Saturday, October 6, 2007

RIP: Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis (R-VA)

Word comes from TPM That Jo Ann Davis has died of breast cancer. Go give some money to your favorite organization fighting this nasty illness please.

Good Thing There arent real issues to report on in this campaign

Senator Barack Obama’s comments about the absence of an American flag pin on his lapel created dustup on the campaign trail yesterday. When asked why he wasn’t wearing a flag pin in a television interview on Wednesday he said he had stopped wearing one because he felt that the pin “had become a substitute for … true patriotism.”

So what are the other candidates wearing on their lapels these days? Lets take a look at a few photos from the most recent debates.
Give me a break


Oh yeah, did I mention that I was on facebook and only have about 20 friends?

Rob Wolfe's Facebook profile

Shaking my head

I just wandered over to cnn and according to their website the two most popular topics today are Britney Spears and Princess Diana.

Just for a change of pace, can i suggest that my readers(cough both of you cough) instead ponder World Peace or maybe even just happiness

Glenn Beck is a big fat idiot too

Glenn Beck to Muslim-American guest:

“How do we know the difference between you and those that are trying to kill us?”

I am speechless.

From Media Matters via Think Progress

Stuff I Blog about

A friend recently asked me why I only write about upsetting things in my blog. It is a valid question I think.

I guess I could write about my cats.

Or I could write about my daughter.

Or I could write about Bif Naked

Or I could write about the fact that my company has helped to recover 146 missing kids.

And all of those things would be great stuff to blog about. But for the most part I do tend to talk about stuff that pisses me off

or confuses me

or just makes me go "what the fuck was that"

because that is what gets me engaged enough to start typing.

Supporting the troops .. yeah .. right

The 2,600 members of the Minnesota National Guard recently ended a 22-month tour of duty in Iraq, the longest deployment of any ground-combat unit in the Armed Forces. Many of its members returned home, looking forward to using education benefits under the GI bill.

For example, John Hobot, a platoon leader, said, "I would assume, and I would hope, that when I get back from a deployment of 22 months, my senior leadership in Washington, the leadership that extended us in the first place, would take care of us once we got home."

It's not working that way. The Guard troops have been told that in order to be eligible for the education benefits they expect, they had to serve 730 days in Iraq. They served 729.

Via Talking Points Memo and Balloon Juice comes this bit of stupidity.

The worst part about it in my mind is that someone thought that they were being very clever and saving a lot of money. I count beans for a living and I know that some of the things that I tell management will lead to folks losing jobs from time to time but holy shit this is a cold-hearted thing to do.

Obama hasn't wowed the press - BFD

From the estimable Ms Ana Marie Cox at Swampland comes word that Obama is in trouble because while he is drawing huge crowds he isnt wowing "the press".

Here is a thought. How about "the press" just get "wowed" that a young, articulate, dynamic politician is raising buckets of money and getting huge turnouts at his campaign events.

Dammit I am getting tired of the way that this campaign is being covered. You don't have to be an Obama fanboy, and I am most assuredly not, to think that he would be a perfectly serviceable President. Whether or not he "wows the press" is completely immaterial to whether he has the right stuff to lead the country. After all, the current president "wowed the press" and look where that has led.

Bill Kristol vs Reality

Hillary could well lose in Iowa. Then Hillary could well lose the nomination. And a Republican would then win the presidency. He probably will anyway.

--William Kristol

Bill Kristol holds forth over at that it is 2:1 odds FOR that the Republican nominee will win next fall. On the other hand, the polling numbers that I see over at Real Clear Politics show every single top tier Democrat beating every single top tier Republican.

Let me see which I should think is more likely to reflect reality... hmmmmmmm

Nifty Moon Pic

I was wandering around the web and stumbled upon this picture over at NASA. I liked it .. so you get to see it.
You are welcome.

Compare And Contrast

Rising gold prices have pushed companies in South Africa to dig deeper mines, but this past week's close call is raising questions about whether safety regulations are being ignored.

Some 3,200 workers were painstakingly rescued by Thursday morning from the depths of a mine shaft near Johannesburg after a pressurized air pipe snapped, damaging the elevator used to bring miners to the surface.

