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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Why the mainstream Press is so useless

Wonder why the mainstream press is so messed up - find out here -

Thanks Laura Flanders at GRITtv and guest Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More nonsense over at OpenLeft

In response to this posting by Chris Bowers where he continues his endless argument that the good little progressives need to fall in line with the Mighty Obama I responded with the comment below:
Chris -

Time to get over it - you're not convincing anyone with these lists of talking points. Isn't it just possible we need to kill the bill because it is a bad bill and a political disaster for the Democrats? You're living in the weeds - time to stand up and take a broader view of this mess. I believe that this bill will forever tie the Democrats to the Insurance Companies - we will own them as they already own our leadership.

As I said elsewhere this is a political disaster for the Dems of the first order. There is lots of bad things in this bill but the worst is the mandate. I don't care what the polls say about support for a mandate - that's a theoretical mandate when it gets real and folks start getting fined for not having insurance we, I mean the Democrats, will be blamed as we should be. Once folks find that the minimal insurance to escape the fine is junk we will be blamed. Once folks spend hours comparing insurances and trying to make a decision on which one to take out because we are forcing them to do so we will be blamed. Once insurance companies start raising rates on all the newly insured folks we will be blamed. Once they start fighting with the parasites of the Insurance Industry to pay for stuff they thought would be covered we will be blamed. And, every time they make their monthly premium payment we will be blamed. And boy will they be motivated to vote! This should increase turnout by at least 10% or more. The party will be wiped out.

Personally, the Republicans could not have devised a better plan to destroy the Democratic Party if they had all the money and time in the world. Obama and Company have sold the Democratic Party to the Insurance Companies and we have bought into the disaster hook, line and sinker. We own Health Insurance now and may god have mercy on our soul because every nasty thing those villains do we will be blamed for and, as we all know, you can expect them to do a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Democratic Party - The End

Something I've been thinking for a while now has nicely been stated over at Democratic Underground in a post by Yavin4.

Turns out that the Health Care Reform (HCR) act is more than just a gift to the Insurance Industry. Its actually setting the Democratic Party up to be a fall guy for all that the Insurance Companies do in the future. As Yavin4 so nicely puts it:
This HCR amounts to a merger between the Democratic party and the health insurance industry. Every rate hike, every denial of coverage, every annual benefit cap, every dirty trick thought up by the evil people who populate these industries will become the property of the Democratic party, lock, stock and barrel.
I hope all the money that Rahm & Company gets for selling us out is worth it because when the bill starts coming in its gonna be hell on wheels.

madfloridian explains today's Democratic Party

This post at Democratic Underground explains a great deal about today's Democratic Party. As you will see it certainly isn't the Party we think it is - referring to the Democratic Party madfloridian says:
Now it is about far more than health care. Party's true face has been shown.... this week since Howard Dean took head in hand and dared to suggest the bill was not all it should be. A true face of what the Democratic party has become emerged. It took since the 80s, but it is now complete it seems.

"ideologically freed, frankly, from taking positions that make it difficult for Democrats to win."
"Simon Rosenberg, the former field director for the DLC who directs the New Democrat Network, a spin-off political action committee, says, "We're trying to raise money to help them lessen their reliance on traditional interest groups in the Democratic Party. In that way," he adds, "they are ideologically freed, frankly, from taking positions that make it difficult for Democrats to win."

That has come into full bloom now.

The health care bill will pass with flying colors; even the ones who have been on MSNBC telling the truth about it have caved and will vote for it. One even said it was a bad bill, but he would vote for it anyway.

So it has moved beyond the bill now.

It has moved into the realm of what a party does when it is in total control of the power seats. It shows who they are and what they stand for.

Howard Dean is a private citizen who once ran for president, who was chairman of the party when it won back all 3 seats of power. He was then shunned by those in leadership.

Someone posted here at DU a question to the effect should Dean really be allowed to speak out like that. Well, yes, the answer is yes.

When he spoke out this week against the bill he was speaking as a private citizen who is irate that we have been sold a sorry bill by catering to just a minority of corporate Democrats.

He put himself in a position to be slammed by this administration who never criticizes the right. He most likely knew he was doing that. I guess he figured since his future roles in the party are pretty much nil, he might as well speak out in honesty.

Here are some of the words used against him just by the WH spokespersons...irrational, irrelevant, insane.

And the blogs and groups that espouse White House policy are just getting warmed up today. I won't post them, they don't deserve the attention. The bloggers who want to keep access, the congressmen who want their seats and committee positions will vote for the bill, and they will criticize Dean though they once agreed with him.

The Center for American Progress, John Podesta's think tank formed to push Clinton's policies....was for a while posting Howard Dean's health care policies and pushing the public option. They were supportive.

Not anymore. Think Progress is now having to support the WH position on health care. Of course they would.

I realize this is politics. So many here talk to people like me in terms that make it seem like we are wrong because we are not politically "astute".

Oh, I may not be politically savvy, but I am no fool. I find myself more and more seeing things more clearly. The things I have believed in I believe in more strongly now. I thought my party believed in those things but not so much anymore. Unions are having to fight for existence, especially teachers' unions which are treated with scorn. Women's rights are not deemed very important, not like I thought they would be under Democrats. Stricter now on women's rights, and not much improvement in rights of gays. DADT and DOMA still around.

I expected there to be separation of church and state, instead I see a church group sitting down with the House Speaker to write a bill.

When the WH turned this into personal attacks on Dean they were sending a message to those who might agree with him. That message was toe the line.

So now it has gone beyond health care into something else. We saw this week who the party leaders value. It is not us.
Its so clear now that all the Progressives were actually out working for a Corporate Dem in 2008. Sad to say that there weren't any other alternatives - Hillary was just as bad.

So, what are our options? Well take a look at the Full Court Press. Its time we get serious about holding Democrats accountable.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A good rant!

Personally I always wondered if Joe Lieberman was doing what Obama wanted all along. Found this over at Democratic Underground. It seems reasonable to me -
by: debbierlus

You know why the democrats don't take away Joe's chair?

It isn't complicated.

The democrats are USING Joe as a scapegoat for their wholesale sell-out to the health care industry.

They NEED Joe.

He is playing bad cop to their 'good cop'. The democrats aren't interested in creating a bill that will help the people, they are interested in creating a bill that serves their corporate masters. It is getting mighty tough to continually justify selling out to corporations with the majorities in the House & Senate. So, they use the mere THREAT of a filibuster as the excuse to
take out any meaningful reform.

They don't even TRY to fight. They could take away his chair. They could MAKE him filibuster for days on end. They could force the opposition's political hand.

But, they dont.

Why do you think there is such a mad rush for passage by Christmas? Why do you think this legislation has been written behind closed doors and the contents of the legislation haven't even been available to the majority of the Senate or House Members.

They don't want anyone to have a chance to see the giant turd they are about to deliver to the American people. They know full well, if the people have a chance to dissect the language of this bill, they will be united against it.

This bill is SHIT. It enslaves American citizens to the very industry that has been responsible for the deathes of hundreds of thousands of Americans. It mandates health insurance with no gurantee of health care. It is a betrayal of the worst kind.

Joe Lieberman is a self serving, vain, narcisstic, egotistical, and pathetic little worm of a man. But, he is not acting alone. He is just playing his role.

Don't be fooled by their games.

