Well here's something you don't see every day. Amy Goodman had on Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader to discuss Dennis' decision to vote for the health care bill. I don't disagree with any of Nader's general points, but it is really easy to sit on the outside and be a purist without having to actually deal with the political consequences of your actions.
I've already said on multiple occasions that I'm for single payer. I know Dennis Kucinich was fighting for that as well. I was hoping that maybe this public option they were talking about would serve as a price control on the insurance companies, so I wasn't happy when that got watered down and then eventually eliminated.
Dennis Kucinich made a political decision about something that had more at stake than just this health care bill. It was one that might have made the difference between the Republican claiming victory and believing that they can shut down the Democrat's agenda for the next three years, or making a compromise on this crappy bill.
I think if the Dems are going to keep the private insurance industry in tact which is the way things are going with this legislation, then we need to be telling them if you're going to mandate, regulate. That model works as well in many countries. Howard Dean said he'd gladly exchange single payer for some meaningful regulation.
If they want to keep these industries afloat and force everyone to pay into them, it's time to say we'll regulate them like the utility industries. You want a rate increase, you go before a commission and you're not allowed to gouge your customers while your CEO's and stock holders make excessive profits. It works to make sure everyone is not paying excessive rates for their utility bills right now. There's no reason they can't reign in the insurance industry in a similar manner.
Even if you don't agree with Dennis Kucinich changing his vote, he is leaving the door open for more reform rather than this debate being shut down for who knows how many years. Sadly since the people who care more about defeating any reform at all are always going to have the upper hand since they really don't care how many people die as a result of their actions, here we are. The people who do care end up being stuck compromising.
Full transcript of the interview at Democracy Now. Amy had them on for the full hour after her ten minute headlines segment, so if you want to watch the whole thing, set fifty minutes aside.
As a former reporter, one inspired to join the profession by Woodward and Bernstein and who left it before it became a Village of repug-dick-sucking transcribers, I am all in favor of reporters rhetorically beating politicians - especially the president - about the head and shoulders to demand honest answers to tough questions.
But it only works if you do it the same way to everyone.
Amanda Terkel at Think Progress exposes the wrong way to do it.
Yesterday, Fox News anchor Bret Baier aired his 19-minute exclusive interview with President Obama, where he frequently interjected and interrupted the President. (Raw Story counted 16 such instances.) The right wing gave Baier kudos for the interview, saying he "showed us how a genuine professional TV journalist works."
Baier's tenacity, however, seems reserved only for Democratic presidents. His interviews with President Bush were far friendlier, with questions like, "What are you reading now?" and "Do you believe that there hasn't been a terrorist attack on U.S. soil in more than seven years because of the policies your administration has implemented?"
Today on Fox News, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace defended Baier's technique, saying that he needed to get in more questions and prevent Obama from "giving talking points." But Baier had no problem with allowing Bush to give talking points in interviews. ThinkProgress has compiled some moments of Baier's final interview with Bush versus his recent interview with Obama. Watch it:
This compilation doesn't even include Baier's infamous January 2008 documentary "George W. Bush: Fighting to the Finish," on which he remarked:We talked a lot about President Lincoln. And there's going to be a lot of people out there who watch this hour and say, is he trying to equate himself with Lincoln?
I tell you what - he thinks about Lincoln and the tough times that he had during the Civil War. 600,000 dead. The country essentially hated him when he was leaving office.
And the President reflects on that. This is a President who is really reflecting on his place in history.
Note that despite Baier's attempts to back up Bush's delusional comparison, Lincoln wasn't "hated" when he left office; he was assassinated just after being re-elected by an overwhelming margin.
Coming up on Sunday Kos ….
Read The Full Article:
Harry Mitchell (D-AZ 5) has told Channel 12 News in Arizona that he will vote "yes" on health care. Mitchell was a "no" vote the first time around.[...]
Read The Full Article:
From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE...
Late Night Snark: Doctor Tested, Nun Approved!
"Texas school board decisions [on textbook content] affect school systems across the country. That's why most sex-ed books have chapters on the reproductive system, abstinence, and how to castrate a steer. [...] But the biggest victory of all was that in the curriculum on great revolutionary thinkers, board members removed any reference to Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence. You see, Jefferson coined the term "Separation of church and state." So Texas has coined the term, "Separation of Jefferson and history."
