s skippy the bush kangaroo: March 2010

skippy the bush kangaroo

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

skippy's wednesday nite music club

feeling the superstition...steve ray vaugh austin blues style.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:16 PM | 8 comments

obama must have misspelled

the chant is supposed to read "krill, baby, krill"

we here in santa barbara know all to well what offshore drilling can do to our big, blubbery neighbors. and we will use another republican quote..."just say no!!!!!!" when it comes to offshore drilling.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:00 PM | 9 comments

happy birthday

Al Gore
Originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein
mr. former president elect.
posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:47 PM | 3 comments

making money the old-fashioned way...via lawsuits!

this is disgusting:
al snyder's son died in iraq in may of 2006. members of the rabidly anti-gay westboro baptist church picketed his son matthew's funeral, causing immense personal, emotional pain for him, his family and their friends.

snyder won a $5 million civil lawsuit against the church and the phelps family, but it was recently tossed out of a federal court. to add insult to injury, the court has now ordered snyder to pay all of the church's legal fees:
baltimore — lawyers for the father of a marine who died in iraq say a court has ordered him to pay legal costs for the anti-gay protesters who picketed his son's funeral.

the protesters are led by fred phelps of westboro baptist church. albert snyder of york, pa., had won a $5 million verdict against phelps, but it was thrown out on appeal.

the u.s. supreme court agreed earlier this month to consider whether the protesters' provocative messages, which include phrases like "thank god for dead soldiers," are protected by the first amendment.

lawyers say snyder already is struggling to come up with the fees associated with filing the brief with the high court. read on...
worse, in the big picture, this is apparently how fred phelps & the church of unmitigated hatred makes their living. the very astute aimai comments @ balloon juice:
its important to remember that the phelps’ make their living off this stuff—getting paid in the form of “legal fees” is, in fact, the way they earn their money. none of their speech/protests are geared at actually doing anything political, or even (necessarily) expressing actual views on political or social subjects. their goal is to get someone in the temporary audience to offend, strike, or sue them and then they counter sue for damages. google “fred phelps conman” and you’ll see the whole sorry story. the whole family is a set of insane, abusive litigants who travel the country in order to gin up legal cases that they can win for money.

the free speech issues, as others have said upthread, are really murky. i object to people being allowed to protest other people’s private lives, or private griefs. after a lot of struggle we sort of got a zone of privacy around abortion clinics because of the abusive hectoring of the anti abortion crowd and their willingness to use private persons for political argument. i think a zone of privacy around funeral homes or cemeteries during funerals is also appropriate. but the only way to handle the phelps clan is to structure events so that its more costly to them to go and protest than the money they earn attacking counterprotestors or winning suits. ignoring them actually is the best thing to do. anything else runs the risk that innocent bystanders, like the snyder family, will suffer greater harm.
we've googled that for you.

back to the case @ hand, here's the site for a legal fund set up for mr. snyder, if you'd care to donate to his cause (ie, paying the stupid court fees).

(thx & a tip o' the kangaroo tail to crooks&liars for this story link!)
posted by skippy at 12:13 PM | 8 comments

this is not good

obama to open offshore areas to oil drilling for first time:
the obama administration is proposing to open vast expanses of water along the atlantic coastline, the eastern gulf of mexico and the north coast of alaska to oil and natural gas drilling, much of it for the first time, officials said tuesday.

the proposal — a compromise that will please oil companies and domestic drilling advocates but anger some residents of affected states and many environmental organizations — would end a longstanding moratorium on oil exploration along the east coast from the northern tip of delaware to the central coast of florida, covering 167 million acres of ocean.

under the plan, the coastline from new jersey northward would remain closed to all oil and gas activity. so would the pacific coast, from mexico to the canadian border.

the environmentally sensitive bristol bay in southwestern alaska would be protected and no drilling would be allowed under the plan, officials said. but large tracts in the chukchi sea and beaufort sea in the arctic ocean north of alaska — nearly 130 million acres — would be eligible for exploration and drilling after extensive studies.
matt yglesias has a good, comprehensive map of the proposed drilling areas. d-day, over @ fdl, wonders:
this is puzzling on a number of levels.

  • the la times refers to this as a bargaining chip in the climate bill debate, but i see it more like showing your cards before the end of the hand. why would you let republicans know about a pre-compromised offshore drilling regime, so that they can push for even more? this won’t garner one republican vote any more than compromising the health care bill garnered any republican votes. if this was the result of a negotiation, fine, but this comes before the negotiation.

  • this comes right at a time when core supporters were starting to get energized about the midterm elections and about the president’s performance. there is nobody in the democratic base who is particularly excited about “drill baby drill.” it’s true that the president actually noted support for it on the campaign trail, at the height of the drilling conversation, but the timing couldn’t be worse for this action. it’s especially galling that students have the most to lose from this plan, a day after obama signed a groundbreaking piece of legislation specifically aiding students.

  • nobody has been talking about this for close to two years. conservatives had moved on to other topics, and now this will come rushing back. and instead of crediting the president for basically handing them one of their issues, they’ll criticize him for exempting the west coast and the northeast.
either obama thinks the climate bill is dead and he’s handing out a couple of the goodies he already promised, or his team has assessed that these tracts won’t be cost-effective enough for oil companies to actually do the drilling, so it’s a low-cost hedge toward moderation. we know that oil companies have thousands of reserve contracts for on-shore drilling sites in the us that they haven’t and probably will not ever explore. they end up on company profiles as “future reserve sites” to prove the stability of their operations to investors. in the end, this may end up being a big giveaway to oil company balance sheets, without the environmental hazards.
and steve benen is also confused:
my confusion, then, is over the administration's negotiating tactics. in february, the president cleared the way for the first new u.s. nuclear power plants in more than 30 years. today, the president will reportedly open up new opportunities for coastal drilling.

in other words, obama has already effectively given republicans what they wanted on energy. what is he getting in return?
we must agree. just when the base has felt like dems can actually get their agenda on the road, obama has handed the repubbbs a give-away.
posted by skippy at 8:58 AM | 5 comments

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

skippy's tuesday nite music club

feeling the blues...b.b.king, eric clapton, buddy guy, jimmy vaughn style

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:10 PM | 5 comments

why the health insurance reform was rigged

from the beginning. (youtube posted october 11, 2009)

yeah..."thanks" liz fowler.

Even the medical billing workers probably don’t like the new legislation. Doubt they’d see any benefits from it anyway.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:33 PM | 4 comments

more mortgage trouble ahead

this time of commercial nature.

by the end of 2010, about half of all commercial real estate mortgages will be underwater, said elizabeth warren, chairperson of the tarp congressional oversight panel, in a wide-ranging interview on monday.

