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Friday… 14 August 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, Divertissements.

A new born male Masai girraffe is tended to by his brother Jack, left, and father Kiva at the Houston City Zoo in Houston

A variation on mothers and sisters tending to the baby…


UPDATE, 6:23 pm on the Pacific Ocean

Oops I had meant to include this, a link to Froomkin’s second post at HuffPo…

[B]y contrast, the Obama White House was a model of transparency — for two, maybe three days. It was a brief Golden Age, reaching its pinnacle on that glorious Day Two, when the president dramatically proclaimed that “the way to make government accountable is make it transparent so that the American people can know exactly what decisions are being made, how they’re being made, and whether their interests are being well served.”

Once the White House press corps had endured a few briefings with consistently cagey Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, however, it quickly became clear that the relative guilelessness some of us had hoped for was nowhere to be found. Indeed, the internal workings of this White House have turned out to be almost as opaque as the last one.

And now comes the Obama White House’s first really major credibility crisis. If you believe that the White House made major concessions to Big Pharma in a secret deal last month — and the evidence for that is considerable — then there’s a name for the series of conflicting denials that Gibbs and others have issued in the last week. It’s called lying.

How did it come to this? I think the answer is actually quite simple. Obama, and/or Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and/or Senior Adviser David Axelrod, and/or confidante Valerie Jarrett — in other words, whatever combination of people are actually making the decisions over there — are trying to do something impossible. They’re trying to make everyone happy in the health-care debate.  …snip…

Or make all but ObamaBots (and PhRMA types) unhappy, more likely.

And, I don’t ever want to discount the power of racism, much less nativism, in this country, but much more is swinging the pendulum, to the extent it is swinging…

It’s not surprising to me that Obama’s poll numbers are going down. Part of that is most assuredly due to a GOP-fueled resurgence of the ugliest aspects of our national character — nativism, racism, and know-nothingism — within a population that it’s hard to imagine were big Obama boosters in the first place. But I suspect the poll numbers are also reflecting a growing disillusionment among those who placed a lot of hope in an Obama presidency — disillusionment that he’s not standing up for what the people who voted for him stood up for in November.

And not just disillusionment, either. Anger, too. Professor Drew Westen, an astute analyst of the national psyche, blogged yesterday that “if Americans are starting to turn populist anger toward a White House that has doggedly refused to focus that anger where it belongs — toward the banks, the mortgage brokers, the regulators who failed to regulate, the oil companies that have blocked energy reform for decades while racking up record profits, the health insurance companies that make their profits by denying coverage and discriminating against the ill, the pharmaceutical companies whose lobbyists have negotiated away the right to negotiate, and the Republicans who bankrupted the treasury during the eight long years of the Bush Presidency and crashed the economy on their way out — I can understand why.”

As the concrete mixing trucks roll into town…




1. lucid - 14 August 2009

Wow… Rachel Maddow got Dick Armey fired from DLA Piper by her reporting on the astroturfing groups behind the town hall mobs & she’s gonna be on Meet the Press with Dick Armey on Sunday… hmm – might have to watch.

Far be it from me to like anyone in the MSM, but I really have to say, I really like Rachel Maddow.

marisacat - 14 August 2009

pretty good, huh?

lucid - 14 August 2009

I’ve always liked her [and the way she would dispatch Pat Buchanan like a whimpering child], but her reporting this August on the townhalls has been almost Amy Goodman-esque. She’s been very thorough in uncovering the corporate PR, lobbying, legal and other firms that are directly funding or staffing the groups organizing the mobs, naming names, associations, clients and everything. I’m kind of amazed that GE is allowing this on their corporate news station.

catnip - 14 August 2009

She was just another annoying Obama cheerleader during the campaign.

marisacat - 14 August 2009

yes… I am glad for what tshe does now… but it is true. AND the party made her Gerry Ferraro’s “minder” after the use the Obama camp made of the Torrance Breeze interview. Then Gerry was a racist, suddenly. For saying things that Ob, Kerry and McCaskill all said. I put up all their quotes at the time and a Chicago Trib interview with ob (which was posted at his campaign site and had been for months), saying the same damned thing. He benefitted from unusual aspects of his run.

So when Gerry was interviewed on net work morning shows, there was Maddow, to interrupt and save Gerry from herself.

But you know, thankful for what she does now.

Ferraro, big racist. Claire and Kerry, co horts.

It was all old months ago.

lucid - 14 August 2009

While she was definitely carrying water during the campaign, especially after she got her show, there was always an element to her approach that was not quite right with MSM land. Yes, during the campaign, she defended Ob with the same zealousness of the others at the MSNBOBAMA network, but the way she did it was different. The way she would show the backside of her hand to Buchanan’s face was priceless, and something none of the boyos ever had the balls to do. I’ve followed her since the crowning as well, and she does not shy away from criticism, or the crazies. When a wingnut goes on her show, it really is hardball – same for a middling Dem.