"Tiger [Woods] has hired Ari Fleischer, George Bush's former press secretary, to handle the press for him. I guess Ari Fleischer figures after years of trying to explain George W. Bush, this should be a piece of cake."
Clip of Glenn Beck after his botched interview with Eric Massa: America, I'm gonna shoot straight with you...I have wasted an hour of your time and I apologize for that.
Jon Stewart: It appears that Glenn Beck has come up with his new sign-off phrase. Every show he can now end with, "I think I've wasted an hour of your time and I apologize for that. See ya tomorrow!"
---The Daily Show
"Karl Rove's memoir, 'Courage and Consequence', is the best-selling book on Amazon.com. The book costs $19.99, and comes with free shipping and mishandling."
"Harry Smith, the co-anchor of CBS's The Early Show had a colonoscopy live on the air. So I hope you remembered to set your Tivo. On fire."
"Dick Morris is quick to point out every time I put my foot in my mouth. Well, Dick, at least it's foot."
Radio & TV Correspondents Dinner
Don't forget this is the weekend when you have to get up at 2am Sunday and just sit there and stare at your clocks for an hour.
Your west coast-friendly edition of Cheers and Jeers starts in There's Moreville... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Following Michael's excellent post commemorating the start of the Mess in Mesopotamia.
Seven years ago today, George Bush's vanity war got underway. But honestly, I don't think I can improve on the post I wrote on the five-year anniversary of this clusterfuck, so without further ado, what I consider one of my greatest hits.
FiveSeven years ago today...
I was a lone voice. We had not been here very long and I didn't know people then like I do now, but that didn't stop me from voicing my opinion about the path we were about to pursue as a nation. I was working all the time back then in the run-up to cashing on my chips, and one of my coworkers was an Army wife - sorta. He was a full-time reservist and a recruiter, and she had never lived on base or been a part of the military culture like I had, and I had a hard time with her "Hoo-Ah" support. That was a full service public health clinic, and it was me and one of the nurse practitioners who were the sole dissenters. Everyone else thought we would just reprise the 1991 Gulf War and be done with it in short order.
"Not if they go to Baghdad and depose Hussein. That will unleash a sectarian bloodbath." I insisted, only to be pooh-poohed.
Like I said, this was in my run up to cashing in my chips, so I worked just about every waking hour. I also worked three overnight shifts a week in a hospital lab. I had a "No War on Iraq" sticker in the back window of my Ford Ranger. It was a couple of nights before the invasion got under way, and I was sitting at a red light on my way to work. Suddenly I felt something hit the back of my tiny little two-wheel-drive truck. It was a gigantic white Chevy pickup and he was trying to push me out into traffic. The light changed and I popped the clutch and jumped the yellow and got the hell away from this moron, who tailed me for a couple of blocks before speeding away - on his bumper was a sticker that read "THIS TIME ANTI WAR IS ANTI AMERICAN." I called the police and gave them his description and his tag number, but the person who took the complaint told me I should take that inflammatory sticker off my car, that was a patriotic town.
I had a first degree relative who was pulled out of Afghanistan to be sent to Iraq. About three days after the invasion I got a brutally honest email from him. I was going up on the floor to sign off a phlebotomist on her yearly competency evaluation for collecting blood bank specimens. We were talking about my relative as we waited for the elevator to take us upstairs, and she said she was surprised I didn't put his picture and information with the bunting-draped display in the hospital lobby. I just looked at her and said "He says this is the biggest steaming pile of happy horseshit he has ever seen," and her jaw dropped. "That surprises me," she said. "Everyone seems to be supportive and patriotic right now." I looked at her hard and said "Peace is patriotic, too, you know. And Iraq had nothing to do with September 11." We went on about our task and didn't speak further about it, but as this anniversary approached, I have been thinking about that exchange, and I am tempted to track her down and call her up and ask her if she remembers that exchange and what she thinks about it now.
But gradually, things began to turn around.
Now, those of us who oppose this clusterfuck are a solid majority.
