Friday, October 30, 2009

Creamed Corn Dogs

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beck's Wingnut Theories Boomerang Back to Fox



Glenn Beck labels General Electric (owner of MSNBC) as a fascist group bent on controlling America. Beck replaced the stars of the American flag and with the logos of ACORN, SCIU, General Electric, Wall-Mart, GM and Citi-Bank.

"You know, SCIU and GE are big on designing the whole health care bill," Beck told John Stossel. General Electric is a technological company best known for making refrigerators. GE Healthcare makes medical equipment. Sen. Max Baucus floated the possibility of taxing medical equipment. General Electric has good reason to be against health care reform. Nevermind the fact Beck provides no proof of his General Electric conspiracy theory. The truth is GE is hardly socialist. As Megan Carpentier points out: GE continued to advertise on Beck's show after other companies fled.


In 2009, General Electric, Farmer’s Insurance and Office Depot have financially supported Glenn Beck’s racism and threats against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the radio; Bayer, Chattem Pharmaceuticals and Wyeth have given Lou Dobbs money to continue his radio-based support for the Birther conspiracy theorists and his portrayal of the current Administration as alternately Socialist, Fascist and Communist; and Home Depot, JC Penney’s and Office Depot are helping provide Rush Limbaugh promote his racist, divisive commentary on a daily basis.


On another hysterical episode of Beck's program, the shock jock explains the Rockefeller family put secret socialist/communist imagery in the Rockefeller Center. A check of Google Maps shows Fox News is located in Rockefeller Center. The News Corporation/Fox News Channel headquarters is located in a building owned by the Rockefeller Group. We are to believe that Beck is protecting America from News Corp's landlord. Beck is so frightened by GE that he will let them run ads on his program. The other possibility is Beck needs bogus villians to portray himself as a coked up knight. Beck will use the flimsiest on connections to make conspiracy theories.

In professional wrestling, there needs to be heroes and villians. Beck needs mock bad guys because he isn't paid to give wonky speeches about policy. The question is why is News Corp letting Beck go after corporate partners. People wonder why Beck is losing advertisers. This is why.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Time to Bid Lieberman Farewell

It is time to take away Sen. Joe Lieberman's chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Lieberman announced he would vote with Republicans for a filibuster of a public option health care bill.


"We're trying to do too much at once," Lieberman said. “To put this government-created insurance company on top of everything else is just asking for trouble for the taxpayers, for the premium payers and for the national debt. I don’t think we need it now."


Lieberman added the public option would cripple "the economic recovery we’re in." The General Accounting Office wrote the current health care system is "unsustainable" and in need of structural changes.


Unrelenting growth in health care spending has put pressure on policymakers to seek fundamental health care system reforms. Part of the stress comes from a wide gap in expectations among patients, providers, and payers: what patients and providers expect is not well aligned with what health care programs are able to deliver. The public and private sectors can both play an important role in educating the public about the differences between wants, needs, affordability, and sustainability at both the individual and aggregate level.


An American Journal of Medicine study found in 1981 only 8 percent of families filed for bankruptcy. In 2007, 62.1 percent of family bankruptcies for cost by health care expenses. The current health care system is killing the economy. The Congressional Budget Office found the public option would lower the deficit. Lieberman is either ignorant or grandstanding. My guess is both.

Nate Silver brings up a horrifying scenario.


But even if Lieberman will probably cave, this creates real problems for Democrats. For one thing, Lieberman has said he won't oppose the motion to proceed with the health care bill. Instead, he'll filibuster the end result, if he doesn't like the outcome. This is actually very devious. If Harry Reid determines that he doesn't have 60 votes on the motion to proceed on a bill with a public option, then he doesn't have to bring it to the floor. Progressives will be apoplectic, Reid will lose some face, pundits will talk about Democrats having lost momentum -- but the prospects for health care reform will probably not have seriously been damaged. The opt-out will get replaced by an opt-in or maybe a trigger or co-ops or whatever and Olympia Snowe will be very happy and the debate will proceed.


I say call Lieberman's bluff. If health care reform dies then Lieberman should own it or back down. If Lieberman doesn't back down then kick him out of the Democratic caucus. It will make progressives happy. The Republican base will not tolerate a former Democrat in the Republican caucus. Lieberman's voting record on social issues will drive the Christian Right nuts. Lieberman will have no power caucusing with the minority party. Lieberman won't get any attention or committee chairs from Mitch McConnell. I'm betting Lieberman will back down if the threat is real.

Labels: , ,

Bill Nelson Endorses Kendrick Meek

Sen. Bill Nelson has announced his endorsement of U.S. Senate candidate Kendrick Meek.


"Kendrick Meek's career has always been defined by his public service," said Sen. Nelson. "He's stood tall for the interests of all Floridians and is not afraid to take on special interests that put their needs above those of our state's citizens. His voice and convictions are needed in the U.S. Senate. That's why I'm wholeheartedly endorsing Kendrick Meek for the U.S. Senate."

Labels: ,

Quote of the Day

“Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society...”

Rush Limbaugh

Has this clown ever seen Lauren and Jill of Feministe? What feminist means to Limbaugh is attractive and smart women that won't have sex with him.

Labels: ,

Know Your Lobbyist: Richard Heffley

Lobbyist Richard Heffley has been showing his generousity to Charlie Crist. Heffley runs the firm Heffley & Associates. The firm's clients inlude U.S. Sugar, AT&T, Tampa Electric, St. Joe Co., Florida Medical Association. Heffley has had numerous lobbying conflicts of interest while he served in government. Heffley served on the Florida Elections Commission while working as a lobbyist. Heffley asked the FEC to investigate Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill McBride. Heffley was appointed to the FEC by MecBride's opponent Jeb Bush. Heffley business GHP was renting office space to Bush.

Heffley and his wife gave contributions to Crist's campaign.

HEFFLEY, RICHARD J
TALLAHASSEE, FL 32312
HEFFLEY & ASSOCIATES, INC./GOVT C
CRIST, CHARLIE
VIA CHARLIE CRIST FOR US SENATE

05/20/2009 - $2400.00


HEFFLEY, NANCY A
TALLAHASSEE, FL 32312
N/A/HOMEMAKER
CRIST, CHARLIE
VIA CHARLIE CRIST FOR US SENATE

05/20/2009 - $2400.00

Labels: ,

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rachel Maddow v. Fox News



Rachel Maddow explains why Fox News isn't a news station. Maddow's point isn't that Fox News voices their opinion. Maddow cites Walter Cronkite and Lara Logan as journalists that could cover the news and voice their opinions. Maddow points to Fox News organizing and promoting anti-government rallies. It is one thing to cover the news. It is quite another to become political activists.

