Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Republican Sanford: God Wants Me to Stay in Office.

(Click to enlarge cartoon)

In a written message to supporters Monday, Mark Sanford asserted that God’s plan for him includes finishing his term as South Carolina governor.

TPJ: Wait a goddamn minute here!! So "God" wants you to be faithful to your wife, not lie and otherwise adhere to Christian morality but when you break those laws and attempt to deceive your "God" you're rewarded by that very same "God???" Wow!! How'd you convince your "God" on that one??? Sacrifice your son Moses style? Yet when Liberals go against the very "values" Mr. Sanford just shattered into a million pieces it's a different story??? Don't forget what Sanford said about Bill Clinton during his sex scandal:

"The issue of lying is probably the biggest harm, if you will, to the system of Democratic government, representatives government, because it undermines trust. And if you undermine trust in our system, you undermine everything." -CNN February 1999.

TPJ: Oh but we know we can trust you Gov. when you say that "God" wants you to stay in office. Yeah we haven't had reason to mistrust you in the recent past Argentina Mark. Convenient Christianity raises it's quivering hands yet again to praise the virtues of "Do as I say--not as I do." Hallelujah!! Another Republican Pharisee is born. I guess there is an asterik at the end of the Ten Commandments that says (*Doesn't not apply to Republican politicians in what will become America). I must have missed that part the many times I've read the Bible cover to cover. As far as I know Christianity still says blasphemy (showing disrespect for God or something sacred) and profanation (the act of depriving something of its sacred nature) are sins.

Sanford continues: "Immediately after all this unfolded last week I had thought I would resign A long list of close friends have suggested otherwise – that for God to really work in my life (TPJ: notice how it's about his life and not about the people of South Carolina) I shouldn’t be getting off so lightly. While it would be personally easier to exit stage left, their point has been that my larger sin was the sin of pride. Sanford writes that those friends asserted that “if I walked in with a real spirit of humility then this last legislative term could well be our most productive one."

TPJ: "Our" most productive one??? Don't you mean YOUR most productive one because you want it as an attempt to salvage your image and legacy??? Oh and it just so happens that if he resigns he'll lose a steady, fat paycheck in a tough economy. So "God" says you should stay in office because you're the only one who can make the next term productive despite lacking the trustworthiness that you chastised Clinton for not having? Oh dear!! What would they do without your self-righteous, untrustworthy self?!!! What an insult to South Carolinians that he is saying they can't find anyone better than him to lead the state!!!

Remember Sanford saying this the day he admitted that he was down in exotic South America? "As I mentioned in last week's press conference, I've always believed God's laws were there to protect us from ourselves." TPJ: Hey Mark!! Who then is going to protect South Carolinians, Americans and Argentinian women from you!! SARCASM ALERT: Sure is a good think that we have Republicans around to tell us of "God's" plans.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Health Care Industry Spends $1.4 Million a DAY on Lobbying.

The healthcare industry is spending upwards of $1.4 million each day on average to lobby members of Congress on health care legislation, a report issued by Common Cause this week reveals. Healthcare interests contributed $94 million to Congress members during the 2008 election cycle alone — up from $40 million in 2000. “The top recipients of health industry campaign contributions from 2000 to 2008 are new Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AK) at $7.3 million and $6.3 million respectively,” National Journal reports. “All of the campaign finance data used in the report came from the Center for Responsive Politics.

TPJ: $1.5 million dollars a day!!! Our premiums are going toward their efforts to keep us like mushrooms--kept in the dark and fed shit. No wonder they claim that they don't have the money to cover people with pre-existing conditions. Or the money so that people can actually get the right medication they need. Instead they give us weaker, older, less effective medications. And no wonder our premiums are going through the roof!!! They need to pay back and replenish the coffers of their lobbying wings.

I'm tired of the media referring to these politicians as "out of touch" with the rest of America, as if they are just senile or something. When 70+ percent of Americans (seen in several polls) want a public option to their health care decisions while the Congress can't seem to find more than 50 votes to pass that public option then something is seriously wrong that goes beyond being "out of touch." These politicians are being bought by the same health insurance companies that deny your coverage, claims, surgeries--the list is endless. Now given the numbers that they are spending $1.4 MILLION DOLLARS A DAY on lobbying, "Does that make you feel equally represented?" I sure as shit don't feel listened to let alone represented.

I've had enough rhetoric from these politicians (especially Democrats) that despite being wary of the public option, (which three quarters of the public support) they are still committed to "health care reform." Yeah, they're open to reform--reforming our political system so that lobbyists are being favored over average Americans who don't have the money to pay for medicine let alone donate to a lobbying group that actually SUPPORTS a public plan. Our "lobbyists" should be our elected politicians!!! That's why they're literally called, "representatives" in the House!!! How can my $10 donation compete with the $100,000+ that these health insurance lobbying groups shell out per politician!!!
"We are getting to the point if people aren't going to respond to the patience and openness of Senator Baucus, we should begin to make a different plan," said Andrew Stern, president of the 2 million-member SEIU. Stern said his organization issued a release chastising Feinstein last week, because she should "put her foot on the gas, not the brake" on health reform. "I do not think this is helpful. It doesn't move me one whit," she said. "They are spending a lot of money on something that is not productive."
TPJ: Oh!!!! It's the groups that support the will of the people to have a public option that are spending a lot of money on something that is not productive??? So working to reform health care with a public option isn't productive??? All 70+ percent of us who want to change health care we're not being productive while you guys collect checks from the foxes who are guarding the hen house??? Let us all eat cake?!!! I can't believe that we can't count on the support of a CALIFORNIAN DEMOCRAT?!!!!!!!!!!

What about all the money being spent by lobbyists??? Is that productive Senator Feinstein??? And they are spending a whole fucking lot more money than those groups looking out for the will of the American people on this reform. And the only reason we are spending that kind of money is because you aren't doing your goddamn jobs!! If you were seriously representing US the AMERICAN PEOPLE you all in Congress would pass this public option bill unanimously.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

We Can't Forget Iran.

I was shocked like everyone when word came out that Michael Jackson died and I have appreciated the coverage as he was one of my favorite musicians and performers. He was also one of the most famous and influential people to have lived in modern history. He was a child musical prodigy along the lines of Mozart. So I have enjoyed the coverage of his life and career, however, a tragic consequence of his untimely death was that it has bumped the Iranian crisis off the front pages. Granted, information coming out of Iran has been reduced to a trickle as the regime cracks down harder and harder on social networking media. And, to be fair some networks are still covering the news out of Iran as well in between their coverage of the Jackson death. That said, however, I want to do my part to keep the message of change in Iran alive.

