Being coddled by Dubyah...
With fellow losers George "Maccawitz" Allen and Fred "Dopey" Thompson
With gal pal Pat "Act of God" Robertson.
With Presidential failure John"I'll suspend everything to fix it" McCain.
With family and campaign staff.
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Today, the primary topic is health insurance reform, focusing on Obama's big speech this week and the return of Congress. The White House is sending out Gibbs and Axelrod, which may or may not be instructive or constructive.
"Meet the Press" has scraped the bottom of the pundit barrel, giving us Rudy Giuliani and Harold Ford. Why? Seriously, why?
We'll also be getting a dose of H1N1 talk today via the CDC. The full slate of guests is after the break.
Here's the lineup of guests:
ABC's "This Week" ? White House press secretary Robert Gibbs; former Sens. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Bob Dole, R-Kan.; Reps. Mike Pence, R-Ind., and Maxine Waters, D-Calif.
CBS' "Face the Nation" ? Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
NBC's "Meet the Press" ? David Axelrod, White House senior adviser; Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor; Harold Ford Jr., Democratic Leadership Council chairman.
CNN's "State of the Union" ? Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn.; Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Ben Nelson, D-Neb.
"Fox News Sunday" _ Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; Howard Dean, former national Democratic Party chairman; John Podesta, head of the Center for American Progress; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.
It's not often that I agree with Michael Portillo, and there's lots he says here which I am in disagreement with, but he does make one point which I have been making for years:
One of the reasons why Brown and others find it so hard to sell the Afghan war is because they have so often changed the rationale for why this war needs to be fought.
Sometimes the government has defended the war by appealing to popular causes at home. The British military commitment is extending women?s rights, say ministers, and bringing democracy to a repressed population.
The problem with that explanation is that it is true. The campaign in Afghanistan suffers from debilitating mission drift. It began with a clear focus on removing Al-Qaeda and the objective now ought to be simply to keep it out. Our forces have been diverted into defeating the Taliban (a different aim completely), bringing good governance to Afghanistan, creating a capitalist economy, educating the people and effecting social change, especially in the status of women.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned the Taliban: "We will put a trap around the regime. Its choice is surrender bin Laden or surrender power."So, Portillo makes a very good point when he speaks of the ever changing rationale's which have been used to justify this conflict. And those ever changing rationale's have a lot to do with why this war does not carry a great deal of public support.
I spoke yesterday about the reaction of the Obama administration to the news that Netanyahu intended to build hundreds of new homes in the occupied territories, despite Obama's call for a freeze on all settlement activity.
In today's Ha'aretz newspaper, they are carrying reaction - as seen in Israel - from the rest of the EU.
Netanyahu's announcement late last week that he intends to approve the construction of hundreds of new housing units in the settlements before the suspension of building takes effect has drawn criticism from the international community.It's hard to imagine anyway in which Netanyahu could be more isolated than he is now. Europe is 100% behind Obama's demand that Israel cease all settlement activity, with even the pro-Israel Italian Foreign Minister declining to support Netanyahu's position.
European Union foreign ministers, meeting in Stockholm on Friday, criticized the decision in a statement by Javier Solana, the outgoing EU foreign policy chief.
"The position of the European Union is well known. All settlement activities must stop," Solana was quoted as saying.
British Foreign Minister David Milliband seconded Solana, describing the settlements as "illegal" and as "posing an obstacle to the peace process."
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, a well-known supporter of Israel in the EU, said that EU foreign ministers are in agreement on the issue.
"The foreign ministers of the European Union condemn the announcement on new construction in settlements right when the international community is asking Israel to freeze [construction]," Frattini said. "Ending construction was essentially the sole precondition for restarting the negotiations."
France also condemned Netanyahu's decision, saying that it went against Middle East peace efforts.
"No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this as your status for the rest of the day."Well...shucks, that'll show 'em. Awesome viral activism, gang. Maybe[...]
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The guy interviewing Bachmann has a theory that the reason we have noticed her is because she must be doing something right.