Labels: ,

Randall Terry Is Still Vile

Randall Terry is the founder of Operation Rescue. The anti-abortion group had links to Scott Roeder. The organization's web site gives information on abortion providers. Accused murderer Scott Roeder was in contact with Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue. The latter gave information to Roeder about Dr. George Tiller's daily whereabouts. Sullenger served two years in prison for attempting to blow up the Alavarado Medical Center abortion clinic.

Terry is holding a Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid "Burn in Hell" video contest on the internet.


"If Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid force us to pay for child killing and they die unrepentant, they will burn in hell for this," Terry said in a telephone interview.


A few facts: Harry Reid is anti-abortion. Reid's position is abortions "should be legal only when the pregnancy resulted from incest, rape, or when the life of the woman is endangered." Apparently, Terry has no problem risking a woman's life to further his extremist views. Another fact is the Hyde Amendment bars federal funds for being used for abortions. Terry is factually incorrect. Facts don't matter to Terry. This is a man that attempted to deliver President Bill Clinton a dead fetus.

Terry is trying to stir up others to commit violence. It doesn't matter that Scott Roeder was linked to Terry's former organization.

"The man, as far as anybody knows acted on his own," Terry told the media. We know Roeder was aided by Sullenger. She admitted she gave Roeder Tiller's daily whereabouts. Terry is simply lying. Terry goes on to call Tiller a "mass murderer" and "reaped what he sowed" and was a "evil man."



There is no compassion in Terry's Christianity. In a different era, Terry would have supported Canon law allowing the stoning of women and blacks sold as property. In early America, that was considered perfectly Christian. Terry is a hateful man. Tiller was murdered a member of the anti-abortionist movement. Terry uses Tiller's death to attack a man whom can no longer speak for himself. It is just as cowardly as Terry's latest efforts to get others to do his violent bidding.

Labels: , , , ,

Fair and Balanced B.S. Edition



Shepard Smith apologized to Fox News viewers for not providing an interview with Goveror John Corzine. The Fox News reporters interviewed Republican opponent Chris Christie. Smith asked the reporter when would she interview Corzine. Her delayed reaction was priceless.

Hat tip to GottaLaff.

Labels: ,

Lori Edwards Fundraising Woes

The Doug Tudor and Randy Edwards nonstory has been covered on this blog. The real story is Lori Edward had a bad fundraising quarter.

Roll Call reports Edwards raised only $39,000 in the third quarter. She spent $44,000 during that period. Republican candidate Dennis Ross $144,000. Open Secrets has breakdown of the candidates' fundraising.

Republicans

Dennis Ross

Raised: 381,319
Spent: $126,321
Cash on Hand: $254,997
Last Report: September 30, 2009

Randy Wilkinson

Raised: $6,250
Spent: $2,155
Cash on Hand: $4,094
Last Report: October 01, 2009

Thomas K. Snider

Raised: $198
Spent: $98
Cash on Hand: $100
Last Report: June 30, 2009

Democrats

Lori Edwards

Raised: $141,181
Spent: $64,593
Cash on Hand: $76,586
Last Report: September 30, 2009


Doug Tudor

Raised: $1,486
Spent: $1,750
Cash on Hand: $3,106
Last Report: June 30, 2009

Randy Edwards

No reports on record for this candidate.

District 12 was held by Adam Putnam. The Congressman is giving up his seat to run for Agriculture Commissioner. The district has been red. Edwards would have a difficult time winning the district, if her fundraising was even with Ross's. If Edwards doesn't step up her fundraising the DCCC will give up on her.

Labels: , ,

Quote of the Day

"If it doesn’t have to be a basketball player, George W. Bush. I would dunk on his ass, break the rim, and shatter the glass."

LeBron James, asked what one guy on the planet he would like to dunk a basketball on.

James' cool factor just went up.

Labels: ,

Reid's Nelson and Landrieu Problem



MSNBC reports Sen. Ben Nelson and Sen. Mary Landrieu will vote with Republicans to filibuster any health care bill with the public option. An Andrew Sullivan reader suggests Joe Lieberman should lose committee chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. If Lieberman decides to join Republicans the filibuster. MSNBC reports Lieberman will vote against a filibuster and the public option on the Senate floor. Reid needs to threaten to take Nelson off of the Armed Services Committee and Landrieu Homeland Security Committee. Let's see if they are still willing to support a filibuster.

Labels: ,

Monday, October 26, 2009

Roger Ailes Presidential Run

Michael Wolff reports the feud between Fox News and the White House is making Roger Ailes nutty. How nutty, you ask? Ailes is talking about running for President in 2012. Wolff write Ailes floated the rumor about a presidential bid. Ailes will be 73 years-old in 2012. No one views Ailes as a candidate that would have a chance against Obama.

The White House attacks on Fox News have made Ailes increasingly paranoid. Ailes has been able to get away with attacking Democrats. Fox News is good at dishing it out. The bogus news network screams bloody murder when they are forced on the defensive. The advertisers bolting on Glenn Beck hit Fox News hurts Fox News financially. Fox News is less about liberal or conservative than money.

Money quote:


Before getting to my relative affection for Ailes, let me note that he will be 73 in 2012; he’s vastly overweight (and sensitive about it); he has health problems and can’t walk very well; he’s ghoulish looking; he’s deeply and nuttily paranoid (he discusses freely, albeit in lowered voice, the plans of radical Muslims to storm his house in New Jersey); and he may not be capable of doing 15 minutes without an offensive utterance.


Run, Roger, Run

Labels: ,

The Opt Out

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will include the public option in the final health care bill. Reid announced Democrats are united.


“I’ve conclude with the support of the White House and Sens. Dodd and Baucus, that the best way to move forward is to include a public option with the op-out provision for states,” Reid said at a press conference.