In that vein Iranians and their supporters from around the world are finding creative ways to keep their message alive. First it was the creativity of social networking media via Twitter and Facebook. Now they are using YouTube to create mash-up videos of the Iranian struggle mixed in with Michael Jackson songs to use the power of his music to grab some of the attention of the media back. One mash-up video in particular caught my attention. It uses Jackson's song about social upheaval, "They Don't Really Care About Us" as a fitting accusation of the detached and abusive nature of the Iranian regime. Especially these lyrics:
Beat me, hate me
You can never break me
Will me, thrill me
You can never kill me
I think we underestimate the power of music in politics at our own peril. Remember the role that the rock and roll culture, which is all about rebelling against authority played in turning the youth against the dictatorship in what was then the USSR? Iran is no exception and I find it fitting that Michael Jackson's music lives on in a place so repressive of multiculturalism as Iran. May it's message of the freedom of expression continue to inspire the Iranian people to stand up for ALL freedoms and liberties.

BREAKING NEWS OUT OF IRAN:

12:43 PM ET -- Iranian officials crack down on Tehran march. A breaking news alert from the AP: "Witnesses in Iran say police have clashed with up to 3,000 protesters near a mosque in north Tehran. They say security forces fired tear gas to disperse the crowd, and some demonstrators fought back, chanting: 'Where is my vote?' Witnesses at the scene tell The Associated Press that some protesters claimed they suffered broken arms or legs in Sunday's clashes around the Ghoba Mosque. They say some young demonstrators screamed at police and then attacked them after the officers allegedly beat an elderly woman.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

My Michael Jackson Tribute.

So much has already been said about Michael Jackson the King of Pop and so instead of rehashing a lot of what has already been said I decided to post my favorite MJ videos/songs. I am still in shock that he died and so suddenly. I grew up on his music and we all knew him as larger than life and I guess I somehow thought he'd always be around. Yet in his videos and songs he will indeed always be around.

Jackson pretty much invented the modern music video that has characters, a story line and elaborate costume and set designs, which started of course with the unforgettable "Thriller" video. That album was the first album (I really liked the tiger on the inside cover) that I ever owned and I wore it down until it was so scratched that It barely played at all. Anyway, here are my favorite MJ songs in no particular order until final video:

ABC:
Billy Jean: This isn't the official video but I think it's better as it shows off his mad dancing skills more:
Beat It:

Smooth Criminal:
Thriller:

Black or White: This song did more for race relations than people give it credit. It helped show kids that we have more in common than not. I think it aided in raising the youngest generations to be the most color blind of all the generations today:

The Man in the Mirror: This last video is my favorite and I think sums up Jackson's contribution and message to the world. May his music never die. I hope now that you have finally attained true peace.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mark Sanford's Steamy Emails. Read Between the Tan Lines.

Gov. Mark Sanford believes marriage should be between a man and a woman--except when you're in Argentina. I'm half expecting the "values voters" crowd to come out and defend his affair as affairs have been apart of "traditional marriages" for ages (rolls eyes). You see Conservatives? You see what happens when you live in glass houses and throw stones??? Jesus tried to warn you about that but you didn't listen to him did you? Funny how us "heathen and non-believers" seem to know your Holy Book better than you do!!

Now some of the emails between Marco and his Senorita have been published and I'm posting them here as a way to throw a giant boulder through the glass houses of all those self-righteous, sex police over on the right:

Sanford: "In the meantime please sleep soundly knowing that despite the best efforts of my head my heart cries out for you, your voice, your body, the touch of your lips, the touch of your finger tips and an even deeper connection to your soul."

Sanford: "Two, mutual feelings . . . You have a particular grace and calm that I adore. You have a level of sophistication that so fitting with your beauty. I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificent gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curve of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of the night’s light - but hey, that would be going into sexual details ...

TPJ: Hey Republicans!!! You want people to take your party seriously again? Then rid yourselves of the Pharisee wing of your party. Stop trying to legislate sexual morality or don't expect any sympathy when your good, Christian "family values" leaders pull a Mark Sanford, a John Ensign or a Larry "wide stance" Craig. Still think Sanford isn't deserving of all this criticism and scorn? Listen to what the two-faced hypocrite said during the Bill Clinton sexual affair:

"The issue of lying is probably the biggest harm, if you will, to the system of Democratic government, representatives government, because it undermines trust. And if you undermine trust in our system, you undermine everything." -CNN February 1999.

TPJ: And yes, Democrats are caught with their pants down too but the Democratic Party isn't the party to hold themselves up as the party of "family values" while condeming the other party as moral heathens. The Democrats aren't a party that cares much about a person's sexual life. We aren't the sex police unlike Republicans. We celebrate sexuality. We are the party who stands for equal rights for gays and lesbians. So we're not the ones going around claiming to be morally superior all the time. That's the difference.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Don't Cry for Mark Sanford Argentina.

Surprise surprise!!! Another Christian conservative politician has been busted for cheating on his wife. Gov. Mark "Defender of Traditional Marriage" Sanford of South Carolina disappeared a week ago telling no one (including his wife) where he was going. Then one of his aides said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail but as it turns out he was down in Argentina getting hot and heavy with his lover--OVER FATHER'S DAY!!!

Who knew that the Appalachian Trail extended all the way south to Buenos Aires??? Nothing says I support "family values" than having an affair on Father's Day. Just like with John Ensign (another Republican who was recently admitted an affair). The Tabloid Party is alive and well. I am writing about this because of the hypocrisy. I'm not any shade of perfect by any means but I don't claim to be unlike many of these Christian Conservative politicians and rank and file.

So, moving on: Guess what Senor Sanford said in 1999 about the Bill Clinton affair:

"The issue of lying is probably the biggest harm, if you will, to the system of Democratic government, representatives government, because it undermines trust. And if you undermine trust in our system, you undermine everything." -CNN February 1999.

These Christians need to chill out and open their minds when it comes to sexuality. Or at least don't be so vocal about other people's sex lives--especially condemning them to "hell" and calling people horrible names. You aren't perfect and never will be so stop pointing fingers and calling everyone around you immoral and degenerate because they happen to live differently than you do. You're just as much a "sinner" as everyone else you condemn. The rules that these Christian Conservatives place upon themselves and everyone else are completely unrealistic a lot of the time. Yet they keep being surprised when one of their own (or themselves) end up falling short on keeping their own rules!!! Wake up and realize your ideal life might not be someone else's ideal life and as long as no one is breaking the law then leave their private life alone.

Why can't you just try to live your life according to your own beliefs and leave everyone else alone to live how they choose? What business is it of yours to peer into everyone's personal life and proceed to tell them they are a horrible person and judge them like you are the "God" you worship? I thought he was the won to judge--in other words, "Who died and made you 'God'?" So when you inevitably make a mistake and fall off our high horse to land down in the mud of life with the rest of us retched "sinners" then don't be surprised when you throw some of that mud at you and call you a lying sack of shit hypocrite!!!