Democratic Senators who have sold out to Big Pharma

Here's the list of Democratic Senators or those that slum with them that have sold us out to Big Pharma by voting against North Dakota Democrat Byron Dorgan Amdt. No. 2793 to the disaster know as the Health Care Reform bill.

Akaka (D-HI), Nay
Baucus (D-MT), Nay
Bayh (D-IN), Nay
Burris (D-IL), Nay
Cantwell (D-WA), Nay
Cardin (D-MD), Nay
Carper (D-DE), Nay
Casey (D-PA), Nay
Dodd (D-CT), Nay
Durbin (D-IL), Nay
Gillibrand (D-NY), Nay
Hagan (D-NC), Nay
Inouye (D-HI), Nay
Kaufman (D-DE), Nay
Kerry (D-MA), Nay
Kirk (D-MA), Nay
Landrieu (D-LA), Nay
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Nay
Levin (D-MI), Nay
Lieberman (ID-CT), Nay
Menendez (D-NJ), Nay
Mikulski (D-MD), Nay
Murray (D-WA), Nay
Reed (D-RI), Nay
Reid (D-NV), Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV), Nay
Schumer (D-NY), Nay
Tester (D-MT), Nay
Udall (D-CO), Nay
Warner (D-VA), Nay

So, send them your thanks because they have required that you will spend 300% to 500% more for drugs than the rest of the world.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Not much else to say but if Obama wasn't such a coward and a liar this whole thing would have turned out very differently.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Naomi Klein explains much -

While Global Warming is an interesting topic it was Naomi's aside at the end of an interview with Amy Goodman that explains why I and so many others are jaded with Obama, the new Big O -

To hear this part of the interview go to the 53 minute mark in the show and listen to the end.

Ultimately it comes down to this - Obama is a super brand and as Namoi says "We think we hear the message we want to hear, but if you really parse it, the promises aren’t there, it’s really" our "emotions" that we are listening to -

That's just the nature of a super brand - its amorphous, more apparent than real - something that we create in our own mind and project onto an entity.

She goes on to say "I think that that explains in some sense the paralysis in progressive movements in the United States where we think, Obama stands for something because we" allowed or made ourselves believe he cares for the same things we do. The nasty reality however is that he doesn't and that "we don’t really have much to hold him to because, in fact, if you look at what he said during the campaign, like any good super brand, like any good marketer, he made sure not to promise too much, so that he couldn’t be held to it."

So, the more we go back and examine what Obama has said and done the less good news there is for the progressives in the Democratic Party. What we are going through right now is simply a process of realizing that the Big O ain't who we think he is. Once we have gotten over that its time to focus on the real issues (the war, health care, banking/wall street reform, global warming & etc-) and realize that Obama ain't our friend - he's just another obstruction on the way to reaching our goals.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Glenn Greenwald on Rachel Maddow discusses Democratic crooks Lieberman and Bayh

Glenn Greenwald on Rachel Maddow explains why Senators Evan Bayh and Joe Lieberman are ready to destroy health care reform for their own personal gain.

Please note the system described by Greenwald where Senatorial families rake is large dollars by selling influence to the highest bidder is widespread. Essentially hubby gets into the Senate and then wifey sells her name and her husband's ear to large corporations for large $'s into their joint checking account. Its just a different way to market and profit from influence peddling. Certainly it is business as usual in both the Senate and the House. We in New Mexico don't have to look any farther than our own Senator Jeff Bingaman to see the same game being played.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Finally a Progressive group calls Obama out on Health Care Reform

Its been clear to me for quite some time that Obama was the Public Option's real enemy in the Democratic Party. Finally other folks are starting to see this - thanks to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee for calling Obama out on this.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thank God - she done gone and said it-

Finally, someone in the mainstream press has put in print what has been obvious to me, a Southern Expatriate, for quite a few months. Racism is alive and well in the United States and the proof is easy to see. It ranges from the Birthers, to the Deathers, to the screams and shouts over Obama's address to school children last Tuesday reaching a crescendo with Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst last Wednesday night. Maureen Dowd has finally said it. These are the words that broke the silence of the mainstream press:
Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it.
As she rightly points out what Wilson really said wasn't just "You lie!" but rather "You lie, boy!". Certainly that's what my Southern ears actually heard. Its no coincidence that the first President to be heckled in a joint session of Congress was also the first black President and that the first heckler was a Southern Republican.

Unfortunately, Maureen hasn't made the final leap to a deeper understanding of the situation. I grew up in the 60's South and watched the old racist Southern Democrats become Republicans. They didn't loose their racism when they left the Democratic Party rather it was because of their racism that they became Republicans. Unfortunately the Republican Party greeted the racists with open arms and has never looked back. Nor has it ever challenged the racists in its midst as it slowly adopted their view as its own. Thus, in a sad historical twist the party of Lincoln has become their natural home. Racism is the reason the South moved from the Democratic to the Republican Party and while polite people do not speak of it and they work hard to hide it those views and attitudes are still there. Taken to a larger whole, racism is a defining element in the world view of a real and sizable percentage of the Republican base and it shouldn't surprise anybody that it shows its ugly face from time to time. As Dowd rightly concludes the fact that Obama is a literate, well spoken black man only tends to make matters worse. To paraphrase her, a good chunk of the racist Republican base simply can't cope with the fact that a black man is President.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Insurance Companies love mandates

Simple logic - wish Obama understood it!

Another YouTube goodie found via Jesus General

Mandates are a disaster

The DailyKos, normally blind to actions and real intent of the Obama Administration, is starting to get a clue. They seem to now understand that the individual mandates in the Baucus Health Reform bill that would force people to pay a monthly tribute to the Health Insurance Deities are a disaster for the Democratic Party. Since the insurance they will be forced to buy will most certainly be junk the mandate will be wildly unpopular with the voters and the Democratic Party will rightly be blamed for them. Here's a link to the post and the important paragraphs:
"Under the Baucus plan, nothing would force the industry to compete for these new customers. Industry would effectively hold them hostage. The only proposal that's out there to provide the competition this system needs is the public option, and without it, the public will be held hostage to the whims of the private insurance industry.

The problem here isn't the notion of a mandate. A mandate -- or something like it -- is an essential part of reform because it requires everybody to take responsibility for the risks they impose on the system. But when the mandate forces people to buy private health insurance without offering an alternative, you have a situation that is untenable, and would quickly turn into a monumental political disaster for the Democratic Party."
However, the following paragraph shows that they really don't totally understand what's happening yet:
"The upcoming days and weeks will be the biggest test so far as to whether progressives in the House and Senate will be able to stick together to achieve meaningful change -- or whether they will simply roll over and cave once again to the special interests who own senators like Max Baucus and Kent Conrad."
Now, if they could just understand that Baucus and Conrad aren't acting on their own - they are just doing the bidding of the Obama administration we will really be getting somewhere. Obama is out enemy not the two stooges - Baucus and Conrad.

Friday, September 11, 2009

UnitedHealth lobbyist does fundraiser for Pelosi

Frankly I never liked her anyway - I always though she was incompetent but now it appears she's just another Congressional Criminal on top of that. What bigger signal do we need that the public option is dead?

Go to David Sirota's article on OpenLeft for the sickening details.