“they are [mostly] concentrated in the mid-sized banks,” warren told cnbc. “we now have 2,988 banks—mostly midsized, that have these dangerous concentrations in commercial real estate lending." - cnbc

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:05 PM | 3 comments

mad about political april fools day

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 7:18 PM | 3 comments

no speling alowed

via about.com, here are some reasons we have a hard time taking the tea baggers seriously as political thinkers:


"just extremey"? is that like "old-timey"?



that's gotta be from that monster movie, the amnetyville horror

and they wonder why we call them "tea baggers"
posted by skippy at 7:05 PM | 5 comments

it's funny because it's true

posted by skippy at 9:19 AM | 1 comments

Monday, March 29, 2010

a million a month?

what freakin' planet are you on...go get a freakin' job like the rest of us. try living a "lifestyle" based in reality...for a change.
jamie mccourt is seeking $988,845 a month to maintain a lifestyle including seven homes and private jets. - bloomberg

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:01 PM | 4 comments

attention florida retirees

you might want to know what one of the rethuglicans running for senate wants to do.
rubio offered a controversial plan of his own, proposing to simultaneously raise the retirement age and cut social security benefits. - the great orange one
time to vote democratic.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:23 AM | 1 comments

day of the grasshopper

locusts are so 20th century.

farmers and ranchers across the west are bracing for a grasshopper infestation that could devastate millions of acres of crops and land used for grazing.

over the coming weeks, federal officials say, grasshoppers will likely hatch in bigger numbers than any year since 1985. hungry swarms caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage that year when they devoured corn, barley, alfalfa, beets—even fence posts and the paint off the sides of barns. - wsj

Grasshopper portrait
Originally uploaded by pintomarta50

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:55 AM | 1 comments

Sunday, March 28, 2010

we hate the government, where's our social security check?

steve benen analyzes the nytimes piece that examines individual baggers who talk the talk but don't walk the walk:
take tom grimes, for example.
in the last year, he has organized a local group and a statewide coalition, and even started a "bus czar" web site to marshal protesters to washington on short notice. this month, he mobilized 200 other tea party activists to go to the local office of the same congressman to protest what he sees as the government's takeover of health care. [...]

"if you quit giving people that stuff, they would figure out how to do it on their own," mr. grimes said.
when grimes lost his job 15 months ago, one of his first steps was contacting his congressman about available programs that might give him access to government health care. he receives social security, and is considering a job opening at the census bureau. but in the meantime, grimes has filled the back seat of his mercury grand marquis with literature decrying government aid to struggling americans.

the same article noted the efforts of diana reimer, considered a "star" right-wing activist in her efforts against government programs, a campaign she describes as her "mission." reimer, of course, currently enjoys social security and the socialized medicine that comes with medicare.

the cognitive dissonance is rather remarkable. they perceive the government as the source of their economic distress -- which itself doesn't make sense -- and then rely on the government to give them a hand, all the while demanding that the government do less to give people a hand. their reflexive hatred for public programs is so irrational, they don't even see the contradiction.

"after a year of angry debate," the times article noted, "emotion outweighs fact."

that's no doubt true. but that doesn't change the fact that we're talking about a reasonably large group of people who are deeply, tragically misguided.
or else tragically stupid.
posted by skippy at 9:16 AM | 5 comments

there's poop on both sides

william k. wolfrum tells us angry bird craps on blogger’s car – so democrats can just shut up about “death threats” -

in an attempt to show that democratic politicians aren’t the only ones dealing with threats and violence, blogger william k. wolfrum today admitted that a bird crapped on his car, which he called an “obvious attempt to shut me up.”

“you know, democrats are whining and complaining about receiving death threats and whatnot, but really, i’m the victim here,” said wolfrum, formerly a back-up singer with the band a-ha. “but do you hear me complaining about it? no, death threats and bird crappings are par for the course in today’s world.”

the incident, which happened last march after wolfrum published a damning column titled “birds, fuck ‘em,” cannot be verified by authorities, but wolfrum insists he was the victim of an attack, despite the fact that he wasn’t actually in the car at the time of the crapping. nonetheless, the blogger stated that it was probably his fault, really.
posted by skippy at 8:54 AM | 1 comments

water who?

the sailor over @ vidiotspeak schools the repubbbs in a waterloo history lesson.
posted by skippy at 8:47 AM | 2 comments

Saturday, March 27, 2010

geeking out

the new dr. who starts april 17, on bbc america!

but it got us to wondering...repubbblicans = daleks?

posted by skippy at 8:27 PM | 0 comments

no violence on the right's part, oh no

letters, they get letters...

threatening letters, that is! asspress:
u.s. rep. vic snyder of arkansas says a letter saying he's a target for assassination was intercepted by u.s. capitol police.

snyder says he was told about the letter tuesday by capitol police. it was postmarked in a western state - not arkansas - and misspelled his name as "vic synder."

snyder read from a copy of the original saying: "it is apparent that it will take a few assassinations to stop obamacare. militia central has selected you for assassination. if we cannot stalk and find you in washington, d.c., we will get you in little rock."

at least 10 members of congress have reported similar threats.
nice misspelling, baggers! if it weren't so serious, we'd make a "return to synder" joke.
posted by skippy at 8:07 PM | 0 comments

sign the "boycott discovery networks" petition

here's a petition to boycott discovery networks until they remove sarah palin as host of "sarah palin's alaska."

we signed the petition ourselves, tho we must point out a couple of problems w/the specific purpose of it mentioned therein.

firstly, it would be rather hard to take sarah palin out of "sarah palin's alaska." it would make much more sense to ask discovery channel to not buy & show the program in the first place.

but more to the point, the petition offers ms. palin's attitudes towards wildlife as the reasons to boycott discovery networks.

this is indeed a reason some could deign as legitimate, but not the reason we'd boycott.

instead, as we wrote on the signature box on the petition, we take issue w/ms. palin's use of cross-hairs on pictures of elected officials and incindiary violent metaphors ("reload!") on her facebook page and in her speeches.

it's time repubbblicans learned there are consequences to actions. if ms. palin advocates violent revolution (and make no mistake; shooting elected officials is violent and revolutionary), she must take responsibility for the effects of her speech.

and for us, that means hassling the tv channels that want to do business w/her.
posted by skippy at 7:37 PM | 2 comments

no violence on the right's part, oh no part 2

video of a heckler forcibly removed from mccain's rally (via alan colmes liberaland):

here's how another heckler was treated once he got ejected from the rally (via abc15.com):

note: hit pause, or you'll see all of channel 15's newscast!

how's that repealy & reformy thing workin' out for ya? *wink*
posted by skippy at 5:52 PM | 4 comments

wolves @ the (cinematic) door

to take a brief respite from politics, we'll discuss our most recent film fascination.

our latest inappropriate crush is for amanda seyfried, a wonderful actress seen in big love, as well as mama mia and other various grade b films (tho her small turn in alpha dog only adds to that movie's power).

while chatting on some innertubez board or other about the announced re-imagining of little red riding hood starring seyfried, the conversation turned to other great little red riding hood/wolf films, and we learned about three we had never seen before.

so, using the power that is netflix, we have remedied that situation, and will give you our opinions thereon:

the company of wolves - by the crying game director neil jordan - tho the 1984 fx of people changing into wolves are rather hoaky by today's cgi standards, the film is nonetheless a beautiful and stylish musing on the red riding hood story. the movie enters peter greenaway territory as characters have dreams about characters telling stories about other characters who have fantasies. this film turns the original story about wolves and little girls into an evocative nightmare, both compelling and unsettling. also, anything w/angela lansbury is always treat!