I don’t deny that she is still beholden, but she is the first major ‘news anchor’ in as long as I can remember that speaks some truth to power, without wagging any fingers. And has done so consistently.

catnip - 15 August 2009

Considering that I haven’t had access to MSNBC for months now, I’m not going to argue that she’s still the fawning sycophant she was last year. I didn’t mean to give that impression. That was just my opinion of her ridiculous performance during the campaign,

Madman in the Marketplace - 14 August 2009

Maddow does some good stuff on things like the astroturfing and the anti-women groups.

2. marisacat - 14 August 2009

Cockburn in CPunch:

[I]t’s not going to happen, any more than Obama will nationalize the banks and tell householders to repudiate their mortgages. The insurance industry, the drug industry, the real estate and finance sector are the most powerful forces in the country. They’ve just got Obama to commit $23 trillion to their enduring welfare. They’re not going to surrender the treasure trove known as healthcare without serious blood-letting on the barricades. They own the Congress. Men like former Democratic senate leader Tom Daschle spring to do their bidding. So, Obama finally produced a timid compromise, whereby uninsured people would be herded under various health insurance umbrellas with “a public component.” Even if the health industry’s hired man, Senator Max Baucus, had not deep-sixed the public component, the insurance industry could swallow it like a python swallowing a field mouse. Though Obama sometimes confides that the public component of his plan is the springboard to full-bore single payer national health, this is transparent fantasy. In present political conditions, the publicly insured component would soon become a ghetto, offering minimal care to the indigent, and gradually shriveled into some sort of punitive maintenance scheme. [BINGO!—Mcat]

It’s sometimes argued that a decent single payer system would be functional to U.S. capitalism, since industries like the auto sector would be liberated from the burden of health costs. There are scores of decent policies that would be functional to US capitalism. But the soul of US capitalism is wedded to indecency. Consider torture and the death penalty. Critics of these procedures sometimes argue that they don’t work, or are inefficient. People spout out lies amid their torments. Innocent people die in the gas chamber and the justice system is injured in reputation thereby.. But the real allure of torture and capital punishment for the owners of the system is to instill fear and compliance precisely by the demonstration of vindictive irrationality. snip

And lack of comprehensive health care is so clearly “a demonstraton of vindictive irrationality”.

3. marisacat - 14 August 2009

08.14.09 — 6:11PM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (37)

What’s Wrong with this Picture?

Senate Democrats have given a seat at the bargaining table to a senator who first endorsed the “death panel” canard and is now going around hawking copies of Glenn Beck books.

–Josh Marshall

I dunno Josh. What is wrong with the picture?

4. BooHooHooMan - 14 August 2009

{ In the midst of August lotion and lather…}

Toxic Loans Topping 5% May Push 150 Banks to Point of No Return

By Ari Levy

Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) — More than 150 publicly traded U.S. lenders own nonperforming loans that equal 5 percent or more of their holdings, a level that former regulators say can wipe out a bank’s equity and threaten its survival.

{ How odd honey…why ..
all the surf seems to have been just sucked off the beach…}

The number of banks exceeding the threshold more than doubled in the year through June, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, as real estate and credit-card defaults surged. Almost 300 reported 3 percent or more of their loans were nonperforming, a term for commercial and consumer debt that has stopped collecting interest or will no longer be paid in full.

The biggest banks with nonperforming loans of at least 5 percent include Wisconsin’s Marshall & Ilsley Corp. and Georgia’s Synovus Financial Corp., according to Bloomberg data. Among those exceeding 10 percent, the biggest in the 50 U.S. states was Michigan’s Flagstar Bancorp. All said in second- quarter filings they’re “well-capitalized” by regulatory standards, which means they’re considered financially sound.

All said…which means…

They’re Lying? That It’s safe to head out towards that returning wave?

5. BooHooHooMan - 14 August 2009

But you knoooo, there is the TBTF / AIEBAP factor…
Too Big To Fail And It Even Be A Problem.
I mean the Banks ripped off so much it couldbe okay, right?

Juuust. can’t. seeem….
to figure out how it will…, yahnoh- ,
{treading water/ circular massage motion}

6. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2009
7. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2009

After the Deluge

Eggers starts things out at a slow simmer, two days before the storm arrives, with tension in the air, people fleeing, anxiety as heavy as the humidity. It’s Hitchcock before the birds attack. Once he starts to turn up the gas, he never lets up. Kathy flees with the children, first to a crowded, anxious house of relatives in Baton Rouge and then west to Phoenix. She begs Zeitoun to join them. But he’s been through storms before, he says, and besides, somebody needs to stay behind and watch the fort.

Katrina hits on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2005, the same day as the mandatory evacuation ordered by the mayor. It’s a Category 5 storm, with winds over 150 miles an hour. Zeitoun expects his house to leak, maybe some windows to shatter, but he’ll be fine. As a precaution, he fetches a 16-foot aluminum canoe that he had purchased secondhand for $75.