However, in Sanford's case there is a bigger, political issue at hand. He lied to this constituents and left them without a governor for a week. What if a natural disaster struck while he was down in his love nest in Argentina playing Don Juan? I said it when John Ensign was busted for having an affair too. Stop making sexuality a political issue!!! A person's sex life is their own goddamn business. You're just going to have to deal with the fact that not everyone is straight, not everyone believes in no sex before marriage and not everyone thinks sexuality is something to be repressed all the time. DEAL WITH IT because until you do you're going to have these Republican politicians who say one thing and do another.

I'm glad that he finally came clean but as usual it seems like he only came clean because the media figured out his elaborate cover-up. I think the biggest aspect to this issue that people have the hardest time with is how he handled this disappearance. He willingly mislead his family, his staff and the good people of South Carolina.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Convenient Capitalism vs. Health Care Reform.

I hate to say it but Obama is being too coy about the health care issue. He's already done his bipartisan duty. He did away with the option of a single payer plan. I was upset over that but I figured, well, not each party is going to get exactly what they want. Fine. So then comes the plan for the public option to compete with the private insurance corporate whores.

Sounds good but Republicans are basically saying even the compromise plan of the public option is a non-starter. So it does look like one party is going to get what they want--the REPUBLICAN PARTY, which not even a QUARTER of Americans want to be associated with!!! Something is seriously FUCKED UP when a party, which only 21% of Americans associate with is defeating the will of 72% of the American people who want universal health care!!!

And the Congressional Democrats--mostly the Senators are even worse. I can't believe that we can't even get all the Democrats to agree to at LEAST a public option!!! What is wrong with these "Democrats???" Why have a fucking election if when the Democrats win they OPPOSE their President on one of the the NUMBER ONE ISSUES plaguing Americans for FUCKS SAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you can't stick your limp necks out for the health and well being of the American people then what good are you? Get with it or get out of the goddamn way.

I can't believe that these asshat Democrats can't even stand up to the lobbyists enough to give us a true health care option!! It's called competition!!! As for the Republicans--they sold out their morals a LONG time ago. Forget their talk of "Christians Values." That goes right out the window when they don't want to extend proper health care coverage to all Americans. They don't seem to care that their founder, Jesus Christ administered to the sick and he did it for free!!! Jesus was practiced Socialized medicine!!!! Option means choice, which (ironically) is the hallmark of capitalism!! So this Socialism argument saying it's a pure government take-over is a big, pile of fly infested bullshit. The Republicans always lecture us on the importance of competition for goods and services but now they aren't following their own advice!!

This from a capitalist website on competition: "Capitalist competition is the one of the most economically practical forms of social cooperation, where every producer competes to see who can best cooperate with each other, and with the consumer. Such is the nature of capitalist competition."

TPJ: Yet when the government wants to compete then all of a sudden competition is a bad thing? They don't want competition in this case because Capitalists have a monopoly and strangle hold on the medical insurance industry. They know full well what competition does--It lowers prices for the consumer, which means less money in their coffers. Thus, that means less money that these private insurance companies can give to these Republicans and unfortunately a growing number of Democrats. That means a big cash cow of donations to fund their campaigns to better enable they remain in office and thus maintain their grip on power in D.C. is decreased.

We know that competition between government and the private sector works and maintains a fairer playing field, which competition does for any industry. As I've said before on this blog--the U.S. postal service competes with FedEX and UPS. In addition, private schools compete with public universities and have for generations. The mixed economy competition is the best system to keep everyone doing business as fair as possible.

The Republicans claim that the public option would give government an unfair advantage in the medical insurance industry. Really? You mean like the unfair advantage the HMO's have enjoyed for decades in this country? So the unfair advantage argument really means that they're whining that having to lower their costs to compete fairly for once is the same thing as having an unfair advantage to compete against. The only advantage would be to the American people--the consumer. Besides, Capitalism isn't a system that cares too much about "fair trade."

"When any company uses its property in a way that does not benefit its competitors, it is not being anti-competitive." TPJ: The other thing is that this government option would probably be similar to Medicare, which uses private companies within it's system anyway!!! So it's not even a true "government" program!!

I tell you something, we have one party anymore in Washington and it's the Corporatist Party. I am really fired up on this issue if can't tell because 72 PERCENT of the AMERICAN PEOPLE want a public option when it comes to health care and 57% are willing to pay MORE for!!!! What more do these jackoffs in Washington need to hear if they aren't in bed with the lobbyists who are sucking the life out of America? As for cost, repeal the Bush tax cuts to the richest 2% of Americans, levy a carbon emission tax on the biggest polluters, increase cigarette and alcohol taxes, get out of Iraq, etc.

I don't get why Americans are so selfish when it comes to taxes. It's the economic side of patriotism. We live in a society, an organized country--not a bunch of fuedal clans and that requires paying extra sometimes and yes, even for things we may not personally use, or at least not yet. Everyone is against paying extra for a government health care option plan until they lose their job or lose their life savings. Other countries pay extra in taxes and enjoy greater benefits and quality of life through better health care coverage, free universities, clean public spaces with beautifully maintained parks and museums. As well as beautifully restored buildings that attract tourism and give a city a sense of pride and history. In America, if a building is older than 50 years we tear it down to make way for another strip mall in the pursuit of all American greed.

We are lucky to be born in America with its opportunities to make a lot of money. I see taxes as a fee paid back to the country that gave you those opportunities so that we can maintain and expand those opportunities for as many other Americans as possible. Many of these rich bastards who don't want to pay any more in taxes wouldn't have made that money if they were born into a country with much less opportunities--say anywhere in Africa. There are a lot of rich in this country who didn't even lift a finger to earn the money they have--it was inherited and yet they bitch about having to pay a little extra? Come on people.

I don't get either why many of these rich people call themselves "committed Christians" and are willing to paying tithing and make donations to the poor in their church but not for anyone outside the church in the form of higher taxes. So in order to benefit from your charity you have to be Christian and a member of your chuch? Shouldn't we be looking out for each other and helping each other along because without each other we all fail? Jesus said, "“Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” This was an answer to a question whether Jews should pay taxes to Caesar eventhough they disagreed with his government. So even Jesus says you have to pay your taxes even when it goes to people you don't necessarily like or agree with. I just don't get it I guess.

There are SIX lobbyists for the HMO's and the Pharma companies to every member of Congress. How can the average American writing his little email to their Congress person compete with that kind of competition?!! Fifty-seven percent (a solid majority) are willing to pay higher taxes for it--that's four points HIGHER than Obama received in votes to win the election. And everyone said that his victory was a blow out!!! I just don't see what could be holding this up except lobbyists and corrupt members of Congress. I'm telling you right now that if Congress and Obama can't pass this public option reform then I'll consider this session of Congress and Obama's first term--a failure.

