Worrying that the public option might ruin a non-existent compromise on a smaller reconciliation bill, one which would quickly shed support votes the second Republicans started the attacks, is misguided. The only hope for health care is a reconciliation[...]
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Here's an amusing example of how Fox feeds it's "conservatives vs. the world" narrative: FNC anchor Megyn Kelly citing a single Daily Kos diary to make the claim that "liberal bloggers blame tea party groups for Texas attack."
Never mind that the diary cited by Kelly only received four recommends and was rejected by most people who saw it; never mind that its headline was removed by a site moderator; never mind that on the front page, we cautioned against making a link to tea party groups.
Never mind that on Fox yesterday, Republican Senator Scott Brown suggested that Washington might be to blame for the frustration that led to the plane attack (Brown's comments are in the video above); never mind that conservatives at CPAC are making jokes about anti-tax activists flying planes into IRS buildings.
Never mind all those things, because Fox has a narrative to sell, and in that narrative conservatives are under siege. From Daily Kos. And even though they are twisting reality to fit their storyline, it's kind of cool that they've decided to cast us as the villains. It's a sign we're doing something right.
Update (12:42PM): Here's a link to Vyan's recommended diary on the plane attack, "Suicide Plane Attack on Austin IRS Building- Terrorism?." Contrary to Fox's claim, that diary does not blame tea party groups for the plane attack in any way whatsoever.
Terry Nichols, serving a life sentence for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing, has filed a notice with the U.S. District Court in Denver (where he has a civil suit pending against the Bureau of Prisons) advising that he has begun a hunger strike due to the inadequate fiber and excessive refined foods in his diet.
Nichols is representing himself in a pending lawsuit about his diet. He says the lack of whole grains and fresh food in his diet harms his health and violates his religious beliefs, causing him to "sin against God."
Nichols' handwritten six page filing, available on PACER, says he knows that he will be thrown "in the hole" for his hunger strike after missing 9 meals (3 days) and force-fed through a tube inserted in his throat. He says since he began throwing his food down the toilet on Feb. 5 to flush his system in preparation for the strike, he is already weak and has lost several pounds. [More...]
Nichols says he is prepared to die because he is "done allowing his body to be defiled by these refined and dead foods."
Nichols has been fighting for fiber in his diet at least since 2004. In 1984, he underwent rectal surgery and his surgeon recommended a high fiber diet.
According to Nichols, in 2009, after he filed his lawsuit, he began receiving some whole wheat bread and whole wheat hoagie buns but that has stopped. And while he occasionally gets bran cereal, it's usually mixed with Cheerios or corn flakes and insufficient in quantity.
Nichols also says the lack of fiber in his diet violates his religious beliefs by "defiling G-d's holy temple" -- his body.
Nichols cites BOP Program Statement 4700.5. According to the 2010 BOP Legal Manual:
Each institution’s food service program offers nutritionally balanced, appetizing meals. Special Food and Meals, 28 C.F.R. § 547.20 and Program Statement 4700.05, Food Services Manual, provide that medical diets be available to inmates who require such diets. In addition, inmates with religious dietary requirements may apply for the religious diet program, designed to address the dietary restrictions of a variety of different religions. See Program Statement 5360.09, Religious Beliefs and Practices.
He also cites a BOP National Dietician's memo of September, 2008 on heart healthy meals.
Nichols says he just wants BOP to give him fiber to stop his constant pain and suffering from his medical conditions. He says his dietary problems can be solved easily and with minimal costs and he hopes the warden will come and see him before this gets too far. His complaint points out that since he is in a lock-down unit, he's not allowed to go to the cafeteria and choose healthier meals.
He's only asking for a high-fiber diet with insoluble fiber. He's provided the medical documentation necessary to support his need for it. Putting the legal issues aside, it seems to me it will be cheaper to give him fiber and whole grains than treat him for stomach, rectal or colon cancer he might develop. It would also save the Government and taxpayers money in terms of the resources expended by BOP staff, the U.S. Attorneys' office and the court litigating his lawsuit which alleges that his inadequate diet and refusal to address his medical issues constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. The suit was filed in March, 2009 and there have been 105 filings and orders to date.
The National Cancer Institute says "A diet rich in cereal fiber may reduce the risk of gastric cancer". Fiber also "mops" up excess cholesterol, reducing your risk of heart disease." Mayo Clinic has more.
One person who supports the ?Family Guy? staff is Andrea Fay Friedman, the 39-year-old actor and public speaker who played Ellen in that episode. Like the character, Ms. Friedman also has Down syndrome. “I guess former Governor Palin does not have[...]
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The Wall Street Journal's Thomas Frank on C-SPAN's Washington Journal talks about the Tea Party movement and how, as he wrote in his article The Tea Parties Are No 'Great Awakening', the leaders of this movement are just the same characters from the Jack Abramoff story:
How glorious is the tea-party movement? Some talk of its purity of heart, its patriotic spontaneity, and its abundance of republican virtue. To hear others tell it, the movement is but a few steps away from sacred.
After attending the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, the prominent blogger Glenn Reynolds wrote last week in the Washington Examiner that the movement amounted to "America's Third Great Awakening," a massive popular rising against "politicians and parties" that have "grown corrupt, venal and out-of-touch."
