Saturday - Tune of the Day

Squirrel Nut Zippers - Put A Lid On It

Put a lid on it
Don't hand me that
Put a lid on it
I'm all right, Jack
Put a lid down on it, before somebody starts a fight.

Pulling The Trigger On The Public Option

Via Rachel Maddow

David Sirota (@3:25) explains why a trigger mechanism for the public option in health care reform proposal will ultimately mean the public option is never enacted.

The Damage Done

Via SC-02: Rep. Wilson (PPP 9/10-11)

Public Policy Polling (D)
9/10-11/09; 747 likely voters, 3.6% margin of error
Mode: IVR
(PPP release)

South Carolina 2nd Congressional District

Rep. Joe Wilson Job Approval
41% Approve, 47% Disapprove

2010 House
Rob Miller (D) 44%, Wilson 43%

Do you approve or disapprove of Joe Wilson's actions at Barack Obama's speech to Congress on Wednesday night?
29% Approve, 62% Disapprove

Does Joe Wilson calling the president a liar make you more or less likely to vote to re-elect

35% More likely, 49% Less likely, 16% No difference

Do you think that Barack Obama was lying when he said his health care plan would not cover illegal immigrants?
42% Yes, 46% No

9/11 Wants to Fade Into Your Rainy Background

Via the rude pundit

9/11 is tired of the hole at Ground Zero. She doesn't get it. Every year, she goes to the site of the Twin Towers, only to gaze at the crazy quilt boondoggle of cement and steel and mesh and wire, the strangeness of absence, the seeming refusal of the space to sprout, progress, grow. She was promised a mighty, twisting building that would stand there as Manhattan's proud erection, poking out of the bottom of the island, thrusting through the skies, a tribute to the Viagra-induced capitalists and politicians who would show just how unfuckably big and hard they could be.

And every year that passes, to 9/11, the hole, however much it's glacially filled, simply looks like the national sphincter.

9/11 is glad this year that she can move among the gathered people without anyone really noticing her. She walks in the rain, past people who are too lost in their private mourning and leaders who do not fetishize her like a pair of high heel shoes or latex panties. She is grateful for the respite, however long it will last, however much Sarah Palin or Dick Cheney try to set up appointments with her to use worn-out dildos on her exhausted snatch. That game is played out. She sees a return to normalcy, in a way, even with the wars in her name still going on, but with people questioning them in more and more open ways. She sees the new president call for "service" on her day, not just rage and teeth-gnashing and pledges of vengeance. Yes, she thinks, yes, she just wants to fade. But the hole there, in front of her, won't let her.

In the end, maybe there just needs to be a hole, she thinks. Surely it would cost less to maintain. Maybe it just needs to be like the cigarette burn scars left on her legs by Karl Rove, healed over, but still there, still itching every now and then, still allowing her to never really forget who she once was, but showing her that time passes and contexts change, that you really can move on.

TeaBagger Issues and Glenn Beck's "9-12 Project" Concerns

Anybody see the following major mainstream modern American concerns?
"Gun Rights"...? "Freedom of Speech"...? "Czars"...? "Constitutional Violations"...?
"Birth Certificates"...? "Internment Labor Camps"...? "Death Panels"...?
How about Socialism? Fascism?
Communism isn't there either?

WTF? Not even "ACORN"?

Via Gallup

Domestic Issues Dominate

The current "most important problem" data clearly indicate that Americans' attention is focused on domestic rather than international issues. Eight percent mention the war in Iraq -- which had been the top-rated issue for about four years, from 2004 to early 2008. Now, five domestic issues are more frequently mentioned. In addition to Iraq, 2% mention national security, and 1% each say terrorism, the military and national defense, the situation in the Middle East, and foreign aid.


Party Differences

The economy in general and healthcare are the top two issues among all party groups, with healthcare eclipsing the economy among Democrats, while the reverse is true among Republicans and independents.

There is greater variation by party on the next tier of issues, with unemployment a greater concern for Democrats, and the federal budget deficit and dissatisfaction with government greater concerns for Republicans and independents.