Despite being stuck in the shaft for more than 24 hours with no food or water, no one was harmed.

The mine's owners, Harmony Gold Mining Co., though, have come under criticism from the government for the accident at the Elandsrand mine.

At a mine and safety council meeting in downtown Johannesburg on Friday, Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said the accident was preventable.

"If maintenance of that shaft was done properly, I think this could have been prevented," said Sonjica. "Something went wrong with the maintenance of that shaft."

Bureau of Land Management inspectors noted serious structural problems at Utah's Crandall Canyon Mine at least three years before two roof collapses killed nine people in August, Congress was told Tuesday.
Yet the government's mine safety agency in another agency -- the Labor Department -- didn't know of the concerns about Crandall Canyon until after the accident, Kevin Stricklin, a coal mine safety and health administrator for Labor, told a Senate hearing on the accident.

Read about them both and see what you think

Which was a stunt again?

Bad ....
It is irresponsible for the Liberal defence critic to travel to Afghanistan without the Conservative government's approval, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Friday.

Liberal defence critic Denis Coderre would not say where he was on Friday, but he said he was headed for Kandahar.Liberal defence critic Denis Coderre would not say where he was on Friday, but he said he was headed for Kandahar.

The critic, Denis Coderre, said he is going on his own because he is tired of waiting for permission.

Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay defended the mission in Afghanistan as he arrived there Sunday for a two-day visit, rejecting a recent analysis in a U.S. journal that the country is sliding into chaos.

"I don't see a factual basis for a commentary suggesting that this country is sliding into chaos," MacKay told reporters during a teleconference call.


Both stories from the CBC

Friday, October 5, 2007

A thought or two on Universal Health Care

I keep wracking my brain trying to figure out why anyone would be against universal single payer health care and I honestly cannot figure out one rational reason why.

Here are some of the things that I have heard ...

  1. People would go to the Doctor too much. This one is just stupid on its face since I know of not one person that voluntarily goes to the doctor just for fun. Now clearly there are psychologically unbalanced folks that would use going to the doctor as a means of getting out of the house and getting attention but does anyone seriously think that this is a real problem?
  2. It is too expensive. Again, stupid on its face since if you look at Medicare the overhead rate is far less than it is in any private plan. There is no reason to think that this would be different. This is besides the simple fact that there would be no profit built into the system
  3. There would be rationing of services. There already is.
  4. It would be "socialism". Big Fucking Deal! Grow up and realize that we don't live in the wild west. We all rely on each other in this society.

Rachel Maddow is .. well .. wow!

Rachel Maddow makes Pat Buchanan’s head explode as she easily exposes the underbelly of conservative politics. If you’re poor and need help—you’re socialist scum—and screw your kids too.
Go watch this absolutely stunning takedown over at Crooks and Liars

On Congressional Poll Numbers

Congress' job performance was approved by just 22 percent, continuing a gradual decline in the public's assessment since Democrats took over in January. Its lowest reading in the poll was 24 percent, recorded most recently in July.

It should be noted that the reason that President Bush's numbers suck is because of things he is doing. Like, for instance, the debacle in Iraq. Congress' numbers, on the other hand, are because of things they are not doing. Like, for instance, ending the debacle in Iraq.

Just thinking out loud, but maybe a way for Congress to get a little credibility back would be to actually do something concrete about getting troops home from Iraq. But hey, what do I know.
Full story here

AP Poll Results

WASHINGTON (AP) — Public approval for President Bush and Congress has sunk to the lowest levels ever recorded in The Associated Press-Ipsos poll.

Only 31 percent said they approve of the job Bush is doing, according to the survey released on Thursday. Though his positive ratings have hovered at about that range since last year, his lowest previous approval in the AP-Ipsos survey was 32 percent, which was recorded several times, most recently in June. That is virtually even with the latest reading.

Amid a major credit crunch and a weak housing market, a record low 34 percent said they approved of Bush's performance in handling the economy. His prior low in the poll was 37 percent.

One question that comes to my mind is what would it take for those 31% to think that President Bush is doing a bad job.

A second question that comes to mind is how those people tie their shoes in the morning. Thank god for velcro I guess.