How strange, then, that this flowering of populist integrity should have been tended and pruned and succored by a group of Beltway operators known primarily for their venality and insider power. Read on...
Frank, whose books include What's the Matter with Kansas: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America and The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule, as usual gave a really wonderful interview on this edition of Washington Journal. You can watch the entire interview on C-SPAN's web site here.
A North Carolina Tea Party group is promoting the idea of secession as a solution to the "tyranny of national government."
The email newsletter of North Carolina Freedom Project contains an item entitled by "Solutions to the tyranny of national government." The item proposes two such solutions. The first, described as "incremental," involves embracing "tentherism" -- the bogus belief, espoused lately by some on the far right, that many of the powers of the federal government are unconstitutional.
The second solution is described as a "quantum leap" that is "probably beyond the comfort of most citizens, but still bears serious consideration."
The newsletter, obtained by TPMmuckraker, then links to a post on the blog Whiskey and Gunpowder, which raises the idea of secession "as a solution to the Washington debt threat."
The newsletter item appears in full on NC Freedom's website, where it's signed by a "John (Hans) Mentha." Mentha goes on to argue in the post that secession is condoned by the constitution. "Washington DC has become destructive of our economy and liberty," writes Metha. "It is our right and our duty to throw off such government and provide new guards for our future security."
A disclaimer under the post makes clear that the views expressed are Mentha's alone. But the inclusion of Mentha's post as an item in the newsletter suggests at the least that others in the group didn't see them as beyond the pale.
GOP Chairman Michael Steele blasted the Obama administration in a fund-raising email earlier this week for allowing stimulus money designated for clean energy solutions to be spent on overseas companies. Which is interesting, because stimulus money going to overseas firms was the direct result of conservative opposition to attempts to keep that money in America.
"You have two choices with Social Security. You either raise the payroll tax, or decrease the benefits -- or start 'affluence testing,'" he said. "The rest of it is B.S. And if the people are really ingesting B.S. all day long, their grandchildren will be picking grit with the chickens."
No a word about raising the cap on earnings, which would keep everybody out of the barnyard.
BROWN: Well It’ s certainly tragic and I feel for the families obviously that are being effected by it. And I don’t know if its related but I can just sense not only in my election but since being here in Washington people are frustrated. They want transparency. They want their elected officials to be accountable and open and talk about the things effecting their daily lives. So I am not sure if there is a connection, I certainly hope not, but we need to do things better.
Not really a surprise from the right. Here’s what Newt Gingrich had to say about the investigation into the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995:
"We have to understand that there is, in rural America, a genuine -- particularly in the West -- a genuine fear of the Federal Government and of Washington, D.C., as a place that doesn't understand their way of life and doesn't understand their values,"
h/t to MeMeMeMeMe
Brad Ellsworth has ended the coyness and announced his interest in a candidacy for the US Senate seat held by the retiring Evan Bayh. Ultimately, however, the decision is not up to him; it's up to the Indiana Democratic Party, which can choose a[...]
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One leading Republican who is conspicuously absent from this year’s CPAC is Fox News pundit Sarah Palin. A source told Politico that Palin declined the invitation because she “does not want to be affiliated” with David Keene, head of the American Conservative Union (ACU), which organizes the conference. Saying CPAC will be about “pocketbook over policy,” the source said Palin objected to Keene asking “FedEx for between $2 million and $3 million to [win ACU's] support in a bitter legislative battle with rival UPS” last September. A Palin spokeswoman wouldn’t address the issue directly, saying only, “We support those who advance our core beliefs and lead by principle.”
Palin “ruffled feathers” last year when she dropped out of CPAC two weeks before the event. She had been the conference’s first confirmed speaker and organizers said they were “obviously disappointed.” At the time, she cited the “duties of governing.” Palin also dropped out at the “last minute” from CPAC 2008.
While declining CPAC this year out of concerns over profiteering, she had no problem attending the National Tea Party Convention. Judson Phillips, a Tennessee lawyer who organized that convention and started the for-profit corporation Tea Party Nation, said his intention was to make money from the event. Tickets for the convention cost $549, and many Tea Party leaders publicly condemned Philips’ profiteering. RedState.com editor Erick Erickson said the event “smelled scammy” and called it a “great con” to make money off peoples’ “passions.” The convention lost sponsors, and even Tea Party stalwarts Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) dropped out.
Palin was reportedly paid $100,000 for her appearance at the Tea Party convention, but CPAC doesn’t pay its speakers and some speculated that Palin’s absence is due to money. Right-wing anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist blamed Palin’s own profiteering for her absence at CPAC:
?Palin was paid a lot to go to the other one? says Norquist, referring to the recent Tea Party Convention in Nashville. Her absence this week, he says, is a political sign.
?Is Palin running for president? The answer is no. She could have spoken to 10,000 people, but instead she chose to speak to 600 and get paid $100,000. That?s being a spokesperson and making a living, not running for president.?
Palin is still on the CPAC presidential straw poll — the only candidate who is not a white male. According to a Hotline survey of “GOP party leaders, strategists, activists and pundits representing backers of virtually every potential candidate in the field,” Palin is the odd-on favorite, with former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) close behind.