freeway - we like this one on paper, but the execution was a little drawn out for our tastes. starring a young reese witherspoon and young kiefer sutherland (both before they became big time stars), this homage to the worst excesses of oliver stone casts red riding hood as the product of a broken crack ho's home (the always delightful amanda plummer as the crack ho). red, or vanessa in this version, gets picked up by the sinister mr. woverton (sutherland) who turns out to be the dreaded freeway killer. vanessa shoots him before he can hurt her, but he doesn't die, but vows revenge. she goes to prison, escapes, and takes off on a carnage-filled trek to find grandma, where she has a final showdown w/a disguised wolverton. we have nothing against going over the top; indeed, that's been our motto for years. but this film got to be a bit repetitive, tho we enjoyed seeing brooke shields (as mrs. wolverston) shoot her own brains out. if low-rent quentin tarrantino if your thing, you might enjoy this more than we did.

ginger snaps - not exactly a retelling of red riding hood (we understand the sequel leans more to the fable than this original), yet this wonderful movie still deals w/young girls and wolves...only this time the young girls are the wolves. this canadian horror tale makes the bizarre metaphor of the onset of menstruation as lycanthropy...adolescence turns girls into wolves. it's more a werewolf flick and less a fairy tale, but it's a cautionary fable nonetheless. the gore, while plentiful, is not gratiutous (tho more than one innocent dog got gutted for our tastes); and we would quibble that the first onscreen killing was an accident rather than out-and-out savage carnage. but the movie was first rate in holding our attention, made with both wit and evident knowledge of its pedigree, pun intended. as the two leads, misunderstood sisters ginger and bridget, katherine isabelle and emily perkins never strike a false note. high fun w/o camp, funny and scary @ the same time, we urge you to check it out.

any other red riding hood/werewolf films we might have missed? consider this an open thread antidote to all things twilight.
posted by skippy at 3:26 PM | 6 comments

buy the freeway

the freeway blogger, that is!

now you can buy posters of his readers' hard work, available @ freeway blogger.com!

posted by skippy at 5:21 AM | 0 comments

mad about mitt romney

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 5:20 AM | 0 comments

Friday, March 26, 2010

famous last words

via open left

posted by skippy at 1:32 PM | 2 comments

it was a fine run, but now it's over

this is just a small word of thanks to the big red bears of cornell for giving me a little lift with their fine run in the ncaa basketball championships. as an alum (class of '80) who watched his sophomore year roommate play for a cornell basketball team that went 9-17, i was delighted to see them enjoy such success.

thanks, boys.
posted by DBK at 12:14 PM | 0 comments

happy birthday, madame speaker!

when we're 70, we hope to be mostly sleeping.

but speaker of the house nancy pelosi is going strong, esp. these last few weeks when she did the majority of work pushing the health care bill thru!

if you're too late to send her roses, why not call the capitol switchboard (202) 224-3121, ask for speaker pelosi's office, and then tell them you'd like to leave her a message of congratulations and birthday wishes!

update: madame speaker thanks you all:

posted by skippy at 10:40 AM | 0 comments

i'm just a bill


posted by skippy at 9:21 AM | 1 comments

what's sauce for the goose is calling the kettle black

in the wake of the rash of violence and theats against democratic law makers, some repubbbs are pointing out that the left is being just as extreme towards them:
eric cantor of virginia, the no. 2 republican in the house, said at a news conference today that someone had fired a bullet through the window of his campaign office this week.

so, he says, it's not just democrats who have been targets of violence and party leaders should stop "dangerously fanning the flames" by blaming republicans for threats against house democrats who voted for the health care legislation.
so the fringe lefties are inciting violence against the repubbbs as well? as another blog sez, sadly, no:
a bullet that hit a window in republican u.s. rep. eric cantor’s office building was fired randomly into the air, police said thursday.

cantor announced at a capitol hill news conference thursday that a shot had been fired into his richmond campaign office...

later thursday, however, richmond police said in a news release that the bullet had been fired into the air around 1 a.m. tuesday. it finished its random arc back to earth at a sharp downward trajectory, breaking a window pane on the bottom floor of the two-story brick building where cantor’s campaign leases the top floor.

the spent bullet hit the floor about one foot inside the shattered pane. no one was in the building at the time. a police investigation has yielded no suspects.

the pastel green structure with a purple door resembles a town house, and from the outside it is difficult to distinguish whether it is a business or residence. except for a brass plate by the door identifying it as the reagan building, nothing outdoors links it to cantor or to the gop.

it is owned by the political consulting firm whose clients include cantor and former gov. and former republican national committee chairman jim gilmore.

richmond has struggled for year with high rates of gun violence in some neighborhoods. while the building housing cantor’s office is one of the city’s safer downtown areas, some of the more dangerous neighborhoods lie one-half mile to a mile away.
but wait, there's more! think the tea bagger movement is full of racists? not so, sez the founder:
but dale robertson, founder of teaparty.org, said no one knows who might have yelled out racial epithets during the capitol hill protest. he said a democratic lawmaker refused to accompany capitol police officers to identify a white man accused of spitting.

"these people could be anybody. i wouldn't put it past the democrats to plant somebody there," mr. robertson said. "they're trying to label the tea party, but i've never seen any racial slurs."
dale robertson? that name sounds familiar...where did we hear...oh, yeah! that's right:
dale robertson, a tea party activist who operates teaparty.org, is getting stung for an old photo — taken at the feb. 27, 2009 tea party in houston — in which he holds a sign reading “congress = slaveowner, taxpayer = niggar.”

the right just can't catch a break this week!

(tip o' the kangaroo tail to media matters for the robertson catch!)
posted by skippy at 8:45 AM | 3 comments

if corporations were people

why aren't these "peeps" in jail?

jpmorgan chase & co., lehman brothers holdings inc. and ubs ag were among more than a dozen wall street firms involved in a conspiracy to pay below-market interest rates to u.s. state and local governments on investments, according to documents filed in a u.s. justice department criminal antitrust case. - bloomberg
they are financial terrorists.
they coluded to destroy america.
they have done more damage than bin laden could ever have dreamed of.

why aren't they being hauled into court?

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:36 AM | 0 comments

tom coburn hates unemployed people

and wants them to suffer even more than we already are.
sen. tom coburn (r-okla.) has blocked passage of a crucial package of expiring provisions, including extended unemployment insurance benefits that are scheduled to run out on april 5.

coburn has balked at democrats’ request for unanimous consent to pass the extensions, threatening a standoff similar to one that pitted sen. jim bunning (r-ky.) against the democratic leadership last month. - the hill
the repubublicans are hellbent on destroying america. they are hellbent on financially torturing americans. they are hellbent on destroying president obama. they are hellbent on "breaking" him...and those of us who are reality based.

you know what, republicans can go straight to h**l.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:28 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, March 25, 2010

skippy's irregular nite music club

before there was spinal tap (about 8 months before), there was bad news

bad news - bohemian rhapsody

fair warning: compared to bad news, spinal tap sounds like queen. seriously.
posted by skippy at 7:07 PM | 0 comments

they're coming across the finish line...and it's health care by a nose!