I'm not an Obama worshipper. I supported and voted for him and I think the guy is great and has amazing potential but he needs to bloody his knuckles a bit more and fight for something big, like health care. Don't just turn it over to Congress like he did and hope they figure it out. It's time sir to get more involved and push this issue using your bully pulpit. You should be talking about this every goddamn day. The economy is important to fix but like you keep saying we can't fix the economy properly until we fix health care as well.

He needs to crack some Democrat skull besides the obvious skull cracking of Republicans and whip them into line. I know getting Democrats to do anything as a group is like herding cats but some issues are too important to let fall apart. This is one of those Mr. President--Sir. If we miss this window and fail to pass health care reform then when and with whom? You are the most popular president in a long time and we need you right now to stand up for us like you said in the campaign.

I realize that you have a political career to think about as do you Congressional Democrats but you need to remember that your career isn't as important as the needs of the American people. I think passing landmark, historic health care is important enough to stake your presidency or Senator career upon. So what if you don't get a second term because of it? Think of the grand legacy you'd have if you helped pass a true reform to health care, which saved Americans money and lives!!!

It comes down to this--what is more important, your careers or the American people? I can't believe that we even have to pose this question and so help me if you fuck this up I'm going to write off the American system of governing for good. I already think we need a coalition government. And GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS!!! That is the only way that we can put the average American voter on the same level as these ginormous lobbying groups. As of now, members of Congress are representing alright, representing the interests of their special interest lobbying groups who spread money around like air. Until we get money out of politics there we will continue to have minimal "representation" at all levels of government.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Teen Discovers Plastic Eating Microbe. Plus, Bill Maher.

This is so cool and exciting!! It's awesome a teen-ager figured this out!! Now if we could figure out a way to breakdown nuclear waste quicker and remove its radioactivity. So that it would be turned into lawn clippings or something harmless.

Daniel Burd, a high school student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute, presented his research on microorganisms that can rapidly biodegrade plastic. Daniel had a thought it seems even the most esteemed PhDs hadn't considered. Plastic, one of the most indestructible of manufactured materials, does in fact eventually decompose. It takes 1,000 years but decompose it does, which means there must be microorganisms out there to do the decomposing.

Could those microorganisms be bred to do the job faster? That was Daniel's question which he put to the test by a very simple and clever process of immersing ground plastic in a yeast solution that encourages microbial growth, and then isolating the most productive organisms.
The preliminary results were encouraging, so he kept at it, selecting out the most effective strains and interbreeding them. After several weeks of tweaking and optimizing temperatures Burd was achieved a 43 % degradation of plastic in six weeks, an almost inconceivable accomplishment.

TPJ: In other news, Bill Maher is criticizing a Democratic Party, which lately has ceased being much of a left-wing party:
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Paramilitaries Conduct Terrifying Home Invasion in Tehran.

This is an agonizing video but it must be seen and especially heard to give voice to the voiceless so that the atrocities will echo around the world and all will know that the Ayatollah are slaughtering their own people.
These brave people and citizen journalists are getting their story out and the globe is uniting under their historic cause. Green is seen all over the internet in addition to people wearing green clothing in solidarity with the courageous and resolved revolutionaries. The second revolution is unfolding and the world is watching--all eyes are upon the every move of the regime.

Fellow Muslims in the region are witnessing Islam being used to excuse the slaughter and unlawful imprisonment of their Iranian brothers and sisters. I imagine that they are not looking too kindly upon the clerics in Iran at this moment and will not soon forget the tragedy unfolding in Iran. I think all around the globe--new generations of people are pushing back against theocratic oppression.

We are tired of the great religions of the world being used to seize power, control and dominate others. We are tired of having to shrink away from standing up for our own rights in the face of religious authority. People are waking up in the Middle-East especially to a reality that shows Islam and modernity can exist side by side. There is a growing desire for secular governments that allow for individual freedoms while also protecting religious organizations.

So may this video go viral and testify to the world that the human spirit and the will to live free and decide ones life for oneself. If I could convey one thing to the Iranian dictatorship it would be this quote from Abraham Lincoln:

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

I send my sympathy, support and admiration to Iranians from all over the world. May you achieve the freedom and change you deserve. I wish I could march with you and stand with you against that fraud regime. Stand strong, you are doing the right thing and the world supports you. You cause is just and your strength and courage is awe-inspiring and will carry you to liberation.

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Wide Margin of Americans Support Universal Health Care.

(Click to enlarge. It's an interesting map showing that much of the world has universal health care plans. Especially modern, developed countries--minus America of course).

A recent New York Times/CBS Poll found 72% of Americans support having a government option health insurance plan. In addition, a solid majority--57% are willing to pay more taxes for universal health care. Washington is extremely out of touch with Americans on this issue. Too many politicians there seem to be more interested in their lobbying groups, which fund their campaigns than actually listening to and helping people.

So who are all these Americans whom Republicans opposed to universal health care claim are clambering at the gates against universal health care?!! I'll tell you who--lobbyists. And the ones who are pissing me off the most right now are the Democrats who stand against a universal health care plan, which would be able to compete to lower prices.

The Congress, despite their track record is acting like they have to teach us and tell us what's good for us like they are our parents. We have decided--we want universal health care, NOW. That was one of the big reasons (health care and by extension the economy) why so many of us voted for Obama and to extend the Democrat majority. And the insult of all insults is that we tax payers are paying for Iraqis and Afghanis to get universal health care but we at home still get the shit plan. And as you can see on that interesting map above, Sri Lanka has universal health care and we don't yet they have make less money per capita. Nice.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Minuteman Founder Arrested for Murder of Mexican Family.

I've been meaning to write about this for awhile now:

The leader of the Minuteman American Defense group is in an Arizona jail Saturday following his arrest on suspicion of the murders of Raul Flores, 29, and Brisenia Flores, 8, during a home invasion. Three people have been arrested in connection with last months deadly double homicide in Arivaca that left a nine-year-old and her father dead [both of Mexican heritage]. One of the people arrested for the homicide is the National Executive Director of the Minuteman American Defense group (M.A.D.), a group known for patrolling the border, and is dedicated to "Defending America's Borders"

The NBC affiliate goes on to say that the family's mother survived the attack and even fired back when the assailants returned. "Sheriff [Clarence] Dupnik adds, 'To just kill a 9-year old girl because she could be a potential witness, to me, is one of the most despicable acts I have ever heard of,'" the station reported.

The mission of Forde's group is to secure U.S. borders and coastal boundaries from unlawful entry, as well as to "increase the awareness of the devastation caused by illegal immigration to our state and country," according to the group's Web site. MAD sends volunteers to the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona for the purpose of "gathering exclusive footage of drug cartel drug smuggling and humane trafficking (sic)," Forde wrote on the site.

TPJ: Yet again another right-wing extremist group has been linked with violence, which is yet more proof that the DHS memo issued recently warning of right-wing extremist threats was on target. In this instance the memo specifically warned against the high possibility of violence perpetrated by groups concerned about illegal immigration. I have long believed that anti-Mexican and Latino sentiments are deeply intertwined with these "Minutemen" border groups. I'm certain that many, many of them (not all of course) are trying to veil their hatred and bigotry toward brown people within the argument of defending nationalism.