Sen. Max Baucus has fought to keep the public option out of the health care bill. Reid publicly announcing Baucus's support means conservative Democrats are fearful of backlash from the progressive base. Baucus will probably work behind to scenes to kill the public option. Reid is in a tough election and Nevada voters have expressed support for the public option. Baucus has lost the Majority Leader. Reid is willing to lose Sen. Olympia Snowe. The latter said she vote vote against any health care bill containing the public option.

Reid will add legislation that will allow states to opt out of the public option. We can expect to see red states opt out and have the most uninsured patients. Conservatives will wonder why health care cost won't go down. Republicans will say health care needs to be 100 percent privatized and propose no regulations for oversight. Conservatives will say, "Let the free market decide." I say Republicans and conservatives need to take an economics class. The status quo is unsustainable. The U.S. Government Accountability Office describes the cost of health care as "unsustainable." The GAO reports warns health care will become a drain on our economy, produce greater taxes and affect the United States ability to compete in a global economy. Republicans and conservatives would rather shout bumper sticker slogans than read government health care reports.

Labels: , , , ,

Obama in Jacksonville

President Barack Obama visited the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida. The President spoke to pilots and sailors about Afghanistan. Obama did not reveal what his plans are for General Stanley A. McChrystal request for 40,000 more troops.


But Obama did not tip his hand on how he might decide.

"I will never rush the solemn decision of sending you into harm's way," he said.


Obama promised military personal would not be forgotten and given the social service care they need.

Labels: , ,

Children of The Corn

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Max Baucus Facing His Public Option Moment

Sen. Max Baucus has reiterated he supports the public option. In the Senate Finance Committee, Baucus said he voted against Sen. Chuck Schumer's public option amendment because there wasn't enough votes in the Senate. Majority Leader Harry Reid believes there are 60 votes to stop a Republican filibuster of the public option. Reid would only need 51 votes to pass a public option health care bill. ABC News reports Baucus got wind of Reid's plan and went ballistic.


This is not a done deal. I am told that Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) – who worked for months to get Olympia Snowe’s support for the bill and has consistently said a public option cannot pass the Senate – was apoplectic when Reid told him he wanted to include the public option. “Baucus went to DEFCON 1,” said a source familiar with the negotiations, referring to the alert level the military uses for an imminent attack on the homeland.


Baucus has publicly said he supports a public option. Baucus's actions has been to prevent the public option from being implemented in the final bill. The questions are will Baucus join a Republican filibuster or vote against the public option. The media should ask Baucus will he vote for a health care bill with the public option. Baucus should also be asked about the million dollars, in campaign contributions, from the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. I am interested in Baucus's response.

Baucus is behaving as someone terrified about having to vote for or against the public option. Stripping the public option relieves Baucus of that choice. If Baucus votes against a final public option health care bill, he will anger the base and be viewed as a shrill for lobbyists.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Doors of Conception: Birther of a Nation

Friday, October 23, 2009

The public option: Next year, we'll remember who did the right thing.



El Gato Negro has a message for our dear friends, the Blue Cross Dog ConservaDems: Remember all those people who worked so hard to get you elected? We want to see real health care reform, with a robust public option, become reality.

Next year, we'll remember who did the right thing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Alex Sink Endorses Kendrick Meek

Congressman Kendrick Meek endorses Alex Sink.


"I am pleased to endorse Congressman Kendrick Meek as a candidate for U.S. Senate. During his time in the state legislature, Kendrick worked diligently to improve Florida's schools. As a member of Congress, Kendrick has worked on behalf of Florida’s families, making his voice heard of issues of housing and providing economic opportunities for Floridians. He has been a strong advocate for Floridians in Congress and I am confident will continue to work tirelessly for the people of Florida as their next U.S. Senator."

Labels: ,

Franken Destroys Health Care Bankruptcy Myth



Al Franken smokes Diane Furchtgott-Roth's claim that a European health care system, in America would increase medical bankruptcies. Medical expenses account for 62 percent of bankruptcies in 2007. Franken asked Furchtgott-Roth how many medical bankruptcies were there in the countries of Switzerland, France and Germany. Furchtgott-Roth did not know the answer. The answer is zero.

Furchtgott-Roth attempted to change the conversation by citing cancer survival rates. Franken noted anti-health care reform groups only people with the most survivable forms of cancer. The truth is countries have higher survival rates for different forms of cancer. The United States does have excelent doctors and medical facilities. The health care debate is about making that care affordable to all Americans. Right now we have a class system in health care. Denying reality with bogus bankruptcy claims only hurts people to poor to receive medical care.

Labels: ,

Quote of the Day



"I don't really believe homosexuals want to get married. What they want to do is destroy marriage and some of the other things we have in our society."

Pat Robertson

I don't really believe Pat Robertson is a Christian. Robertson is using Christianity to preach his brand of intolerance. It is a shame. Robertson gives true Christians a bad name.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ronald Burris on Public Option



Sen. Roland Burris reiterates that he not not vote for any final health reform bill that does not contain a public option. Burris is not running for re-election. He doesn't have to worry about pleasing lobbyists. Things could get interesting if Burris is the tiebreaking vote.

Labels: ,

Kendrick Meek in Tampa and Orlando

Senate candidate Kendrick Meek will be making campaign visits to Tampa and Orlando this weekend.

Tampa

Time: Friday, October 23 from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Host: Tim
Contact Phone: 813.443.5357
Location: Tampa Office (Tampa, FL)
2942 W. Columbus Dr., Suite 103
Tampa, FL 33607

Orlando

Time: Saturday, October 24 from 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Host: Christopher Dunwody
Contact Phone: 407.601.1564
Location: Orlando Office (Orlando, FL)
633 E. Colonial Dr. Suite 100
Orlando, FL 32803

Update: Meek will not be at the events. Campaign staffer Abe Dyk will speak. Sorry about the mistake.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

V Monologues



A classic MadTV skit of Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush performing the Vagina Monologues.

Labels: ,

White House v. Fox News



White House senior adviser David Axelrod told George Stephanopoulos Fox News is not really a news network. The Daily Show has successfully made that point for several years.


It's really not news. It's pushing a point of view. And the bigger thing is that other news organizations like yours ought not to treat them that way, and we're not going to treat them that way. We're going to appear on their shows. We're going to participate but understanding that they represent a point of view."


The White House attack on Fox News has forced the network to make laughable arguments about how tough they were on President George W. Bush. Brit Hume and Bill O'Reilly claim the network held Bush accountable for mistakes in Iraq.