roll call sez: healthcare wins!
the congressional democratic push to overhaul health care is finally, at very long last, done. house democrats voted 220-207 thursday night to approve a package of fixes to the underlying law after the senate made two minor changes to the version the house first passed on sunday night.
posted by skippy at 7:00 PM | 0 comments

it's not the swine flu, it's the roo flu

from our buddy allison hart

posted by skippy at 5:18 PM | 0 comments

bee concerned

with news on the buzzy bumbly little busy bodies. there's some good news...and some bad.
there is good news: while some areas are seeing a shortage of bees, globally the number of domesticated honeybee colonies is increasing. the bad news is that this increase can’t keep up with our growing appetite for luxury foods that depend heavily on bee pollination. the domesticated honeybee isn’t the only pollinator that agriculture relies on — wild bees also play a significant role, and we seem intent on destroying their habitats. - nytimes

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:22 AM | 0 comments

mad about republican trials

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 3:34 AM | 1 comments

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

biden was right

you can pick up a big f****'n one here.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:11 PM | 1 comments

the party of hell no you can't

this is priceless:

john boehner - hell no you can't
posted by skippy at 5:26 PM | 6 comments

i have a meme...orandum!

to be honest, there were days recently when we hated reading memeorandum, because the meme-bots seemed to concentrate on the hardly-ever-right wing's version of reality (which is to say, no reality at all).

but today it's a pleasure looking @ this aggregator. the following few posts reflect the cornucopia of riches offered by meme-orandum today. to wit:

health care changes to start taking effect this year - bloomberg:
indoor tanning salons will charge customers a 10 percent tax beginning in july in one of the changes americans will see as a result of the u.s. health-care overhaul signed into law by president barack obama.

insurers will be required by september to begin providing health coverage to kids with pre-existing illnesses and allow parents to keep children younger than 26 on their plans as the clock has begun ticking on many of the law’s provisions. medicare recipients will receive a $250 rebate for prescription drugs when they reach a coverage gap called the donut hole if the senate passes and the president signs companion legislation approved march 21 by the u.s. house…

within 90 days, the law will provide immediate access to high-risk insurance plans for people who can’t get insurance because of a pre-existing medical problem, harris said. these high-risk pools will be funded by $5 billion in federal grants.

companies led by minnetonka, minnesota-based unitedhealth group inc., the largest health insurer, will be banned within six months from dropping a person’s coverage because of severe illness and from limiting lifetime or annual benefits.

participants in medicare, the u.s. government’s health coverage for those 65 and older, are expected get a $250 rebate toward prescription drugs once their benefits run out -- a coverage gap know as the “doughnut hole.” the benefit is part of the package of amendments to the legislation now pending in the senate. drugmakers led by new york-based pfizer inc. will have to offer discounted drugs to medicare recipients next year, according to an analysis of the legislation by the kaiser family foundation, a nonprofit group based in menlo park, california
posted by skippy at 10:09 AM | 1 comments

i have a meme...orandum! part 2

poll: small bump in health care believers - cbs.com
a new cbs news poll shows americans are giving president obama credit for getting sweeping health care reform legislation passed in the house of representatives on sunday, and slightly more people now approve of the policy changes, but not quite a majority.

cbs re-interviewed 649 adults, initially questioned for a poll conducted march 18-21, on monday and tuesday following the house vote.

of those re-interviewed, 47 percent said they approved of the job the president is doing on health care, up six points from the cbs news poll conducted just prior to the house vote. however, views of his handling of health care were still mixed, with 48 percent saying they disapprove.

read the complete poll

two in three americans re-interviewed after the bill passed said the passage represents an accomplishment for the president - including more than half who saw it as a major accomplishment, up from 46 percent before sunday's vote. just 32 percent said it was not an accomplishment for mr. obama…

support for the bill itself has also risen five points since the house vote sunday night. before the vote, 37 percent of americans approved of the bill while 48 percent disapproved. now those same americans are more closely divided, with 42 percent expressing approval and 46 percent disapproval. still, a third "strongly" disapproves.
posted by skippy at 10:06 AM | 1 comments

i have a meme...orandum! part 3

scary new gop poll - the daily beast:
on the heels of health care, a new harris poll reveals republican attitudes about obama: two-thirds think he's a socialist, 57 percent a muslim—and 24 percent say "he may be the antichrist."…
  • 67 percent of republicans (and 40 percent of americans overall) believe that obama is a socialist.

  • 57 percent of republicans (32 percent overall) believe that obama is a muslim

  • 45 percent of republicans (25 percent overall) agree with the birthers in their belief that obama was "not born in the united states and so is not eligible to be president"

  • 38 percent of republicans (20 percent overall) say that obama is "doing many of the things that hitler did"

  • scariest of all, 24 percent of republicans (14 percent overall) say that obama "may be the antichrist."
posted by skippy at 10:03 AM | 1 comments

i have a meme...orandum! part 4

the backlash: reform turns personal - politico:
louise slaughter and bart stupak have received death threats.

a tea party participant published what he thought was thomas perriello’s home address and urged disgruntled voters to “drop by” for a “good face-to-face chat.”

vandals broke windows at slaughter’s office in new york and gabrielle giffords’s office in arizona.

and angry voters are planning to protest this weekend at the home of steve driehaus — who’s already seen a photograph of his children used in a newspaper ad published by reform opponents.

the vitriolic health care debate has become personal — too personal, say house democrats who voted for the bill and now find not just themselves but their families in the cross hairs of opponents.
posted by skippy at 9:59 AM | 0 comments

i have a meme...orandum! part 5

"it's always the bush league schools" coulter contends - canada.com:
after protesters at the university of ottawa prevented ann coulter from giving a speech tuesday night, the american conservative writer said it proved the point she came to make — free speech in canada leaves much to be desired…

coulter said she has been speaking regularly at university campuses for a decade. while she has certainly been heckled, she said this is the first time an engagement has been cancelled because of protesters.

“this has never, ever, ever happened before — even at the stupidest american university,” she said…

outside the hall, sameena topan, 26, a conflict studies and human rights major at the u of o, spoke to the citizen on behalf of a group of protesters.

“we have a large group of students that can very clearly outline the difference between discourse and discrimination,” topan said of the protest. “we wanted to mobilize and make sure that’s clear on campus, that there’s a line between controversy and discrimination, and ann coulter has crossed it. numerous times.”

“we had concerns about (the event) at the beginning, but especially after we saw what happened at the university of western ontario, when she called out a muslim girl there and was saying she needs to take a camel because muslim people shouldn’t fly. that kind of stuff just reaffirmed everything that we were afraid of and that’s when . . . we really got worried.”

topan was pleased to hear the students behind her shout, “hate speech cancelled!” in unison.
posted by skippy at 9:54 AM | 0 comments

i have a meme...orandum! part 6

al franken gets alleged kbr rape victim her day in court - business insider:
the fifth circuit eventually held that some of [halliburton employee jamie lee] jones' claims did indeed belong in court because the assault was not related to her employment. kbr had appealed the decision to the supreme court, but after initial briefing, kbr withdrew its appeal on march 11.

why? sen. al franken! franken successfully advocated a prohibition that keeps contractors receiving federal defense funds from forcing employees to arbitration to resolve certain claims, including civil rights and harassment disputes.

kbr spokesperson heather browne told the blog of the legal times that the withdrawal was in fact related to the franken amendment. though they said they believe "that the language of the amendment is broad and vague," they did not wish to run afoul of it.

jones' attorney said they are now preparing for trial.
posted by skippy at 9:51 AM | 0 comments

i have a meme...orandum! part 7

republicans feeling blue as scott brown win backfires - boston herald:
“we start to wonder whether we helped a rino (republican in name only) get into office,” said tea party activist jeffrey mcqueen, who traveled from michigan to campaign for brown in the final days of the jan. 19 special election that rocked the nation.

