Thursday, August 27, 2009


It's taking me some time to wrap my head around the death of Ted Kennedy.
My political awareness started with John F. Kennedy and the Vietnam War. I still wonder how the Vietnam situation would have gone had John F. lived. But he didn't. And I came into political awareness in the middle of one huge mother of a national conflict. And with the emergence of a Kennedy on the national scene.
So John was killed. Then his brother Bob was taken out by another wacko. Doubly sad because Bobby could have done more to resolve (if that's possible) the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that Sirhan Sirhan was "protesting" by killing him than Nixon did. Ted was there, I didn't think much about him. One got tired of thinking that you NEEDED a Kennedy in government.
And of course he had his problems and was certainly responsible, whether thru confusion or cowardice or drunkenness or a combination thereof, for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. I think it was only his name that kept him from at least a manslaughter charge.
But surprise. Though he didn't get the wildness under control for another decade, he was all effective politician from the start. Whatever demons drove him early on, he worked hard to dispel their power later. He had a name and position that made him almost invulnerable. He used it to help the most vulnerable. He helped defend the civil rights of all of us, rich or poor. No one in recent memory was as effective as he in bringing sides together and effecting a compromise. And whatever he gave up today, he was back after tomorrow.

I'm remembering another Boston Irish politician of large appetite and girth, who also was an effective leader of his time—Tip O'Neil. And i imagine that political cartoonists feel as deeply the passing of Ted Kennedy as they did the retirement of Mr. O'Neil. Both were lions in the Congress, both were large in appetite, and both fought for the underdog.
What is it about Boston Irish anyway?

Anyway, I bet old Tip passed on good advice and was a role model for Teddy. Ted kennedy will be sorely missed.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Daily Show—health care

Last night's Daily Show (August 20, 2009), had Betsy McCaughey, a woman who works for a medical instrument company of some kind, and who has a vested interest in keeping things the way they are—that is, profitable to the insurance and medical supply companies—and she is the one who has been charged with starting the "death panels" rumor. Of course she never called them death panels—but I haven't heard that she has spoken up to object to that.

Anyway, Stewart fairly eviscerated her. She was reduced to frantically rifling thru the massive volume of the written bill she brought with her to try to find support for her arguments.
It was fruitless. Jon Stewart was able to point out every one of her misconceptions, if that's what they were. Clearly, being a hack for a medical supply company has a negative effect on one's logical capabilities.

I guess I should give her props for having the nerve to come to his show, but that decision may just be a result of the deterioration of the aforementioned logical capabilities. If she really believed what she was saying, she was deluded and ignorant. If she didn't, she was mendacious to an incredible degree.

Speaking of mendacious, let's consider Senator Grassley of Iowa. He may vote against any health care plan because of the feedback he is getting from town meetings. The same town meetings that are being defiled by insurance company hacks who incite people with false rumors so that they forget what America is all about and shout down and refuse to allow serious debate. Also, he has been getting information from the Lewin Group, supposedly a "non-partisan" think tank which is studying health care. The Lewin Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Health Care, 2nd largest health care provider in the US, and of course, a company which profits greatly from the way things are.

In a video clip on the Rachel Maddow show, Sen Grassley, in response to an elderly constituent who confronted him with this information, said "I wasn't aware of that."

Iowans do not have a reputation for stupidity. Sen Grassley is an Iowan. Presumably, then, he is not stupid, especially since he has reached the political position he has. So how could he NOT be aware of what the Lewin group is and whence the information it provides? I'm afraid the only answer is that he is dishonest.

And yet, this is one of the people Barack Obama says is working toward a "bipartisan" resolution of the health care bill situation. I don't figure ol' Barack anymore. He may be a political "idiot savant," counting votes in Congress like Dustin Hoffman counting cards in the casino in "Rain Man," and knowing what he's got at any one moment, or he has some dirt on all those suckers and knows they will toe his line, or he is so desperate for bi-partisan support he is willing to overlook any evidence to the contrary of his desires.

Perhaps he is making a lot of bi-partisan talk now, and ready when the crunch comes, to say the hell with it and get the Democratic majority to get their act together and pass that gddm bill already and hell with the Repubicans.
I hope so.

Have you paid any attention to the expressions on the faces of the Fox news commentators and reporters? In all the clips I have seen, it just looks like they know they are being dishonest and delighting in it. Especially Hannity, the way he sits and tries to look casual.

What weasels.

that's it for tonight.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Not all Democrats roll over and play dead

So I hope everyone could see the link I posted in the previous entry. Barney Frank telling it like it is to a deluded "Obama is a Nazi" character.

Also, 60 democrats in the House said to Obama, "Hey, no public option, no health care bill."

Somebody is finally figuring out that the Repubicans are not going to get all warm and fuzzy and go bi-partisan on us.

They would sooner go bisexual, and given the recent spate of Repubican pubic adventures, that may already have happened.
Not that there is anything wrong with being bisexual, but one shouldn't be a hypocrite about it. THAT is the wrong part.

Democrats have a majority in both houses, they should just go ahead and take care of business. But we still have those so called "Blue Dog" types who are acting like Repubicans, or like Repubicans should act. I suspect they are getting a leetle bit too much campaign money from the health industry. They should wake up and get with the program.

The majority of people in this country are not tin-hatted birthers, and they want affordable health care. Let's go and get it and let the insurance companies sink back into the hell they came from.

Isn't it just amazing how quickly politicians sell themselves out to stay in power? Alas, it's also so predictable.

Barney frank—gotta love him.

This needs no commentary. it's just lovely.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Un-American Republicans

The latest perfidious Repubican tricks to subvert the elections they cannot win:
Organized disruption of Congressmens' town meetings. There's a script for this which traces back to Bob MacGuffie, a lobbyist associated with "Freedom Works" (irony isn't dead), a lobby with Dick Armey at its head. This plan calls for people to disrupt by shouting out questions, not letting the congressman speak, in general trying to rattle him.

This is not freedom of speech. It is fascism. Brown shirt tactics. It's also an indication of the bankruptcy of Repubican ideals and policies. They want to pretend that they are with the mainstream, this against all evidence to the contrary, and since they can't get legitimate voices to speak for them, they create mobs out of the disaffected, the "birthers', teabaggers and other tin-hatters. This is un-American behavior, and should be condemned as such far and wide.

This is a deep shame and pitiful. Civil discourse doesn't work for them because they have wrong-headed ideas, so they just try to shout down the people who are actually trying to do something.

The whole idea that the health care bill will force the elderly to an earlier death was started by a woman who works for a medical equipment company. In Virginia, Dem. Congressman Tom Perriello got letters from a Hispanic organization and the NAACP which urged him to vote against the "cap and trade" legislation. Problem is they were fake, written by Bonner and Associates, a Republican lobbying firm. Big surprise there.

I can't believe that Republican senators and congressmen are ignorant of all this. Why aren't they speaking out against this perversion and destruction of American democracy?