Guess what else is not really good news for Republicans in 2010/12

Economic Concern Fading

In recent months, Gallup has documented an uptick in consumer confidence. Coincident with that, Gallup finds a decline in the proportion of Americans mentioning "the economy" in general as the most important problem. In February, 57% of Americans did so, and the percentage has declined at least slightly each month since.

Also in February, 86% of Americans mentioned any economic issue -- including the economy in general, but also unemployment, the deficit, and inflation -- in response to this open-ended question. That combined percentage has also declined, and in September, just over half (57%) of Americans mention any economic issue.


Friday - Tune of the Day

Buster Poindexter - Hot Hot Hot

So we can rum bum bum bum
Yeah we rum bum bum bum

Special Comment: Joe "Wrong Way" Wilson

Via CountDown

Joe "Wrong Way" Wilson

Keith Olbermann calls out Rep Joe Wilson not for his shameful incivility in interrupting President Obama's health care reform speech before Congress, but for being glaringly stupidly publicly... wrong.

Via C&L

Looking into the background of Rep. Joe Wilson, R-South Carolina, after his heckling of President Obama last night, I came across this:

Joe also has been a member of the Columbia World Affairs Council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Sinclair Lodge 154, Jamil Temple, Woodmen of the World, Sons of Confederate Veterans

This is an organization that, as the SPLC has detailed assiduously, has been taken over in the past decade by radical neo-Confederates who favor secession and defend slavery as a benign institution. Leading the takeover is a radical racist named Kirk Lyons, who's been an important legal figure on the far right for some years.

In more recent years, the takeover has led to an outright internal civil war. Andrew Meacham at the St. Petersburg Times detailed the internal rift last year:

Experts say the divisions within the Sons vary between two extremes. On one side are the traditionalists, members who focus on cleaning up Confederate grave sites and conducting Civil War re-enactments.

On the other side are the so-called Lunatics, up to 2,000 members who deride traditionalists as "grannies'' and belong to camps named after notorious Southern figures such as John Wilkes Booth and Jesse James.

John Wilkes Booth members have been known to put pennies in urinals, making sure to leave the Lincoln side face-up. Other Lunatic groups have removed the U.S. flag from their halls and banned the Pledge of Allegiance, says Walter Hilderman, who several years ago created an anti-Lunatic group called Save the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

"The problem is it's supposed to be a patriotic organization," says Hilderman, 59. "You are either that or you let guys in who want to secede."

As Heidi Beirich at the SPLC reported, this rift has led to Lyons himself coming under harsh attack from his own right flank. The SCV is a serious mess.

Now, add this to the fact that Joe Wilson, as a state legislator, was one of only seven Republicans to go against their own party and vote to keep the Dixie Rebel flag flying over the South Carolina capitol:

The flag came down that year after Republicans in both houses went for a compromise that would put it on Statehouse grounds at the Confederate Soldier’s monument. The “Magnificent Seven” of Senators who voted to keep the flag up included current Congressman Joe Wilson (who I served with in the 218th Infantry Brigade of the National Guard.)

A clearer picture of why this congressman might so virulently breach protocol and loudly interrupt an African-American president's speech to Congress by calling him a liar does start to emerge, doesn't it?


[Members of the James Younger Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in 2006.]

Via San Diego News Network

In 2003, Wilson called it “unseemly” for the mixed-race daughter of Sen. Strom Thurmond, Essie Mae Washington-Williams, to identify the longtime South Carolina senator as her father after his death.

“It’s a smear on the image that (Thurmond) has as a person of high integrity who has been so loyal to the people of South Carolina,” he told The State newspaper of Columbia. Wilson had worked as an intern in Thurmond’s office. After a public outcry, he said he had the utmost respect for Washington-Williams.

The 10.31 Project

Via Comedy Central

Stephen wants you to ring doorbells and demand that your neighbors make a tangible commitment to America in the form of a sugary treat.