Day 1, post-storm, no problem: about a foot of storm sludge in the streets.

Day 2, the world changes. Zeitoun wakes to a sea of water, after the levees have been overtopped. He’s neck-deep in a city of a thousand acts of desperation.

“He knew it would keep coming, would likely rise eight feet or more in his neighborhood, and more elsewhere,” Eggers writes. At that point, Zeitoun reaches into his aquarium, knowing his fish won’t survive there. “He dropped them in the water that filled the house. It was the best chance they had.”

Kids: that’s the kind of reporting detail that makes a book like this come alive.

Thereafter it’s an odyssey with the quality of an unpleasant dream, at times surreal, in which Zeitoun paddles around New Orleans in his canoe for a week, an angel of mercy. This section, which takes up the middle third of the book, reminded me of Cormac McCarthy’s postapocalyptic fiction, with the added bonus of proper punctuation.

Zeitoun saves elderly and dehydrated residents trapped in rotting, collapsing homes: “Help me,” comes the voice of an old woman. “Her patterned dress was spread out on the surface of the water like a great floating flower. Her legs dangled below. She was holding on to a bookshelf.” In his first day in the canoe, Zeitoun assists in the rescue of five residents. “He had never felt such urgency and purpose,” Eggers writes. “He was needed.”

At night, Zeitoun sleeps in a tent on the flat part of his roof. By day, he’s out among the killing waters that buried New Orleans, polluted with garbage, oil, debris, the scraps of people’s lives. “It smelled dirtier every day, a wretched mélange of fish and mud and chemicals.”

But within a week, the sense of menace and edgy despair becomes overwhelming. Now Zeitoun’s days are like a watery version of Dante’s “Inferno,” with flood and disease and tough moral choices around every bend: rescue or paddle on?

The book takes a sudden turn when six armed officers show up at Zeitoun’s house. He thinks they are there to help him, and he’s happy to point them to people in need of assistance. Wrong assumption: Zeitoun is taken away at gunpoint.

After that he goes missing, with no contact with the outside world. His wife assumes, after six days without communication, that he’s dead. This is perhaps the most haunting part of the book, and Eggers’s tone is pitch-perfect — suspense blended with just enough information to stoke reader outrage and what is likely to be a typical response: How could this happen in America?

Only a spoiler would reveal anything beyond this point. Suffice it to say that Zeitoun is mistaken for a terrorist and subjected to a series of humiliations, locked in a cage, then a prison, all the while without being charged with anything or even being allowed to make a phone call to his wife.

CSTAR - 15 August 2009

Truly depressing video (via Lenin)
The Largest Street Gang in America

I could only take about 10 minutes. It’s nearly an hour long.

CSTAR - 15 August 2009

Weird, I thought I put a link to the video. Anyway you can also access it from here.

8. catnip - 15 August 2009

The Countrywide Senators

As the old Irish toast goes, may your sins be judged by the Senate ethics committee. Actually that’s not an Irish toast but it must be the fervent hope of every politician who received a “Friend of Angelo” loan from former Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo. Late last week the six Senators on the ethics panel dismissed complaints against Senators Kent Conrad and Chris Dodd with a mere admonishment about the appearance of impropriety.

The three Republican and three Democratic Senators say they conducted an exhaustive probe and inspected 18,000 pages of documents. They say they found “no substantial credible evidence as required by Committee rules” that the Senators received mortgage rates or services that weren’t commonly available to the public, and thus did not violate the Senate gift ban.

We’ll have to take their word that the evidence wasn’t “substantial,” because they didn’t release those documents, nor did they encourage Mr. Dodd to release any of his records. Readers will recall that in February Mr. Dodd staged a peek-a-boo release with selected reporters but did not allow anyone to have copies of the documents. If the evidence was so clear-cut, why the months of stonewalling?

The Associated Press may have the answer. AP recently noted that among the peek-a-boo papers were two documents titled, “Loan Policy Analysis.” Reports AP, “The documents had separate columns: one showing points ‘actl chrgd’ Dodd — zero; and a second column showing ‘policy’ was to charge .250 points on one loan and .375 points on the other. Another heading on the documents said ‘reasons for override.’ A notation under that heading identified a Countrywide section that approved the policy change for Dodd.”

How does Mr. Dodd explain that one? He may not have had to. The Senate ethicists don’t seem to have required either Mr. Dodd or Mr. Conrad to provide sworn testimony. In its letters to Messrs. Conrad and Dodd, the committee referred to the “depositions” it collected from Countrywide employees, but it described only “responses” and “explanations” from the Senators. Mr. Dodd never spoke to committee members or staff, and never communicated directly with them.


It’s all such a scam…

9. catnip - 15 August 2009
10. CSTAR - 15 August 2009

Talk about
Ponzi schemes.

Come to think of it, religion is THE ultimate Ponzi scheme.