Mr Abelson - obviously not from this time/space dimension

This morning while I was wolfing down an incredible breakfast burrito at Bee's #1 I just about gagged when I encountered Reed Abelson's article on page A16 of today's NY Times.

Its really hard to know where to begin. The title alone is enough to cause any sane person to upchuck - "President’s Speech Allays Some Fears in the Health Insurance Industry". It only got worse from there. The first paragraph makes me wonder which time/space dimension Abelson has occupied for the last several months:
"During the summer’s heated discussions over health care, when Democrats seemed quick to portray the health insurance companies as the system’s main villains, the industry seemed to be in policy makers’ cross hairs."
What??? They are villians - Obama never layed a glove on them (that's a big part of the problem) and the Senate that they own didn't go after them either. Then continuing on Abelson says:
"But as the specifics of Washington’s proposed overhaul have emerged in recent days — from Senator Max Baucus and in President Obama’s speech on Wednesday night — some industry analysts say insurers may not have much to fear.

“The outlook is moving away from the worst case,” said Les Funtleyder, who follows the industry for the investment firm Miller Tabak & Company in New York.

Even Mr. Obama, who had recently stepped up his criticism of the industry, seemed to soften his stance on Wednesday. He recounted a few insurance horror stories — as might be politically necessary when arguing the need for a system makeover. But as he outlined his plans for health care, which focused mainly on a revamping of the nation’s insurance system, he was careful to point out that the executives who run those companies were not “bad people.” "
Not "bad people"? Those that make millions or hundreds of millions by denying care to premium paying customers aren't really "bad people"? But there's more:
"Some industry executives on Thursday acknowledged the president’s shift in tone. “The rhetoric seemed to be much more positive,” said Ronald A. Williams, the chief executive of Aetna, one of the nation’s largest health insurers.

The reality may also be much more favorable to insurers, industry analysts said. Mr. Obama has already agreed to grant one of the industry’s dearest wishes: a requirement that everyone have coverage, which is reflected in the proposals in Congress."
You can read the rest on your own I don't have the stomach for it.

I'm confused- how could the same person that wrote this article have written this one about people who went bankrupt even while insured or this one on essentially the same topic. Just amazing how can Abelson at one moment report facts and the next write a piece like this or this which are essentially the stuff of Insurance Lobbyist wet dreams.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Obama's speech -

Hmmmmmm -------

Re: Obama's speech - well nothing that will change the dynamics of Health Care Reform debate much. A few folks that weren't listening for the last several months may have gotten some facts but besides the outburst of Rep. Joe Wilson not much news. The only thing that got a response out of me was Obama's promise to "call out lies". Well that's nice - it would have been really helpful if he had started that a couple of months ago.

For another take see David Sirota's post. He makes several good points.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A great post on Baucus' Health Care proposal (disaster) at
A 'framework' made in health insurer's workshop

Posted by Judy Dugan

The latest proposal in the Washington health reform debate protects a lot of groups. Employers get protection from cost, paying very little if they don't offer insurance. Insurers get millions of new customers and protection from effective competition. Overall medical cost reduction is vague (Can you say "pilot program?"). The middle class, the group with no free-spending Washington lobby, gets the lump of coal--less help with premiums and higher out of pocket costs than in other proposals.

Today's new plan is just a set of ideas labeled "Framework for Comprehensive Health Reform." But its author, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has become the center of power in health reform.

The plan Baucus has in mind is suited to a small-state legislator who reaps big contributions from the health industry--health-related companies and their employees gave Baucus's political committees nearly $1.5 million in 2007 and 2008 alone. My colleague Jerry Flanagan earlier described one of the worst features of the Baucus "Framework"--insurance companies can weasel out of state-level protections for consumers and patients--things like required maternity benefits and state reviews of benefit denials.

The numbers in the plan also raise consumers' costs. First, there is no direct premium subsidy for famiies making more than $66,000 a year. And the basic ("Bronze") plan would have to cover only 65% of the average cost (the "actuarial value") of all medical claims that are covered by the plan--never mind care that isn't covered. That, of course, leaves the patient on the hook for the other 35% on average, on top of the cost of the premium. That means very high copays and deductibles. And 65% is exactly the level that the insurance industry demanded of Congress.

As for the premium costs, families that don't get a subsidy could be charged up to 13% of family income for the premium alone, based on second-most-modest ("Silver") policy. That's $10,400 for a family of five with income of $80,000. On top of that, the family could end up with out of pocket costs in the high thousands. If insurers also get to dump state regulation, the family may also get much less in the way of benefits--meaning they won't really understand how worthless their coverage is until they file a claim.

What we're seeing in Congress is a health reform plan that comes down to what the insurance industry and some of its allies want. It's still a system driven by profit, not health. It's not not what American families need. It won't fundamentally reform the fragmented and wasteful way that health care is delivered. The Baucus plan may be better than nothing, but it's far from what other nations offer, and far from what Americans deserve.
The Baucus plan stinks - it really stinks. The process stinks too -

A warning from Josh Marshall

Words of caution that I don't think anybody is hearing from Josh Marshall on Talking Points Memo:
Where's This Going?
Josh Marshall | September 7, 2009, 10:31AM

Am I the only one who thinks that if the Dems pass a bill with mandates and subsidies for poor and moderate income people to purchase it but no public option or competition with the insurers, that it will be pretty much a catastrophe for the Democrats in political terms?

You 'solve' the problem of the uninsured by passing a law forcing them to buy health insurance which, by definition, most a) cannot afford or b) are gambling they won't need because they're young and healthy. Either you end up with low subsidies which still leave it onerous to buy, thus creating a lot of disgruntled people, or you get generous subsidies, which cost a lot of money.

It's sort of like reform with all the cool political downsides but none of the reform.

Of course, political terms are not the only calculus on which to evaluate these questions. And the model I'm describing sounds more or less like the system they have in Switzerland and Massachusetts, which many health care experts I have a lot of respect for still believe would be a big improvement over the current situation. But I do wonder whether, if the details are not thought through carefully, you might not end up with a system less effective at driving down costs than driving down the number of Democrats serving in Congress.

The dangers of caving

Something else from OpenLeft that needs to be seen -

Ultimately the take home lesson is that if we cave there is nothing to prevent the worst of the worst health care bills from becoming law.

A good rant by David Sirota

Earlier today David Sirota threw a good rant on the state of things at Open Left. After discussing a Wall Street Journal article that contains the memorable and unfortunately true line:
"How bitter it must be to discover that the Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck, who drove the debate about Mr. Jones, counts for more at this White House than Mr. Sirota."
Sirota goes on to say:
"Progressives don't just "believe" they deserve a seat at the table - we actually do deserve that seat, not just because we worked to elect this president, but because our stance on major issues like the public option, climate change, Wall Street reform and the war are the majoritarian positions in America. That's not speculation - polls show that's an empirical fact.

But we won't get that seat at the table unless we demand it. That means the Washington-based progressive groups have to stop kissing the White House's ass and selling out their grassroots membership. It means rank-and-file Obama supporters have to stop framing legitimate progressive pressure on Obama as some sort of disloyal desire to see Mitt Romney elected President in 2012.

It means, as I said in my last newspaper column, that we have to start thinking and acting like a real movement, and not just like sycophantic political partisans. If we do that, we'll get that seat at the table - and more importantly, we'll get the legislative results Obama originally promised, but now hesitates to champion."
This too is sadly true and I fear Sirota's pleas and observations will fall on deaf ears.

