Day: April 16, 2011

The Ryan Plan: A Declaration of War on the Poor

 

I admit I’ve been a little fixated with the Federal Budget issues coming out of Congress, lately.  For some, the issue is boring and dull.  For others who may be directly affected by the draconian cuts proposed by the GOP it’s a flash course in macro economics 101.  

I place myself in the latter group…

Did you know the top 400 richest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 50 percent combined?

‘Pro-Life’ Alaska GOP Kills Health Bill To Insure Thousands Of Low-Income Women And Children

In the progressive community there is a saying about right-wing ideology and legislation:

“Love the fetus, starve the child…”   (This has  been going on for decades.)

There is no better example than this article. 

 Think Progress

On Wednesday, the Alaska Senate shot down a health bill that would expand a program that provides medical services to the low-income children and pregnant women. The 14-year-old program, Denali Kid Care, is specifically “designed to ensure that children and teens of both working and non-working families can have the health insurance they need.” The bill seeks to “restore the original income eligibilitythreshold established more than a decade ago, raising it from the current 175 percent to 200 percent of the federal poverty line” — a move that bill sponsor State Sen. Bettye Davis (D) said would cover nearly 1,300 more children and about 250 pregnant women. But the bill — which passed the Senate last year 15 to 4 — failed this year. The obstacle? A woman’s right to choose.

The Alaska Supreme Court holds that the state must fund medically necessary abortions if it funds medically necessary services for others with financial needs. The mere possibility that a woman could have even a “medically necessary” abortion under this health insurance program was enough for Republicans to stall the bill in a 10 to 10 vote:

– Abortion was a key issue in floor debate Wednesday. Sen. Fred Dyson, R-Eagle River, said he believes the Senate has shown a propensity for standing up for children and families but that he in good conscience could not vote for a bill that would help some but also result in abortions.

“I think there are just a lot of unknowns about what is ‘medically necessary,’ what is considered an abortion,” said Sen. Kevin Meyer (R-Anchorage), who did not support the bill.

According to Davis, the program expansion “might” fund 22 abortions. But that hypothetical number was enough for 9 Republicans and 1 Democrat to block coverage for over 1,000 Alaskan women and children. “Six Senators who voted for the measure last year voted against it today.” Only one Republican — state Sen. Lesil McGuire — supported the measure, stating “that the Senate cannot turn its back on pregnant women who need help.”

While Davis reserved the right to reconsider the bill later, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (R) — who vetoed the very same bill last year over abortion — said “he cannot envision a scenario in which he’d support an expansion.”

The following article is also relative to this topic:   Woe to You, Legislators!

Election and Democracy Part III: Mark Crispin Miller (Video)

Prof. Mark Crispin Miller has something to say, but nobody’s listening, except his students and a few conspiracy theorists.

I believe folks should hear what he has to say and draw their own conclusions.

Here is a clip from The Left Forum 2011 in which Miller participated.

 

Watch the entire forum here…

Limbaugh: Obama Base ‘Savages,’ ‘Walking Human Debris’ (VIDEO)

Rush Limbaugh Cartoon by Ian D. Marsden of mar...

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One can always tell when President Obama is winning the debate on any given issue.  The right wing media talking heads have to come out with the lowest most vile things to say about Obama and/or his base. 

Case in point…

Huffington Post

On his Thursday show, Rush Limbaugh tore into what he called President Obama’s base.

Limbaugh said that the president was attempting to placate his base during his deficit reduction speech, and he used a panoply of epithets to describe the base.

“His base is made up of people even more vile than he is,” he said. “You’ve got…a lot of it is just walking human debris on the Democrat base side.” He noted that many on the left have been unhappy with Obama.

“That bunch of people, those savages that make up the Obama base, are fit to be tied,” he said. He had to get them back, and the one way to do it was to go out and savage us. That’s what they love. That’s what they get off on. That’s their orgasm. ‘Cause these people can’t find willing mates.”

Bill Maher, Ed Schultz & Michael Steele Have Shoutfest Debate On The Budget

The former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland Mic...

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Mediaite

When Real Time with Bill Maher’s staff booked both Ed Schultz and Michael Steeleto appear on the show tonight, everyone involved had to be salivating over the potential for the two to get into loud disagreements. And when the panel debated politicians’ relative honesty and proposed Medicare vouchers, the inevitable came to pass.

It started with a mention of the already-infamous Jon Kyl/Planned Parenthood controversy, which Maher called “American lying at its finest.” Faced with the unenviable task of rationalizing Kyl’s handiwork, Steele noted there are “hyperbolic statements on both sides,” specifically about Republicans’ supposed desire to watch old people “get sick and die.”

This, though, prompted a retort from Maher – if Republicans don’t want that, what to make of Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed Medicare voucher. At this point, things really started getting loud. There was Schultz yelling at Steele for mentioning President Barack Obama in the same breath as Kyl. There was Steele begging Schultz to “bring it down a notch.”

And there was Steele, when asked about what would happen to seniors who run out of Medicare voucher money:

“We don’t know yet.”

That one got quite the audience reaction, and Schultz clearly relished the chance to make an incredulous face. There was even a hint of a fistfight at one point, but Maher wasn’t too keen on the idea. Oh, and Amy Walter, political director for ABC News, was there also. Unfortunately for her, during the segment you’ll see below, she mostly functioned as Steele-Schultz buffer. (Which, come to think of it, was probably a key role.) Watch – and listen – via HBO.

Fox News’ Red Eye Crew Skewer Trump For Being An ‘Overwhelming Jerk’

Mediaite

The Red Eye team is rarely one to run away from a circus (or a trainwreck), but when it comes to the latest hullaballoo surrounding Donald Trump’s increasingly growing viability (?) as a presidential candidate in 2012, they had little sympathy, politically or otherwise. Saturday morning host Andy Levy kicked the crew off denouncing Trump’s insistence of “recycling falsehoods,” but by the end of the segment it was Bill Schulz who was going hair-to-hair against the Donald.