11. catnip - 15 August 2009

I just watched Marshall Ganz’s speech on grassroots organizing to the NDP convention in Canada. I wonder what he thinks about how Obama’s actually governing compared to what he promised.

12. catnip - 15 August 2009

Netroots Nation: More than a Date to the Prom
by Joe Sestak

25 comments (25 new)


But did he get a corsage?

BooHooHooMan - 15 August 2009

Oh they’re gonna get laid all right

13. catnip - 15 August 2009

Oh the truth is so uncomfortable. Is Obama Just Another Politician? by Cenk Uygur

marisacat - 15 August 2009

From the diary:

Valerie Jarrett was at the Netroots Nation convention today. I went to go hear her speak and I left completely unconvinced. She is one of the top advisers to President Obama. She is a very good politico, for better and for worse. She is smart, composed and faux engaging and engaged. She seems to care but never really gives a straight answer. In a lot of ways, she’s a lot like her boss.

I am not a doctrinaire. I understand the value of compromise, diplomacy, bipartisanship, etc. But if you compromise on everything, then what do you have left? It’s a balancing act, of course. You have to know when to compromise and when to stand firm. So, that gets us to the question of the day? The central question of the Obama presidency.

In a few years, like others before them, they will go back to Chicago, having enriched their friends. Seems to b the way it works, over and over and over. Meanwhile she is Uber Friend of Obster. And my own opinion is that she works more on the Chicago Olympics 2016 than on other issues (at one time she was supposed to be some sort of special aide for Urban Issues or some such hoodwinking). Must gall them to see Burris flail about in the senate seat they thought was their very own.

catnip - 15 August 2009

Burris isn’t running again so there’s still a chance for her.

marisacat - 15 August 2009

Squish her in! have Squish Valerie parties! Squish, push, shove that foot in, shove her knee in…

They can try.

14. Intermittent Bystander - 15 August 2009

Brilliant photo, that one. How fabulous are their faces?! Ran into another fine giraffe recently at a Tumblr stream called Joie de Vivre.

marisacat - 15 August 2009

for some reason these struck me as especially beautiful.. something about the markings, the age on the father’s face… and the markings along the side of the older giraffe offspring’s face.

thanks for the links, off to take a peek..

Intermittent Bystander - 15 August 2009

Agree, the father’s gnarly, knotted brow – in contrast to the handsome youth and the delicate babyface – is what really makes the photo sing.

(And darn, their head structures are so intriguing – somewhere between Bambi, a goat, and an alligator!)

marisacat - 15 August 2009

That is what I thought, the Bambi Goat Alligator link!

catnip - 15 August 2009

Joie de Vivre.

Great stuff.

I used to like drawing giraffes when I was a kid. No idea why.

Intermittent Bystander - 15 August 2009

It’s a great bookmark, for visual cheer, but I just wish it included some photo credits . . . some of the pix are such stunners, and the photographers really deserve it.

(I hear they even gotta EAT sometimes, can you believe it?)


15. Intermittent Bystander - 15 August 2009
CSTAR - 15 August 2009

Hmm. Couldn’t get a date to the “netroots” prom. Poor fella.

Intermittent Bystander - 15 August 2009

I dunno. Just ’cause they’re born every minute, I continue to feel sorry for some of ’em. The Impotence of Being Earnest, or something. The Silencing of the Lambs.

16. marisacat - 15 August 2009

Oops. The Traveling Medicine Show is Asleep… due to awake in a few years. Like an insect swarm that comes to life for elections.

Funny, all that fake grassroots shit is just what Arnold yelled from stages in 2003… he’d go over the heads of media and whoever else, he’d go to the pee–pul. He’d take his brilliant ideas to the constituency that really matters.

You might notice Cali is in big big big trouble.

I think the Democrats hatched themselves a mess.

[“W]e’re not geared up to out scream the other side,” Mr. Stewart said in an interview, advocating a more methodical approach. “But if we were not engaged in this effort at all, I think our organization would certainly be asking us why not. They are here to support the president and he needs them at this moment.”

Organizing for America has paid political directors in 44 states, Mr. Stewart said. In recent months the group’s strategy has changed. Gone are the television commercials on health care, climate change and other issues that were broadcast in an effort to pressure moderate Democrats to support the president’s proposals. Now, after the White House received an earful from some of those Democrats, the group has started running advertisements of appreciation.

“Even if they aren’t 100 percent on board, we’re asking our folks to thank our members,” Mr. Stewart said. “Our tactics are continuing to evolve.” …

GOOD LUCK! Clap clap clap clap.

Intermittent Bystander - 15 August 2009

I think he means

their Tic-Tacs are continuing to


(Ah believe ah have a wee linky in spammaland.)

marisacat - 15 August 2009

oops sorry! … link out now… 😯

Intermittent Bystander - 15 August 2009


Just picturing a few caged and disappointed idealists in Pittsburgh.

(As I think you’ve said repeatedly, it didn’t have to be like this.)