Full story over here

Viagra vs Cialis vs Jetlag

Good news for your Viagra-using hamster: On his next trip to Europe he'll bounce back from jet lag faster than his unmedicated friends.

The researchers who revealed that bizarre fact earned one of 10 Ig Nobel prizes awarded Thursday night for quirky, funny and sometimes legitimate scientific achievements, from the mathematics of wrinkled sheets to U.S. military efforts to make a "gay bomb."

The recipients of the annual award handed out by the Annals of Improbable Research magazine were honoured at Harvard University's Sanders Theater.

A team at Quilmes National University in Buenos Aires, Argentina, came up with the jet-lag study, which found that hamsters given the anti-impotence drug needed 50 per cent less time to recover from a six-hour time zone change. They didn't fly rodents to Paris, incidentally, they just turned the lights off and on at different times.

Personally, my ED treatment of choice is Cialis so I guess that I will have to perform my own research on that one.

Original story at CBC or hop on over to The Ig Nobel Award website for the details

Your Daily Bif

Just because I think she is wonderful... Ms Bif Naked

Obama/Feingold 08?

While at the Department of Justice, Hans von Spakovsky was directly involved in efforts to politicize the Department and use the Voting Rights Section to disenfranchise voters, rather than enforce our nation’s civil rights laws. As a recess appointee to the FEC he has been a committed, ideological opponent of the campaign finance laws he is supposed to enforce. Putting him at the head of the FEC is just another example of this administration putting the fox in charge of the hen house. We oppose his nomination, and any effort to tie his nomination to the other pending nominations to the FEC

Just thinking out loud...

Crooks and Liars » Coulter opposes women voting

If we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democrat president. It’s kind of a pipe dream, it’s a personal fantasy of mine, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women.

“It also makes the point, it is kind of embarrassing, the Democratic Party ought to be hanging its head in shame, that it has so much difficulty getting men to vote for it. I mean, you do see it’s the party of women and ‘We’ll pay for health care and tuition and day care — and here, what else can we give you, soccer moms?’”
And I oppose Ann Coulter ever opening her mouth on national media again

Story at Crooks and Liars

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Beer Theft in Mississauga

Thieves made off with more than 110,000 bottles and cans of Moosehead beer from a Toronto-area transport facility in the second heist to target the brewer in three years, the company said Wednesday.

Moosehead said the theft took place early Wednesday in Mississauga, Ont. Early reports indicate the thieves stole two tractors from another trucking compound and then hitched them to trailers containing 70,000 cans and 44,000 bottles of beer, the brewer said.

The company estimated the retail value of the beer at about $200,000.

Personally my money is on the theives being these guys

Story over at

Good Thing I am not paranoid

The nice thing about having a shitty little blog that only gets a dozen or two visitors a day is that I get to spend some quality time looking at google analytics and trying to figure out what it means when someone actually stops by.

So I always get curious when somewhere new is a source of traffic and so far today, my #1 source of traffic is the office of the u.s. senate sergeant at arms.. now granted that is only 2 visitors but is Russ Feingold really THAT interesting? Hmm, I guess so

Your Daily Bif

Because there is no such thing as too much Bif Naked!

Hell No!

I contacted the Democratic National Committee’s Office of Party Affairs and Delegate Selection. I was assured that Lieberman was not considered a Democrat, but was told that the delegate selection status would remain "in flux" until early March. That sounded like both a "No" and a "Maybe" answer.

Since Lieberman caucuses with the Democrats, since Lieberman’s vote is essential to Democratic control of the Senate, and since the party leadership is, well, the party leadership – I wouldn’t be surprised if Lieberman was given a super delegate seat in the convention.

If you believe, like I do, that this violates Democratic Party rules and rewards someone for ignoring the results of a legitimate primary election, then I urge you to contact party officials at the DNC.

Here is the DNC e-mail website:

And their phone number:

Let’s make sure that Lieberman only attends the Connecticut for Lieberman convention.
No, wait a minute. He’s not a member of that party, either.

No No No No No

This miserable little troll must NOT be allowed to further infect the Democratic Party. He made his choice to be a Republican proxy so if he wants to go to a convention that is where he should be!