“if it wasn’t for the tea party movement, scott brown wouldn’t have gotten that seat. we expect to see a true conservative in there.”

in fact, democrats now say brown’s election as the so-called “41st vote” to block obama’s health-care overhaul inspired them to seek procedural means to bypass gop efforts to derail the bill.

“scott brown’s election actually delivered health-care reform, because we didn’t need the 60 votes to make it happen. he delivered a significant victory in that,” [mass. democratic party chairman john] walsh said.
so pls. be sure to read meme-orandum, esp. this week, when dems are celebrating a slow, painful, and tiny baby step back towards reality!
posted by skippy at 9:39 AM | 2 comments

cute overload

the cutest wrestling match ever

kitty vs. baby
posted by skippy at 9:37 AM | 0 comments

happy 5 year blogiversary to....

yep. don't want to be tooting my own horn or rolling my own fondont, but cookiesinheaven the blog turns 5 years old today. that's a heck of a long time in blogtopia (y!sctp) years.

Emily's Birthday Cookies - Cupcake
Originally uploaded by SusieHazCakes.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:30 AM | 3 comments

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


world water day edition.

world water day: thirsty gaza residents battle salt, sewage. - untreated pools of sewage, some as large as 100 acres, seep back into the sole aquifer that provides freshwater for gaza’s 1.5 million people. aid workers are looking at new ways to replenish the aquifer, this world water day. - christian science monitor

u.s. bolsters chemical restrictions for water. - the epa announced on monday that it would overhaul drinking water regulations so that officials could police dozens of contaminants simultaneously and tighten rules on the chemicals used by industries. - nytimes

world water day focus on global sewage flood. - two billion tons of human and animal waste and industrial pollution are dumped into waterways every day around the world, according to reports released today in nairobi, kenya, for the 17th annual world water day - national geographic news

uganda says pollution of lake victoria worsening. - pollution in parts of lake victoria is worsening so fast that soon it may be impossible to treat its waters enough to provide drinking water for the ugandan capital, a senior official said monday. - reuters

kerala government panel holds coca-cola liable for damages. - a high-level committee set up by the government of southern indian state of kerala has slapped a damages liability of rs2.16bn on coca-cola for "the multi-sector damage it caused to the people" of plachimada in palakkad district - doha peninsula

the looming water disaster that could destroy california, and enrich its billionaire farmers
there's a disaster waiting to happen in the sacramento-san joaquin delta, and a handful of wealthy farmers seem to like it that way. - alternet

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:13 PM | 1 comments

he's benen obscurity for too long

we've been congratulating ourselves and all blog readers and writers since sunday for their parts in making health care reform a reality.

however, we have stumbled upon some information which informs us that a handful of specific bloggers, and one man in particular, are responsible for not only the yeoman's work of getting it done, but the miracle of keeping the idea of hcr alive when it was considered dead by all.

andrew sabl over @ samefacts.com sez:

success has many parents (of both sexes), and in this case needed more than one godfather. i won’t dissent from jonathan chait’s praise of the president, john judis’ kudos to pressure from grassroots democrats, or—especially, since it flatters my whiggish sympathies and corrects for the presidentialist bias of the press—steve benen’s and mike’s (update: and james’) emphasis on speaker pelosi as the colossus who bestrode the whole process.

but i’d like to single out one person who deserves more praise than he’s going to claim or is likely to get: steve benen himself. after scott brown won, democrats’ first reaction was panic. the analogy most often drawn, though it in retrospect seems deranged to compare the loss of a senate super-majority to the loss of both houses, was to clinton’s situation, and his reaction, after the republican victories of 1994. steve stepped in on january 20—just a day after coakley’s loss, a full week before the state of the union—with an alternative: “pass the damn bill,” and then amend it via reconciliation. i believe he invented the slogan, though kevin drum picked it up a few hours later. i know that he flogged it, immediately, relentlessly and repeatedly, through good news and bad: see, for example, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. it became proverbial. it became the popular title—and, thanks to alert fans, the easy-to-remember url—of steve’s pithy, powerful strategy memo making the case for moving forward. it cemented democratic opinion around the idea that failure was not an option—and, more important, that incremental reform counted as failure…

in this campaign, obama provided the rhetoric, pelosi and her people the toughness and legislative legwork, and andy stern and others the grassroots pressure. but “pass the damn bill” provided the focal point: not failure, not incremental reform, but the imperfect, landmark bill that the senate had already passed. once that was set, and only then, incremental reform or putting off the whole process started to seem cowardly and crabbed, a strategy almost impossible for a serious democrat to justify. steve’s explicit and successful model was william kristol’s 1994 memo, which made all-out-opposition into the tragically successful focal point for republicans faced with clinton’s health reform plan.

had the post-1994 clinton point (a.k.a. the panic point) crystallized and become focal, i’m not sure that all the leadership and pressure in the world could have led to more than a bitter failure. the pressure might not even have been attempted. (remember the daley rule: “don’t back no losers.”)

benen’s conceptual leadership wasn’t sufficient by itself. but it was necessary. no benen, no bill. thanks, steve. a lot of sick people owe their future lives to you.

update: ken d. (see comment below) is right to give brian beutler credit for bringing up the “pass the damn bill” strategy before steve did. and another reader emailed me to say that kevin drum called on the house to “pass the damn bill” in this context before steve did—in fact, on the morning of the massachusetts election, when coakley’s loss was a fear but not a fact. the same reader also pointed out the role of kevin’s great graphic in spreading the idea. though that graphic appeared in the link above, i honestly hadn’t noticed its influence in the debate or even its presence—because i almost never note anything visual, full stop (chalk it up to extreme nearsightedness, and no glasses until i was eight). but the graphic made quite an impression on normal people; now that i’ve looked, i’ve seen it everywhere. i’m a tremendous fan of kevin’s and read his blog daily; he hereby gets big props for the slogan and the sign.

but the larger point of my post stands. it was benen who most tenaciously pursued the idea, argued it, explained it, built a compelling strategy memo out of it, and was most responsible for making it the focal point. since posting, i’ve had nothing but confirmation from email, other blog posts, and comments here and elsewhere about how influential steve was. it was of course a team effort, and there were many standouts on the team. but steve got us singing the marseillaise.
that's right, singing the marseillaise:

addendum: congrats to steve and the washmonthly for his two nominations for the utne reader independent press awards!
posted by skippy at 8:30 PM | 2 comments

violence, ignorance & no spell check directed @ dem. reps

the offices of several dem. representatives have been the target of violence since the passage of hcr. amanda terkel @ thinkprogress:
yesterday, thinkprogress reported that several democratic offices around the nation had been vandalized in the days surrounding the house health care vote. vandals have struck the tuscon office of rep. gabrielle giffords (d-az), the monroe county democratic committee headquarters in upstate new york, rep. louise slaughter’s (d-ny) niagara falls office, the knox county democratic headquarters in ohio, and the sedgwick county democratic party headquarters in wichita, ks. the local rochester abc affiliate now has more information on the upstate ny vandalism, including an assassination threat against the children of lawmakers who voted for health reform:
no one was inside when the brick was hurled through the democratic patry headquarters on university avenue. attached was a note quoting conservative barry goldwater: “exremism [sic] in defense of liberty is no vice”. [...]