"I haven't seen any evidence of GOP intrusion," O'Reilly said.

What about Fox News passing Senate Republican Communications Center talking points as actual reporting? How about Fox News saying, "All-Out Civil War in Iraq: Could It Be a Good Thing?" Fox News does not do investigative journalism. The running joke is the network worker bees marched to John Moody's orders.


From: John Moody
Date: 4/6/2004

The events in Iraq Tuesday are going to be the top story, unless and until something else (or worse) happens. Err on the side of doing too much Iraq rather than not enough. Do not fall into the easy trap of mourning the loss of US lives and asking out loud why are we there? The US is in Iraq to help a country brutalized for 30 years protect the gains made by Operation Iraqi Freedom and set it on the path to democracy. Some people in Iraq don't want that to happen. That is why American GIs are dying. And what we should remind our viewers.




MoveOn.org is running a petition asking Democrats to stay off Fox News.

Labels: , , , , ,

Equality Florida Endorses Den Gelber

The LGBT advocacy group Equality Florida has endorsed Dan Gelber for Florida Attorney General.


"Our community has two friends in the Democratic primary race for attorney general, however Dan Gelber stands apart as someone who has used his political capital to truly lead on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues," Stratton Pollitzer, the group's chair, said in a written statement.


Stratton Pollitzer, chairman of the Equality Florida Action PAC, cited Gelber's record of protecting the LGBT community from job termination and to right not to be denied housing. Gelber supports gay couples having the right to adopt children.

Labels: ,

Monday, October 19, 2009

Set Your TiVo

Alan Grayson will be on Rachel Maddow's show tonight. Grayson's web has a health care page.


And the Republicans in Congress don't care. They have shown time and again that they lack compassion and common human decency. They supported President Bush's veto of children's health insurance and are satisfied with how the current system works.

But it's not working for most Americans.


If only Grayson would let us know how he really feels about the opposition party.

Check out the Alan Grayson Facebook page.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, October 17, 2009

There's a rep for that



I dedicate this terrific bit of parody to Stephen, iPhone newbie and fellow pointer-outer of Republican homophobia sexism racism fanatic Christianism hypocrisy ah...let's say all of the above, plus abject Republican insanity. We are, all of us, compelled to point it out to you on an ongoing basis, since they keep topping themselves.

Via Shadowfax, the awesomest ER doc in the northeast.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Walk of Shame: Richard Land

Richard Land was the keynote speaker at the Christian Coalition of Florida's "God and Country Banquet." Land told the crowd, the Obama administration's health care reform attempt is reminiscent of the of the Nazis.


“Let’s remember,” Land added, “the first 10,000 victims of the Holocaust were not Jews, they were mentally handicapped German children who were gassed and burned in ovens because they were considered to have … lives unworthy of life,” citing the Nazi ideology used to rationalize the Holocaust.


Land went further off the rails on the crazy train, by comparing Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the White House chief healthcare advisor to Josef Mengele. Emanuel is jewish. The comparison is outrageously idiotic. The Anti-Defamation League took Land to task and he is now backtracking. Land's apology letter doesn't pass the laugh test.


It was never my intention to equate the Obama administration’s healthcare reform proposals with anything related to the Holocaust. My concern, which is clear when the remarks are reviewed in context, was about the potential denial of healthcare to the elderly, the infirm, the disabled and the unborn.


It was Land's intention to compare the Obama administration to the Nazis. There was no other reason for Land to use such rhetoric. Wingnuts love making such outragous statements amongst themselves. They won't defend their views publicly.


Now that I have had the opportunity to speak with you personally and reflect on my words, I deeply regret the reference to Dr. Josef Mengele. I was using hyperbole for effect and never intended to actually equate anyone in the Obama administration with Dr. Mengele.


Land gave a speech comparing Emanuel to Josef Mengele. We are to believe he didn't intend to give that speech. I have written thousands of posts on this blog. Would anyone believe I never intended to pen those posts? Land will do the walk of shame. If Land wants people to believe he learned his lesson then argue positions based on facts. Inflammatory rehetoric is a cheap way to try to win an argument.

Labels: ,

Friday Cat Blogging

Photo by L80 Sadie

Jay the bobcat/lynz hybrid is an amazingly huge kitty. This boy is built like a pitbull on steroids. Jay seems to be insanely friendly to female visitors. Check out the videos to see for yourself.

Labels:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Quote of the Day

Just because you're poor doesn't mean you're unhealthy, it just means you have a lot more time to go running."

Holly Benson, Gov. Charlie Crist's Secretary of the Agency for Health Care

Update: here is the radio interview with Benson. The quote can be heard and a caller was angered by Benson's comment.

Labels:

Progressive Sexism



Megham McCain got grief for posting a picture of yourself on Twitter. Cenk Uygur of the The Young Turks said McCain was "asking for it." Could a progressive pundit use a worse choice of words than Uygur.

Keith Olbermann refered to conservative blogger Michele Malkin "as a mashed-up bag of meat." Another poor choice of words.


[Malkin's] total mindless, morally bankrupt, knee-jerk, fascistic hatred, without which Michelle Malkin would just be a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it.


Progressives, you can diagree with a conservative woman, without making sexist remarks. Progressive values are about promoting equality. Not bashing women.

Labels: , , , , ,

Arianna Huffington Asks Joe Biden to Resign

Arianna Huffington tells Ron Reagan of Air America that Vice-President Joe Biden should resign in protest of U.S. troop increases to Afghanistan. Biden's opposition to Gen. Stanley McChrystal's 40,000 troop request earned him a Newsweek cover story. There was a fascinating exchange in the White House.


Joe Biden had a question. During a long Sunday meeting with President Obama and top national-security advisers on Sept. 13, the VP interjected, "Can I just clarify a factual point? How much will we spend this year on Afghanistan?" Someone provided the figure: $65 billion. "And how much will we spend on Pakistan?" Another figure was supplied: $2.25 billion. "Well, by my calculations that's a 30-to-1 ratio in favor of Afghanistan. So I have a question. Al Qaeda is almost all in Pakistan, and Pakistan has nuclear weapons. And yet for every dollar we're spending in Pakistan, we're spending $30 in Afghanistan. Does that make strategic sense?" The White House Situation Room fell silent. But the questions had their desired effect: those gathered began putting more thought into Pakistan as the key theater in the region.