Palin: "So Much For Civility" With Obama's Debunking of Death Panels


In a Facebook post responding to President Obama's speech last night, Sarah Palin said that Obama's debunking of the "death panel" smear -- which she has propagated -- showed a lack of civility:

"In his speech the President directly responded to concerns I've raised about unelected bureaucrats being given power to make decisions affecting life or death health care matters," Palin wrote. "He called these concerns "bogus," "irresponsible," and "a lie" -- so much for civility."

Yes, Palin is saying Obama lacks civility. This from the politician who said this: "The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil."

As Greg Sargent notes, Palin also accused Obama in this post of demonizing the victims of the September 11 attacks, when he criticized the Republicans for launching the Iraq War without paying for it. So many angles right there...

Thursday - Tune of the Day

The White Stripes - Jolene

I had to have this talk with you
My happiness depends on you
And whatever you decide to do, Jolene

Live Whiskey-Blogging the President's Health Care Speech

Via Rude Pundit

So here we are, once again, the Evan Williams on the coffee table, the tumbler with two fingers in it to start (oh, it'll be a fist of whiskey by the end), the CSPAN on the TV since the Rude Pundit can't stomach any of the news networks pulling out quotes to keep below the President on screen like comic strip bubbles for the ignorant. What's the over/under on standing o's? And what about Republican boos? (Please let there be Republican boos.)

And away we go (all quotes pretty much guaranteed to be wrong in wording, but correct in spirit):

8:11: Obama enters, Mitch McConnell behind him looking as happy as a leather queen at a prison rodeo, Harry Reid a diminutive fucking Golem. Do they each know something the rest of us don't?

8:14: It's probably too soon to say this, but Ted Kennedy's widow is a total hottie.

8:16: He's starting by establishing his street cred: "Hey, motherfuckers, I've gotten shit done."

8:17: A standing ovation for the unemployed. The last time that'll happen in the Congress for a long ass time.

8:18: It's be awesome if he used the word "cockmongers" tonight. "Twatmongers" would be nice, too.

8:19: He's there to talk about health care, he says. And Republicans are not applauding. Who's the designated yelling guy on the Democratic side? Christ, that dude sounds like he's in pain.

8:20: "Everyone understands" the hardships of the uninsured, which is a bit optimistic on his part. Saying that Republicans understand hardships is like saying that a rattlesnake understands how shitty the desert actually is.

8:22: He's personalizing it with stories about how insurance companies are cockmongers. (See how useful that would be? Such instantaneous shorthand.)

8:24: By invoking auto companies and trade, he's making a specifically capitalist argument. "Our health care problem is our deficit problem."

8:25: "These are the facts." Facts? What country does he think he's talking to? Facts are to Americans as salads are to Americans.

8:27: Is he gonna take some people to the woodshed? "The time for games has passed," he says.

8:28: "The plan I'm announcing tonight..." Death panels and meat grinders?

8:29: Here's the plan: nothing in this plan "will require you to change the doctor that you have." Ahh, but the cockmongers outside the plan will.

8:30: Against the law to have coverage denied for pre-existing conditions. Fat bastards on both sides heave themselves up to wheezily applaud. Against the law for insurance companies to drop your coverage. No caps. A limit on out of pocket expenses. "In America, no one should go broke because they get sick." Insurance must cover asshole and boob stuff.

8:32: For those without insurance, you can get coverage - how? How? Insurance exchange...yeah? And? And?

8:33: Okay, sure, same coverage as Congress? For those unable to afford it, there will be tax credits. Immediately offer catastrophic care - a McCain idea. He's reaching out to Republicans, who will no doubt respond by trying to fuck his face.

8:36: Gets laughed at for saying there's details to work out. Yeah, he kind of deserved that.

8:37: Takes on death panels directly. "It is a lie, plain and simple." Did the President of the United States just call Chuck Grassley and John McCain liars?

8:38: Someone just yelled "lie" at him about covering illegals. From Obama, a fucking death stare. No dollars to fund abortion and federal "conscience" laws stay in place. None of this shit will appease the evangelical and/or nutzoid right. They don't care. A black Democrat is proposing this. That's all that matters.