Not sure if the victims were illegal immigrants but if so then perhaps they chose to rob them because of their status thinking that they'd be less likely to involve the authorities for fear of deportation. Easy targets so to speak. Besides the obvious racial targeting. The following are examples of racism from the Minutemen group, which claims not to be racist, bigoted and a right-wing extremist group:

Known Neo-NAZI groups have been seen associated with the Minutemen projects including the National Alliance. During one month long watch project along the border, "At least four-fifths of volunteers did carry weapons, and almost none were checked for permits. Racist talk abounded. And at least some neo-Nazis and other racists did join in Gilchrist's project. The presence of Alliance members was not much of a surprise, and there were likely more than that pair. In fact, National Alliance pamphlets were distributed in Tombstone and this predominantly Hispanic community just two days before the Minuteman Project got going. "Non-Whites are turning America into a Third World slum," they read.

"We're not going to show up as a group and say, 'Hi, we're the National Alliance,'" National Alliance spokesman Shawn Walker told Tucson's KVOA news before the April 2005 Minutemen border patrol. "But we have members of ours that participate."

-One well-known extremist did appear. Armored in a flak jacket and packing a .38-caliber snub-nosed revolver, Joe McCutchen joined other volunteers patrolling the barbed wire fence separating the United States and Mexico near Bisbee, Ariz.

McCutchen is the recently appointed chairman of Protect Arkansas Now, a group seeking to pass legislation that would deny public benefits to undocumented workers in that state. More to the point, he was identified by the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens as a member in 2001 — a charge he denies, though he admits that he did give a speech that year to the group that has described blacks as "a retrograde species of humanity." As recently as summer 2003, McCutchen wrote anti-Semitic letters to his hometown newspaper in Fort Smith, Ark.

"A lot of these people coming in, they're diseased," McCutchen told one group of fellow volunteers, who treated him like a visiting celebrity. "They've got tuberculosis, leprosy. I mean, you don't even want to touch them unless you're wearing gloves. So why the hell should we pay our taxes to cure them?"

Joanne Yoon sued Carney and Schwilk for $1 million after the men circulated photos of her in late 2006 along with comments referring to her as “the Korean anorexic ACLU slut.” But that didn’t stop Carney from sending a mass E-mail to SDMM members suggesting that Yoon was interested in protecting the civil rights of Mexican immigrants because of her fondness for “Brown Schlong.”

-Then there is this video showing minutemen protesting an Obama event calling the Latino guy racists names such as "wet back" and "beaner."

-Although this group [San Diego Minute Men] publicly maintains that it is not racist and opposes only illegal immigration, the candid communications among its members frequently describe immigrants as “cockroaches” and “Third-World animals,” among other pejorative terms. One e-mail from June 2007 says group members would “need a portable battery operated freezer...for store of filets, hams and ribs of well-marbled border crossers ” during an outing to stop illegal border crossers.

TPJ: The top leaders of the national Minutemen have to be P.C. and play the P.R. game and say they aren't a racist group. However, doing some basic research one realizes their organization's rank and file members are racist to the bone and exhibit dangerous, extremist language and behavior.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Tomorrow is a Pivotal Day in Iran.

Tomorrow is a big day in Iran for the Green Movement seeking change in that great country. The Ayatollah has backed the "result" of the election today and claimed it was wasn't rigged. Yet most observers inside and outside the Middle-Eastern country say otherwise, which is laughable because the Ayatollah and the Islamic Revolution that he represents are supposed to uphold Islamic values. However, lying is very much something forbidden in Islam and so it is obvious (and has been obvious for years) that he and Ahmadinejad are simply using the great religion of Islam to usurp and achieve their radical objectives.

Up until recently they've been able to deceive much of the Iranian people by using propaganda and censorship to blame the U.S. and other outside powers for problems within the country so that the Iranian citizens don't focus their anger upon them. They who are the real ones who have bled Iran of their historic and thriving trade economy. The Iranian people led by the young people (who are the majority of the country) have become informed through the modern technology of the internet, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. It's a technology, which is hard for censors to keep up with because it changes so fast and there are many ways now to hide your tracks.

It's not just Iranians reading information that contradicts the official line of the Ayatollah's via the web and it's tools. Outsiders have better access to the Iranians themselves and can talk with them in a way impossible just years before. It has enabled the people to talk directly without the interference of each others' official, government spokespeople and leaders. It has allowed a free flowing exchange of ideas and discussions, which enable Iranians and Westerners to finally break down barriers between each other and to understand each other as siblings in a global family.

So in that spirit I have created the image at the top of the blog replacing the Obama banner of "Yes we did." I want all to see that I support my Iranian brothers and sisters in their yearning for true freedom and self-determination. Feel free to steal the image if you like it so that we can spread the word that the brave Iranian people are not alone and to let the Iranian spies to know that the world is watching closely. Also, I have tinted my profile picture green in support. If you'd like to do the same go over to www.picnik.com. Upload an image, then click on the "create" tab and scan down until you see the option on the left hand side that says, "night vision" and it will tint it green for you. Then you can play with the settings bars to attain the brightness and such that you desire.

So tomorrow is a big day for the protesters and the government. I am anxious for my brothers and sisters over there and I salute their courage and determination to stand together in the face of brutal aggression and power. The people have the numbers and it's hard to crack down on people when they mass in overwhelming numbers and don't break rank. Stay shoulder to shoulder and they will not break your wave. Stay brave--the world, history and the truth is on your side.

On a side note, the banal whining from the right that Obama isn't interfering enough in this Iranian movement is being rebuffed by the Iranians themselves!! Sadly, I doubt this crowd of current Republicans will listen because a big aspect to this talk from them is to take a cheap shot at the prez. One of Iran's most revered opposition leaders, is Islamic intellectual and cleric Mohsen Kadivar who says that the U.S. government should stay out of publicly meddling in the Green Movement too much. “What Obama has done so far is about perfect,” Kadivar, garbed in his traditional cleric's robes, said.

By the way, they couldn't have chosen a better color to represent their movement--green is my favorite color.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tehran University Students Attacked and Campus Ransacked.

Iran's Interior Ministry ordered a probe into an attack late Sunday night on Tehran University students in a dormitory reported to have left several students dead and many more injured or arrested. Students say it was carried out by Islamic militia and police. Iran's English-language Press TV said the ministry urged Tehran's governor's office to identify those involved. Iran's influential speaker of parliament, Ali Larijani, condemned the attack.

Students' Web sites reported mass resignations by Tehran University professors outraged over the incident. One medical student said he and his roommate blocked their door with furniture and hid in the closet when they heard the militia's motorcycles approaching. He heard the militia breaking down doors, and then screams of anguish as students were dragged from their beds and beaten violently.