Frankly I sense that's Sirota's plea is as much about Health Care reform and the public option as anything else. I really believe we are fast approaching the "end game" in this mess and that he senses Progressives will ultimately cave.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Just love those fundamentalist -

They really can be a laugh a minute. For example I was howling earlier today when I read this:
Kristin Maguire, South Carolina's Board of Education Chairwoman, resigned on August 31 siting "family matters", but the real reason might be her secret hobby as an erotica writer under the pen name Bridget Keeney. Kristin Maguire, a professed Christian, was one of South Carolina's most respected social conservatives who had served on the board for 9 years since 2000. She has been a strong supporter of abstinence only sex education.
From a 2003 web page some of her more entertaining titles are:
Title -- Description
A Great Ride -- Taking the edge off of your appetite.
Lauren's Masturbatory Musings -- Lauren reveals her fantasies to Paul.
Locker Room Recreation -- Couple enjoys all the hotel's amenities.
Man of the Year -- Lauren gives her 'Man of the Year' what he's always wanted.
Penumbra -- Kurt & Bridget come out of shadow of mutual loss.
Tara's Thanksgiving Weekend Ch. 1 -- Tara has an appetizer on her way to dinner.
Thanksgiving Weekend Ch. 2 -- Tara gets a massage and more.
Thanksgiving Weekend Ch. 3 -- Tara gets her first taste of Sandy.
Thanksgiving Weekend Ch. 4 -- Tara is the main course for two brothers.
Wife of the Year -- Lauren proves she isn't just a trophy bride.
If South Carolina keeps it up they might start to rival Texas as as the primo right-winged loony bin of the South.

Update: Over at FITSNEWS.COM they have dredged up a couple of Bridget Keeney's literary efforts for your entertainment.

Update 2: From GAWKER because they read 'em and I just can't resist myself:
It would be hard for those groups to ignore Maguire's alleged prose, like a tale entitled "Continental Cuisine," which features a woman blowing a man while his pal wanks one off. (Sample line: "The rhythmic sway of the train car added to the bobbing of my head as I sucked deeply.")

Another tale goes by the name, "Lauren's Masturbatory Musings." You can only imagine what that one concerns. Both are available at FITSNews' site and are quite tawdry, trashy and downright raunchy, which means they're great.

H.P. Lovecraft on Republicans

A friend just sent me this excerpt from one of SciFi writer H. P. Lovecraft letters. While it was written in 1936 it's still a wonderfully perceptive and clear view of what Republicans are today. Read and be amazed:
“As for the Republicans—how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in (consciously or unconsciously) mendacious assumptions (such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical ‘American heritage’…) utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead.”

Monday, August 31, 2009

Texas please just go -

The sooner the better! To bad time travel ain't possible - yesterday would be lots better than today.

Take your stupidity and racism and just go -

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Even the New Republic is pissed!

Wow! Glory Glory Hallelujah!!! Even the New Republic is pissed with the Blue Dogs and Corporate Democrats and their attempts to destroy Health Care reform.

The magazine I usually refer to as The New Republican has for years been the supporter of the corporate wing of the Democratic Party. Finally they have started to see the light. Last Thursday Glenn Greenwald showed the beginning of the New Republic's rehabilitation from a corporate flack to what it historically was - the spokesmag of the Left. However there is much work yet to be done. I leave it to Greenwald to explain where the New Republic's thinking still stinks:
While it's lovely that The New Republic has now joined that movement and decided that corporate-owned "centrists" need to be purged from the Party, Chait is laboring under complete blindness about the reasons these problems have arisen. Chait accuses me, Dan Froomkin and "liberals" generally of "confusion" because we believe that the Obama White House bears some of the blame in the dominance of corporate interests generally and in the health care battle specifically. Chait echoes the facially absurd excuse of the most hardened Obama loyalists everywhere: namely, that Obama, Rahm Emanuel and friends are just helpless, impotent observers who wield no influence over the health care debate and can do nothing but sit back and hope and pray that the Senate will pass a good, progressive health care reform bill free of excessive servitude to the health care and drug industries. If the Congress refuses to, well that's obviously not Obama's fault -- a President isn't in the Congress and can't really influence what it does, so this excuse-making goes.

For the moment, leave aside all the evidence to the contrary: that, as Chait's colleague Jonathan Cohn detailed, the Obama White House secretly entered into a deal with the drug industry not to negotiate for lower prices; that Obama has repeatedly sought to empower the Baucus-dominated Senate Finance Committee at the expense of more progressive committees; that the White House aggressively threatens, berates, and cajoles House progressives who impede the President's agenda but hasn't done anything against Blue Dogs; that the strategy of the White House from the start has been to ensure that the health care and drug industries are pleased so that they continue to use their ample largesse to fund the Democrats rather than get behind a GOP takeover in 2010; and that Emanuel built his career and power base by controlling the Congress through the expansion of the Blue Dogs and other "centrist" and "conservative" members and by pleasing corporate donors, thus rendering the image of him as a helpless, passive bystander in the health care debate transparent fiction. Even Dick Durbin -- the Senate's number two Democrat -- acknowledges that, even with a huge Democratic majority, the banking industry "frankly owns" the Congress.

More important than all of that is the fact that there is one principal reason that Blue Dogs and "centrists" exert such dominance within the Party: because the Party leadership, led by the Obama White House, wants it that way and works hard to ensure it continues. While Chait seems to envision himself as the pioneering inventor of the primary challenge strategy (something he first articulated six weeks ago), Accountability Now has actually been working continuously for the last year on recruiting credible primary challengers and building an infrastructure to support those challenges -- all in order to unseat the unresponsive, corrupt and corporate-owned incumbents who ensure that the same factions control government no matter which party is in control. But the principal barrier to those efforts has been the accurate perception that the White House and President -- along with key party institutions such as the DCCC -- will use their vast resources to keep Blue Dogs and "centrists" in office and crush any efforts from within the party to unseat them.

It's hard to overstate how many promising potential primary challengers with whom we've spoken -- highly energized and impressive members of City Councils or County Commissions or state legislatures or just private citizens -- who are eager to run against their corporate-owned Democratic Congressional incumbent but are deterred by one primary fear: that Obama and the Party infrastructure will undercut their efforts by actively supporting the Blue Dog incumbent. That fear is particularly pronounced for potential African-American challengers in districts where the corporate-serving "centrist" incumbent is wildly out of step with the interests and views of the typical (and sometimes overwhelmingly African-American) Democratic voter. Such potential challengers anticipate that Obama will intervene on behalf of the Blue Dog against the progressive challenger -- as he's done before -- and sabotage not only their primary challenge but perhaps their future viability as a candidate in their community and district.

That's what makes Chait's insistence that the Obama White House is just an innocent, impotent bystander in all of this so painfully naive and wrong (Obama says he wants a public option, so doesn't that settle it?, asks Chait, vacantly batting his eyes with child-like trust and innocence). When the White House genuinely wants a bill to pass -- rather than paying irrelevant lip service to it -- they know how to apply pressure on the defiant members of Congress
The White House is playing hardball with Democrats who intend to vote against the supplemental war spending bill, threatening freshmen who oppose it that they won't get help with reelection and will be cut off from the White House, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said Friday.