[rep. louise] slaughter has been at the center of the push for reform. last thursday she received a chilling recorded message at her campaign office. “assassinate is the word they used…toward the children of lawmakers who voted yes.”

the fbi is now investigating.
here's the message that was attached to the brick thrown thru rep. slaughter's window. notice the sophisication level:


neither, apparently, is bad spelling.
posted by skippy at 7:03 PM | 3 comments

it's lonely at the bottom

via swampland, this pretty much sez it all:

photo: ap

house republican conference chairman mike pence and congresswoman cathy mcmorris rodgers holding a capitol hill news conference today on health care legislation
posted by skippy at 6:59 PM | 0 comments

David Frum or Brad DeLong?

I report, you decide (no fair peeking at the URL):
I don’t know whether a [health care reform] deal could have been done in the Senate Finance Committee. Maybe it was hopeless from the get-go. On the other hand, as the Journal itself says: "[A] group of Republicans did negotiate with Finance Chairman Max Baucus for months …" It would be equally accurate to say that Finance Chairman Max Baucus negotiated with Republicans for months. Months! Doesn’t that suggest something to you? Gigot? Henninger? McGurn? Anybody? Anybody?

The blogsphere has gotten wide3r in the center.


posted by Ken Houghton at 5:55 PM | 1 comments

canada gives man coulter a little warning

before she heads north for a college speaking engagment.

"don't go spreading your hatefilled vile verbal bile up here...or you could be in a little legal trouble."
"....you will realize that canadian law puts reasonable limits on the freedom of expression. for example, promoting hatred against any identifiable group would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges. outside of the criminal realm, canadian defamation laws also limit freedom of expression and may differ somewhat from those to which you are accustomed. i therefore ask you, while you are a guest on our campus, to weigh your words with respect and civility in mind." - think progress
republicans don't know what the word civility means...let alone spell it.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:53 AM | 1 comments

mad about addled threats

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 2:40 AM | 0 comments

Monday, March 22, 2010

skippy's irregular nite music club

secret taping of closed door democratic celebration after last nite's vote:

posted by skippy at 6:59 PM | 1 comments

don't blame bachmann--being wrong is just something she does better than anything else

msnbc.com reports on the representative who yelled "baby killer" during the c-span broadcast fo the passage of the health reform bill. the representative who yelled it, randy neugebauer (r-tx-moron), admitted it. politico apparently asked michelle bachmann who yelled it:
but at least two republican lawmakers — michele bachmann of minnesota and tom price of georgia — told politico that they believed the comment was shouted from the gallery.

don't blame bachmann for getting it wrong. getting it wrong is all she does.
posted by DBK at 11:46 AM | 0 comments

back-handed congratulations

as happy as we are for last nite's legislative victory in the house, we tend to agree w/john scalzi @ whatever:

it took the democrats several weeks longer to find their gonads than i thought it should have, but then again i thought the health care process should have been accomplished several months ago to begin with, back when they had 60 senators. but the democrats have an apparent structural problem, which is that when they have everything going their way, a lot of them feel that means they should immediately go another way. it took losing their senate supermajority and the gop overwhelming the public discourse on the health care process to get enough democrats in line, with many i suspect motivated by the simple fear that what the gop would do to them if health care passed was less painful than what would the gop would do to them if it failed…

that said, the democrats were magnificently fortunate that, as incompetent as they are, they are ever-so-slightly less incompetent than the gop, which by any realistic standard has been handed one of the largest legislative defeats in decades. the gop was not simply opposed to health care, it was opposed to it in shrill, angry, apocalyptic terms, and saw it not as legislation, or in terms of whether or not health care reform was needed or desirable for americans, but purely as political strategy, in terms of whether or not it could kneecap obama and bring itself back into the majority. as such there was no real political or moral philosophy to the gop’s action, it was all short-term tactics, i.e., take an idea a majority of people like (health care reform), lie about its particulars long enough and in a dramatic enough fashion to lower the popularity of the idea, and then bellow in angry tones about how the president and the democrats are ignoring the will of the people. then publicly align the party with the loudest and most ignorant segment of your supporters, who are in part loud because you’ve encouraged them to scream, and ignorant because you and your allies in the media have been feeding them bad information. whip it all up until health care becomes the single most important issue for both political parties — an all-in, must win, absolutely cannot lose issue…

so this is the gop’s problem going forward: people love to hate “socialism” in the abstract, but they love their benefits once they have them, and now the gop will have to go from saving people from “socialism” to taking away benefits, and that’s a hard row to hoe. i don’t credit the democrats with a surfeit of brains when it comes to tactics, but if the gop really wants to run on repealing health care law this year or in 2012, even the democrats can manage to point out to millions of voters that this means letting insurers drop you or your children from their rolls and making it harder for seniors to buy the prescription drugs they need to survive. yes, yes: who’s killing grandma now?...

and yes, what about obama? well, all he did was manage to do something no other president has managed to do, a thing upon which other presidencies have foundered, against opposition that was total, persistent and fanatical. i wish he had managed to do it sooner and with less damage to his standing, and that his own inexperience and aloofness had not been a proximate cause to its delay, which it was. i wish his allies in the legislature had not been appallingly disorganized; i wish his opponents in the legislature were more interested in the good of the people they represent than in playing tactical games. what’s gotten passed isn’t 100% of what i would have wanted to have passed, not just for what’s in it but also for what’s not.
posted by skippy at 10:40 AM | 2 comments

night of the living health care

matt yglesias offers fred barnes some advice.
posted by skippy at 9:44 AM | 0 comments

stay classy, wingers!

via gawker: conservative blogger calls for obama's assassination:

according to his google profile, forell is the author of a blog titled barack obama was an american electorate mistake, which centers around forell's disappointment in obama's presidency. this disappointment spills over into forell's other blogs, including anybody but barack obama 2012, and the audacity of hype, which both touch upon forrell's disgust with the "cult" of obama, "a man who has done little with his life, but has written about his achievements as ifhe had found the cure for cancer in between winning a marathon and building a nuclear reactor with his teeth."

forell may think he's protected by the first amendment when it comes to his tweets, but the law begs to differ, specifically 18 usc sec. 871:

whoever knowingly and willfully deposits for conveyance in the mail or for a delivery from any post office or by any letter carrier any letter, paper, writing, print, missive, or document containing any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the president of the united states, the president-elect, the vice president or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of president of the united states, or the vice president-elect, or knowingly and willfully otherwise makes any such threat against the president, president-elect, vice president or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of president, or vice president-elect, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
you'll note however, that there's nothing specified about electronic threats. perhaps that's why, as of now, forell's twitter account does not appear to be suspended; the tweet threatening the president's life was posted roughly six hours ago and has not yet been removed.
solly did add a non-apology apology a little later. still in all, it illustrates the wacky fringe that the other side of the aisle has let take over its mainstream.
posted by skippy at 9:33 AM | 1 comments



posted by mahakal at 12:01 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, March 21, 2010

skippy's sunday nite music club

to close out hollywood music/theme songs week, we head to michel legrand and his heartbreaking masterpiece of scoring, "le parapluies de cherbourg" and its heart wrenching theme sung by lovers saying goodbye. i confess....i cry everytime i hear this song, either in the original french or the americanized version of "i will wait for you." (or even "jazzed up.")

michel legrand's other scores include: the thomas crown affair (another one of my favorite songs of all time.."windmills of your mind"); summer of '42; never say never again and yentl.
for the smaller screen, brian's song.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:29 PM | 2 comments

a boehner for rap

john boehner doesn't get it...we can't believe he actually put this tweet out:
health care is not a right, it's a privilege for those who earn an honest living. if you gangbang&listen to rap all day you don't deserve it
gee, john, racist much?