I wonder if that Chevy drivin' asshole still has that bumper sticker on his truck?
For those who are curious, I did not "take that inflammatory sticker off my truck."
I did take a copy of my permit in to security and start carrying a gun to work when I had to work over night in western Independence, and calling security when I arrived in the garage to come out and walk me in to their office so Millie the Nine Millimeter could sleep in the safe while I was at work and go by security to pick it up when I finished my shift.
Read The Full Article:
This Week in Northern California, March 2007
Hold on there, Viacom, before you start counting those Google bucks. YouTube thinks you're not exactly operating in good faith:
In their opening briefs in the Viacom vs. YouTube lawsuit (which have been made public today), Viacom and plaintiffs claim that YouTube doesn't do enough to keep their copyrighted material off the site. We ask the judge to rule that the safe harbors in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the "DMCA") protect YouTube from the plaintiffs' claims. Congress enacted the DMCA to benefit the public by permitting open platforms like YouTube to flourish on the Web. It gives online services protection from copyright liability if they remove unauthorized content once they?re on notice of its existence on the site.[..]
Because content owners large and small use YouTube in so many different ways, determining a particular copyright holder?s preference or a particular uploader?s authority over a given video on YouTube is difficult at best. And in this case, it was made even harder by Viacom?s own practices.
For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately "roughed up" the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko's to upload clips from computers that couldn't be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt "very strongly" that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube.
Viacom's efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site. As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.
Ooh, now that's a little incriminating. We've had our own run-ins with Viacom and almost every one of our video crew have battled against YouTube as well, so really we have no dog in this fight. Fair Use is an issue that is ill-defined in the brave new world of blogs and user-created videos. It is worth noting that Viacom also tried to purchase YouTube less than a year before suing them. And in fairness, at least one YouTube executive appeared to have a fairly cavalier attitude towards copyrights:
(A)n e-mail exchange among YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim showed there were in-house copyright abuses.
"Jawed, please stop putting stolen videos on the site," Chen wrote in the July 19, 2005, e-mail. "We're going to have a tough time defending the fact that we're not liable for the copyrighted material on the site because we didn't put it up when one of the co-founders is blatantly stealing content from other sites and trying to get everyone to see it."
In a statement after the documents were unsealed, YouTube said Chen's e-mail was referring to some aviation videos that had been making the rounds on the Web. "The exchange has nothing to do with supposed piracy of media content," YouTube said.
From WingNutDaily (not linking, no way):
A newly unearthed recording reveals a state attorney general explaining how the president's eligibility could be tested in the courts by a lawyer defending a client against an accusation brought under legislation signed by Obama.
The recording of Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli puts him on a growing list of elected leaders, members of Congress and state officials who have addressed concerns over Obama's eligibility to occupy the White House.
Cuccinelli released a statement this week that the recording, apparently made either while he was campaigning for the office or shortly after he was elected, was a "hypothetical" answer to a "hypothetical" question.
Two major endorsements of the bill came down today.
The nation's largest association of doctors and the AARP senior citizens' lobby are endorsing President Barack Obama's revised health overhaul legislation.
James Rohack, president of the American Medical Association, said Friday that the pending bill isn't perfect, but it's the next step toward real reform of the nation's health care system.
"This is certainly not the bill we would have written, but we cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good," Rohack said.
The board of the Chicago-based group reached a consensus and voted unanimously Thursday night after a review of the House reconciliation bill.
In a statement Friday, AARP said the legislation "will improve health care for older Americans and their families." The bill gradually closes the "doughnut hole" coverage gap in the Medicare prescription drug benefit and limits insurance companies' ability to charge higher premiums based solely on age, AARP said.
The join more than 250 organizations including the Catholic Health Association, Main Street Alliance, Federation of American Hospitals, National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, American College of Physicians, National Hispanic Medical Association, Paralyzed Veterans of America, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Nurses Association, Families USA, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, National Women’s Law Center, Consumer Federation of America, and Consumers Union. But the AMA and AARP are among the most influential for member of Congress, so their sign-off is signficant.
Meanwhile, and unsurprisingly, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Retail Industry Leaders Association and the National Association of Manufacturers remain opposed.