"We're not going to help you. You'll never hear from us again," Woolsey said the White House is telling freshmen.
Rahm Emanuel, Tom Delay, and the Bush/Cheney White House have left no doubt that where there's a will to influence the actions of Senators and House members in one's own party, there's a way. But the Obama White House has done nothing in the way of attempting to change the behavior of the supposedly obstructionist Blue Dogs and centrists whom Obama-defenders are eager to blame for the health care standstill. In fact, they've done the opposite: Emanuel has repeatedly leapt to their defense and attacked progressives who sought to influence or otherwise put pressure on them to change behavior. White House threats that "you'll never hear from us again" are issued to defiant progressives only. Not only are such threats never issued to "centrists" and Blue Dogs who are supposedly impeding the President's health care agenda, but the White House does everything it can to protect those ostensible obstructionists and further entrench them in power. Isn't all of this fairly strong evidence that the White House knew, accepted and likely even desired from the start that -- despite the President's public assurances to progressives -- the "public option," understandably despised by the insurance industry, would be dropped from bill?

Nobody suggests that the President could easily or single-handedly change the behavior of Kent Conrad or Mike Ross. But there are certainly things -- effective things -- he could do to try, including making it more difficult for those politicians to stay in office, exactly as they threaten to do with defiant progressives. But they don't do that. They do the opposite. The reason that Blue Dogs and "centrists" exert such control in the Democratic Party and are able to ensure the Party remains beholden to corporate interests is because that's how Party leaders want it. That's how the Democratic Party has been built and it's how they continue to maintain their power.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Baucus speaks to Montana!

From the Montana blog Montana Maven's Opinions Worth Ropin' it looks like the nice folks of Montana have finally put some heat under Senator Baucus - good for them!
This is the press release from the Coalition of Montana Democratic Central Committees:


U.S. Senator Max Baucus has finally broken his silence regarding his personal position on including a public option in health care reform legislation. Last Monday night (8/17), in an unprecedented conference call to Montana Democratic central committee chairs, the powerful leader of the Senate Finance Committee told his strongest supporters that he supported a public option. While discussing the obstacles to getting a public option through the Senate, he assured his forty listeners, "I want a public option too!" The conference call was groundbreaking in that none of the recipients could ever remember this kind of call ever happening before. The teleconference was set up seemingly in reaction to rising discontent among the local Democratic leaders with the Senator's failure to take a clear position on the issue. The discussion, which became contentious and rancorous at times, also touched upon the wisdom of creating insurance cooperatives as an alternative to a public option.

When several of the county chairs objected, commenting that they did not trust the health insurance companies to police themselves and limit their outrageous corporate profits, Baucus commented, "Neither do I."

In the aftermath of the teleconference, a coalition of eighteen Montana counties in the Senator's home state decided to move forward with their plan to issue a Unified Statement accompanied by a joint press release. The statement sends a loud and clear message to their Senator: Any health care reform package coming out of his Senate Finance Committee must contain, at a minimum, a provision for a strong public option. The action is a show of unity not previously seen in Montana political history. The statement asserts, "Here in Montana, the need for real health care reform could not be greater. Families, small business, and small ranches and farms are suffering and being crushed by the rising cost of health care. Thousands of Montanans are uninsured, and many more are losing their homes, businesses and ranches due to exorbitant medical bills."

Calling themselves the Coalition of the United Montana Democratic Central Committees, the group's statement announces it has "established a position in support of a strong public option as an essential element in health care reform." In specifying the necessary components needed for such a public option, they list:

• National Coverage
• Availability to all Americans
• Portability, which includes maintaining coverage even if one loses his or her job
• No exclusions for preexisting conditions, denial of coverage if one gets ill, or develops catastrophic costs
• Publicly run and administered with full transparency and accountability to congress
• No triggers

Christina Quijano, a Billings physician, is Chair of the Carbon County Democratic Central Committee. Carbon County is located in south-central Montana not far from Yellowstone National Park. Speaking for the Coalition, she pointed out, "For this number of counties from all across Montana to join together sends a strong signal to our representatives in Washington that their constituents here in Big Sky Country are unified and stand firm in their insistence that a public option be included in any health care reform bill." Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont) has said he would not vote against a public option, while Montana’s sole US representative, Denny Rehberg (R-Mont) remains opposed to such a measure. Max Baucus, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, has emerged as a key player in the ongoing health care reform deliberations and, until now, has remained quiet about his personal view. In the final portion of the Coalition's Unified Statement, Quijano emphasizes Senator Baucus’ significant role in this piece of legislation: "We are counting on Senator Baucus to use his influence and leadership to create the most meaningful legacy of our times, real health care reform. 'Max, Montana's Senator', please don't let Montana down!"

Is Bingaman Obama's man in the Gang of Six?

One other statement came out of the last 3rd Thursday Meeting - this time if was from Bingaman's representative at the meeting. During his defense of Bingaman's involvement with the Gang he justified this treachery by informing us that Senator Bingaman was Obama's man in the Gang of Six. I assume he thought it might calm the crowd - trust me it didn't.

Wonder if Obama knows this?

Baucus must go -

Please go to Credo Action and sign the petition to tell Senate Dems to get rid of Max Baucus - the Insurance Industry's best friend in the Senate.

Another meaningless Heath Haussamen poll

Up today at his Republican leaning blog is another of Heath H's unscientific polls. This one's title is "In the health-care reform debate, which of these ideas do you support?".

Please have at it!

    In the health-care reform debate, which of these ideas do you support?
    A public option
    Non-profit co-ops
    I don’t know
    Free polls from

Friday, August 21, 2009

A "Tell" from Heinrich's chief of staff

From Wikipedia:
A tell in poker is a subtle but detectable change in a player's behavior or demeanor that gives clues to that player's assessment of his hand.
Outside of poker a "Tell" is an inadvertent release of information while discussing an issue.

In this case the Tell occurred during last night's Third Thursday meeting. The topic was of course health care. There were representatives from Heinrich, Bingaman and Udall. Steve Haro, Martin Heinrich's chief of staff, was probably the most talkative of the three and the source of the Tell.

During an exchange where he was asked if Martin would join the 60 other members of the House that had signed a pledge promising not to vote for a Health Care Reform bill without a strong public option he challenged the fact that such a list existed and then came the "Tell" when he said that if such a list existed Health Care reform was already dead.

Tells are always tied to a hidden piece of information - in this case the inference is clear - the public option won't be part of the bill and if there are indeed 60 members of the House that won't vote for it without a public option the bill is dead.

We can only hope that this is true - what Baucus & Associates (the Gang of 6 including our very own Jeff Bingaman) are crafting will no doubt be worse than the present situation. Better to do nothing than enact a bill written by and for the health care industry.

There was one amusing aside - Haro thanked us for his job. Sad to say it but the way things are going he needs to enjoy it now because he won't have it for long.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ruh! Roh! There goes Whole Foods!

Wow, via JUSIPER and then OpenLeft looks like the CEO and founder of Whole Foods, a.k.a. Whole Paycheck, stuck his foot is some of Scooby Doo's doodoo when he published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal blasting the whole ideal of Health Care Reform. Seems all we have to do is free Mr Market from its shackles, let Insurance Companies do anything they want and everything will be hunky dory over night. Sini at JUSIPER feels a boycott of Whole Foods in in order. Fine with me, I can do without listening to announcements like "Phone call for Natural Living" over their PA system, but I will miss their bakery - its the only decent one in town.