Atrios is indicating that next year, the Netroots will head back to Vegas.

marisacat - 15 August 2009

Vegas is a good place for them. Esp as they are clearly – imo – part of the Reid stable. Or plantation. Or work crew or or or…

Intermittent Bystander - 15 August 2009

Casino staff, showgirls, and rubes?


17. Intermittent Bystander - 15 August 2009

BTW – Howard Kurtz at WaPo picked up the Nat Enquirer story on Edwards’ lovechild the other day. He’s the Daddy.

Machoman Webb got the idiot swimming dude free, supposedly. (Thanks loads, Americans!, thinks Aung San Suu Kyi.)

Intermittent Bystander - 15 August 2009

Speaking of Mormons – check the Army pension and count the exes on swimming dude!

marisacat - 15 August 2009


Yettaw, a Mormon who lives on a military pension from serving in the Army for about a year in 1973

wonder how that works.

marisacat - 15 August 2009

hmm I count 4 ex wives. Mighta missed one!

Intermittent Bystander - 15 August 2009

So at the urging of (local and) overseas relatives, and in the general interests of unemployed networking (hork! hork!), I finally signed on to one of them there social media conglomerates recently and of course it’s been an out-and-about trip. Long-lost childhood neighbor families, a few genuine elementary school friends, other folk from discrete and disparate eras of past life, and photos photos photos of where-they-all-are now (and in some cases, which ancient snapshots they felt moved, after all these years, to scan) – quite a whirlwind in the time/space/meaning-of-life continua!

The jury’s still out on its job-seeking value, but the experiment’s value-adding qualities have surprised the hell out of little old super-skeptic me. (New converts are the worst, I’m sure, but I’m not actually proselytizing here, just marveling.) In addition to the personal, mostly behind-the-scenes communiques, the political and cultural remarks on view are pretty interesting.

Must admit that after years of wary (to say the least!) and serially pseudonymous commenting on blogs, and with privacy controls set to the max, naturellement (but gawd the site’s Halp pages are pitiful – like screaming heads bobbing ’round the Titanic, unheeded!), I have indeed found it kinda fun to post miscellaneous items where people I actually know might see ’em. Complete switcheroo, in a way.

Curious about others’ experiences. . . .

Intermittent Bystander - 15 August 2009

Whoops, wrong box . . . not meant to be reply.

BooHooHooMan - 15 August 2009

I never do that. LOL

marisacat - 15 August 2009

but gawd the site’s Halp pages are pitiful – like screaming heads bobbing ’round the Titanic, unheeded!

what an image!!

marisacat - 15 August 2009

I heard an interesting thing on Lehrer… the entire country is subject to bedchecks… militia come around and can enter your house and arrest anyone not registered to the house, there overnight. They said it mostly occurs in Rangoon and obviously is to prohibit organising activities or much travel inside the country.

I wondered wht Webb’s mission was when I saw he was in SE Asia…. now we know. That part anyway.

On the Edwards thing, Kaus/Kausfiles took a roll in the clover. And also posted slobber from Kos and Jerome back when ti was rumors. Too funny!

Intermittent Bystander - 15 August 2009

Kaus! Been awhile since I’ve heard that name!

Snickering out loud here, big time!

18. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2009

Valarie Jarrett Heckled And Hissed At Netroots Nation

Roughly midway through the session, Jarrett was pressed to explain why the President was “continuing so many of [Bush’s] policies many of which he criticized as candidate Obama.” Knowing the mood and makeup of the audience – largely progressive activists from across the country – she acknowledged off the bat that it was “a fair question.” But from there, things grew a bit rough.

Jarrett defended the work Obama has done outlawing torture, and releasing Office of Legal Counsel memos detailing how such interrogation practices came to be. At that point, a protester in the audience screamed out a question about why the White House was trying to keep additional photographs of detainee abuse from becoming public.

“I heard somebody shout out about the pictures,” Jarrett replied. “Everybody knows what’s in those pictures. And this is where it gets very delicate and I know it is a touchy subject for this audience. But what he is trying to balance as president, is keeping us safe, not giving ammunition to people who already have ample ammunition from what they’ve seen before to be adverse to us.”

More shouts and protests followed. “I can’t hear you,” Jarrett said. “You know what you’ve got to do? You’ve got to figure out a way to get your question on here [pointing to the computer on stage that was receiving emails from questioners]. We are not going to have shout outs from the audience.”

The moderator agreed. “This is not a town hall meeting like that,” said Baratunde Thurston, of Jack and Jill Politics and The Onion. The crowd got the reference to the boisterous demonstrators at health care town halls. But they didn’t stop. From the back of the room, someone shouted a question about why the private security contractor, Blackwater, was still being paid for work overseas.

“Well we are certainly trying to get rid of the no bid contracts,” said Jarrett. “He has been very clear about that.”

A group of individuals sitting at a table off to the side started hissing. “I hear the frustration and I hear the kind of hissing,” said Jarrett. “I hear you. Settle down over there, settle down.”