Russ Feingold Gets it!

One question that I keep getting asked by reporters is why Democrats aren't reaching out to moderate Republicans to come up with some sort of consensus legislation. I also see stories criticizing the Democratic leadership for failing to bring in Republican moderates to pass legislation. My response is simple -- what good is getting 60 or 67 votes to pass a nonbinding Sense of the Senate resolution on Iraq that doesn't bring the troops home? When I hold my town hall meetings in Wisconsin, nobody is asking me to push for an empty compromise. They ask me how we can finally end this war. This summer we heard a growing chorus of Republicans call for change in Iraq but their words have proven to be empty. If members are serious about changing course in Iraq, Feingold-Reid is the surest way to do it.

The American people have been clear in what they want -- an end to this war. Last November, Democrats were saying all the right things but now it's time to follow through. I know some of my colleagues want to avoid any Iraq debate on the Defense appropriations bill. Sorry, but Iraq is the most important issue we face and the Senate must address it as we take up the Defense spending bill this week. That's why I will again be offering an amendment to set a deadline for bringing our troops home. I intend to do so today.

If those of us in Congress who want to end this war don't take every opportunity to push back against this administration, we will be just as responsible for keeping our troops in Iraq. Congress has got to stand up to this administration, and stand up to every phony argument it makes for keeping our troops in Iraq. In this debate, we need honesty, determination, and above all, persistence. With President Bush in office, we can't change things in Iraq if we don't vote to do so. If we lose that vote, we need to vote again and again and again. We have to hold war supporters' feet to the fire until they finally listen to the American people, recognize the damage this president's Iraq policy has done, and vote to safely redeploy our troops.
Sen. Russ Feingold
This is what I have been talking about. Let's shove these votes down their throats. The Republicans own this war and it is time they take the heat

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

John Edwards -- Most Electable?

I have been listening to the the folks from John Edwards' campaign over on Air America and I am very concerned about a theme that keeps coming up.

"John is the most electable".

This strikes me very much as code for "John is white and male and American isn't ready for a woman or African-American as President"

Please someone tell me that this isn't what he is being said here because it is the most foul kind of pandering to the mouth breathers if that is what is going on.

Elizabeth Edwards (and others) on air america

Everyone should go listen to the stream! Just click thru the obnoxious link...

Mercenaries For Peace?

Everybody needs a trade association in DC, even in the private military contractors. Their outfit is the International Peace Operations Association. Their "mission is to promote high operational and ethical standards of firms active in the Peace and Stability Industry; to engage in a constructive dialogue with policy-makers about the growing and positive contribution of these firms to the enhancement of international peace, development, and human security; and to inform the concerned public about the activities and role of the industry."
Stunningly stupid

Does this email blogging thing really work?

Just because everyone needs a kitten

Cume Ratings in the new world

What does this all mean? Not much, since there is nothing to compare it to. Nielsen only instituted the rule change this past July that allowed the combining of ratings on two different nights for the same episode. Now, if a broadcast network re-airs the same episode in the week--with the exact same advertisers in the exact same order--then Nielsen would cume, or add, the unduplicated viewers of both episodes together into one big fat rating.

NBC was able to get this higher number because Nissan had bought all the advertising time as the exclusive sponsor of both telecasts. Since NBC's controversy last week, Nielsen says it may review or change this new rule.

Some competing network research executives and media agency research executives were unaware of the change, and upset with what seem like sudden news just a day into the new season. They believed NBC was up to some ratings trickery, in an effort to boost its ratings.
At the risk of being accused of being a mouthpiece for my employer I have to say that at least when you put a piece of admail in someone's mailbox you are sure that it actually got there just once. Now if we can only force folks to READ them...

The full article is behind a (free) registration wall at MediaPost

John Ridley: The Virtue of False Equivalency

It took me a while to put my finger on what I didn't like about John Ridley's column over at the Huffington Post. I finally realized that it was because I was seeing another example of the annoying "a pox on both their houses" kind of crap that periodically rears its ugly head. It finally clicked when I read this bit for about the 10th time (yeah ... i am slow sometimes)
MoveOn had their Petraeus/Betray Us ad which contained all the wit and insight of graffiti scrawled on a bathroom stall at a grade school for disadvantaged youths (and considering the level of competence that went into the decision to place the ad, it might as well have been exhibited in a toilet).