Bingaman has turned his back on New Mexicans

For several weeks now I and others have become increasingly upset with Senator Jeff Bingaman and his work with the Gang of Six to torpedo health care reform. This felling only grew after his interview with the Albuquerque Journal last Saturday.

For whatever reason Jeff Bingaman has decided to "negoiate" with 2 fellow Democrats (M. Baucus & K. Conrad) and 3 Republicans (C. Grassley, O. Snowe & M. Enzi) to come up with a "bipartisan" bill to shove down out throats. The leaders of this special gang of 6 are Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley. They are both notable for how much money they have received in political contributions form the Health Care Industry and how strongly they oppose the "Public Option". Just to get the numbers straight:
- Senator Max Baucus Senate Finance Committee chairman and recipient of "$3 million from the health and insurance sectors from 2003 to 2008" (about 20% of the total donations from that sector)

- Senator Chuck Grassley - he's gotten about $2,000,000 from the same folks since 2003

Those are indeed large numbers. Certainly they are both bought and paid for representatives of the Health Care Industry. But, as they say, it only gets better! Now it turns out that not only is Jeff Bingaman sitting at a table with Health Care Industry flacks but also a "Deather" and that's no other than Senator Chuck Grassley, his partner in these "bipartisan" negotiations. From the Iowa Independent
“In the House bill, there is counseling for end of life,” Grassley said. “You have every right to fear. You shouldn’t have counseling at the end of life, you should have done that 20 years before. Should not have a government run plan to decide when to pull the plug on grandma.”
That should end the charade of Grassley's bipartisan concern for Health Care. Grassley got up and lied in front of a group of folks in Iowa and knew it when he did so. How can anyone take his "bipartisan" concerns seriously now?

Its time for New Mexico's senior Senator to stand up and condemn Grassley for his lies and Baucus for his corruption and end the charade that this little gang of 6 has any bipartisan concern for Health Care Reform at all. Jeff - as my dearly departed granny used to say "birds of a feather do flock together!"

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Birther nonsense

This simply can't be seen enough! Bill Maher deals with the birther nonsense.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Enrique Ortez Colindez talks about Obama and the US

This is way too funny.

As the US State Department turns its back on Democracy and negotiates with the illegal government in Honduras the "new" Honduran Secretary of State gives us a taste of its mindset. One has to hand it to them though - even the most right winged racist Republican on the planet would never ever use the term "pickaninny" to refer to Obama but here we see a Honduran "Official" throwing it out without a moment's hesitation. One wonders if the US State Department will ever learn.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tim Kaine's record on Gay rights -

I wondered if DBY in the post below had been fair to Tim Kaine, former Governor of Virginia and current head of the Democratic Party. On Google I used the search phrase/words:

         Tim Kain gay record

What you find below is from the results of the first half of the first page of that search. You decide -

From Rod 2.0:Beta when Kaine was being considered for VP:
The icing on the cake is Kaine's woeful record on gay rights—against gay adoption, partner benefits, discrimination legislation, and ,of course, against same-sex marriage and supported the amendment that now bans gay marriage in the Commonwealth. The Virginia governor also has the distinction of running one of the more creative gay-baiting campaigns in recent history, branding his anti-gay Republican opponent "having a gay sounding voice."

From a Washington Blade article titled "Va. House approves gay marriage ban amendment":
Kaine spokeswoman Delacey Skinner said that the governor-elect will sign the bill to call for a referendum. Kaine supports the amendment and opposes civil unions, she said. She added that he is interested in discussing measures “to make sure people can still be able to contract with each other.”

From a 2005 post to Sic Semper Tyrannis, a Virgina blog, we get an analysis of Kaine's statements showing how he moved over time to support Virgina's constitutional amendment banning both recognition of Gay Marriage and Civil Unions :
"I think the institution of marriage is fine. I don’t believe we need to create an alternative," Kaine tells Style. "Gays and lesbians should not be discriminated against in housing, or employment. When the question came up in the debate I said I support changing the state discrimination laws to [include gays]."
"I have never said I supported gay civil unions, gay marriages," Kaine told the AP last Friday. "I do believe that people shouldn’t be kicked out of their jobs or discriminated against because of who they are."
"Marriage between a man and a woman is the building block of the family and a keystone of our civil society. It has been so for centuries in societies around the world. I cannot agree with a court decision suddenly declaring that marriage must now be redefined to include unions between people of the same gender.

"Virginia defines marriage as being between a man and a woman and I strongly support that law. Regardless of the court ruling today in another state, I am confident that there is nothing in the Virginia or federal constitutions that would require Virginia to alter its longstanding policy about marriage."
The Democrat [Tim Kaine] also insisted that he opposes gay marriage and gay civil unions but supports contractual rights for gay and lesbian Virginians.

Kilgore said he favors a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, which Kaine opposes.
Kilgore and Kaine said they support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages. Both said they disapprove of adoptions by gay couples.

But Kaine said that when he was a missionary in Honduras, he witnessed orphans who were treated "hellaciously." As a consequence, he would favor allowing individual gays or lesbians to adopt, so long as they create a loving environment, he said.

I could go on but its clear that Tim Kaine opposes gay civil unions, gay marriage, and adoption by gay couples. The good news is that he doesn't support beating up gays and lesbians because of their sexual orientation. I guess we should be glad for that.

Remember that Barack Obama appointed Tim Kaine as the head of the Democratic Party and considered him for the VP slot. As DBY says the signs were clearly there early on - either Barack Obama is a homophobe or simply doesn't care about LesBiGay rights. Sadly we put hope before reality now we must accept and deal with our mistake.

DBY gets it right - the Democratic Party isn't a friend to the Gay Community

Comments are great things to read. Sometimes they get to the bones of a problem faster than any series of articles could. The comment below is a perfect example of that. From a comment to an Editorial titled Don’t Let Our ‘Leaders’ Give Cover to Obama published in the NewYork Blade DBY describes the problem the LesBiGay Community is having with the Democratic Party perfectly. DBY says:
Welcome under the bus, my fellow gay Americans! Some of us have been here for a while. I started realizing something was amiss with Obama when he stood side-by-side with Donnie McClurkin, James Meeks, Mary Mary early in the primaries. And then refused to be interviewed by gay publications for most of the Democratic primaries. And then refused to have his picture taken with the (heterosexual!) Gavin Newsom. And then refused to attend the Chicago Pride Parade last summer. And then had Douglas Kmiec, major opponent of gay marriage, campaign for him in CA just as Prop 8 heated up. And then came Rick Warren. And the snubbing of Bishop Robinson. You see a pattern developing, don’t you? But even for someone who’s been paying attention to Obama’s homobigotry as much as me I was stunned by the DOMA-DOJ brief. The Administration sunk to a new low. And it’s time to stop making apologies for Obama’s actions. Let’s look reality in the eye and take our rights, even if they refuse to give them. The idea that we must “wait our turn” is absurd. We didn’t start asking for our rights last month!