8:41: "I have no interest in putting insurance companies out of business...I just want to hold them accountable." Says we need to make a "not for profit" option. Okay, good. Keep going. What do you mean, man? Fucking say it.

8:43: Nice analogy to private colleges versus public ones. And now he's hedging on it. But now he's not. More whiskey. More goddamned whiskey needed.

8:44: He's asking Republicans to behave rationally. "I will not back down" on providing Americans "with a choice" if they can't afford coverage.

8:46: Is he coming out strongly for the public option? He's promising to not raise the deficit. And he just sucker-punched Bush supporters, some of whom stood to applaud him saying that there were too many deficit-funded initiatives.

8:47: Says he's talking to seniors, yet he doesn't raise his voice, so he doesn't really care if they hear him.

8:52: Brings up tort reform and a whole group of white men in dark suits just stood up in the room, which ought to make any black man nervous.

8:53: Compares the cost to the Iraq/Afghanistan wars and the Bush tax cuts. Republicans sit down and cry. (Gotta say: $90 billion a year ain't a whole fuck of a lot in the scheme of the American budget.)

8:54: He just cut off a bunch of Republicans at the knees, like Jim DeMint, by saying he won't deal with people who want to kill the bill.

8:55: "If you misrepresent this plan, we will call you out."

8:56: Big ending - a letter from Ted Kennedy. (Okay, yeah, that earlier thing about his widow was totally inappropriate, but still...)

9:00: This is the fucking President, man, that the Rude Pundit voted for, this one, here at the end, laying it out plainly, with history and smarts, and empathy, "when only timidity passes for wisdom," that's some great shit.

9:02: He says, "We did not come here to fear the future. We came here to shape it." Republicans don't stand. This is for Americans now. He is shaming Republicans and they are gonna be mightily pissed. Look forward to right wingers saying, "He's a masterful speaker, but" on an endless loop.

But what the fuck did he believe? No, really. There was no bottom line beyond the shit he says they all agree on. Otherwise, the public option is what he wants, but he's open for other ideas. What's the bottom fucking line? What's the endgame?

Oh, wait...9:06: Charles Boustany of Louisiana? The Rude Pundit has met that backwards ass fucker and his racist family. What's he saying? Ah, fuck him.

Joe Wilson Apologizes For Shouting "You Lie!" At Obama

Via Ryan Grim

Fresh from a month of acrimonious town halls, House Republicans arrived for President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night with signs, props, and a lot of attitude.

But at least one congressman went way too far. Rep. Joe Wilson shouted "You lie!" after Obama denied that his health care proposal would cover illegal immigrants.

All eyes turned in the South Carolina Republican's direction -- including Obama's, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's and Vice President Joe Biden's.

Wilson, looking agitated, leaned forward and began tapping away at his BlackBerry, as if he were Googling up proof that the president had, in fact, lied.

"Shame on you!" shouted someone from the Democratic side. "Throw him out!" shouted someone else. First Lady Michelle Obama, seated behind and above Wilson, seemed to mouth a drawn-out "damn" at the scene unfolding before her.

Not long after the speech ended, Wilson issued an apology.

"This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President's remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill," he said. "While I disagree with the President's statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility."
Wilson also called the White House to apologize.

Wilson's wasn't the only disruption, though it was the most extreme. Throughout the speech, Republican members of Congress repeatedly held up stacks of papers that appeared to represent ideas they had for the bill.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) held signs that read "What Bill?" and "What Plan?"

When Obama told the chamber that the "death panel" lie was, in fact, a lie, a Republican member said loudly enough to be heard in the press gallery, "Read the bill" -- a common refrain at August's angry town hall meetings.

When Obama told the chamber that he had "no interest in putting insurance companies out of business," a Republican member responded with a loud, "Ha!"

"Nineteen years, never, never have I seen anything like this," said a furious Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) after the speech.