When he came out after the militia had left, friends and classmates lay unconscious in dorm rooms and hallways, many with chest wounds from being stabbed or bloody faces from blows to their heads, he said. The staff of the hospital where the wounded students were taken, Hazrat Rasoul Hospital, was so shocked that they went on strike for two hours, standing silently outside the gate in their white medical uniforms.

TPJ:
The "problem" for Iran's Supreme Leader and his henchmen militia's is that the more they beat up on the peaceful protesters the stronger the protests will get and the longer they will go. Attacking a university and the students within is like throwing gasoline on the protest movement to push those protests into revolution. I say this because the core of the protest movement are young people (many of whom, if not most are students at the area's universities). And even worse for the traditionalists the majority of Iran's population are in their 20's or 30's. In addition, the parents of these students are more likely to join the movement against the regime when their children at these universities are attacked, beaten and killed.

If the older populations get more active into this movement then it could be the end of that oppressive, totalitarian regime.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Another Republican Hypocrite on Sexual Morality.

Well, well, well. The self-named "party of morals and values" has (shock of shocks) another hypocrite to add to their growing, stinking, retched pile. Senator John Ensign of Nevada has admitted to having an affair with a married staffer. He has been outspoken on marriage issues saying that "marriage is sacred" which is partly aimed at the gay community for wanting equal marriage rights. Ensign sees homosexuality as immoral and thus gay marriage would taint the "sacredness" of marriage.

During the height of the scandal surrounding Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky, the Nevada Republican denounced the president's conduct as "an embarrassing moment for the country."

TPJ: Ensign's affair appears to have been going during the Larry Craig airport bathroom sex scandal (another Republican who condemned others sexual "improprieties" while engaging in his own). Ensign said of the Craig affair at the time, "In 2007, he called fellow Republican Sen. Larry Craig a disgrace and urged the Idaho Republican to resign."

Ensign is also a member of a group called, "The Promise Keepers" which is a Christian "values" organization for men that promotes fidelity in marriage.

I don't personally care that he had sex outside of his marriage. I think our puritanical society is way too hung up and inhibited when it comes to sexuality in the first place. As long as you're not breaking any laws or hurting someone then do whatever gets you off!! I doesn't bother me--It's not my business. Ultimately that is between his wife, his family and himself. What I do care about though is the trend of moral superiority that many Republicans claim to have because they are "Christians." If you want to make claims of moral superiority over Democrats then you're living in glass houses and as any good Christian should know by now--people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Did you holier-than-thou, Pharisee like Christians who use your version of morality as a political club forget that verse?

Sad that a non-Christian has to remind you of that verse. Or how about this one--He who is without sin let him cast the first stone. In other words, Republicans--If you want to hurl stones of condemnation at Liberals who often have a different version of morality than you do then you better damn well be living up to your own standards!! Otherwise you're just a fraud who is using Christianity to further your political greed and personal power trip. And it's inevitable that you'll end up being a hypocrite because NO ONE can live up to your standard of perfection for their entire lives. So that is why we Liberals and many like minded Independents and Republicans think religion and religious standards should have NO place in political affairs.

None of us are perfect and I know that you think being Christian means you're automatically perfect and thus allowed to stand in judgment and condemnation of other peoples' personal lives but you're wrong. And when you inevitably fail to live up to your own standards--we the admittedly imperfect will call you on your hypocrisy and rightfully so. None of us can say that we don't have moral failings.

So as I said--Let's get politics out of the bedroom once and for all. That means letting go of your zealous opposition to gay marriage because when your argument comes down to "It's morally wrong" then you've put yourself in a precarious position. I say that because we are ALL morally wrong in one way or another and as long as gays aren't hurting anyone or breaking any laws then what difference does it make to you if they get married or not? You say that your "God" is the judge. So leave the "moral failings" that you perceive gay folks and non-gay folks of committing to that judge of yours and in return we'll go easier on your side when one of yours is discovered to have their own "moral problems." If I were you I'd worry about my own moral failings in the eyes of your "God" than those of someone else. O.k.?

It seems that many Christians are into forcing others to follow their beliefs or else and in some branches of Christianity, that was "Satan's" plan. He told "God" in the "pre-existence" that he'd make all follow "God's" plan and force everyone to be "good." No one would have a choice in the matter. So by trying to force people to live a Christian life by passing laws outlawing gay marriage, abortion, etc. you Christians are following the plan of "Satan."

It seems that if these Christians believe choice (free-will) is vital and of "God" then doesn't that mean allowing women to have the choice to have an abortion or not? And allowing gays the choice to marry each other? As well as allowing people the choice to do any number of things you personally see as wrong and immoral? See, it's easy to say you believe something but when your belief is put to the test regarding a choice that you wouldn't agree with--That's when the true test of your faith comes into play and many of you Christians fail that test miserably I have to say.

If having an abortion will send those women to your "hell" then let them make that choice. Who are you to say what they can and can not do? That is your "God's" job. You're not "God" no matter how much you think of yourself. If being gay is a choice and immoral and evil then let your "God" deal with it. After all, not only does the Bible say that "he" is the sole judge it also says that Jesus said, "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s." This means to let government be the governor of the affairs of man and leave the spiritual affairs (which includes opinions of morality) to "God." It speaks of keeping religion and government seperate. We don't want a secular government to punish your beliefs--on the contrary. Seperation of Church and State protects the rights and ensures those rights for BOTH sides.

If you are following what you believe to be the righteous path of "God" by not having an abortion and not engaging in homosexual activity (to name the two big "moral" issues debated between secularists and religionists today) then why make such a fuss about those who don't follow your rules? Aren't you secure in your knowledge that "God" will take care of us evil doers who live by standards, which are not Christian? Go about your lives and follow your "God" but keep your spiritual opinions about morality out of the government and to yourself. If someone wants to know about them or asks about them then fine--great!! I have no problem with you sharing your beliefs but you have to allow me my own beliefs too. Otherwise you're a hypocrite, a fraud and no better than the rest of us "sinners."

If you choose to keep using your high standard of morals to judge everyone elses's "moral failings" and then you get caught doing something similar--Don't be shocked when we slam you on it. And don't be shocked either when in relation to that we don't take your religion very seriously--because apparently you don't either. Isn't that right Mr. Ensign?

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Health Care Co-Ops are Not the Answer.

Here's the latest contortion from Senate Dems trying to win over a few Republicans to a "public option": Let nonprofits create health-care cooperatives, and call them the public option. Kent Conrad came up with this bamboozle. Finance Chair Baucus is impressed, and some Republicans -- even Grassley -- seem interested. Watch your wallets.