The problem, sadly, is bigger than just Obama and his Administration. It is also the wider DNC. Tim Kaine, head of the DNC, is a rabid homophobe. And let us not forget that Donna Brazile famously declared that comparing gay rights to civil rights is an “affront to the civil rights movement.” Nancy Pelosi says she wants Congress to stay out of gay marriage. Harry Reid says he wants to see DADT addressed “Administratively.” Obama says his hands are tied and he can’t do anything! Excuse me, but so-called “Democrats” are controlling all three branches of government and nobody wants to touch gay rights with a 10 foot pole? Everyone likes to run around screaming that Bill Clinton gave us DOMA. Actually, the President doesn’t write legislation. Congress does. Congress wrote DOMA and passed it. Have you looked at the vote? House passed it 342-67. Senate passed it 85-14. Look at those numbers! I wish President Clinton vetoed the bill, but those numbers are not only veto proof, they wipe the floor with the Presidential veto. That’s a lot of Democrats voting for DOMA. Many of those same Democrats are still in Congress today. Let us not kid ourselves that Democrats are any better on this than Republicans. When Darth Cheney is to the left of Democrats on gay marriage….we have a serious problem on our hands! And the problem won’t go away until we ask for payment upfront from Democrats from now on. Not “We’ll help you now if you help us later.” No, DNC has to do something for us first. No more “I owe you’s!”

Saturday, June 20, 2009

New Mexico needs a new Sheriff

An endorsement - Greg Solano for Lt. Governor
New Mexico needs a new Sheriff

Thursday night at Bernalillo County's monthly Third Thursday meeting many of us meet Greg Solano, Sheriff of Santa Fe County, for the first time and were won over. In fact I was so impressed I just made a small donation to his campaign via Act Blue. You can find his campaign's web site here and page for donations here.

From a practical political point of view he's new, has a fantastic life story, free of all the mess, corruption and political infighting in the Democratic Party and knows how to work a crowd. I walked out of the meeting a happy political camper knowing he has the stuff to go the distance and would be an asset to the Party who will work with Diane Denish to win next year. As far as I am concerned we have our candidate for Lt. Governor. Now its time to move on.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

before the sun sets on this administration

Well the Obama Admin trotted out John Berry, their highest ranking gay guy to talk to the Advocate - find the brief interview here.

Here's the money quote from Berry:
We have four broad legislative goals that we want to accomplish and legislation is one of these things where you’ve got to move when the opportunity strikes, so I’m going to list them in an order but it’s not necessarily going to go one, two, three, four. Obviously, I think the first opportunity is hate crimes and we’re hopeful that we can get that passed this week. We’re going to try, but if not, we’re going to keep at it until we get it passed. The second one ENDA, we want to secure that passage of ENDA, and third is we want to repeal legislatively “don’t ask don’t tell,” and fourth, we want to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.

Now, I’m not going to pledge -- and nor is the president -- that this is going to be done by some certain date. The pledge and the promise is that, this will be done before the sun sets on this administration – our goal is to have this entire agenda accomplished and enacted into law so that it is secure.
So folks "before the sun sets on this administration" they will try to get something done.

Looks like we have just been thrown back under the bus by yet another Democratic Administration.

Blogs for DOMA updates

Since the Daily Kos and others only function in the current Obama DOMA mess is to say the LesBiGay Community needs to calm down and everything is just wonderful here's a few sites that are letting folks know what's happening and what it all means:

Pam's House blend ...always steamin'!
hunter for justice
The Volokh Conspiracy

Others will be added as I find 'em!

Update - 061909, 10:04 PM - The Plum Line
the widdershins
Washington Blade
New York Blade

Its becomming clear - Obama is no friend to the gay community.

As I have looked around today on liberal blogs its has become clear that if mentioned at all there is not much concern about Obama's DOJ defending DOMA. In MyDD Josh Orton first seems concerned then in less than an hour added an update where he pronounced it was no big deal. Most of the comments on his posting seemed to express the same view. Nowhere did anybody ask about Obama's track record on gay rights.

To me the real basis of the uproar is very simple - its not about DOMA per se its about Obama's record or rather lack of a record on gay rights since coming to the White House. To date he has done nothing to repeal DOMA or Don't Ask - Don't Tell, end the travel ban for HIV positive individuals or support gay marriage. In fact his view on gay marriage closely reslembles those of leading Republican homophobes.

The Liberal community will excuse us while we make a bit of noise while we throw a fit - we are just realizing Obama was a major mistake.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Obama's betrayal to the gay community continues -

Everybody is all over this - seems that Obama's Dept. of Justice has decided to trash the Gay community while it defends the homophobic DOMA bill signed by Bill Clinton. For the latest and greatest on this see Andrew at the Daily Dish, Pam at Pam's House Blend and a host of others.

For a good round up go to John Aravosis' post at AMERICAblog.

So much for Obama's promises to the LesBiGay Community. Seems the invite to Rev. Wright was more of a harbinger of things to come than even I thought.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Summit on LGBT Rights

Well the secret is out -

The only reason I know about it is because I walked out the door of a meeting at just the right time to overhear a conversation about the upcoming 'Summit".

We will see if we can slow the domestic partnership freight train. Why "they" want to agree to a second class status for Lesbian and Gays is really beyond me.

Update: Please note that the flyer only invites representatives of Organizations not members of the Community to the "Summit" (see the first sentence below the red line). Also, the next sentence is quite telling - its seems the discussion will be aimed at building support for the "next steps" not determining what the "next steps" will be. It seems that we, the little people, need a lecture about what the "next steps" should be.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dead Meat?

While the main focus of the post was on the NM Democrats State Central Committee meeting Peter St. Cyr dropped a bit of a bomb at the end. It appears that Senator Linda Lopez, the person who voted with Republicans to elect Tim Jennings as President Pro Tem of the NM Senate, the main proponent in the Senate for the Suncal TID (SB 249), one of the Senators who voted to allow sleazy politicians to sue nonprofits (SB 652), the former Bernalillo Democratic Party County Chair who was thrown out because she was so obnoxious is running for the Democratic nomination for Lt. Governor.

This is gonna be interesting. While I'm sure the folks at SunCal are thrilled who else cares? The progressive wing of the Democratic Party dislikes her imensily and generally distrusts her. I really wonder what she is thinking.

Stick a fork in it - this candidacy was dead before it began.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I'm pissed!

In an article by David Alire Garcia titled "N.M. Catholic Church, gay activists seek compromise on domestic partnerships" some the internal controversy in the Lesbian and Gay Community that has surrounded these talks starts to erupt. Having been a part of that conversation and knowing that my views and those of other I respect were being ignored I decided to repurpose one of my emails as a comment and throw some fat publicly on the fire.
I fear that there is much more furor about these negotiations in the LesBiGay Community than Ms. Seigal suggests. As she readily admits she is a "professional" and her job is to get a deal done and move on. Those of us that remain in NM will be left to deal with the aftermath of her skills as a "professional lobbyist".

As I have said elsewhere, to Ms. Seigal and others, my problems with these negotiations starts with the fact that my rights are the subject of negotiations with religious leaders that I do not support nor believe have any right to cast me into the pit of second class citizenship. Everything that I have heard since the initial news of these discussions supports my fear that these unappointed and unelected representatives of the LesBiGay community have little interest in its feelings or opinions.

As I understand it these negotiations are aimed at dealing with the Church's objections to use of the word marriage in the Domestic Partnership (DP) bill. They disliked the fact that the DP bill used the word marriage and said that Domestic Partners had the same rights as a married couple. This appears to be based on the fact that the Church opposes the use of the word "marriage" in any way, shape of form that may connote some dignity to a lesbian or gay relationship. Hence all we need to do is yank the word "marriage" out of the DP bill and all would be well.