I have actually noticed her because she strikes me as someone who is utterly bonkers. It was that interview with Chris Matthews, where she urged the American media to root out anti-American Americans which first brought her to my attention.
Matthews: You believe that Barack Obama may have anti-American views?Bachmann thinks the reason we have noticed her is because she is possible presidential material.
Bachmann: Absolutely. I am very concerned that he may have anti-American views.
BACHMANN: Also with women politicians, they want to make sure no women, no woman becomes president before a Democrat woman, and so they're doing everything they can to, I think, sabotage women like Sarah Palin, perhaps women like myself, or similarly situated women, to make sure that we don't have a prominent national voice. But the thing is, the people in our country, they don't care who the voice is, they just want someone, they want to know that someone is speaking out for them against what will certainly bring about the destruction of our great country if we continue to go down the Obama path.It's actually quite shameful that in any democracy someone this dumb can have been chosen to represent a state.
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I love the sound of the guitars on this. Anyone know why bongo drums were used more back in the '60s and into the '70s? Love the sound of them as well.
Every member of Massachusetts' congressional delegation has a voting record that spells "progressive"-- except one: Stephen Lynch. Even his isn't a bad voting record. Over the course of his House career he'd be ranked the 111th most progressive member, which isn't terrible-- a respectable moderate. Although... when you look at the South Boston-Brockton district he represents, and see how solidly Democratic it is (PVI is D+15; Obama, like Al Gore, won with 60%; home state boy John Kerry did slightly better), he looks like he could be doing a lot better. And this year, he's actually done worse-- the 120th most progressive, nestled between two Blue Dogs, Adam Schiff and Joe Baca. Still, not a bad voting record at all, just the least good in the whole delegation. And on Friday he pretty much declared that he's running for Ted Kennedy's old Senate seat.
A leader for working families he isn't. And if there's one thing we really and truly need in the House of Lords-- other than abolishment-- would be some leaders on the issues that can bring some relief to working families. It gets mighty lonely being Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley, Sheldon Whitehouse, Sherrod Brown, Ed Kaufman, Jack Reed, Barbara Boxer, Richard Durbin and Frank Lautenberg. It looks like Al Franken may make it 10 members of the upper chamber who will be consistently more interested in the interests of working families than the interests of their campaign donors. That's one in 10. It would be kind of nice if the
man person replacing Ted Kennedy isn't just a so-so backbench moderate but an actual liberal leader-- kind of a roaring lion...
I've been far more impressed with the only other declared candidate, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. Joseph P. Kennedy II, liberal congressmen Mike Capuano and Ed Markey are also considering joining the fray. Lynch, who will run as the conservative in the race-- a Massachusetts conservative isn't the same as Jim Inhofe, Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann-- wants as many liberals in the race as possible so he can benefit from them all splitting the vote.
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As Sussex, Wisconsin native Thomas Tradewell, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) National Commander remains silent, a Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) health planning booklet is still the object of right wingers misleading veterans and other Americans it is cast as a "death book."
This lie was begun by anti-abortion George W. Bush staffer, Jim Towey. From Veterans Today:
How did the phony ?death book? debate involving Veterans Affairs begin? Simple. Fox News-owned Wall Street Journal published an op-ed piece by Jim Towey, former Bush coordinator of anti-abortion activities and political fixer.
Towey is now president of St. Vincent's College, though he has no experience of any kind as an educator. Further, 80% of the faculty have called for his resignation for falsifying documents. It was Towey, in his WSJ editorial who continually mischaracterized VA attempts to inform patients of choices as an attempt to encourage Gulf War veterans to commit suicide.
The pamphlet itself, Your Life, Your Choices, is far from controversial. In fact it is, if anything, frighteningly conservative and mainstream. The document is exhaustive in its addressing of faith based decision making. Every imaginable attempt was made to see to it that no group, no matter how ?wingnut? or extreme, would find anything to complain about. The result was a huge document, though extremely informative, that is too long for anyone to read or at least want to.