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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fault Finding 

Wouldn't it be great if the president we elected now actually showed up?

Wouldn't it be great if the president who promised "change we can believe in" now actually started believing in it himself?

Wouldn't it be great if the lessons of Massachusetts did indeed put a stop to that awful Insurance Entitlement Act that the Senate passed and which our president has clearly preferred over the much better House bill?

Wouldn't it be great if our president stopped trying to cuddle up with Wall Street and Big Pharma and all the other bigs and started leading for the people, to take our government back from the Cleptocracy?

Wouldn't it be great if Barack Obama fired Rahm Emanuel? And the entire Treasury Department?

Whatever lessons they're learning this a.m. in Mugstomp-on-the-Potomac, we very seriously doubt that any of the above is included.

This is President Obama's fault.

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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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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The New Face of the Republican Party? 

Meet Doug Hoffman, losing candidate for the U.S. Congress in the NY-23. Hoffman did NOT run and lose as a Republican. He ran and lost as a tea-bagging conservative. The GOP did NOT initially pick Hoffman as its candidate. No, it was worse than that. It picked a "moderate" Republican woman, Dede Scozzafava, who does not hate gay marriage and is pro-choice on abortion rights. Which led (as we're sure you know) to a major uprising within Republican and tea-bagger ranks. Ended up that every major Republican presidential hopeful in 2012, along with many other prominent national Republican spokespeople, bailed on Scozzafava and started endorsing Mr. Creepy Man Hoffman. Got so bad that Scozzafava pulled out of the race and endorsed the Democrat, the Unknown Man, Bill Owens, who won last night ... the first Democrat to be elected from the NY-23 since before the Civil War. Put that in your tea bag and steep it!

If this is what the conservative movement brings to the Republican Party, GOP operatives have very little to be strutting about this a.m. Exit polling in both Virginia and New Jersey strongly suggest that the voters in those states were not lashing out at President Obama. They were lashing out at Corzine in New Jersey (good riddance to all such present and former Goldman Sachs bankers, sez I). In Virginia, the 2008 Obama voters stayed home and demonstrated that Virginia definitely ain't for lovers. It's for old people.

Certainly, in North Carolina Tom Fetzer and the state GOP have precious little to crow about (from what we've been able to see so far this a.m.). But more on that in a subsequent post.

The elections in New Jersey and Virginia WERE about Obama in one way: those states went for him a year ago because he promised change, he promised an up-ending of "business as usual," he promised visionary leadership and progressive ideals. He has not delivered. He surrounded himself with the wrong people, and instead of dynamic leadership, we've gotten maddening caution and Rahm Emanuel. I might have sat at home myself in New Jersey or Virginia yesterday.

We keep hoping that the other Barack Obama, the one who won that huge election a year ago and told us things were going to be different, is eventually going to actually inhabit the Oval Office.

If he doesn't, 2010 will indeed be awful.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Yes We Can't 

A few days ago a large manila envelop arrived in the mail. In it, an 8 x 10 glossy photograph of the 44th President of the United States, a little keepsake just for us (and a few million other of his supporters, we guess), a small reminder that he still holds us in high esteem, a billet-doux with a clear subtext: "Do you still love me?"

How did he know? How did he guess that our affection has been going south ever since it became abundantly clear that his message during the campaign about actual, fundamental change to American corporate cronyism was pretty much political theater (and just as nourishing)?

Okay, okay, we know all that cobwebby stuff about pragmatism and compromise being the lifeblood of political progress, that no one ever actually gets immediately what would be right and just but must accept baby steps and half-measures ... like, say, the House Democratic health-reform bill trotted out yesterday by Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the party leadership as though it were The Tablets brought down from Sinai.

So far, we ain't buying it, keeping in mind that the severely watered-down House version of health reform is just the starting point for further watering down, as everything in the weeks ahead tips rightward toward the real bill that will eventually emerge as the so-called "victory" for Change in America: that is to say, a huge corporate give-away with a mythical "trigger" meant to rein in the corporations some day down the road, like maybe never.

I think I'm just not cut out for compromise. "Compromise is never anything but an ignoble truce between the duty of a man and the terror of a coward." Somebody said that. I don't know who. Whoever it was obviously knew some Democrats, probably Blue Dogs.

It dawned on a lot of us months ago that the 44th President of the United States made a deal with big insurance corporations and Big Pharma and gawd knows who else approximately 30 minutes after Rahm Emanuel installed his favorite coffee mug on his White House desk, a deal that this administration would NOT challenge corporate control of our government and the legislative process. They've been dodging around ever since, trying to get someone else, like Harry Reid in the Senate, to take the fall for failing to deliver real reform. The White House is the culprit. They have not negotiated in good faith, far as we can tell.

So, no, I ain't happy, and I haven't framed your picture yet.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Never Go in a Room Alone With Rahm Emanuel 

Jane Hamsher sez that Richard Trumka, the new president of the AFL-CIO and heretofore a strong advocate for the public option, has been summoned to the White House today for a conference with that prick Rahm Emanuel, which means, according to Hamsher, that Trumka will cave to the Profane Blowtorch.