My underlying problem with this effort is that it simply reeks of the old ploy by the Southern segregationist - separate but equal. I, as a child of the 50's, who grew up in Alabama knows what this means, how it turned out back then and am not excited about revisiting it again. Its as if all the NAACP needed to do was sit down with Bull Conner and change a few words on their signs and in their songs and everything would be just lovely.

Certainly the folks at Legislative Services have their work cut out for them. To enumerate a list of all the rights and responsibilities of marriage while never mentioning the sacred word will be a massive task and its almost guaranteed that "things" will be left out. Whether these will be sins of omission or commission history will never now. I certainly look forward to reviewing this list and wonder how the Bishops will respond to it. Surely the production of the "list" will eviscerate the spirit of the original bill. Under this scheme our "partnerships" will never equal marriage, frankly they won't even equal a Domestic Partnership - they will just be a list of things to be negotiated like how many dozen eggs you get for a dollar or the cost current of an indulgence. Here Lucifer lies with the details. When it lists that a LesBiGay couple has the right to adoption what will the "Church" say? When the howl from the fundamentalist comes up will the Catholic Church be silent, join in or will they defend our rights to adopt children? Wanna make a bet what "they" do?

Moreover and from a tactical viewpoint probably much, much, much worse - this legislation will quickly be seen as a "list", as Seigal herself says, of our rights and responsibilities to be picked apart and ridiculed by our opponents. The production of such a "list" violates the basic principles of Politics 101 and is an out and out disaster. It makes me wonder about the political skill set of those that are suppose to be representing "us".

Once the "list" is produced then the real negotiations will begin in Santa Fe and I don't expect us to fare well by them. We will be whipsawed from stem to stern and rights will disappear or be limited all along the Legislation's tortuous path from when our "representatives" prostrate themselves before the Catholic Church to seek their indulgence to the numerous and sundry Legislative Committees that the bill will have to move through. Since we will have agreed to tying our basic human rights to a "list" subject to negotiations every Committee that has some jurisdiction over some component of that "list" will have to have its say. Surely adoption will be the topic of some heated hearings. No doubt it will be the first to go or to be "studied later" then other things will follow. All the while what our opponents cannot remove they will poison so that ultimately the "list" dies as a cruel joke or, even worse, we will have our "marriage-less", meaningless "list" passed and be signed into law - a disaster for all to see.

I have no doubt that those running the other side's negotiations understand perfectly what the production of this "list" means and worry that we are fundamentally out gunned at the negotiating table. This added to the fact that the Governor and our negotiator wants a bill passed, any bill will probably do, makes me fear the outcome of these negotiations.

In closing I must ask - why the rush to cement our status as second class citizens in New Mexico? Its quite possible that this bill will be worse than no bill at all. Time is on our side - sometimes the best thing to do is wait.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vote now! Mary should go!

Heath Haussamen has a poll up at his blog "Heath Hausamen on New Mexico Politics" asking - "Should Santa Fe County Clerk Valerie Espinosa challenge Secretary of State Mary Herrera in next year's Democratic primary?"

Duhhhhhhhhhh! Please go there and vote Yes now. How can she be any worse than Mary "the hair" Herrera?

One question we should all be asking is why hasn't Mary certified more than one voting machine company? Expiring minds want to know.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The war within

Nearing the end of the 2009 Legislative session its time to pull out the crystal ball and make some predictions re: the State of the Democratic Party. The main prediction is obvious to anybody that has been to any Progressive gathering - it is divided and things are moving from bad to worse. Its really easy to sense the absolute rage that Progressives are feeling toward the establishment Democrats in the Senate. The main topic of discussion is how to transform these feelings into actions. The fact that its getting easier to hear and see what happening during Legislative sessions only makes matters worse. From votes on Domestic Partnership to TIDDS, Ethics and Health Care Reform the incredible corruption, homophobia and outright stupidity of members of Democratic Party is horrifying.

What Progressives will do isn't clear today. As a start expect more work to Primary sitting members of the House and Senate and some direct actions against them to shine light on their actions.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hispanos Unidos - run for cover the Mexicans are comming!

Just saw this ad and its really, really bad - it totally misrepresents what that law would do -

The ad suggests that bus loads of folks, no doubt evil Mexicans, will be showing up at the polls to vote for the nasty Anti-American Democrats.

The truth is that while you can show up and vote you will cast a provisional ballot that won't be counted until you are legally registered as a voter. Now the ad doesn't say this but truth is not the issue here. This ad is meant to scare folks not inform them.

Since there are existing laws that deal with voting illegally anybody that cast a fraudulent ballot would be facing prosecution and jail time for their efforts.

Of course the ad doesn't tell you this but again truth isn't the issue here.

The ad is just an extension of the usual Republican refrain that there is massive voter fraud in New Mexico and all the Democrats want to do is make things worse. It would help the Republican's cause if they could point out a bunch of cases where illegal voting actually had occurred over the last few years but since they can't they just keep the drum beat going.

So what is Hispanos Unidos up to? And frankly who are they? From their web site the Organization's Mission Statement says it exist to:
"To educate citizens about the perils of big government and to support candidates whose platforms include minimization of government interference in the daily lives of Americans."

Below that it goes on to say:
Welcome to Hispanos Unidos, a non-partisian Political Action Committee dedicated to the belief that better government means less government.

I really love the "Non-Partisian" part! Wanna make a bet!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Martin Heinrich does as AIPAC tells him -

Sadly, one of Martin Heinrich's first acts in Congress was to support Israel's war on the Palestinian People by voting for Rep. Howard Berman's (D-Calif.) resolution expressing unequivocal support for the Israeli attack on Gaza. The resolution makes it very, very, very clear that without question and without doubt all the blame for the war and all responsibility to end it rests with Hamas. Ultimately, it encourages Israel to keep up the good work! To Martin it seems that Israel is incapable of doing wrong.

While the real reason for the Israeli attack on Gaza was to continue the Iron Wall Policy in effect since the 40's (essentially a long-term policy to subjugate the Palestinian People to Israeli will, for more on this see Another War, Another Defeat by John J. Mearsheimer) the supposed cause of this round of genocide was the 6,000 or so rockets that Hamas has fired at Israel over the last several years. These rockets resulted in the deaths of approximately 10 Israelis. Since the Gaza carnage began Israel's military has to date killed more than 1,300 Palestinians. No doubt Martin would approve the kill ratio for this excursion - a bit over 100 to 1. One wonders how Martin feels about Israel's habit of killing defenseless Palestinians - the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) seem to especially enjoy culling young Palestinian schoolchildren as an especially effective means of ethnic cleansing.

Ultimately, Martin looks to be yet another mindless tool of AIPAC. Certainly he is not alone - see Glen Greenwald's article Unanimous Consent in the Jan. 26th, 2009 issue of The American Conservative. It appears that AIPAC owns both parties and both houses of Congress which now supports the consensus view that the Palestinians are just another sub-human race best left to the tender mercies of Israel's Government. Sadly, on this point, I doubt Martin will stray too far from the fold in the future.

Certainly, one thing is for sure - it didn't take Martin long to get blood on his hands.