Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Fireside chat for February 20, 2010 (VIDEO)

The President points to outrageous premium hikes from health insurance companies, especially those already making massive profits, as further proof of the need for reform. Looking ahead to the coming bipartisan meeting on reform, the President urges members of Congress to come to the table in good faith to address the issue.

Or as Paul Krugman put it, game on.

The Public Option isn't alive, but it sure isn't dead either (VIDEO)...

Ezra was on Keith last night, basically saying that the Public Option isn't as alive as a lot of my fellow Liberals would hope, because of various Hill Aides fearing that its inclusion will seem too partisan, at a time when the Democrats seem to be bending over backwards to seem bipartisan.

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Laurence O'Donnell agreed.

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I respectfully disagree.

The Public Option isn't as alive as people think.

Nor, is it as dead as people think (hope) either.

I remember, right as the Senate Bill was being debate Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) coming on MSNBC, and saying that its passage means that Health Care goes from being a every 20 year debate, to an every year debate.

I think this analysis still holds. Once the House passes the Senate Bill (Plan B - which I think they're going to do at the end of the month), the fixes they want will be passed through Reconciliation.

In fact, their fixes and a whole bunch of others will be passed through Reconciliation.

Why couldn't one of those fixes be the Public Option?

Odds are, it will...but the question is when. And that's another area where I disagree with Erza and Laurence. I don't think this is the White House trying to pawn it off on Harry Reid, and vice versa. Part of this is them keeping the issue alive for the February 25th Conference, so that the Senate Bill isn't the most leftward idea in the room. But a lot of this wanting the Public Option fight later. Pass Health Care Reform for signing. Pass a Jobs Bill. Have the fights for Progressive stuff in time for Campaign Season.

I'm one of those people who believe that Politicians always tell the truth when they speak, a very parsed and precise (lawyerly) truth.

When Harry says he'll fight for the Public Option through Senate procedures, I believe him. Of course, he doesn't say he'll succeed or that he has the votes. When the White House says they'll fight for it if the Senate Leadership is for it, that's true also. Of course, they didn't say when they'll fight for it. That's the trick.

I think that before President Obama's first term is up, the Public Option will be passed into law...somehow. I guess the question I have for my fellow Liberals is, does it have to be now in order to be valued by our side. What if it's 2011 or 2012? This President believes in timing. I think he wants to have certain fights at certain times. I think he likes to go public with certain fights at certain times. I think the Public Option fight is scheduled, it's just not when you think its gonna happen...

Friday, February 19, 2010

The other side of the Mitt Romney confrontation... (VIDEO)

In case you missed this, Mitt Romney got into it with a passenger on an airplane earlier this week. It was a story for about a half-second.

Well, it turns out that (maybe) the guy Romney had a confrontation with was a member of the Rap Group LMFAO.

This video starts off staged, but quickly turns into a YouTube confesser, that lays out at least his side of the story, which did get squashed in all this:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Leave it to the tone deaf white guys...

I've been enjoying Jonathan Chait's material recently, particularly on the Health Care Debate, where he's been enlightening and insightful.

But that doesn't mean he's insightful 100% of the time on all things.

Take this photo of the President talking to his (all white in this case) advisers while his feet are up on the Resolute Desk. It's gotten all the necessary umbrage from the Wingnut bloggers, about the President's "attitude"

Wonkette blasted right back, showing a photo of George Bush doing the same thing to the same desk (of course with different, but similarly colored, advisers), and said: "But don’t worry, it’s still okay if the white guy does it."

Jonathan Chait then decried accusations of racism.

It's a good slam. But why must it be accompanied by an accusation of racism? Oh, sure, it's entirely possible that many of the people forwarding this email have created a double standard based on racism. But isn't it more likely that they've created a double standard based on partisanship? It's not as if racial animus is the only explanation for wildly hypocritical right-wing attacks on a Democratic president. I could certainly imagine the same outraged emails being circulated if Bill Clinton were president.

Jonathan, I got some news for you.

You can call something racism, if it's actually racism.

I'm not at all surprised Jonathan Chait didn't pick up on this because...let's face it...he's a white guy who's never had to deal with racism at all, much less the subtle knife in the back kind that...frankly, I deal with every damn day of my life.

Even Keith Olbermann pointed this out a couple of weeks ago, and mad props to him for doing so. In speaking about Black men in particular, when they, in this case the wingnuts, say "arrogant" or decry "attitude" they are really decrying the fact that this Black man does not know his proper place. And black people know what they're really trying to say, all without saying it.

Chait's ears are not tuned. Mine are. My Dad's are. Every black man or woman you know has their ears tuned to @#$% this.

When you say "arrogant", or "uppity", we know you mean "n----r".

We've been listening to white folks for three-hundred years. For us, it's been a matter of survival. We know what you mean, when you say it. We have to.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

John O. Brennan... (VIDEO)

Granted, I started listening to this speech because it took place at my Alma Mater, NYU. But, while Mr. Brennan isn't the most dynamic speaker in the world, the subject of his speech really wasn't really about National Security. I mean, it was about National Security, but it really started about Islamic-Americans, and in one particularly interesting passage...believe it or not, how racism against Islamic-Americans harms the National Security. (It bears mentioning that the speech was co-sponsored by the Islamic Center at New York University).

The reason I bring this up is that Glenn Greenwald, one of my least favorite Liberals (even though I am a Liberal) tried his level best to make sure this guy didn't get a job in the Administration.

Unfortunately, Andrew Sullivan, one of my favorite Conservatives (despite the fact that I'm a Liberal), jumped on this bandwagon.

Safe to assume neither of them watched this speech. Granted, it wasn't a rhetorical gem, and it certainly wasn't delivered with the President's polish, but give the rhetoric spewing out of Greenwald, and by extension Sullivan, it certainly was eye opening.

And then Mr. Brennan took questions from the audience:

The Recovery Act – Year One (VIDEO)

President Obama and Vice President Biden mark the one year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (The Stimulus), legislation that is working to cushion the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression and lay a new foundation for economic growth.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"...on its bad ones, [Politico] reminds me of the people who were attacking FDR around 1934"

Thomas Ricks rips Politico (after ripping Cheney):

I like Politico but I think Vandenhei, Harris and Allen have built [Cheney] into more than he really is. He ain’t no savant. He has a lot of amateurish mistakes to answer for, most notably his unfounded but official embrace of torture. At this point, Cheney strikes me as a cranky, bald version of abdicated Gov. Palin.

Politico has a lot of good days. But on its bad ones, it reminds me of the people who were attacking FDR around 1934. I would say that Cheney reminds me of Charles Curtis, but I think that is unfair to Hoover’s vice president, and to Native Americans generally.