(we originally put "dogwhistle much?" but there's nothing 'dogwhistle' about out-and-out racism!)

retraction: sorry, folks, blogdiva informs us that this tweet is from a fake boehner account.

we regret implying the minority whip would say something as disgusting as that w/o actual proof.

however, we do admit to enjoying being able to write the words "fake boehner."
posted by skippy at 9:36 PM | 8 comments

where you comin frum?

david frum, of all people, gets it:
a huge part of the blame for today’s disaster attaches to conservatives and republicans ourselves.

at the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision: unlike, say, democrats in 2001 when president bush proposed his first tax cut, we would make no deal with the administration. no negotiations, no compromise, nothing. we were going for all the marbles. this would be obama’s waterloo – just as healthcare was clinton’s in 1994.

only, the hardliners overlooked a few key facts: obama was elected with 53% of the vote, not clinton’s 42%. the liberal block within the democratic congressional caucus is bigger and stronger than it was in 1993-94. and of course the democrats also remember their history, and also remember the consequences of their 1994 failure.

this time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none.

could a deal have been reached? who knows? but we do know that the gap between this plan and traditional republican ideas is not very big. the obama plan has a broad family resemblance to mitt romney’s massachusetts plan. it builds on ideas developed at the heritage foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for republican counter-proposals to clintoncare in 1993-1994.

barack obama badly wanted republican votes for his plan. could we have leveraged his desire to align the plan more closely with conservative views? to finance it without redistributive taxes on productive enterprise – without weighing so heavily on small business – without expanding medicaid? too late now. they are all the law.

no illusions please: this bill will not be repealed. even if republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in november, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? how many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? how many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? and even if the votes were there – would president obama sign such a repeal?

we followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.
we are of mixed emotions upon reading mr. frum's analysis (full disclosure: we have heard mr. frum speak @ a seminar, and he pissed us off then. we're surprised he's so moderate now).

on one hand, life would be so much smoother in the united states if the repubbblican party weren't an angry mob of illiterate rabble w/the maturity levels of grade schoolers.

on the other hand, if anyone on the repubbb side had listened to frum, we might not have gotten this far.
posted by skippy at 9:07 PM | 6 comments

yes we did

we passed health care 219-212

here's some tweets sent to us by our good friend the brad blog:

thebradblog bush speechwriter: "cons & reps today suffered most crushing defeat since 1960s." http://bit.ly/9fxtjg

thebradblog bush speechwriter: "we went for all the marbles, we ended with none." http://bit.ly/9fxtjg

thebradblog bush speechwriter: "we followed most radical voices in party & they led us to abject defeat" http://bit.ly/9fxtjg

thebradblog bush speechwriter: "it’s waterloo all right: ours." http://bit.ly/9fxtjg
may we take a moment on this historic occasion to remind us all to give ourselves a big collective pat on the back...everyone, from the silent lurker to the most prolific blogger, from ultra-progressive firedoglakers to the left of center balloon juicers...this could not, nay, would not have been done w/o all of us constantly holding our elected officials' feets to the fire.

we have made history.
posted by skippy at 8:20 PM | 5 comments

the twitterati

more twitterati:
@ezraklein: the gop's argument is 1) it's socialism and 2) it cuts medicare too much? so, too socialist and not socialist enough?
@peterdaou: critical for dems not to marginalize or minimize the profound frustration among progressive women over how #hcr has played out
@johnamussenson: to recap: tomorrow i have to fear ussr takeover, tentacles, and buy a chevy.
@everydaywitch if #hcr passes the government will monitor all twitter conversations.
@tzikeh: if #hcr passes, the flossing gestapo will make unannounced visits to citizens' homes #icanmakeupshittoo

@jgray515: hey gopers on c-span, imma let u finish, but i just wanted to let u know that goin to the hospital sucks right now, pass the bill! #hcr

@arrghpaine: arrogant is the claim that you can ignore the last national election (p.s. you lost)

@melodymuses: rep. louise slaughter is a bad ass. love her

@alexandervision congress members are starting to act like a group of grumpy kids who didn't get their nap.

curet1diabetes: live barn owl web cam http://bit.ly/94fl5o (if you need a diversion from #hcr)
posted by skippy at 6:05 PM | 0 comments



posted by mahakal at 5:58 PM | 1 comments

breaking! (or, actually, broken, by now)! we did it!

sorry to be late with this news, but we have an excuse.** however, we are pleased to tell you, that it's all over but the voting.

stupak got his cover for his anti-abortion stance, which is basically an executive order re-iterating the hyde amendment. the hill:
rep. bart stupak (d-mich.) announced a deal at a press conference. he said the deal means democrats will have the 216 votes they need to win a healthcare reform vote on the floor.

"we're well past 216," he said at the press conference.

"eight or nine" democrats, including stupak, will support the healthcare bill because of the deal, according to an anti-abortion rights democrat.

"we've changed [our votes]," said rep. steve driehaus (d-ohio), who appeared at the press conference with stupak.

driehaus said he's seen the executive order and can now vote for the healthcare bill. he said stupak has signed off, as well.

driehaus spoke minutes before the press conference in the speaker's lobby.

separately, two other undecided democrats said they would vote for healthcare reform: reps. jim cooper (tenn.) and paul kanjorski (pa.).
apparently the pro-choice bloc was satisfied that the stupak deal did not roll back choice rights beyond established current law:
pro-abortion-rights democrats lined up behind the deal, signaling that healthcare reform's biggest and last hurdle had been overcome.

"it looks like it's a go," rep. jan schakowsy (d-ill.) said after exiting pelosi's office. "assuming that there's no final, final, final, final shenanigans that go on with the stupak people, i think we're ok."

rep. lois capps (d-calif.), the author of the abortion language initially approved in the house energy and commerce committee that stupak's november floor amendment replaced, was also satisfied.

"i'm pleased that we seem to be getting to the end," said capps. "i'm thankful that we're to the point where now we can concentrate on healthcare reform and we're ready to take a vote."
read the text of the executive order here.

you can watch repubs heads explode here.

