!

Hey, you, get off of my pink cloud of Obama

Thus am I reminded to add the chundermuffin and emu tags.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

El Calderon cinder cone, El Malpais National Monument, part 1

Mouse over pics for captions, click on pics for larger views.