“I’m asking you to trust [the President],” she pleaded. “And I know that’s hard. Because I know how pure you are to the cause. But he also has to keep in mind that he has to keep those folks safe.”

At that point the protests ended. It was a minor glitch in an otherwise smooth, albeit little news making, a four minute portion of an hour-and-fifteen minute long event. Still, it provided something of a window into the small but mounting frustrations the progressive community has with the president they helped elect.

marisacat - 15 August 2009

We are not going to have shout outs from the audience.” The moderator agreed. “This is not a town hall meeting like that,” said Baratunde Thurston, of Jack and Jill Politics and The Onion.

And imo Jack and Jill Politics is a dead site, utter prone mouthpiece.. Not withstanding the supposed ”exoticism” of people named Baratunde. I can’t imagine what anyone from there writes for The Onion.

A few months ago Bill’s old GF from the WH days, d’Andrea Tyson, who was head of his Economic Advisors, told us (somebody!) we had to trust Obrama and his cohorts as “what they are doing is historic”.

Yes and so was Monica.

Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2009


Intermittent Bystander - 15 August 2009

More shouts and protests followed. “I can’t hear you,” Jarrett said

sticking her fingers in her ears and chanting LA-LA-LA-LA!, like Pee-Wee Herman.

We are not going to have shout outs from the audience.

This is a free-speech-in-CYBERSPACE convention, y’all!

19. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2009

Is Anderson Cooper really this naive

WENDELL POTTER, FORMER EXECUTIVE, CIGNA: Well, they confuse customers by not just being transparent, by not providing the information that — a lot of us need.

A lot of people don’t know that their insurance is inadequate. And that’s why so many people are finding that they are in the ranks of the underinsured, because they just don’t have any idea that their — their coverages are not good enough.

They dump the sick by purposely looking at applications when someone files or has medical claims, whether you have a major illness or a major accident. If you buy your insurance through the individual marketplace, outside of your employer, you have to disclose whether or not you have had a preexisting condition.

If you leave something out, if you forget something, or don’t even know something that is relevant that might be in some doctors’ notes, the insurance company will use that as justification to cancel your policy.

COOPER: The forms I have seen on my insurance things are incredibly complicated. They make your head hurt. Are you saying that is intentional?

POTTER: It is very intentional. These companies make billions of dollars a year. They could certainly make these forms a lot clearer and a lot more easily understood. But it’s not a priority.

COOPER: CIGNA, for the record, denies that they dump customers.

And they told us — and I quote — that “CIGNA complies with all regulatory requirements regarding setting rates and policy terms, consistent with our mission to provide individuals with a path to health, well-being and sense of security.”

COOPER: Is that kind of statement you used to write?

POTTER: It is. And I’m not surprised.

20. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2009
marisacat - 15 August 2009

well the truth is in those lines… The head of says this is the 340th several day medical care project in the US. Think he is down or just was, in Ontario, somewhere around there… Orange Co, Cali… where despite the gibberdrool there is tons of unemployment, abandoned houses, foreclosures, lines at Food Banks.

But Ob went fishing the girlzzzzz white water rafting, On to Yellowstone! Their first national park!

21. catnip - 15 August 2009

This is interesting (or not). From a straw poll of 252 NN attendees:

A majority of attendees—53 percent—said they cannot support a health care reform bill that does not include a public option.

Pretty damn lukewarm.

22. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2009
23. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2009

“You Do Not Cut Deals with the System that Has to Be Replaced”: Ralph Nader on Secret White House Agreements with the Drug Industry

AMY GOODMAN: That’s the White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs being questioned by NBC, Todd, the White House correspondent.

Well, to talk more about the healthcare legislation, we’re joined by former presidential candidate, longtime consumer advocate, Ralph Nader.

Ralph, you have looked at what came out in the Huffington Post. Explain what it is now that we’re understanding is the deal that the White House has, well, denied over the last week.

RALPH NADER: What is emerging here is what was being planned by the Obama White House all along, which is they would only—they would only demand legislation that was accepted by the big drug companies and the big health insurance companies.

You can see this emerging over the last few months. President Obama has met with the heads of the drug companies and the health insurance companies. Some executives have met with President Obama four to five times in the White House in the last few months. He has never met with the longtime leaders of the “Full Medicare for Everybody” movement, including Dr. Quentin Young, who is a close friend of his in Chicago; Dr. Sidney Wolfe, the head of the Health Research Group of Public Citizen; Rose Ann DeMoro, the leader of the fast-growing California Nurses Association—not once in the White House.

That’s all you need to know to realize that the deal that’s being cut here is from Obama to Senator Baucus, the Blue Dog senator from Montana, who is cutting a deal, largely in private, with right-wing Republican senators and getting it through the Senate and presenting Henry Waxman and John Dingle and others in the House with a fait accompli. So whatever they pass in the House will be watered down in the Senate-House conference. And what we’ll end up with is another patchwork piece of legislation, allowing huge and expanded profits for the health insurance companies and the drug companies, and continuing this pay-or-die system that has plagued this country for decades, a system that takes 20,000 lives a year, according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. That’s about fifty to sixty people who die every day.