**our excuse: once we heard stupak's 1 pm real time presser and knew the vote was in the bag, we took the afternoon off and saw tim burton's alice in wonderland. highly entertaining, tho the 3-d effects were minimal.
posted by skippy at 5:11 PM | 0 comments

we might be close

various sources are reporting that pro-life rep. bart stupak has agreed to vote 'yes' on today's hcr vote. steve benen:
reports: stupak says 'yes' to health care reform (or maybe not).... there has not yet been confirmation from the lawmaker himself, but msnbc is reporting that rep. bart stupak (d-mich.) will support the health care reform legislation today. if accurate, this would not only be a huge development, it might seal the deal and point to success. (see updates below)

reuters is reporting the same thing, as is the wall street journal.
democratic leaders have reached a deal with antiabortion democratic lawmakers aimed at winning votes from at least some of them, an aide said sunday.

the aide said a bloc of antiabortion lawmakers was set to vote "yes" on the bill. it wasn't immediately clear how many lawmakers would be won over by the deal or whether it included rep. bart stupak (d., mich.), the leader of the antiabortion democrats.

the abortion issue has been one of the final obstacles democratic leaders have been seeking to remove to win a 216-vote majority in the house for their health-overhaul bill.
but don't get your hopes up yet, kids. steve updates:
update: cnn is reportng that stupak is sitll a "no," and the democratic leadership has not yet said anything, either way.

second update: stupak told cnn's evan glass, "there is no deal yet. it's a work in progress. maybe we'll get there today."

third update: brian baird confirms that he's switching from "no" to "yes."
now, that's entertainment!
posted by skippy at 10:29 AM | 4 comments

victory for brad blog

thx to the tireless efforts of our buddy the brad blog, the nytimes admits its errors and omissions in their coverage of the acorn pimp videos hoax:

even as the new york times once again misreported the acorn "pimp" hoax on its pages in a report on the community organization's possible declaration of bankruptcy in saturday's paper, their public editor (ombudsman) clark hoyt finally admits in his column tonight, for tomorrow's paper, that both he and the paper were "wrong" in their reports about rightwing dirty trickster james o'keefe's "pimp" costume, adding that "editors say they are considering a correction."

considering?! what exactly would be the hold up?

the paper and hoyt, as the brad blog has been detailing for nearly two months now, were out and out wrong in their reports about o'keefe, and what his highly-edited, heavily-overdubbed, secretly-taped videos misleadingly suggested to show, and in their failure to report exculpatory information, such as the refusal to release the unedited raw videos made by the rightwing propagandists, as well as the results of an investigation by ma's former attorney general [pdf] finding no "pattern of illegal conduct" by acorn employees as seen in the videos as published by the rightwing media mogul and fabulist andrew breitbart.
good going, brad blog! it shows what can be accomplished thru sheer persistence and will.
posted by skippy at 9:25 AM | 1 comments

environmental news story sunday

those stories you probably didn't hear discussed on the talking head shows this morning...but should have. they don't seem to grasp...if you don't have a healthy environment, you are not going to have a healthy population. that ties into healthcare, doesn't it?

federal herbicide review worries sugar farmers. - some local sugar-cane farmers are adding their voices to objections to a new federal review of atrazine, a widely used weed-killing chemical that environmentalists contend may be threatening drinking-water supplies - houma today

former marine's cancer linked to contaminated water on military base. - a hanover resident and former marine has gotten the u.s. government to admit that his rare cancer was the result of contaminated water at camp lejeune, opening the door for other veterans who may have been affected to get federal help - watd radio

government links marine paul buckley's cancer, base camp lejuene toxic water. - a local marine has a fighting wish; to save other members of the military, not from war, but from water
- wbz tv

over fertilizing can pollute water. - i have had people tell me they don't fertilize; they just use miraclegro. they think it's a magic product, not a fertilizer. - carson city nevada appeal

parting the waters. - a source of conflict between israel and its neighbors for decades, the jordan river is now depleted by drought, pollution, and overuse. could the fight to save it forge a path toward peace? - national geographic magazine

searching for water under the sands of saudi arabia. - water is scarce in arid saudi arabia. now the king has hired a team of german scientists to search for groundwater trapped in aquifers beneath the massive kingdom's sands. their pioneering work could provide solutions for other desert countries. - der speigel

science justifies california water limits. - federal limits on water that can be pumped out of a major river delta for california farmers are scientifically justified, a much-anticipated report said on friday, a finding hailed by environmentalists in the state's epic water wars.- reuters

rural rabble rousing. - most people don't think of small agricultural towns and rural air pollution when they think of california, but that describes a huge swath of the state. mothers there are agitating for change - living on earth

a bit of hope for sick camp lejeune veterans after va agrees to pay benefits for one. - in a decision with ramifications for veterans nationally, the va finally agreed to pay benefits to paul buckley, based on his exposure to benzene found in fuel that leaked into the ground at the marine corps base. - st. petersburg times

another gulf war syndrome? - throughout iraq and afghanistan, contractors have dumped hundreds of tons of refuse into giant open-air trenches, doused the piles with fuel, and left them to burn. in the past 17 months, more than 500 veterans have contacted disabled american veterans, a national nonprofit serving vets, to report illnesses they blame on the burn pits - mother jones

the epa is tracking tainted rialto water and working toward cleanup. - perchlorate-contaminated groundwater has spread beyond the boundaries of a superfund cleanup project in rialto, said environmental regulators who are trying to determine how fast the plume is moving and whether it is headed toward wells. - riverside press enterprise

oregon environmental council says fight to eliminate bpa from baby bottles, sippy cups, canned foods will go on. - only recently did i realize that bottles and sippy cups are only part of the problem. most of the canned food on supermarket shelves sits in a bpa lining. - portland oregonian

poor deer season spurs chemical concerns. - while most wildlife managers point to conventional causes for drop in white-tailed deer harvest in western montana, one wildlife rehabilitator pursues another theory, endocrine disruption. - miller mccune

at jacksonville superfund site, nelson calls for tax shift to pay for cleanups. - u.s. sen. bill nelson visited a superfund site on jacksonville's talleyrand riverfront monday to say he will try to reinstate taxes on the oil and chemical industries to pay for environmental cleanups. - jacksonville times union

new tests for c8 contamination being conducted in parkersburg. - after tests four years ago, hundreds of people on both sides of the ohio near the dupont plant will undergo another set of tests to analyze current exposure levels and the possible effects of c8 on the immune system - west virginia public broadcasting

state: water tests faked. - the operator of the northern cambria water treatment plant falsified water tests required by the state to check for water safety, investigators from the state attorney general’s office say - johnstown tribune-democrat

evangelicals seen as key in climate debate. - when it comes to energy "we all need to repent." - wilmington news journal

india's poor recycle world's e-waste into wealth. - mumbai's dharavi slum is home to one of the largest electronic waste recycling hubs in india, and similar facilities exist throughout the country, employing an estimated 80,000 workers in what is known as the "informal sector" - san leandro india west

st. paul sports fields closed due to hazards. - st. paul has closed all of the sports fields at a popular recreation center because of contaminants found in the soil - minneapolis star tribune

when green isn't good. - the toxic leftovers created when coal is burned in electric power plants can wind up in the darnedest places. for instance, under a public golf course in coastal virginia. - greensboro news & record

most power plants still spewing toxic mercury, report says. - many of america's coal-fired power plants lack widely available pollution controls for mercury, and mercury emissions recently increased at more than half of the country's 50 largest mercury-emitting power plants, according to a report wednesday. - mcclatchy

bill would define tire burning as renewable energy.
- with just five words quietly slipped into legislation, illinois lawmakers are moving to include tire burning in the state's definition of renewable energy, a change that would benefit a south suburban incinerator with a long history of pollution problems - chicago tribune

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:46 AM | 2 comments