In response, the shy and demurring pundits from far right acted like bleeding wounds unable to understand why anyone would dare - DARE - impugn the integrity of someone who serves our country.

Swift Boating, after all, is so '04.

The difference of course between the SwiftBoating of Kerry and the ad was that everything in the MoveOn ad was ummm .. true .. and this was not the case of the swiftboat vets for truth nonsense.
Equating the legitimate, accurate criticism of a highly political General who is in the process of acting as a water carrier for a president with the misleading statements and outright lies of an organization like Swiftboat Vets for Truth is a typical tactic that seems to work. The effect that it has is to increase the cynicism of the average citizen and to decrease the likelihood that average citizen will vote because "well they are all the same anyway so who cares".

This is very important to remember because decreased turnout rate equals an increased chance of a Republican victory in 2008 so I expect to see much more of this type of talk as we get closer to the election. Voter apathy, or even equal antipathy towards both parties are a plus to the party in power because they are less likely to "toss the bums out" if they think that it really doesn't matter who is there. Even though the Democrats control both the House and the Senate they are still perceived as being in opposition so it is important to keep the pressure on.

Child Support Insanity

CASTLE ROCK - Linda Green couldn't believe what she found when she opened her mail this week.

She received a letter from the Colorado Department of Human Services, telling her she would soon have money taken out of the child support payments she receives from her 13-year-old son's father.

"I was a little astounded," she said.

The letter stated that under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which President Bush signed into law early last year, federal spending on so-called entitlement programs, such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and other social programs, would be restrained, in order to pay down the national deficit.

To help do that, starting October 1, custodial parents in Colorado who receive at least $500 in a fiscal year in child support payments, will have $25 a year automatically deducted, helping fund child support enforcement programs the Federal Government has previously been paying for on its own.

It was up to individual states to decide which parent, custodial or non-custodial, would pay the $25 fee.

"In essence," said John Bernhart, the State of Colorado's Child Support director, "collecting from the non-custodial parent amounted as a practical measure to have the state pay, and in the case of Colorado, that was not a fiscally possible option."

Green doesn't want the money to go to anything other than her son.

"It could go to school lunches. It could go to a pair of athletic shoes," she said. "When you think about moms who are single moms or unwed mothers who depend on that money - that may be the only income they're getting. I just feel that it's wrong."
As a non-custodial father of a gorgeous 12 yr old I happily pay child support. Fortunately my Ex is in Canada so this bit of stupidity doesn't apply.
$25 taken out of a child support payment is often $25 worth of food taken out of a child's mouth.

The heartless oaf that thought up this one should be flogged.

Music by Bif Naked

In further celebration of her recent wedding.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I like bowling. Any activity where you can mix drinking beer and tossing heavy objects is a good thing.

That said. I had my best game ever tonight 180!! Yay me!

I told you rudy had competition for foreign Policy candidate

From TPM comes this quote from Fred Thompson
During a campaign stop in Iowa today, Fred Thompson unambiguously stood by the premise of the Iraq War — and went so far as to say Saddam Hussein "clearly" had weapons of mass destruction and a nuclear program that posed a threat.

"Saddam Hussein, today, had we not gone in, would be sitting on this power keg and be in control of the whole thing," Thompson said. "He would have been the new dictator of that entire region in my estimation. He is — was — a dangerous irrational man who, by this time, would have been well on his way to having the nuclear capability himself."
Do we really need this man in the Oval Office? I don't care how presidential he LOOKS, he is an empty suit.

Monday, October 1, 2007

High loonie?

The rising Canadian dollar is affecting different markets — not all of them legal.

