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Friday, December 18, 2009

Obama Losing His Base 

It's his fault. It's President Obama's fault. What ... he thought he could rev up a coalition that wanted real reform and then betray it with a sell-out to corporate money and to Joe Lieberman? Apparently, he and his advisors naively thought that everyone would just fall right into step behind The Insurance Company Bail-Out Act of 2009, that his fans would accept any bill rather than a good one.

The web-based Obama troops, 13,000,000 of us on the Organizing for America (OFA) listserv, received e-mails on Wednesday, asking us to phonebank our senators to support the Joe Lieberman version of health insurance reform. We contacted Kay Hagan, all right, but not to urge her to support that piece of garbage. Politico sez the revolt is widespread and going viral:
One leading OFA volunteer in Florida blasted an email to a statewide listserv urging activists to "just say no" to the phone-banking effort -- uncorking a torrent of frustration from Florida Democrats -- while some OFA subscribers replied directly to the call-to-action email with angry messages and others asked to be removed from the list entirely.

Dave Hearn, an optician in Iowa who helped organize for Obama's campaign said that the president "is taking for granted that the volunteers who worked so hard for him were going to buy in to whatever strategy he chose to pass his major legislative initiative .... What am I going to say: 'I hate this bill, but we're Obama people, so let's do it?' "

That ain't working. Ain't working on any number of levels, and it's Obama fault for not fighting for what he said he wanted, both during the campaign and right regularly since he took office.

"If this bill passes, it will be because Joe Lieberman threw a hissy fit and was allowed to control what went into the bill," said Susan Smith, an OFA activist from Tampa. "That means that in the end, he had more power with President Obama and Senator Reid than we do. If he is rewarded, this tactic will be used over and over again to kill the progressive agenda."

Susan's got it right. Obama's got it wrong. It remains to be seen if this president can be a leader and a reformer or merely a jet-setting speech-maker.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Larry Kissell's Possible Primary Opponent 

Larry Kissell, the first-term Democrat representing the NC-8, voted against the health insurance bill which the U.S. House passed and which is several light years better than the hardened turd favored by Joe Lieberman and Barack Obama in the Senate.

Kissell has been in trouble with his Democratic base in the NC-8 ever since.

There's a movement to recruit lawyer Chris Koury to run against Kissell in the 2010 primary, and no less than the chair of the Mecklenburg Democrats is cheering Koury on.

There's going to be a lot more of this sort of primary activity if the Democrats in the U.S. Senate get their way with what they are currently proposing as "reform" of health insurance.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Eff Them All 

The effing Senate Democrats, at the behest of effing Rahm Emanuel, are producing an effing DISASTER of a so-called reform of health insurance, while making effing Joe Lieberman the Supreme Dictator of its contents, which puts us in the effing awkward position of having to applaud the inevitable NO vote that effing Madam Virginia Foxx will cast against whatever piece of shit finally emerges from the combination of the House and Senate bills, because, probably, the effing House Democrats will capitulate too.

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Democrats Determined to Self-Destruct 

Mr. Rahm Emanuel, representing the wishes of Mr. Barack Obama, ordered Sen. Harry Reid to kiss Sen. Joe Lieberman's ass yesterday, and Sen. Reid obediently got on his knees.

From all appearances, there will be no health insurance reform that means squat. Plus, from all appearances, Mr. Emanuel and Mr. Obama are intent on losing their majorities in both houses of Congress next year, because (hey!) the profits of Big Insurance Companies come first.

For his part, Sen. Lieberman is going to need more compass to strut:
Mr. Lieberman could not be happier. He is right where he wants to be -- at the center of the political aisle, the center of the Democrats' efforts to win 60 votes for their sweeping health care legislation. For the moment, he is at the center of everything -- and he loves it.

"My wife said to me, 'Why do you always end up being the point person here?' " he said, flashing a broad grin in an interview on Monday.

Sen. Lieberman is a post turtle who thinks God put him up there. We all know it was Rahm Emanuel.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

This Just In 

POLITICO Breaking News:

"The White House is encouraging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to cut a deal with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), which would mean eliminating the proposed Medicare expansion in the health reform bill, according to an official close to the negotiations. Lieberman threw health care reform into doubt Sunday when he told Reid that he would filibuster the bill if it allowed Americans ages 55 to 64 to purchase coverage in Medicare."

Oh Jeez.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I'm no fan of Joe "Droopy-Dog" Lieberman, and my disdain for him goes back a few moons beyond the time he jumped the Democratic ship and started campaigning -- hard -- against Barack Obama. I remember his blue-nosed, holier-than-thou scolding of Bill Clinton as the precise moment I began to hate the sound of his voice.

But when I began also to read the drum-beat among Democratic activists for a Lieberman auto-da-fe following the Nov. 4th election -- the demands that he be thrown out of his Senate chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee, etc. -- I thought (and still think), Gee, Barack might be needing his vote in the Republican filibusters to come. Despite Lieberman's appetites for Middle-East war-mongering, he's otherwise been a pretty dependable vote for Democratic initiatives.

I've been getting an earful in my own household about that wholly despicable, lower-than-pond-scum Lieberman, and then yesterday, when the Senate Democrats refrained from burning him at the stake, a whole new earful about that wholly despicable, lower-than-pond-scum bunch of Democratic senators for refusing to exact revenge against the traitor.

I have taken and continue to take a different view and am frankly surprised that the people who've most diligently bent my ear about Lieberman don't realize that ... it's just politics. But different now. It's Obama politics.

He said -- promised -- he was going to change the tone in Washington, the way stuff gets done. He said -- promised -- he was going to unify the country. It was Obama, not the Democratic senators, who gave Lieberman his reprieve from the death sentence. It was Obama whose name and reputation Lieberman attacked, and it was Obama who forgave him. It's not my place to insist on a public stoning of the heretic who's already been forgiven by the wronged party.

I think Obama's handling of Lieberman is ... cool, in so many senses of that word, maybe precisely because it goes against my own much hotter thirst for vengeance (in the final analysis, I discover I don't want a president who thinks exactly as I do). It's cool because it neutralizes Lieberman, who now owes Obama for his continued committee assignments. It's cool because it forestalls a sore point that the Republicans in the Senate were itching to massage.

All the froth -- and threats -- coming from certain quarters of Left Blogistan strike me as utterly predictable and totally wrong-headed. My mother used to call that sort of self-lacerating tantrum "Cutting off your nose to spite your face."

I'm not swayed, either, by the predictions that Lieberman has been given license to betray again, that he's like the German soldier spared execution in "Saving Private Ryan" only to come back and murder members of Tom Hanks's squad at the end of the movie. I think it more likely that Lieberman's near-death experience will make him more like George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life," allowed to return to home and hearth after getting a vision of what life would have been like if he'd never been born.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

McCain Goes All Wobbly on Abortion 

Talk about sending a message! After John McCain told The Weekly Standard yesterday that he would be open to a pro-choice running mate, Mullah James Dobson was last seen rising over Colorado Springs as a tiny but fully toxic mushroom cloud.

What, an approver of baby murder for Vice President of the United States on the Republican Party ticket????

Now maybe John McCain is perfecting the old head feint himself and intends to pick Bobby Jindal to cast out our national demons (well, at least the ones on the coasts), or just possibly he really is signaling that he'll pick Tom Ridge, the pro-choice ex-guv of Pennsylvania, or -- better! -- Joe Lieberman. We can always hope.

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