The big mistake that the Obama administration made was they did not have continual public congressional hearings documenting the greed, the fraud, the $250 billion in billing fraud and abuse alone that the GAO years ago has documented. They didn’t document the $350 billion of waste, the overhead of Aetna and UnitedHealthcare and other health insurance companies with their massive executive salaries and bureaucracies. They did not document the deaths, the injuries, the sickness that hundreds of thousands of Americans go through every year because they can’t afford healthcare. And by not doing that, by playing this behind-the-scenes game with these executives from the big health-industrial complex, they were vulnerable to the split in their own party in the House, with the Blue Dog Democrats emboldened by an apparently wavering and indecisive President Obama, and they made sure that they were placed on the defensive.

And, Amy, when you’re on the defensive in a battle like this, with all these right-wing websites and Swift-boat-type people filling town hall meetings around the country, it’s very hard to get back on the offense. And when you’re cutting deals, as Obama is, with these big corporations, you will never focus the public attention on the sources of the abuse and cruelty.

Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2009

RALPH NADER: Well, the significance is that Obama is being undermined by his own party in Congress, because the Blue Dogs are getting far more money from these corporations and campaign contributions than the so-called liberals in the Democratic Party.

But, you see, I say “undermined”—I’m not quite sure that Obama is objecting to this. He has set the whole atmosphere of catering to these giant corporations. He has made every mistake that the Clintons made in 1993, ’94 with their health insurance plan, except that he’s leaving Michelle Obama out of it. He’s made every mistake.

You do not cut deals with the system that has to be replaced, which is the health insurance system and the monster costs imposed by the drug corporations, all of which are getting huge taxpayer subsidies, by the way.

So, what Obama failed to do, because he’s never done it when he was campaigning, he did not pay adequate and due regard to the folks that brung him to the White House. He has not mobilized the progressive base in this country. He has not done anything but, you know, humor the labor unions. And as a result, he doesn’t have a base out there.

You point quite clearly to, or you imply, that there a lot of people for a single payer, a full Medicare-for-All system. And that’s true. Every poll has shown a majority of the American people, majority of doctors, majority of nurses, are for the single-payer system.

So why isn’t the President of the United States, who was elected in large part by these same people, why isn’t he representing them in Congress and in the White House? Because he is not a transforming leader. He is a harmony ideology person. He’s a concessionary person. He wants any bill with the label “health insurance reform” on it, no matter what. He’s not even willing to draw the line and say there will be no bill, I will veto any bill that doesn’t have a vigorous public option, not a phony public option that will allow—that will allow people to be dumped into the public option when they’re the sickest and leave the healthiest people for the profiteering insurance companies.

marisacat - 15 August 2009

What is emerging here is what was being planned by the Obama White House all along, which is they would only—they would only demand legislation that was accepted by the big drug companies and the big health insurance companies.

And all they want is a national mandate, reinforced with monetary penalties, that people have insurance. Bingo.

Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2009

yup, I think everything is going exactly to plan.

marisacat - 15 August 2009

Not sure how long it will take… they say this legislation won’t even begin til 2012 or so my guess is he will run on “soon t be implemented”… then years to full subscription (so the story goes) and I forget what year MASS put their plan into action, but I read last week in Prescriptions, the new NYT blog on medical care reform issues, Dr Marcia Angell, former editor of the NE Journal of medicine, said MA is in trouble. Too little money coming in, having to raise the threshold for subsidies, cutting benefits, raising premiums.. on and on.

The thing, the federal version, is on a course for massive failure. And no one can tell me that employers, many of them, will not simply give people smallish raises and dump them into the pool to buy insurance. So much cheaper. And some will pay the penalties for not offering insurance, if there are any… that idea, mandatory employer coverage, has long since fallen by the way side…

marisacat - 15 August 2009

Stop the Bus!

White Grannie is out from under!

Explainer-in-Chief gets mostly friendly questions at Saturday afternoon town hall on health insurance reform in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Talks with apparent emotion about the death of his own grandmother in refuting death panel charge.

Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2009

He’s taken his con to the pages of the NYT.

marisacat - 15 August 2009

I believe that serious debate is taking place at kitchen tables all across America.

they always want to tell us about our kitchen tables. Government of Ikea or soemthing: Can I sell you some cheap sleek cabinetry, self assembly is a snap! Swear! Promise, cross the government’s heart and hope to DIE! Come back and see us again some time, for 40k in solar panels! Cheap this week, with government rebates!