At least one watcher of the underground economy says the price of B.C. marijuana has gone up in the United States, and that could mean plummeting demand from Americans in future.
Offered without further comment

Not a Hillary Fan but This is correct

To let you know about the sexism that's inevitably coming, Dowd passes along some charming misogyny from Leon Wieseltier: "Others do not underestimate her relentlessness. As Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor of The New Republic, once told me: “She’s never going to get out of our faces. ... She’s like some hellish housewife who has seen something that she really, really wants and won’t stop nagging you about it until finally you say, fine, take it, be the damn president, just leave me alone." Question: can someone identify a male Republican presidential candidate being criticized for the crime -- highly unusual among people who want to be president! -- of being ambitious?

Personally, I always thought that it was best to assume that anyone that professed a desire to be President (or any other high political office) was an incredibly ambitious person. I do not think that Hillary Clinton is the best of the Democratic candidates but this BS of tarring her as "too ambitious" is just stupid.

Hillary Clinton and Gender Politics

But there's another aspect to this -- the moral question. And Hillary Clinton is on the wrong side of one of the most important moral issues of our time. For reasons of ambition and political expedience, she made the wrong call.

Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis have died in a war she helped start. Thousands of American soldiers have been sacrificed, tens of thousands more maimed.

The congressional vote, of which she was a part, helped lead to the biggest strategic disaster in the modern history of U.S. foreign policy.

Despite all of that, millions of Americans are going to support her, simply because they feel it's time America had a woman president.
I feel that it is time that America had a woman president too but not enough to be a supporter of Hillary.

I feel that it is time that America had an African-American president too. But not enough to support Obama.

I find myself in the weird position, at the moment, of thinking that Chris Dodd is the best of the current Democratic candidates for the simple reason that he is actually leading on some issues(Cuba, Iraq to name two) instead of trying to figure out which way the wind is blowing.

Please Al .. Please .. Please run

Read the rest at the Huffington Post

Collapse complete: Phillies overtake Mets

The Philadelphia Phillies won on Sunday to clinch the National League East, with the New York Mets capping off a September slide that will rank alongside the worst in major league history.

This has to suck if you are a Mets fan. But since "my" Blue Jays were eliminated the day that play started (check the relative payrolls of the top 3 teams in the AL East: Boston, New York, Toronto) I don't really get to gloat.


Rick Mercer and Conrad Black Together at last

"All I can say is that it will be Conrad Black in a way that you've never seen him before," Mercer said Thursday. "It's a substantial piece and I love it."

While Mercer wouldn't provide any clues as to what the segment will entail, he had one assurance for any viewers still traumatized by his famous skinny-dipping session with former Ontario premier Bob Rae during last year's season: "We do keep our clothes on."

Now all I need is a cbc video stream.

Congrats to Bif Naked!!

The bride was rocker Bif Naked, but there was nothing punk about the wedding ceremony celebrated Saturday in Vancouver.

Bif Naked, whose real name is Beth Torbert, married Vancouver Sun sportswriter Ian Walker in a 30-minute ceremony at St. Andrews Wesley United Church that featured readings from the Bible and an exchange of vows.
Damn, all the good ones keep getting married to other guys.

Red Bull promotion near Halifax schools halted

A complaint from Nova Scotia's health promotion office has put an end to a Red Bull giveaway near high schools in the province.

Minister of Health Promotion Barry Barnet said the makers of the popular energy drink told him Wednesday that the student-oriented promotions were a mistake, and will stop.

He said according to a Red Bull representative, the giveaway was an error by marketers in the Atlantic region and not part of a national campaign.

The drink contains caffeine, vitamins, an amino acid and carbohydrates that the company claims can boost a person's energy.

Barnet's office contacted Red Bull on Wednesday after hearing that it was handing out free samples of the beverage to Halifax-area high school students, driving near schools in cars sporting a Red Bull slogan.
This simply astonished me. Obviously I am not yet cynical enough.


H.R. 3675: Duncan Hunter vs First Amendment

H.R. 3675: To prohibit Federal grants to or contracts with Columbia University
Sponsor: Rep. Duncan Hunter [R-CA](no cosponsors)
Cosponsors [as of 2007-09-27]
Status: Introduced Sep 26, 2007
Go see the text of this odious bill at GovTrack.

The bright spot is the fact that there are as of yet no co-sponsors for this pile of tripe.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

William Kristol Proves He Has No Soul

Further to my earlier posts on SCHIP... From Crooks and Liars
We’ve joked that Weekly Standard Editor/PNAC signatory/Fox News Contributer William “The Bloody” Kristol is a soulless vampire, but he obviously wants to leave no doubt in our mind.