For the long-term health of a recently reborn Democratic Party, here's the crux for Hamsher, and for us:
"...I defy anyone to find me one single example of the White House twisting one arm for a public option. Just one. But when Rahm and Trumka meet today, it will be after a month of very serious threats to the AFL-CIO carried out at the highest levels. It's the kind of 'arm twisting' that only the executive branch is capable of, and it has been done to crush support for a public option, not opposition."

We didn't vote for Rahm Emanuel to be the head of government.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Shuler Mad at Democrats in His District 

Heath Shuler of the NC-11 reportedly held a meeting with Democratic Party leaders in Haywood County that reportedly turned rather ugly. Seems that those Democratic loyalists were pressing Shuler on why he was such a g.d. Blue Dog and wouldn't support a public option for health insurance. Shuler has shown flashes of irritation before with Democrats who just don't seem to understand that a Blue Dog hears a different whistle.

Shuler's name is now the first signature on a letter that Blue Dogs wrote to Henry Waxman demanding that certain language in H.R.3200 that PhRMA doesn't like be changed to language that PhRMA likes much better because (hey!) PhRMA wrote it after Billy Tauzin and other big drug company wheeler-dealers had a meeting with Rahm Emanuel and the President during which a bribe of $150 million was offered by PhRMA to promote the president's health-care "reform," so long as that "reform" did not include any price controls on the drug industry. Matt Taibbi has the inside scoop.

So guess what? Heath Shuler is about to be the recipient of some pro-Heath Shuler advertising by PhRMA, in appreciation for his service to killing real reform.

And actual Democrats are left wondering just how are we better off with corporate interests buying our guys just as assiduously as they bought the other guys.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Wish Never To See This Face Again 

Rahm Emanuel ... there's a swell guy.

Bad advice sometimes indicates a bad advisor.

If President Obama goes with Rahm, it's his trip. We'll not be joining him.

We'll concentrate instead on what we can do locally and turn off the national feeds, recognizing that there's not a damn thing we can do about the president following bad advice and throwing the progressives in his own party under the proverbial bus ... which is where Rahm has always seemed to prefer them.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Little Hope 

"And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand." I Kings 18:44

When I was a kid, that passage was preached on as a sign of water coming to a parched land, a sign of hope, so last night when this story moved onto the NYTimes site and was suddenly everywhere else in Left Blogistan, we felt a quickening of the pulse and our nostrils flared with the scent of precipitation after months of drought.

It's progress if the White House (Rahm, we're looking at you) is getting over its pipe dream of "bi-partisanship," if it's finally realizing that negotiating with Republicans is akin to negotiating with a croc that has already swallowed one of your two legs and is bent on munching your private parts.

As much as the tea-baggers et al. scream that they speak for America, they speak for a minority that lost the last election, that is bloody-minded and wedded to lies, that totes loaded firearms to presidential appearances, that confuses the noise of talk radio and cable TV with "the voice of (all) the people," that is into bullying and bluffing and (now, apparently) dancing with the stars.

Let 'em scream. It's music to our ears, 'cause as long as those particular jerks are screamin', we figger something good is also happening.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Is Rahm Emanuel Really That Petty? 

Politico is reporting that the Obama team dissed Howard Dean by deliberately staging the transfer of power at the Democratic National Committee while Doctor Dean was 7,000 miles away, where he was actually doing his job. Apparently, there'll be no acknowledgment of Dean's 50-state strategy as the proximate cause of the Obama victory ... let alone no high-profile job for Dean in the Obama administration.

Joe Trippi, who was Dean's main man in the primary campaign of 2004, says it's all Rahm Emanuel's doing.

The prick.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

'Emanuel' Means 'God With Us' 

I can applaud the appointment of Rahm Emanuel as the President-elect's chief of staff because it's evidence of Obama's executive skill. You get the meanest sumbitch you know to make sure the trains run on time. It's not that you necessarily WANT the meanest sumbitch (that's just icing on the cake, far as I'm concerned); it's because Emanuel has a proven track record of getting stuff done.

But we haven't forgotten how wrong Rahm Emanuel was back in the spring of 2006 when he got into a shouting match with Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean over how best to run the fall races that year. The meanest sumbitch in the Democratic Congressional caucus met his match in Howard Dean, who had taken over the DNC in 2005 with the express intention of launching a 50-state strategy.

Dean was right. Emanuel was wrong. Dean, in fact, deserves no small credit for what just happened last Tuesday. Without Howard Dean's change of direction from the Clinton-era tactic of triangulation and targeted spending (a.k.a., giving up on over half the land-mass of North America), Barack Obama would never have won North Carolina. Nor probably Virginia. Nor Indiana. I won't go on, though I could.

We have no quarrel with Emanuel's hard-nosed effectiveness and don't even blame him for flaming out with Dean over a difference of opinion. We're just glad he's going to be in the White House to take orders from Obama. Someone said on TV last night that Obama seems to be a "born executive leader," and having a dependable hit-man is what every born executive needs for Christmas.

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