"I thought it was very inappropriate behavior, to hold up signs. None of us ever would have done that," said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). "I don't think in the Congress of the United States there ought to be catcalls, or people standing up and yelling comments or holding up signs."

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), the longest serving member in House history, said he was not impressed by the GOP antics. "Well, you've got to understand: They're Republicans. They're just doing what comes natural," he told HuffPost.

Obama, in his speech, referenced Dingell's father for first introducing universal health care legislation in 1943. Dingell has introduced such a bill every year he's been in Congress and today's House bill bears his name.

"I am not the first President to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last," Obama said of the long history of failed efforts. It struck a chord with Dingell. "The best speech I've ever heard on the floor of the House," he said.

Meghan McCain Loves Rod Blagojevich So Much

Via Wonkette

The biggest television event of the day has already occurred, and it has nothing to do with Obama and death care. Meghan McCain has been guest-hosting the ladies’ television program The View, and today’s celebrity drop-ins included Mr. Rod Blagojevich and his lovely wife Miss Lady. Meghan tells Blago that he is “ballsy” for writing a book. “You definitely must feel like you didn’t do anything wrong I mean to write a book and whatever like that’s how secure you are that this is something else?” “Well that’s exactly right, Meghan.”

"Because of Lies Spread By the Evil Liberal Media"

Wednesday - Tune of the Day

Billy Idol - Rebel Yell

She said honey baby
You got a license for love
And if it expires
Bring hell from above

Schoolhouse Crock

Via Rachel Maddow

"insane" "berserk" "partisan" "out-of-touch"
Mark McKinnon, Former Bush and McCain Media Advisor

Is Our Wingnuts Learnin' Good?

Via Countdown

Vulgar Florida GOP Chair Made Obama Give Non-Socialist Education Speech

Via Wonkette

Here is insane Florida death-monster Jim Greer, the famous state Republican party chair who last week shouted these important words, at America: “The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the President justify his plans for government-run care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs, and racking up more debt than any other President, is not only infuriating, but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power.” But then he read the speech and… and… and it was okay BUT NOT WHAT OBAMA ORIGINALLY WANTED TO TELL THE YOUNGS, which was probably “Free cocksucking for all.”

If you decline to watch this fellow eat crow for five full minutes in the video above, then maybe just read this hilarious excerpt from the New York Times today:

After reading the text on Monday, even Jim Greer, the Florida Republican Party chairman who last week accused the president of seeking to use the speech to foist “socialist ideology” on schoolchildren, said he could find nothing to criticize in its text.

“In its current form, it’s fine,” Mr. Greer said in an interview. “But it remains to be seen if it’s the speech he’s going to give.”

Did anyone watch it? Did he, as Jim Greer suspected, give the secret “Free cocksucking for all” speech to America’s dumb children?

Greer - Still on media tour, still says White House is lying [Orlando Sentinel]

Robert Reich Explains The Public Option

Via jacobkornbluthdotcom

Robert Reich speaks directly on what the 'public option' is and why it is so important to health care reform.

How Can School Children Help President GW Bush?

Via Cesca

What else do you call this? From August, 2004:

Several Democrats who wanted to hear Vice President Dick Cheney speak in New Mexico on July 31st were required to recite an unusual pledge of allegiance. Before allowing them to attend Cheney's speech at Rio Rancho Mid-High School, the Bush campaign demanded they sign an endorsement form saying they support the president. A campaign spokesman said the pledge was intended to weed out Democrats who might disrupt the event -- but the "loyalty oath" infuriated many voters. "I resent the school that my taxes paid for being used for an event that's restricted to people who sign a pledge to the Republican Party," said Jim Brown, a longtime resident of Rio Rancho.

Then again a black president urging kids to stay in school is much, much worse.

Obama School Speech: Every Student Has Something To Offer

Via HuffPo

(AP) ARLINGTON, Va. — In a pep talk that kept clear of politics, President Barack Obama on Tuesday challenged the nation's students to take pride and ownership in their education – and stick with it even if they don't like every class or must overcome tough circumstances at home.