Levy, stepping out of the ombudsman role to fill in for Greg Gutfeld, opened with a monologue highlighting the detriment to the national discourse that Trump’s birth certificate attacks presented. To Levy, talking about the birth certificate that the Hawaiian government has repeatedly confirmed exists takes away the spotlight from more legitimate issues, “things like ‘What the hell are we doing in Libya?’ and ‘Does the President even know what we’re doing in Libya?’” Aside from the serious military issues fully overshadowed by the strawberry-blond fury of Trump’s persona, Levy continued, “recycling falsehoods about Obama’s grandmother saying he was born in Kenya does absolutely nothing to put people to work, and does absolutely nothing to help us figure out to tame the government so that future generations of Americans aren’t speaking Chinese as a first language.”

Continue reading…

Scroll to bottom of article for video…

Sarah Palin Gets the E! True Hollywood Story Treatment

MSNBC BLTWY

She’s no Anna Nicole Smith, but Sarah Palin will soon be immortalized by the über-dramatic, scandal-ridden pop phenomenon that is E! True Hollywood Story.

Since hitting the national stage back in 2008, Palin has attracted more controversy than Britney Spears, so our fingers are crossed that E! will do the Mama Grizz justice. But just in case they’ve missed something, we’ve

rounded up the Sarah Palin moments that deserve inclusion in the premiere of what may just be the former governor’s career pinnacle (you know you’ve transcended traditional political-pop cultural boundaries when you get your own E! THS).

Read more here…

 

Barack Obama kicks off 2012 campaign in Chicago

Bring it on, GOP!

Politico

President Barack Obama made his debut as a candidate for reelection on Thursday night by urging hometown supporters to “take ownership” of his infant campaign while he continues his “day job.”

“You’re making me blush,” the president said as he was welcomed with thunderous applause at his first stop.

The campaign’s main message in these early days is that supporters need to generate the opening wave of grassroots excitement, without relying on the president to fire up supporters personally, as he was able to do in 2008.

“Over the next three months, six months, nine months, I’m going to be a little preoccupied,” he told donors at the first of three Chicago fundraisers. “I’m not going to see all of you as often I’d like. It means that I’m not going to be able to make that phone call to you and thank you even though my gratitude is profound.”

“If you are just as fired up now — despite the fact that your candidate is a little older and a lot grayer,” he continued, to laughter and applause, “then I have every confidence that we are going to be able finish the job.”

The trio of fundraisers raked in about $2 million, with tickets starting as low as $100 for a “Generation 44” event that drew 2,300 to the grand ballroom of Chicago’s historic Navy Pier on Lake Michigan. Prices ranged up to as much as $35,800, the legal maximum at a small dinner.

At the president’s second stop, he acknowledged: “Some of the excitement of something new is not going to be there.”

The event at the Navy Pier, the site of many a high-school prom, was designed to look more presidential than political — no banners or balloons. The president appeared in front of a massive blue drape with 10 flags bathed in red and blue light behind him, and a car-dealer-sized flag at stage left.

Obama was introduced by Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, his first White House chief of staff. The two hugged as Obama took the stage. 

Obama’s campaign headquarters will once again be in the Windy City — the first time in modern history, he said, that a sitting president has based a reelection outside Washington. “I decided I don’t want our campaign to be just hearing all the pundits and the power brokers,” he said. “You guys are the ones that got me started.” 

Obama described the fight over this year’s budget as “just an appetizer” ahead of the broader fiscal fight that he staked out in his Wednesday deficit address.

Van Jones At Power Shift 2011: ‘While They’re Stuck On Stupid In DC, Your Generation Is Rising’

Van Jones, Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Ent...

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Van Jones has a point there…

HuffPost Green

In a passionate keynote address, green jobs leader Van Jones exhorted the 10,000 youth climate activists at the Power Shift conference in Washington DC to “shift the power” and lead the clean power revolution. He argued that both parties need to be held accountable for their failures, and that activists must explain that the climate movement isn’t just about “hippie power” but that it is a vision of liberty and justice for all.

Van Jones had harsh words for the national political establishment. “You have to be wise enough to hold both parties to high standards,” he said:

While they’re stuck on stupid in DC, your generation is rising.

Van Jones also discussed President Barack Obama, who hired him as a green jobs adviser but then let him go after Jones’ politics and person came under a relentless barrage from Fox News’ Glenn Beck. Jones argued that President Obama is like the friend who has the potential to be an A-plus student, but is only getting C’s and D’s. Jones told the assembled youth from campuses around the nation they can be a “hero for making sure your friend gets an A-plus on his presidency.”

Van Jones described how we have a civilization “fueled by death” — fossil fuels from plants and animals that died millions of years ago:

We pull out of the ground death. We burn death in our power plants. Why do we get shocked when we get death in our sky as global warming, death in our oceans as oil spills, death in our children’s lungs as asthma and cancer?

The strongest moments of his speech came when he discussed America’s basic principles, in the context of arguing with “your uncle Joe” who watches Fox News at the Thanksgiving table. “Don’t you believe in liberty?” Van asked. “Shouldn’t we have the right as Americans to be energy producers?” he asked. “Shouldn’t we have the right and liberty to be free from energy companies who dictate how much we pay, what air we breathe?” Coal and oil companies try to divide us with cultural stereotypes and political ideology, when a green economy is actually the truly American economy:

The stereotype is that solar power is just hippie power. But it’s also cowboy power, farmer power, rancher power, and Appalachian mountain power!

Continue reading…