I think it's outrageous that the religious elite continue to deny the Theory of Evolution from being taught in Religion classes.
w/ Brad & Desi
BARCODED BALLOTS AND BALLOT MARKING DEVICES
BMDs pose a new threat to democracy in all 50 states...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
On Nov. 12, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court alleging that separate House and Senate Resolutions to bar all funds to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) were unconstitutional Bills of Attainder, which violated ACORN's Fifth Amendment right to due process of law and First Amendment right to freedom of association. (See Rachel Maddow's excellent coverage and explanation of a "Bill of Attainder" here.)
The CCR suit "seeks a temporary restraining order to prevent the government from reallocating funds designated for the organization and its affiliates and a preliminary injunction to stop Congress from singling out a single organization for punishment without proper investigation or due process."
During his Nov. 13 appearance on Democracy Now, CCR Attorney Bill Quigley (video below) warned that if constitutionality of the legislation is not legally challenged, ACORN could be but the first of numerous groups seen as supportive of Democrats whose funding will be challenged, as that rightwing blogs are already looking to target the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) as well.
While the suit presents a significant legal challenge, and while there is little doubt that ACORN has been the victim of a GOP witch hunt which, as Brad Friedman and others have reported, included the "phony 'voter fraud' charges" that were at the "heart of the U.S. Attorney purge scandal," the willingness of so many Congressional Democrats to jump at the chance to punish ACORN via this Bill of Attainder may also entail something more subtly insidious...
Well that'll certainly teach any future snipers from doing same. I guess Nidal Hasan and all the other mass shooters since 2002 didn't get the memo.
With the U.S. House having passed its version of a health care insurance bill (H.R. 3962 [PDF]) last night by a vote of 220 to 215, it may be instructive to take a very quick look at a couple of the outlier votes from each party.
The bill passed with just two votes to spare, leading one to wonder if Republicans are having any regrets about having hosed their own party's candidate in the NY-23 special election last Tuesday when the two Congressional seats up for election --- the one in NY and another in CA --- both went to Democrats, but that's another issue entirely.
Let's take a look at the reasons offered by two candidates who bucked their own party's in the historic House vote last night, as each seem quite instructive on a number of levels...
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) called in the tea baggers to the Capitol in D.C. today for an "emergency house call" (that's great video!) in hopes of killing health care reform legislation. She was joined by dozens of fellow wingnut lawmakers who spoke to the disinformed crowd, promising "not a single Republican vote" for the bill before things turned strange later on.
There, in the crowd as the lawmakers spoke, among the baggers, was the following sign which, as Richard Blair notes, "not one of them denounced"...
Guest Blogged by Frank Schaeffer
I grew up in a fundamentalist missionary family that in the 1970s and 80s morphed into my father's activity as one of the founders of the Religious Right. We would hobnob with Republican leaders from Ronald Reagan to Gerald Ford and the Bush family, Jack Kemp and many others. One day it dawned on me that the far right of the Republican Party --- in other words its base --- actually hates America.
The Religious Right reveled in rising crime statistics, "family breakdown" statistics, failing public schools and so forth. As I explain in my book Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism), if crime started going down, or public school test results started going up --- without the country "turning back to Jesus" --- then that would prove that somehow "we" were wrong.
We wanted our country to fail because it had "turned away" from what we believed to be true.
Combined with the fact that we began to lose parts of the culture war, when it came to other Americans beginning to recognize gay rights, expanding women's rights, abortion rights and such, the Religious Right and the Republican Party infected gun-toting America with a chip on its shoulder about a mile wide. This led to the myth that "they" (fill in the blank, gays, Jews, blacks, liberals --- whatever) are "taking away our country from 'us'"...
YouTube views of Rise of the Tea Bags, as of right now, since we posted it on Wednesday:
3,936 4,711 5,691 6,843 7,851 8,072 10,639 (Be the 4,000th 5,000th 6,000th 7,000th 8,000th 9,000th 11,000th!)
Cost of national defense authorization bill for 2010 only, as signed by Obama on Wednesday without objection from tea baggers: $680 billion
Approximate cost of proposed U.S. House health insurance bill per year (though not reported this way by media): $90 billion
Cost of U.S. House health insurance bill over next ten years, as always reported by the media and vigorously objected to by tea baggers, despite CBO finding that it will actually reduce the deficit: Just under $900 billion
Approximate cost of defense authorization over next ten years (though never reported this way by media): $7 trillion
Approximate savings to tax-payers from U.S. House health insurance bill over next ten years: $100 billion
People killed by U.S. defense operations each year: n/a
Americans who die for lack of health insurance each year: 45,000
Cost of misplaced tea bagger/media priorities: priceless
Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning
Last July we reported on a Small Victory for Long-Term Single-Payer Strategy when the "House Labor and Education Committee voted 27 - 19 to adopt an amendment offered by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) to HR 3200, the hybrid 'public option' health care legislation that leaves in place the current multi-payer system. The Kucinich amendment was supported by 13 of the Committee's Republicans. It was opposed by the Committee's chairman, George Miller (D-CA)."
As we noted at the time, "If it survives a House floor vote...the Kucinich amendment would insure that efforts to secure single-payer systems at the state level would not be preempted by federal law." The measure would thus allow advocates of a single-payer health care system to pursue the same local democratic strategy used in Canada, where single-payer was achieved first at the Province level; then extended nationally.
On Thursday, the Pelosi-led House Leadership unveiled their so-called health care "reform" bill which presents an emasculated public insurance option to provide a populist fig-leaf as cover for what David Swanson aptly described as "a catastrophically bad law" and as a "Healthcare Hoax from Hell." Not only does this legislative obscenity permit states to deprive all of their citizens of even this watered-down version by opting out of the public option, but these Democratic "leaders" stripped the Kucinich amendment out of H.R. 3200.