"Every single one of you has something that you're good at. Every single one of you has something to offer," Obama told students at Wakefield High School in suburban Arlington, Va., and children watching his speech on television in schools across the country. "And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is."


Presidents often visit schools, and Obama was not the first one to offer a back-to-school address aimed at millions of students in every grade. Yet this speech came with a dose of controversy, as several conservative organizations and many concerned parents warned Obama was trying to sell his political agenda. That concern was caused in part by an accompanying administration lesson plan encouraging students to "help the president," which the White House later revised.

Obama preceded his broad-scale talk with a meeting with Wakefield students, where at one point he advised them to "be careful what you post on Facebook. Whatever you do, it will be pulled up later in your life."

Obama, accompanied by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, met with some 40 students gathered in a school library before the speech carried on ESPN and on the White House Web site.

"When I was your age," Obama said, "I was a little bit of a goof-off. My main goal was to get on the varsity basketball team and have fun."

The uproar over his speech followed him across the Potomac River, as his motorcade was greeted by a small band of protesters. One carried a sign exclaiming: "Mr. President, stay away from our kids."

During his meeting inside, one young person asked why the country doesn't have universal health insurance. "I think we need it. I think we can do it," Obama replied. The president said the country can afford to insure all Americans and that doing so will save money in the long run.

Obama is not the first president to give such a school-opening talk, but his plans seemed to almost immediately get plunged in controversy. Critics accused him of overstepping his authority, and school districts in some areas decided not to provide their students access to his midday speech.

Duncan acknowledged Tuesday that some of the prepared guidance for school officials included a suggestion that students could compose essays stating how they could help support Obama – an idea the education secretary acknowledged was wrongheaded.

In his conversation with the Wakefield students, Obama said that not having a father at home "forced me to grow up faster."

One young person asked the president whom he would choose to dine with if he could make only one such selection.

"Gandhi," Obama replied. "He's somebody I find a lot of inspiration in. He inspired Dr. (Martin Luther) King" with his message of nonviolence.

"He ended up doing so much and changed the world just by the power of his ethics," Obama said of the inspirational leader Mahatma Gandhi. At another point, Obama told the students that "a lot of people are counting on me."

Obama proceeded later with the speech the White House had released a day early, virtually unchanged. The school he chose as the setting for his talk – Wakefield – is the most economically and racially diverse school in Arlington County, according to the Department of Education. Nearly 40 percent of graduating seniors pass an Advanced Placement test. That's more than twice the national average.

"There is no excuse for not trying" he said in the speech. He said students must be individually responsible for their education, and that it's important to work hard, pay attention in school and complete assignments.

"Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it," Obama said. "The truth is, being successful is hard. You won't love every subject that you study. You won't click with every teacher that you have."

"At the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents and the best schools in the world, and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities," the president said.

PARTICIPATE: President Obama offered a heartfelt pep talk to the nation's students today and HuffPost wants to hear reactions from students and teachers alike. Press the "Particpate" button below to share your thoughts.

For teachers, tell us both what stood out for you and for your students. If possible, include a picture of your classroom.

For students of all ages, tell us about the speech in whatever medium most interests you. This could be a poem, drawing or a description of how it has changed your perception of homework and the school year that lays ahead.

To contribute, press the "Participate" button below. Include your name in the title, write your response in the description box, include a photo of yourself or your classroom, and mark on the map where your school is located.

We'll be featuring your reactions to the speech as they are submitted.

Tuesday - Tune of the Day

Prince - Cream

U're so good
Baby there ain't nobody better (Ain't nobody better)
So U should
Never, ever go by the letter (Never ever)
U're so cool (Cool)
Everything U do is success
Make the rules (Rules)
Then break them all cuz U are the best

Monday - Tune of the Day

The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony

I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah
I let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind , I feel free now
But the airwaves are clean and there's nobody singing to me now

Sunday - Tune of the Day

Garbage - You Look So Fine

I'm not like all the other girls
I won't take it like the other girls
I won't fake it like the other girls
That you used to know