Monthly Archives: February 2010

I watched the whole thing.

The so-called Healthcare Summit has just ended. All the Federal fuckwits are standing around making small talk, slapping each other on the back and laughing too loud.

Nothing got done. There were a few priceless moments when The Big O slapped various rightwingers around verbally. TPM Muckraker has them in video form.

I am trying to decide whether I learned anything from these 8 or so friggin hours…

Ask me later. It’s happy hour at my house, as of right now. Whew…what a waste of a day.

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Gut wrenching.

It was simply gut wrenching to watch. KO makes tonight’s Special Comment about tomorrows ‘healthcare summit’  very personal. His father is going downhill fast, and I send both of them my love and prayers. He lost his mother last year. ;(

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

Leave your egos at the door, like KO says, gentlemen. Do NOT bring that political horseshit in w/you either. Healthcare for all Americans is a moral obligation, you sons of bitches.

Political analysts serve whom exactly?

The Political analysts that appear on Fox, MSNBC, CNN and other news outlets will have you believe that they are all fair and balanced in their analysis of specific issues or incidents.
Nothing could be farther from the truth in most cases. Many times, these folks have another job as a Lobbyist, Consultant or sit on the Board of huge corporations. This is known as, per The Nation, The Media-Lobbying Complex. Fits don’t ya think? And this happens on both sides of the political aisle. From The Nation:

For lobbyists, PR firms and corporate officials, going on cable television is a chance to promote clients and their interests on the most widely cited source of news in the United States. These appearances also generate good will and access to major players inside the Democratic and Republican parties. For their part, the cable networks, eager to fill time and afraid of upsetting the political elite, have ofteBut n looked the other way. At times, the networks have even disregarded their own written ethics guidelines. Just about everyone involved is heavily invested in maintaining the current system, with the exception of the viewer.
While lobbyists and PR flacks have long tried to spin the press, the launch of Fox News and MSNBC in 1996 and the Clinton impeachment saga that followed helped create the caldron of twenty-four-hour political analysis that so many influence peddlers call home. Since then, guests with serious conflicts of interest have popped up with alarming regularity on every network. Just examine their presence in coverage of the economic crash and the healthcare reform debate, two recent issues that have engendered massive cable coverage.

I realize that not all lobbyists are carpetbagging fucks. Some actually have the best interests of the public in mind when they go on these shows. But the problem is…how do we know, if full disclosure isn’t made, when introducing the so-called analyst?

We don’t know. And therein lies the problem. An example would be Richard Wolffe, a left-leaning contributor on MSNBC. I like Wolffe and usually agree with his assessment on whatever issue he is contributing to at the moment. He is part of a public relations group, Public Strategies, that helps corporations fix their images when they go south. The problem lies in the fact that we are bombarded with these ‘contributors’ when there is a specific issue heating up. Again, from The Nation link:

Janine Wedel, an anthropologist in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University and author of the new book Shadow Elite, told me in a recent interview that while these influence peddlers are not necessarily unethical, they “elude accountability to governments, shareholders and voters–and threaten democracy.”
“When there’s a whole host of pundits on the airwaves touting the same agenda at the same time, you get a cumulative effect that shapes public opinion toward their agenda,” she said.
Frequent television news commentators are also often given access to policy-makers, who may find that they are meeting with not just a TV pundit but also a paid lobbyist. This past March, for example, the White House held an exclusive “communications message meeting” for high-profile Democratic strategists with top presidential aide David Axelrod. Of the eighteen attendees, almost all television regulars, a third were lobbyists or public relations flacks, such as Kelly Bingel, a lobbyist for AHIP and a partner at mega-firm Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, and Rich Masters, a partner at PR/lobbying outfit Qorvis Communications, where he works on behalf of trade group Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

It makes you wonder every time you see one of these fuckers on tv….who are they representing…we the people..or some fucking corporation. As Wedel explains, these assholes can shape public opinion…and that can be a dangerous thing when it’s done undercover by someone acting as a knowledgeable, unbiased expert.

Todays number: 112

That is the number of Rethug and Democrap Senators and House Reps that have so far tried to take credit for the Recovery Act advances in their districts, yet voted against it in DC. From Bloomberg:

Alabama Republicans Jo Bonner and Robert Aderholt took to the U.S. House floor in July, denouncing the Obama administration’s stimulus plan for failing to boost employment. “Where are the jobs?” each of them asked.
Over the next three months, Bonner and Aderholt tried at least five times to steer stimulus-funded transportation grants to Alabama on grounds that the projects would help create thousands of jobs.
They joined more than 100 congressional Republicans and several Democrats who, after voting against the stimulus bill, wrote Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood seeking money from $1.5 billion the plan set aside for local road, bridge, rail and transit grants. The $862 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed last year with no Republican votes in the House and three in the Senate.
Bonner said opposing the stimulus doesn’t mean he shouldn’t help Alabama projects compete for grants. “It is my role to ensure that their request is considered by the federal agency,” he said in an e-mail.
Alan Simpson, a former Republican senator from Wyoming named by President Barack Obama as co-chairman of a new deficit- reduction commission, said about-faces on government funding aren’t surprising. “It’s the original sin of Washington — it’s hypocrisy,” Simpson said. “You can’t do that then say you go out and cut the other stuff.” (emphasis mine)

Ain’t that some shit? Alan Simpson is calling it what it is…HYPOCRISY. Now, check out the ThinkProgress article on  this same issue. From the ThinkProgress writeup:

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) Said Stimulus Funds Would Create “Much Needed Jobs.” Minority Leader Boehner: “The stated intent of the so-called stimulus package was to create jobs, and certainly a $57 million slush-fund studying projects did nothing to achieve that goal. With Ohio’s unemployment rate the highest it’s been in 25 years, I’m pleased that federal officials stepped in to order Ohio to use all of its construction dollars for shovel-ready projects that will create much-needed jobs.” [Boehner Statement, 6/15/09]

-Congressman Boehner Voted Against The Recovery Package Twice [Roll Call Vote #46; Roll Call Vote #70]
-Congressman Boehner Regularly Blasts The Stimulus And Instructed His Caucus To Oppose It. [Huffington Post, 1/27/09]

Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) Held A Job Fair Where Nearly Half The 30 Organizations Received Stimulus Funds; Cantor Also Supported Using Stimulus Funds To Build A Washington To Richmond Rail. Washington Post: “For months, Democrats have dubbed U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia a hypocrite for strongly opposing the federal stimulus package only to promote aspects of it later. Here’s the latest example: Nearly half of the 30 organizations participating in a job fair Cantor is holding Monday in Culpeper were recipients of the stimulus…In the summer, Cantor came under fire after he talked about his support of using stimulus money to build a rail project from Washington to Richmond.” [Washington Post Virginia Blog, 11/18/09]
– Congressman Eric Cantor Voted Against The Recovery Package Twice [Roll Call Vote #46; Roll Call Vote #70]

Simply wonderful right?  I do love how the Rethugs and the DINO’s think bashing, then touting at home, the Recovery Act will get them reelected. Personally, I really hope the voters in all those districts have the ability to see through the fuckery. I also hope that left-of-center candidates can unseat the bastards…..both the Rethugs and the DINO’s.

Crossposted at Sirens Chronicles

Turley on the DOJ report

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640