U.S. forces have pushed al-Qaeda into Pakistan. CBS News cheir foreign correspondant Lara Logan said Afghanistan is the spiritual home of al-Qaeda. The Taliban is intent on taking back Afghanistan. The Taliban will allow al-Qaeda to set up safe havens in Afghanistan. Logan states the Afghanistan government is too unstable to fight al-Qaeda. The questions about President Hamid Karzai's future also cloud matters. Members of the White House, leaked to the media, that they have lost confidence in Karzai. So far, the White House has not called for Karzai to publicly step down.

Biden is right about Pakistan. The Swat Valley has become an international human rights crisis. The Pakistani people were divided over the Taliban. The cruelity displayed by the Taliban turned the Pakistani people. President Barack Obama just signed a $7.5 billion aid bill for Pakistan. What the longterm policy for Pakistan is uncertain. The United States is launching predator drone attacks on terrorist targets.

The issues in Afghanistan and Pakistan demand someone that is willing to challenge the President. Vice-President Biden will do a greater service to his country in office than out. Resigning out of protest would draw headlines. The move would be a one time ploy and Biden would have no voice on policy once he leaves.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Randy Edwards Campaign Response

The Randy Edwards campaign responds to the Doug Tudor press release. The Edwards response doesn't make clear whether he is retired or in active service. Tudor has demanded Edwards withdrawal from the race. Tudor accused Edwards of still being active in the Marine Corps. Edwards web site states he is retired.


Randy Edwards is a nineteen year resident of Florida. He and his wife, Sarita, are raising their two sons, Randolph II, and Nicholas, in Valrico. Randy recently retired as a Marine Corps intelligence officer after nearly 22 years and serving multiple combat tours in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia. During his Marine Corps career, Randy also served as a Legislative Assistant and Legislative Fellow in the United States Congress and helped provide disaster aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Randy graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Morehouse College. He holds a masters degree from the National Defense Intelligence College.


Personally, I wish all parties with take a deep breath and chill.

The Randy Edwards campaign response:


Friends of Randy Edwards For Congress find that it is truly disheartening and sad for a career military member, such as Mr. Tudor, would attack a career combat Marine, Randy Edwards for political gain. Mr. Tudor claims are baseless and full of half truths and innuendo. The mere presence of Randy in the race for the 12th Congressional District clearly demonstrates that Mr. Tudor is very concerned about his political future. Friends of Randy Edwards for Congress are confident that Randy has been following the spirit and letter of Department of Defense Directives; he has not and will not direct campaign activities until it is permissible. Randy has attended certain Democratic club meetings, which is permissible under Department of Defense regulations (see paragraph: 4.1.1.3). Friends of Randy Edwards for Congress only support Randy because he is one of the highest caliber individuals devoted to a lifetime of honor, courage, and commitment. Friends of Randy Edwards for Congress will continue to carry the fight until Randy is able speak out publicly on his own behalf.

Friends of Randy Edwards For Congress believe Mr. Tudor's actions clearly show why he is not "fit" to serve as the next representative of the 12th Congressional District and that the potential and promise of Randy's leadership is a threat to him.

Friends of Randy Edwards For Congress will not respond to any additional attacks from Mr. Tudor.

Excerpts from DODI 1344.10:
4.1.1. A member of the Armed Forces on active duty may:
4.1.1.1. Register, vote, and express a personal opinion on political candidates and issues, but not as a representative of the Armed Forces.
4.1.1.2. Promote and encourage others to exercise their voting franchise, if such promotion does not constitute use of their official authority or influence to interfere with the outcome of any election.
4.1.1.3. Join a partisan or nonpartisan political club and attend its meetings when not in uniform, subject to the restrictions of subparagraph 4.1.2.4. (See DoD Instruction 1334.1 (Reference (c).)

4.1.2. A member of the Armed Forces on active duty shall not:
4.1.2.4. Serve in any official capacity with or be listed as a sponsor of a partisan political club.



Sincerely,

Friends of Randy Edwards For Congress

Labels:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rush Out of Rams Bid

ESPN reports the group vying to buy the St. Louis Rams is dropping conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh. St. Louis Blues owner Dave Checketts formed a group to raise the money to buy the Rams. Limbaugh has become toxic from past racist remarks made at black athletes.

Limbaugh was fired from ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" for comments directed at Donovan McNabb.


"Sorry to say this, I don't think he's been that good from the get-go," Limbaugh said. "I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."


Limbaugh once refered to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens as "the Crips and the Bloods." Several NFL players have said they do not want to play for a Limbaugh team. The NFL doesn't want a man convicted for illegally acquiring OxyContin. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay publicly stated he would not vote for Limbaugh.


"I, myself, couldn't even consider voting for him," Irsay said at today's NFL owners meetings. "When there are comments that have been made that are inappropriate, incendiary and insensitive... our words do damage, and it's something we don't need."


Limbaugh refuses to take responsibility for his past comments. He takes to the airwaves and blames it all on the Left. The man with the $400 million radio contract is a powerless victim.


"This is not about the NFL, it's not about the St. Louis Rams, it's not about me," Limbaugh said. "This is about the ongoing effort by the left in this country, wherever you find them, in the media, the Democrat Party, or wherever, to destroy conservatism, to prevent the mainstreaming of anyone who is prominent as a conservative.


This is about the NFL not wanting a racist-spouting pundit and convicted drug addict to damage their reputation. The owners and players in the NFL are rich. The Center for Responsive Politics found NFL teams favor Republican candidates over Democrats, in terms of contributions. Oddly enough, the Rams' gave 98 percent of their contributions to Democrats.

Labels: , ,

Sonic Youth - Antenna

Sonic Youth - Antenna
Found at skreemr.com


One of the few pop songs by Sonic Youth.

Labels: , ,

Troll Hall of Fame: IntelligenceSeeker

The post "Doug Tudor Attacks Randy Edwards" has caused a shit storm with two campaigns and the Dem establishment. The post has brought several comments. The comment by IntelligenceSeeker nearly tops Bryan for all-time troll.


"Me thinks Hussey is a joker. A laugh a minute with the diversion antics of a Young Republican. I'm out.

"No knowledge to be gained here."


I have been accused of a lot of things. Being a Young Republican is a first.