Nonprofit health-care cooperatives won't have any real bargaining leverage to get lower prices because they'll be too small and too numerous. Pharma and Insurance know they can roll them. That's why the Conrad compromise is getting a good reception from across the aisle, just as Olympia Snowe's "trigger" (which means no public option until some time down the pike, and only if Pharma and Insurance don't bring down and extend coverage a tad) is also gaining traction.

The truth is that there's only one "public option" that will truly bring down costs and premiums -- one that's national in scale and combines its bargaining power with Medicare, and is allowed to negotiate lower drug prices and lower doctor and hospital fees. And that's precisely what Pharma and Insurance detest, for exactly the same reason.

Whatever it's called -- public option or chopped liver -- it has to be able to squeeze Pharma, Insurance, and the rest of the medical-industrial complex. And the more likely it is to squeeze them, the more they'll fight it. And the greater the opposition from Republicans, and from Dems who either believe any bill has to have some Republican support or who have sold themselves out to the medical biggies.

As long as single-payer is off the table, then we need a real public option. Don't be fooled by labels. Demand the real thing.

--Robert Reich

TPJ: What is wrong with Kent Conrad?!! Single payer is better than a public option--AND it includes private insurance!!! How serious are we supposed to take Democrats saying they want to dramatically change health care with a public plan when they put Kent Conrad in charge of it and he comes up with this co-op bullshit instead? Why don't you just put Benedict Arnold in charge of our side!!! I haven't been surprised by the Republican response to health care reform but I have been unfortunately by Democrats.

I expect Republicans to have no scruples and side with the health insurance lobby and the drug manufactures but not Democrats. You'd think I'd learn not to trust any of them by now but I truly thought Obama would whip them into shape but he's been whimping out on me lately too. I'm getting frustrated with anything changing in this country.

If not with Obama--who? And if not now--when? What more do we voters have to do in order to get something done on health care?!!!! I'm getting to the point folks where I'm not sure I want to stick around in America if I have to spend the rest of my life putting up with this shit. I'm tired of living in a country, which basically is using the same ruberic from everything from the economy to health care that we've been using since the 1930s!!!

How embarrassing. I donated a lot of money to Obama's campaign and truly believed that he would bring change but now I'm getting antsy my friends and more and more pissed off. It doesn't do any good being bipartisan Barack if in the end you sell out the American people in order to please both parties. Because you can't please both parties. The Republicans will always be unhappy with a Dem president and he seems to think that the Republicans in Congress have the majority!! At least that's how he's acting!!

Yeah, try to bring them along but elections have consequences and it seems you forgot Mr. President, which party did the most work to get you into the White House. I have yet to see him hit the other side very hard--he's done bipartisanship so well that I'm starting to wonder what party he really belongs in?!! Oh and those Republican and Democratic Senators have a public plan that they enjoy so how can they deny it to the rest of us?

It's beyond frustrating because I know the Republicans aren't going to do much of anything worthwhile for this country but with the Democrats doing the same--where is a proud Liberal to go???

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Is Iran on the Edge of a New Revolution?

Something is afoot in Iran after the clear voter fraud, which took place during the most recent election. Now vote rigging is nothing new to Iran but this election seems to be different as the Iranian people have been suffering under a crippling economy and widespread discontent amongst the younger generations. The population of Iran is more than two-thirds under the age of 30 and we know it is the youth in many countries who are the barometer of where a country is headed. It has been said that these Iranian youth are more sympathetic to a more open and accepting society. That they are more willing to engage with the rest of the world.

Times have certainly changes since the youth infused revolution in the late 70's and early 80's. The youth today seem to be tired of being isolated from the rest of the world, which is leaving them further and further behind. This is a generation that does not remember the Islamic Revolution as their parents and grandparents do. They grew up in an Iran that has long since abandoned the hope in those days that the revolution would make things better. In reality the youth have seen the revolution bring nothing but less opportunity, less global security due to their hard line leaders and fewer freedoms.

This discontent has exploded in the last few years with the arrival of the internet and cell phones that have allowed the youth to see what they are missing out on that the rest of the world is enjoying. The arrival of social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and blogs have allowed them to exchange ideas with people from all over the world. Especially with family and friends who have left Iran and tell them news and information that they wouldn't get in Iran. They are discovering new fashion styles, music, movies, ideas and sharing that information with others without access to technology in quiet and descrete conversations at cafes throughout Iran. In short, the youth are missing out on the future and they are getting pissed off.
So when the opposition/reformist leader didn't win despite evidence to the contrary the frustration spilled out onto the streets and those brave Iranians are massing against their government. They want change and they are tired of the government rigging not just this election but the systematic rigging of businesses, job opportunities, news and technology. It is the technology, which could be the key to this whole outpowering of frustration. They are brave to face the thugs and militia's of the government but many freedom fighters they know that they outnumber the regime.

I hope they stand strong and keep the pressure upon the government. The longer they are on the streets and massing in massive numbers the harder it is for the government to maintain. As well as the harder it gets to keep the lid on the whole situation, which could trigger a counter revolution. That would be the best for the Iranian people and for western powers looking to help the Iranian people realize true freedom. The most successful revolutions come from within a country--not from an invading army as America sorely learned (or relearned as Americans apparently don't read history books). When the revolution is an organic movement of the masses there tends to be more of a sense of responsbility, conviction and determination.

It appears that one person was shot dead today by the Iranian special police during another day or massive protests and while that is horrible and shocking I hope the masses realize that they can't kill them all. One goes down and three others take his/her place and the movement marches forward. I'm still skeptical if a full-blown overthrow style revolution will occur with this recent event but one this is certain--change is coming to Iran whether the Mullahs like it or not. They might be able to keep the lid on this time but the burner has been lit and I don't think it will take foreign intervention to bring change to Iran.

The youth see what the youth in America did to elect a true change agent in Obama and they are hungry for the same. When the people decide to act as one and move against the government it is hard to stop them--even for well armed militaries. So push forward Iranians--know that many Americans are with you and support you. May your efforts lead to the country that you want and hope for. May the old paradigm of fear and control break into dust.

Keep standing up for your rights--oppression never outlasts the triumph of the human spirit and desire to breath free. I see the green ribbons, scarves and flags flashing in a show of unity and share that unity with you. As it happens, green is my favorite color and may the symbolic growth and success that represents the color green be the color of your revolution. May it brightly shine green like a beautiful emerald. The Emerald Revolution is yours to make of it what you will. Hopefully it will return you to the fold of the community of free states.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dear Mr. Obama, "Please Grow a Pair of Balls on Health Care." Thank-You. Sincerely, America.

Bill Maher dishes out some tough love to the president, which needs to be said--especially the health care part of Mahr's editorial. I don't really care about him being on t.v. a lot.
However, Obama needs to find his balls on health care because his over willingness to compromise is starting to make him look like another weak spine Democrat. I understand the importance of compromising and overall I like that Obama is willing to seek common ground but health care is too important to bend on.