24. BooHooHooMan - 15 August 2009

David Paul Kuhn , of Politico,
is carrying on with Dem Op James Vega over whose nuts are nuttier….
The Kuhn Yabbut gist that Dems have “crazies” too.
No shit, David. (Just not “crazy ” ENOUGH, IMO)

Anyways , Kuhn’s latest rejoinder, Truther Denial, is up at Real Clear Politics…


Working from circular logic and the typical 9/11 argumentum ad populum, it’s hardly surprising that he then perverts the very polling data he cites to support his proffer… that “Truthers” are Dem dooplegangers of the GOP’s “Birthers”…

It turns out, there is more data.

Dartmouth Assistant Professor Brendan Nyhan jumped into the debate and found a survey conducted by the Scripps Survey Research Center at Ohio University. That poll asked, in July 2006, the likelihood of this statement:

There are also accusations being made following the 9/11 terrorist attack.

One of these is: People in the federal government either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the [sic] United States to go to war in the Middle East.



* Very likely 16%
* Somewhat likely 20%
* Not likely 59%
* Don’t know 5%

At the time, the poll did not offer a partisan breakout. So I got in touch with Guido Stempel, director of the Scripps Survey Research Center, and asked for the cross-tab by party. Here it is:

Very likely:

* Dem 22.6%
* GOP 4.9%
* Inde 16.7

Somewhat likely:

* Dem 28.2%
* GOP 12.6%
* Inde 15.2%

This means that, according to the Scripps poll, about half of Democrats, about a third of Independents and nearly a fifth of Republicans said it was “likely” that “federal officials either participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or took no action to stop them” in order to go to war.

Well. AGAIN. – Working from circular logic and the typical 9/11 argumentum ad populum..not much to be expected here of Kuhn
BUT the sweaty Katy Bar the Door reiteration…

That’s disturbing, even if we allow for statistical margin of error…

But deep breath, as I wrote in my initial column, these questions often are “nets that capture extreme partisans,” and often emotions at a moment of heightened opposition.

Still, he presses on… backpedalling, obuscating, no attempt to close the 9/11 Pandora’s Box left open…
where PTB conjurors
and PTB conjecturers like bourgeois Kuhn ….
hope it remains.

I don’t know which political camp has more nuts. But Vega’s reaction to the Scripps poll reminds me of the concluding paragraph in my initial column:

A few years ago, an Emory psychologist scanned the brains of self-described partisans. Partisans were able to notice the hypocritical statements of the opposing candidate but not the inconsistencies of their preferred candidate. Ideology, it was determined, showed effects similar to drug addiction.

Here’s “the” deal-

Over 40 percent in the country don’t buy the official line on 9/11.
Across Party Lines, Across Ideological, Religious and Ethnic sensibilities, the largely white, uninformed ,and center-to-right conservatives aside..

And here’s my deal-
I don’t buy the controlled demolition WRT the WTC.
I don’t buy the Missile-instead-of-Aircraft assertions WRT the Pentagon.

We do in fact know know our Intel had Intel.
And we do in fact know know it made it into the PDB.

Motive, Means, and Opportunity. My take anyways…
And Right Up There among the most stunning records of Political Deception and War Crimes in History.

marisacat - 15 August 2009

I know it was Beck and Rasmussen the R poll guy, so you know.. etc., .. but when the PUMA s were around, Beck ran the tape of really angry older woman who every body called crazy… and had Rasmussen on.

WHo said, in poll after poll they run, the numbers of what he called disaffected from governrmnet for some reason at some point, and not ever much back in the ol’ gov sleeping bag is solid. Does not go away.

People doubt the governemtn. They do… and boy, when it all crashes AGAIN, which it almost inevitably must in 2 years or 5 years.. what on earth could you sell people on then?

I jsut don’t see how we don’t crash again, since we are doing nothing about the PROBLEMS.

25. marisacat - 15 August 2009

Think they added a name or two……………

Meet the Press: Former Rep. Armey, Sen. Coburn, Former Sen. Daschle, Rep. Rangel, Commerce’s Josten, Gov. Ritter, MSNBC’s Maddow

This Week: Sebelius, Sens. Specter, Hatch. Roundtable with Gillespie, Brazile, Brownstein, Kornblut

Face the Nation: Robert Gibbs, former Sen. Hagel, former Rep. Lee Hamilton, presidential historian Brinkley.

Fox News Sunday: Sens. Conrad, Shelby; AMA President Rohack, AARP’s Rothe

State of the Union: Sebelius, Sen. Barrasso, Reps. Mike Ross, Tom Price, Eddie Bernice Johnson

BooHooHooMan - 15 August 2009

Charlie Rangel …in NBC studios? from the edge pool in the D-R?
or from up in the quadriplex in Harlem?

Socialism…Nazism…I so could give a congealing fuck-ism, frankly.
I say Take down whoever makes the salesman’s pitch.

We’re just fucked and stuck in an August “nation” of Feudal Lords ever trying to assemble an Empire. …yep…..’bout it….
…’course That’s always worked out well…

Good night. I got sweet dreams and sweet corn comin soon.

26. marisacat - 15 August 2009

gnu post…


………………. 🙄 ………..

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