Labels:

Crist's Approval Rating Slips

Gov. Charlie Crist's approval rating as dropped to 48 percent in the latest InsiderAdvantage poll. The disapproval rating is at 41 percent. Matt Towery, head of InsiderAdvantage was taken by surprise.


"It has been conventional wisdom based on prior polling that Gov. Crist was somehow immune to the more tepid approval ratings we have seen for other incumbents in large states facing significant challenges," he said.


523 registered voters were polled. A breakdown of the numbers.


1. What is your current political affiliation?
Republican: 41%
Democrat: 40%
Independent: 19%


2. What is your opinion of the job performance of Governor Charlie Crist?
Approve: 48%
Disapprove: 41%
No Opinion/Undecided: 11%


The poll results give creedence to Kendrick Meek's claim that Crist is vulnerable.


"I think we'll see now a better campaign," Meek said. "Voters want someone who will go to work for them every day."

Labels: ,

Howard Dean Online Chat

Democracy For America is hosting an online debrief and chat with Gov. Howard Dean tomorrow. The focus of the chat will be the Public Option Plus for Americans over 50 plan.

What: Debrief with Governor Dean
Date: Thursday, Oct. 15
Time: 10am Eastern
Where: www.DemocracyforAmerica.com/DebriefOnKos

If you miss the chat, you can watch it at the web address listed above.

Labels:

Doug Tudor Attacks Randy Edwards

This is incredible. Doug Tudor is publicly urging Randy Edwards to drop out of the Florida District 12 Congressional race. Tudor contends the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 92 restricts Edwards from campaigning. Edwards is retired from the Marine Corps. Furthermore, Tudor doesn't produce any evidence to support his claims.

It makes no sense for Tudor to go after Edwards. Voters do not know Edwards and it remains to be seen if he will raise enough money or get on the ballot. Lori Edwards is who Tudor should be focused on. She is the frontrunner and has a huge fundraising advantage over Tudor. The only thing Tudor is accomplishing is giving Randy Edwards free publicity.

My take is Tudor is really disturbed a fellow military veteran is running in Democratic primary for District 12.

Below is the confusing press release:


Subject: Press Release from Doug Tudor for U.S. Congress
PRESS RELEASE
October 14, 2009
For Immediate Release
Contact:
Doug Tudor
Doug Tudor for U.S. Congress

Edwards Candidacy Called Into Question
RIVERVIEW, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 14, 2009
Democratic U.S. House candidate Doug Tudor publicly called on fellow candidate Randy Edwards to withdraw from the race for the open seat in Florida's 12th Congressional District.

Tudor claimed, "By actively campaigning, speaking to groups, and requesting monetary contributions to his campaign, Major Edwards is in clear violation of Department of Defense Directives regarding political activities by members of the Armed Forces."

Over the course of the past week, Edwards addressed various gatherings of Democrats. He did so at the Florida Democratic Party's annual conference in Orlando this past weekend, as well as speaking to the Polk County Democratic Executive Committee in Bartow on Monday night and the East Hillsborough County Democratic Club in Brandon on Tuesday night. At each event, Edwards declared that is still on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, and he solicited monetary contributions to his campaign.

"Anyone with even the slightest knowledge of military regulations knows that having a strict ban on military members injecting themselves into partisan politics is vital to the sanctity of America's civilian-led military," said Tudor. He continued, "As a retired Navy Master Chief, it disturbed me to see an active-duty Marine officer trying to gain such an important office, who either didn't know any better or deliberately violated the regulations."

Edwards was granted a waiver signed by the Secretary of the Navy, which clearly stated that while he could file for candidacy, he was restricted from "open and active campaigning and all behind-the-scenes activities."

Though Edwards' infractions are punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 92, "Failure to Obey Order or Regulation," Tudor stated, "I don't want to see this junior officer punished. I just want to ensure that the political autonomy of our nation's great military isn't called into question, whether by intent or by ignorance."

The regulation governing "Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces" is Department of Defense Directive Number 1344.10 dated February 19, 2008. It is available on the web.

The regulation governing "Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces" is Department of Defense Directive Number 1344.10 dated February 19, 2008. It is available on the web.


Update: Off-the-record emails i had reveal the Tudor campaign and Democratic Party establishment had little communication about the allegations against Edwards. Apparently, the Tudor campaign and DEM party have a cold relationship.

I sent Randy Edwards an email and hoping for a reply.

Labels:

The Chronicles of Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson is mad at Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe for voting for the Senate Finance Committee health care reform bill. Given the choice being a constructive activist or behaving like a clown, Erickson chose the latter.



Yes, Erickson is urging RedState.com readers to send rock salt to Maine. Winter is around the corner. Snowe won't have to worry about buying rock salt for her sidewalk and driveway. That should really teach her a lesson. Snowe lives in Maine. It snows there.

Erickson is under the impression Snowe once resided Narnia. I had to Google Narnia. I'm sorry, but I don'r speak geek.

Hat tip to John Cole.

Labels: , , ,

Quote of the Day



"I’m the cow on the tracks."

Michael Steele, on his opposition to health care reform.

Note to Steele: the cow never beats the train.

Labels:

Squeeze My Lemons

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quote of the Day

"But they've now hoisted themselves on their own insured petard. They've exposed themselves. If they had to compete with a public insurance plan, they couldn't get away with this threat. They couldn't pass on the extra costs. They'd have to compete with a public insurance option that forced them to give consumers the best deals possible.

"Now's the time for Congress and the White House to say to the insurance industry: You want to play hardball? Okay. We'll play it, too. You didn't want a public insurance option. That was one of your conditions for supporting the bill. You wanted gigantic profits from having thirty million new paying customers and the market to yourself. The Senate Finance Committee and the White House agreed because they wanted your support and were afraid of the negative ads and hurricane of opposition you could finance. But you're even greedier than we imagined. And now you've demonstrated that greed to the American people. They don't want to turn over even more of their hard-earned money to you. So, insurance companies, we've got news for you. We're going to make sure Americans have the freedom to choose a public insurance option that's cheaper and better, and you're going to have to work hard to keep them your customers."

Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor

Labels: ,

Hate Vandalism Directed at Obama



The Secret Service is investigating who wrote "I," the swastika and Obama onto the grass of a golf course in Lakeville, Mass. Course owner wants whoever is responsible found.