Health care reform has been tossed around since the Truman era and the outcome has been failure after failure because no one has had the political capital like Obama to grab control of the debate and make a true change. If he can't pass some sort of public plan now then if not now when and under which president because Obama has the charm to sell this better than any president yet? If Obama can't do it then I fear we will have missed the window for another generation or so. I like many voted for him in large part because I believed that he was willing and able to fundamentally change health care. Yet now that he's in office he's wimped out on us to be blunt. It seems that Obama was ready to sell out the popular desire for a system similar to the successful ones in nearly every industrialized country from day one.

"The president has told visitors that he would rather have 70 votes in the Senate for a bill that gives him 85% of what he wants than a 100 perfect satisfactory bill that passes 52-48." Obama seems to know nothing about the art of trading and bartering--you don't give away your final position before even starting!! This is a statement that clearly says to Republicans desperate for an issue that our leader won't fight very hard to fundamentally change health care.

It tells the right who are unwilling to even consider a public option let alone compromise despite them being in a less powerful position that they can get leverage over this president if they complain enough. And the problem with Obama is he is too afraid of offending the other party in order to pass a health care plan for a new century, which all countries at our level passed decades ago!! The Democrats won the election and that means we set the agenda in Congress but Obama is acting like he doesn't have a solid majority in Congress.

As I said, I'm all for compromise on many issues but on some issues you have to stand up for your campaign promises and plans on issues that are essential to the platform of the political party you won with. Health care is one of those big issues and not just for Democrats. There are many Independents and even Republicans who want a public option to allow greater competition and choice. Yet Obama acts like he's the minority leader of a minority party in Congress. Some people say well he can't push too hard or he'll alienate Republicans, which could hurt his re-election campaign.

Well, for one the number of people who identify as Republican is down in the 20s and two, passing a historic health care reform bill would most likely single handed ensure his re-election. But besides, perhaps the most important point is that a president should be more concerned with making sweeping changes for a country desperate for them than pleasing all sides and angering all in the process. He should stake his presidency on health care and if he has to lose a second term but get a fundamentally changed health care plan passed then one term is good enough to solidify his legacy as a historic president. He should care more about pleasing, improving and otherwise helping the American people for generations to come than worry about pissing off one of the weakness manifestations of the Republican party in generations.

Nothing worthwhile comes easy as our parents use to tell us and if Obama thinks he can get a bill that pleases all sides then he is dangerously naive. Sometimes you just have to run the risk of looking like an bully if it means pissing off some Washington Republican elites to better the entire country. I sometimes worry that Obama is more concerned about being liked by everyone that public policy suffers for it. He needs to get tougher on these major issues and stake out a solid position that brokers real change as he promised in the campaign because without a public option any health care bill is failure. It will mean another health care reform bill killed by watering it down to meaninglessness.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Competition for Health Care.

(Click to enlarge picture at left). Well I think my dream of a single-payer health-care is officially dead but I still am pushing for some kind of public option because without one how much are we really reforming health care?

I find it maddening that the Conservatives are saying that providing a public option along side private plans to give people more choice is Socialism!! They say Socialism but they mean Communism--they don't know their history or political science. Anyway, Communism means NO choice not MORE choice, which is what the Obama plan means.

On a side note I'm tired of people throwing the socialism term around when they clearly know nothing about what it means. They think Socialism, Communism and Democratic-Socialism are all the same thing. The latter being the political system that most Europeans have, which is the best of Democracy and the best of Socialism.

In addition, the Conservatives are whining that providing a public option would be "unfair competition" for the private insurance firms. Oh piss off and go whine to your mother. I thought you people were all about the private marketplace and that competition was healthy?!! It's no different than how private universities compete against public universities. Or how UPS and FedEx compete against the U.S. Postal Service.

Oh and if the government option will "raise costs" in the long run as you claim then why are you worried about competing with that public option plan? Sounds like according to your rhetoric and numbers, (which you seem so sure of) you'd make money hand over fist against a public plan. These guys and gals are frauds--F-r-a-u-d-s- FRAUDS and they know it!!!! No wonder they are whining--there has been NO competition against them for decades but now that even a whiff of healthy, good old fashioned, Adam Smith competition comes along they bitch about their gravy train ending. Typical out of touch, greedy corporate sludge.

They are have been bought off by the big business lobby, the private insurance lobby and the drug lobby. In addition, they know that a sizable portion of the population is less educated and less informed, which is why they don't want to piss off the radical right-wing media outlets who aid in keeping people misinformed. They also know that because of that they can scare people and that they'll be more likely to believe the fear tactics because they take advantage of the naivete of good, hard working, honest Americans. It's sickening and this explotation of peoples' lives and innocence has got to stop.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Right-Wing Extremism on the Rise.

It's wasn't very long ago that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano had to apologize for a report that was released saying right-wing extremist groups are on the rise. Yet the irony of course was that this report was initiated by "W." The Republican right freaked out saying it was targeting ALL right-wingers. Yet it specifically mentioned extremist groups, which is clearly not all Conservatives. If you're not involved in a right-wing extremist group then you have nothing to fear. When I heard and read the report It was clear to me that they were talking about groups like the extremist militia types, the KKK, Neo-Nazis and lone wolf white supremacists types.

The report, "Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," said right-wing extremist groups may be using the recession and the election of the nation's first African-American president to recruit members. It said, "Despite similarities to the climate of the 1990s, the threat posed by lone wolves and small terrorist cells is more pronounced than in past years."

TPJ: How is it off base to warn that the election of the first African-American president in the country might radicalize right-wing extremist groups further when most of these groups are associated with some version of racist ideology? And now we know that the report was sadly, deadly accurate. We now know that the shooter (James Von Brunn) at the Holocaust Museum in D.C. was exactly the kind of lone wolf racist bigot that the report was warning against. This recent incident of course comes on the heels of the murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller who was murdered in cold blood inside his church. This is pure, domestic terrorism.

The report by DHS specifically mention the bad economy pushing these already extremist groups and lone wolfs toward violence and lo and behold one of the reasons Von Brunn went off was because of finanical problems!!! Sadly I knew at the time that the report was spot on and would probably be proven so in the next few years and here we are. One Von Brunn's racist friend affirmed that he snapped in part from the election of Barack Obama, “I think the election of Barack Obama became a tremendous signal of alarm for him,” De Nugent added."

And on financial fears, "De Nugent claimed that Von Brunn might have snapped, because he believed his social security benefits were affected by the racist writings on his website, “punishing him for his politically incorrect opinions.” "The DHS report explicitly addressed white supremacists, writing that, "Threats from white supremacist and violent anti-government groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts. Nevertheless, the consequences of a prolonged economic downturn -- including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit -- could create a fertile recruiting environment for rightwing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past."

TPJ: It's sadly ironic that he is a right-wing extremist who hated the government but one of his main worries was losing benefits, (social security) which came from the government!!!

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