In acting to shield the obscene profits of a handful of insurance cartel CEOs and their Wall Street investors, the Pelosi-led House Leadership has attacked not only basic principles of federalism embodied in the U.S. Constitution but democracy itself. Stripped of the Kucinich amendment, H.R. 3200 would prevent the adoption of state or local single-payer health care systems, even if those systems are overwhelmingly approved by voters by way of initiative or referendum. In the bargain, the insurance cartel would thus be permitted to block state and local efforts to protect the health and very lives of their citizens.
Is this "change we can believe in?"
UPDATE 10/30/09: Appearing on MSNBC's Ed Schultz Show, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) revealed that he and other progressive members of Congress, including John Conyers (D-MI) were attempting to reinstate the Kucinich amendment through a "manager's amendment"; that we should know by Monday whether their effort to restore the only measure for holding the insurance cartel accountable will be included.
The video of that appearance and a list of the "managers" whom concerned citizens can call, follows...
So we went out to Griffith Park out here in L.A. on Sunday to check out the kick-off day for the new "Tea Party Express II" national tour. Thought we might meet some interesting people and file a quick video report. Met a lot of interesting people, and so ended up making a short film of sorts. Enjoy. Spread the word. Go tell the story ("both sides")...
UPDATE 10/29/09: Boy, it's tough to compete with the Tea Baggers in the satire department, even when they're not actually trying to be satirical. As God is my witness, coming to you with a straight face this Thanksgiving --- Tea Party: The Documentary Film!...
UPDATE 11/9/09: As of today, we've had more than 11,000 views of Rise of the Tea Bags at YouTube. By Tea Bagger math, that's more than 3 million views! And yet, the media refuses to report it!!! Also, here's my interview on Air America Radio's Ring of Fire discussing the video...
More details on the ingenious musical outburst, which took place at the American Health Insurance Plan's (AHIP) annual state issues conference in D.C. on Friday, right here...
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
Coinciding with an internal Senate Democratic Caucus debate over health care reform that Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) described as only “slightly less raucous than the town hall meetings,” the non-affiliated progressive activist group Democrats.com has launched a petition campaign aimed at curtailing donations to official Democratic fundraising organizations [emphasis in original] until "the Democratic Congress passes --- and President Obama signs --- healthcare reform with a robust public option."
That "robust public option" is defined in the petition as being "based on Medicare rates, not negotiated rates," available "nation-wide, with no state opt-outs," "administered by Medicare, not a for-profit insurance company." and "available immediately."
The idea that the public option would be managed by a private insurance company has recently emerged in reports of Congressional negotiations aimed at merging various versions of the legislation passed by separate committees in the House and Senate, as noted by RAW STORY's John Byrne today.
The progressive activists campaign calls for signatories to respond to requests for donations from the three major Democratic campaign/fundraising organizations --- the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) --- with a http://www.democrats.com...rike-for-public-option\">link to the petition, instead of funds, until such legislation has been passed and signed by the President.
"Until then," the petition states, "I will only support individual Democrats who support single-payer Medicare for All (the 88 sponsors of HR 676)."
"We elected solid Democratic majorities in Congress and a Democratic President to fulfill Democratic promises of progressive change," the statement continues, "We did not elect Republican Senator Olympia Snowe to break those promises."
The complete short petition follows in full below...
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
As recounted in a front-page article in The New York Times, on the strength of a single "yes" from a member of the Party of No, President Barack Obama described the 14 to 9 Senate Finance Committee vote in favor of the Baucus health care bill as "a critical milestone," adding, "We are now closer than ever to passing health care reform."
With all due respect, Mr. President, it is nothing of the sort. To the contrary, the Senate Finance Committee has produced nothing less than a legislative obscenity.
After nearly a year of back room deals and unending propaganda, which has included extensive corporate media coverage of insurance industry sponsored, wing-nut assaults on town halls, fabricated issues about "death panels," the exclusion of single-payer advocates from the White House and the Senate Finance Committee, and a deafening corporate media silence about the widespread public support* for a single-payer (Medicare for All) system, the time has come to pierce through the confusion by asking and answering a few simple questions...
How queer. With 75,000 protesters --- about the same number that turned out for the "gigantic" Teabagger rally on 9/12 in D.C. --- turning out last Sunday in D.C. to rally for equal protection under the law for all Americans (yes, even gay ones), Fox "News," and all the others, seem to have forgotten to send out anybody to cover it.
No outrage from you teabaggers about that? Glenn Beck? Really? Nothing? Hmm. Video courtesy of RAW STORY...
Given that Obama ran on ending "Don't Ask Don't Tell" and repealing the "Defense of Marriage Act," those who believe in equal justice under the law --- as per the Constitution --- are justifiably none too happy about the fact that he hasn't gotten around to doing either yet.
He did give a rousing speech to the Human Rights Campaign over the weekend, however, re-promising to do all of the above, even if he failed to give a timetable for either of them.
Both DADT and DOMA are federal law, so he can't just change them unitarily over night....
In advance of tomorrow's related story [Update: That story now posted here], I thought you might appreciate a quick look at the following if you've never seen it before. Diane Sawyer narrates the story of FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds as she was awarded the 2006 PEN/Newman's Own First Amendment Award.
In the bargain, it's also worth remembering that Sawyer herself is at least aware of Edmonds, who she is, and some of what she's had to go through, further begging the question of why ABC News has failed to even note --- much less investigate and/or cover --- the recent revelations of bribery and blackmail of current and former U.S. Congressmembers and high-ranking State and Defense Department officials, and the theft and sale of nuclear secrets by agents of Turkey and Israel, as detailed in her sworn deposition in August, and remarkable AmCon cover-story interview which followed it late last month...
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