"It's just so insulting to the human race and it just shouldn't be part of our doings by anybody. I just can't understand it. It's unforgivable," course owner Gary Mosca told WBZ.


The web site the Right Perspective serves up serious bullshit by implying the culprit may have actually placed as the Hindu and Buhdist symbol for good luck. I say good luck having people believe that utter nonsense. It amazes me the Right feels the need to defend this kind of hatemongering. Ann Coulter even gave the hysterical suggestion that the Left was bringing Obama/Nazi signs to tea parties.

Hat tip to Gottalaff.

Labels: , ,

Tea Baggers v. Lindsey Graham



Lindsey Graham is attacked by tea baggers by being accused of being a "traitor" and being "in bed with John Kerry." The tea baggers have claimed they are bipartisan. Notice how quickly they turn on a Republican Senator for talking to Democrats. The tea bagger movement is going to townhall meeting and protests to vent anger. They do not create policy ideas, raise money for the GOP or register new Republican voters. The Senate Finance Committee just passed a flawed health care bill. If the tea baggers were a real movement health care reform would be dead.

Labels: , ,

Bad Halloween Idea



Human beings and pets should not wear matching sexy Halloween outfits. Ever. SpoiledRottenDoggies.com is marketing outfits for pets and their owners. My personal view is humiliating pets by forcing them to wear tacky costumes is a sure ticket to hell.

Update: the Healthy Pets Blog explains why putting costumes on pets is a bad idea.

Labels: , ,

Monday, October 12, 2009

Trigger Bill

Sen. Bill Nelson said he prefers a "trigger" over the public option.


"I think it ought to be available in all markets, each of the states," Nelson said. "The idea is, let the free market competition really determine what the rates are."


Centrist Democrats argue they will put off a decision on the public option until later. Nelson and others state the trigger will be pulled if health insurance cost rise too high. Health insurance premiums have increased 131 percent in the last decade. Health care cost is one-sixth of the United States' economy. Exactly when will Bill Nelson cost are too high?

Labels: ,

New Tom Waits Album

Tom Waits is allowing fans to hear a free preview of his live album Glitter and Doom. Register your email address and audio tracks will be sent to your inbox.









Labels: ,

The Idea of Obama

Tom Tomorrow has a fantastic comic on how the Left and Right project their hopes and fears into President Obama. The reality is the President hasn't been in office long enough to make significant change.

Labels: ,

Quote of the Day

"I think it's a really well-coached football team. We were prepared for all the blitzes, all the looks we'd get. Everything we saw, we knew we would get. Any time you put yourself in position to have double-teams on guys, and their guys make plays, it means they're a better football team, talentwise."

Raheem Morris, head coach of the 0-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs have lost 4 of their five games by double-digit scores.

Labels:

Oprah Winfrey Parody



The best parody of cultural icon Oprah Winfrey.

OPRAH WINFREY: As you know, I own thousands of human beings. And here is the centerpiece of my human collection... Dr. Phiiiiiiil!

Labels: , ,

Erick Erickson Quote Machine

Erick Erickson has a history of making extremist quotes. Erickson can not make a coherent argument. On Bloggingheads.tv, Erickson defended waterboarding as not torture by describing the interrogation procedure as torture.


"See, I actually don't think waterboarding is torture. I understand McCain's postion on that. I don't think it is. I don't think it puts their life in jeopardy when they're tortured."


Erickson wrote the Left is is working with terrorists to harm America.


We must not allow the left, working on behalf of our enemies, to lead Barack Obama down this most dangerous road. The best way to stop that is for the current President to deny any ability to prosecute American heros who have kept us safe for eight years.


Erickson isn't a patriot. He is an angry man with a laptop. Erickson wrote, "I’d be cleaning my gun right about now," because Spokane County, Washington banned phosphates from dishwasher detergent.

"At what point do the people tell the politicians to go to hell?" Erickson wrote. "At what point do they get off the couch, march down to their state legislator’s house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp for being an idiot?"

At what point does Erickson seek help for his anger management issues. Erickson fired off his lates temper tantrum on Twitter.




"Linda Douglass really is the Joseph Goebbels of the White House Health Care shop:"


Linda Douglass is the communications director for the Office Office of Health Reform. Erickson sees nothing wrong with comparing Douglass to a the racist propanda of Goebbels. Erickson refered to President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize win as "an affirmative action quota." Erickson also defended the racist song "Barack the Magic Negro." The defense is it is not an attack on Barack Obama, but Al Sharpton. Nevermind the song is titled "Barack the Magic Negro", or that Sharpton is black. Ditto for Erickson's defense of Obama's image photoshopped as the Joker. Erickson couldn't give a rat's ass about racial tolerance. He would never have compared Douglass to Goebbels if he was racially sensitive. Erickson is a racist whom does not have the intelligence to make success policy arguments. So, Erickson resorts to demonizing his political enemies. Voters should know that Republicans (such as Marco Rubio) pander to this angry little man.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Interview



Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz talks about the health care public option with Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks. Wasserman-Schultz believes there are over 200 votes for Medicare plus 5. Wasserman-Schultz is overestimating support for the strength of the public option. 14 members of the Progressive Caucus have defected.

Another dicussed topic is Ann Coulter attacking Wasserman-Schultz looks.


WHAT??????????? YOU CALL THAT HOT? I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW WE'VE GOT A MEGA-SUPER HOTTIE IN DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. AND NEED I REMIND YOU AGAIN OF THE RAW SEX APPEAL OF RACHEL MADDOW?


Side Note: What is it with conservatives being addicted to the BIG CAPS KEYS?

Labels: ,

Friday, October 09, 2009

Pigfish Ettoufette

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Scott Maddox Dance Party



One of the most hysterically bad ideas in ages. A Florida Democratic Party dance video. The famous JK Wedding Entrance Dance video worked because it was original and a celebration of a love and friendship. The FDP video is a celebration of... Scott Maddox. I almost expect Will Ferrell, as Janet Reno to make an appearance. No one wants to get funky with Scott Maddox.

Advice to Florida Democratic Party: next time someone suggests making a dance video proceed to throw that person out of the room.