Listen to him on the subject of the SCHIP Amendment:
From whence he goes on to say (among other things)
you can do two ways: expand government insurance or make it easier for families to buy private insurance. Republicans want to try to make it easier through the tax code for families to get private insurance; Democrats want to expand government insurance. I think it’s a good philosophical fight for Republicans, if they can explain the issue well enough that the Democrats can’t simply get away with demagoguery

Just wondering if it would be considered demagoguery to point out that every single healthcare system in the world is LESS EXPENSIVE than the US system and that one of the major reasons for that is the built-in overhead of marketing and profit for the insurance companies?

And don't even bother trying to bring up "well it is the best system in the world". The overall results are below most industrialized nations even if you just consider the broadest measure, average life span.

Wrong Choice on Healthcare

The usually astute folks at TPM don't have this one quite right.

The real choice is whether there is going to be universal single payer healthcare or if there is still going to be the possibility of going bankrupt from health care costs. As long as there is a profit motive built into the system there will be some folks that will fall through the cracks.

The rule should be "if you get sick, you get healthcare". And further, if this is a tax-payer funded program there is actually incentive to have good preventative care programs because there is only one possible place that the funds come from. It is simply not in the interest of a profit-minded company to encourage preventative care, especially for children, because they can easily make the calculation that a certain percentage of the folks that they are paying for now will not be on their books by the time the BIG outlays come later in life.

Now, how hard is that?

The surge is working ... oh, really?

"If you were running for president next year as a Democrat, and you had gotten married to withdrawal and we're coming home or the war is lost, and all of a sudden this success we've had with the surge continues, and the clerics keep coming over and switching sides, and we are securing and holding in Iraq and the rest of the world is afraid of what Iran is going to do -- I think you're going to look pretty silly a year ago having been for 'let's go home, it's over, we lost.'

Except that there is no evidence, none, that the surge is working.

The fact that this bullshit from Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) was offered up without comment in the Washington Post tells you a lot about how hard this is going to be.

"Coverage" of Hillary's laugh

All of this does seem like a no-win for a candidate who has so often been accused of coming off as a scold. And does it really tell us anything about what kind of President she would be?
From Swampland comes a short piece on the stupidity surrounding the fact that Hillary is actually starting to act a little like a person and less like a humourless crank.

I still do not like her as a candidate, although I think she is better than anyone that the GOP could put up, but this BS about her laugh has to stop. I think she has a terrific laugh and I think that it is a great weapon for her. When someone asks a stupid question she should just laugh that lovely laugh and say "next serious question please"

A Comment worth quoting from swampland

Discussing Hillary's laugh in the post but this comment goes far beyond it ...

** (Am I the only one who wonders whether that's a word that would be used about a male candidate?) **

No, and it wouldn't. I just wish all this talk of phoniness could applied to horseless ranches and the family values of people whose children don't speak to them and lobbyists who know nothing about any of the main issues facing the electorate.

Bolton is right

As much as it pains me to say it. John Bolton is right when he says
When we tried to get Burma (Myanmar) on the (UN) Security Council agenda last year, China voted against it. They didn't even want the council to discuss it. I don't see any real indication that anything has changed

Rush Limbaugh is still a big fat idiot

Though he has far more class than to say so explicitly, I suspect that Bill Moyers was upset by Rush Limbaugh’s statement that any troop member advocating withdrawal was a “phony soldier”. He looks at the seven soldiers who penned the op-ed in the NY Times questioning why remain in Iraq and the tragic price three have paid.

Funny, none of them look remotely phony to me, Rush…
Go over to Crooks and Liars to watch the video

McCain: Constitution Establishes A "Christian Nation"

A: I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation. But I say that in the broadest sense. The lady that holds her lamp beside the golden door doesn't say, "I only welcome Christians." We welcome the poor, the tired, the huddled masses. But when they come here they know that they are in a nation founded on Christian principles.

Um .. no .. it doesn't

Go see georgia10's post over at Daily Kos for the details.