Labels: ,

Quote of the Day

"You’re exactly right. We’ve lost a lot of freedom in America. People just don’t understand how much we’ve lost. I believe the First Amendment and the Second Amendment are the cornerstones of freedom, and we’ve lost a lot of our rights, the Second Amendment. In fact, I’m chairman of the Second Amendment Task Force fighting for Second Amendment rights. Those gun rights are actually critical to prevent treason in America, and we must know. These First Amendment Rights, our freedom of speech and all the other things that are going on are just absolutely awful.

"I’ve gotten to be good friends with Justice Antonin Scalia, who he and Justice Clarence Thomas are the only ones who have any concept of what the Constitution is supposed to be and, and do what they’re supposed to do as justices by upholding the Constitution. But, in fact every, when I was sworn into the Marine Corp, I was sworn to uphold the Constitution against every enemy, foreign and domestic. We’ve got a lot of domestic enemies of the Constitution (applause) and one of those sits in the speaker’s chair of the United States Congress, Nancy Pelosi."

Rep. Paul Broun, at a September 28 yownhall meeting.

Broun is accusing Nancy Pelosi of treason and urging gun owners to shoot Madam Speaker. This isn't a 9-12 Project tea bagger. This is a United States Congressman urging people to shoot a fellow member of Congress.

Harry Reid Gets Touchy With Nancy Pelosi

Politico reports of friction between Majority Leader Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi on Afghanistan. Reid told reporters Democrats will support whatever troop level policy President Barack Obama backs. Television cameras recorded Pelosi moving away from Reid and rolling her eyes. I'm not sure if Pelosi reacted because of Reid's blanket endorsement for Obama's Afghistan policy or she was creeped out by being touched by Reid.



Glenn Thrush quotes sources saying Pelosi was not happy with Reid giving Obama carte blanche on Afghanistan. Pelosi told Politico that isn't true.


Pelosi insisted Wednesday that it wasn’t so, telling POLITICO that she was “not upset,” adding: “I don’t know where you would have heard such a thing.”


It is no secret that Pelosi is not thrilled about a troop increase for Afghanistan. The interesting development is the strain between Pelosi and the White House. The political dynamic is the neo-liberal Obama would rather work with Republicans than the progressive Pelosi. Pelosi has distanced herself from Obama's willingness to dump the public option. Afghanistan is another issue that will be unpopular with the Democratic House base. What is good for Obama politically and ideologically does not hold true for Pelosi.

Labels: , ,

Charlie Crist Third Quarter Fundraising

Gov. Charlie Crist raised $2.4 million for the third fundraising quarter. Crist has $6.2 million on-hand for his Senate campaign. Marco Rubio's spokeman Alex Burgos attempted to spin away Crist's fundraising advantage.


Rubio campaign spokesman Alex Burgos responded to the numbers in a statement to TPM: "Money can't wipe away Charlie Crist's record of support for wasteful stimulus spending, historic tax increases and cap-and-trade. We're going to make sure he spends every last cent trying."


Oh really.

I remember Rubio as House Speaker during Crist's tenure as Governor. Florida borrowed money to keep government running while Rubio was in the House. I don't recall Rubio getting Florida off it's borrowing addiction.

Labels: ,

Public Option Letter

Sen. Sherrod Brown and 29 other senators have sent a letter to Harry Reid. The letter stresses the need for the public option in the final Senate bill.

Update: Brown told MSNBC the goal is to get 50 Democrats to sign the letter.

"A lot of people don't like to sign," Brown said.

Update: Talking Points Memo: has published the letter.


October 8, 2009

The Honorable Harry Reid

Majority Leader

United States Senate

The Capitol, S-221

Washington, DC 20510


Dear Majority Leader Reid:


We have spent the better part of this year fighting for health reform that would provide insurance access and continuity to every American in a fiscally responsible manner. We are concerned that - absent a competitive and continuous public insurance option - health reform legislation will not produce nationwide access and ongoing cost containment. For that reason, we are asking for your leadership on ensuring that the merged health reform bill contains a public insurance option.

As it stands, the health insurance market is dominated by a handful of for-profit health insurers that are exempt from the anti-trust laws that ensure robust competition in other markets across the United States. Without a not-for-profit public insurance alternative that competes with these insurers based on premium rates and quality, insurers will have free rein to increase insurance premiums and drive up the cost of federal subsidies tied to those premiums. This is simply not fiscally sustainable.

We recognize that the two Committees with jurisdiction over health reform - the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee - have taken two very different approaches with respect to this issue. However, a strong public option has resounding support among Senate Democrats - every Democrat on HELP, three quarters of those on Finance, and what we believe is a majority of the caucus.

The Senate Finance Committee included a cooperative approach to insurance market competition. While promoting more co-ops may be a worthy goal, it is not realistic to expect local co-ops to spring up in every corner of this country. There are many areas of the country where the population is simply too small to sustain a local co-op plan. We are also concerned that the administrative costs associated with financing the start-up of multiple co-op plans would far outstrip the seed money required to establish a public health insurance program.

Opponents of health reform argue that a public option presents unfair competition to the private insurance companies. However, it is possible to create a public health insurance option that is modeled after private insurance - rates are negotiated and providers are not required to participate in the plan. As you know, this is the Senate HELP Committee's approach. The major differences between the public option and for-profit plans are that the public plan would report to taxpayers, not to shareholders, and the public plan would be available continuously in all parts of the country. The number one goal of health reform must be to look out for the best interests of the American people - patients and taxpayers alike - not the profit margins of insurance companies.

Health reform is about improving access to health care, containing costs, and giving Americans a real choice in the insurance plan best suited to their needs. We urge you to fight for a sustainable health care system that ensures Americans the option of a public plan in the merged Senate bill.


Sincerely,


Sherrod Brown (D-OH) John D. Rockefeller (D-WV)

Russell D. Feingold (D-WI) Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT)

Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI) Tom Udall (D-NM)

Kristen E. Gillibrand (D-NY) Roland W. Burris (D-IL)

Ron Wyden (D-OR) Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Barbara Boxer (D-CA) Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

Michael F. Bennet (D-CO) Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

Jack Reed (D-RI) Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD)

Al Franken (D-MN) Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA)

Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI)

Edward E. Kaufman (D-DE) Arlen Specter (D-PA)

Maria Cantwell (D-WA) Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

Bernard Sanders (I-VT) John F. Kerry (D-MA)

Herb Kohl (D-WI) Paul Kirk (D-MA)

Labels: ,