Friday, February 19, 2010

We will now be posting our opinions and links on our new site, Hope to see you there.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Reaction to Mass. Senate election

The fact is that the Democratic party just lost a seat to the GOP that had been held by a Democrat in a liberal state for basically all of history and which previously belonged to THE Democratic Senator, Ted Kennedy, champion of the very concept behind the bill that may have died with him (health care reform). The reactions from the right are predictable. The claims that this is a referendum on the Obama administration were being made before the votes even started coming in. Fox News, bastion of the idiot right, has all but popped the corks on champagne bottles on live TV. The Democrats are, understandably, sheepish. The level of fuck-up demonstrated by this loss can only be described as colossal; ever seen a kicker miss a chip shot FG in a football game? (Charges fans are nodding their heads). Well, this is the political equivalent.

Before the left goes thermonuclear and the right allows their orgy to spill out onto the streets, I think its important to consider what this result actually means right now and what it will mean in the near future.

First, why did Coakley lose? Was it because Massachusetts voters decided that the best way to send a message to Obama was to vote for a Republican Senator? Unlikely. To use a crude analogy, would you vote for Satan over Jesus if Jesus was running for the same party as a President you didn't like? That's absurd.

Was the vote simply an indication of a conservative shift in the politics of Mass. voters? Perhaps slightly, but besides his views on the health insurance bill, Brown is pretty liberal. He's pro-choice, socially moderate, in favor of a Palestinian state (Republicans: say WHAT), and has signaled that he would work with efforts for bi-partisan health legislation down the road. He just doesn't like this particular bill, and frankly a lot of Democrats don't like it either.

The simple fact is that Brown was a pretty decent candidate. And Coakley was not. Despite the fact that she was leading by a huge margin in a state that polls heavily in favor of Obama, she committed gaffe after gaffe in the weeks leading up to the election and ran one of the poorest campaigns in history. Independents sided with Brown and that's all she wrote.

Sorry, GOP, but when the facts are examined, your claims that this is a message to Obama don't ring true and are insulting to the intelligence of Mass. voters, who know better than to waste a Senatorial vote on sending a message. Massachusetts elected Brown because he was the better candidate.

So what does this mean long term? Well, if more Republicans win elections this year, then the GOP and their mouthpiece, Fox News will claim that this was the start, but trying to link political change at the national level with the results of state elections is tenuous at best. In other words, the results of other state elections will not be any different just because Brown won this one and not Coakley. The GOP is a little delusional when it comes to trying to bolster support for itself. In reality, any Democrats that lose elections this year will have done so not because of a public political shift back to "Republican values," but because Congressional Democrats have completely dropped the ball this last year. Say what you will about the Republicans, but they know how to wield a majority the right way. The Democrats wield it like a ten year old kid with a lighter in an oil refinery.

The Democrats losing their majority in Congress may be the best thing that could possibly happen to this administration. I expect the result of that change would light a fire under the asses of the remaining Democrats to stop dicking around and actually get things done. Its not like legislation has never passed before unless there has been a 60 plus majority in one house. Bills can be passed with less than 60 votes, and in spite of the GOP's current plan of "block everything until the black guy is gone." The GOP still remains unpopular among the voting population as a whole, and they aren't going to change that by continuing to act like babies. Sooner or later, moderate Republicans are going to come around and make smart decisions because they want to be reelected. That means health insurance legislation, immigration reform, and LGBT rights bills are not off the table. Not by any means. And yes, moderate Republicans exist. Brown is one of them.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Let's take a survey!

By Ellipses

Michael Steele sent me a survey from the Republican National Committee. Let's make fun of it.

Monday Morning

Good job staying away from an alpha-numeric date. Play to your audience of lowest common denominators.

Your immediate action is required

Holy fearmongering, Batman!

Please carefully read and complete the enclosed 2010 Obama Agenda Survey which is REGISTERED in your name and affixed with a tracking code to ensure that it is accounted for in the tabulated results.

I didn't add any emphasis there. That whole bit about the tracking code... am I the only one who thinks that if this survey came from the democrats, the right wing nut jobs would use that as proof of impending death camps? Also, you have to marvel at how the GOP makes innocuous words sound terrifyingly evil. Like "Agenda."

As Chairman of the Republican National Committee, I am sending out this questionnaire to guage where you and other grassroots Republicans stand on the critical issues facing our nation-- I need to hear back from you right away.

I thought conservative principles and ideals were eternal. I thought issues were black and white. Who cares where your base stands on individual issues? You are supposed to do what's right no matter what the polls say. Mr. Steele, are you licking your finger and putting it into the wind here?

You know that the liberal media elites and the Obama Democrats are hoping you will put this letter down right now and do nothing...

Oh, don't worry, that is the last thing I'm going to do with it. It's funny, you know... I don't recall any of the democrat propaganda that I get in the mail saying things like "You know that the flannel-farming cousin fuckers want you to ignore this..."

They want you to give up, desert your Party, and walk away from your conservative principles.

You capitalized "party." How apropos.

I'm asking you to please not turn your back on us now.

If you didn't run away from facts and logic, my back wouldn't be turned to you...

I want you to know that the Republican Party is not dead and we are not going away.

If you have to say "it's not dead..." then it's dead.

Our ideals remain sound and our goals remain worthy.

We just need you to take this survey so we know what our ideals and goals are...

We have a strong minority in the U.S. House and in the U.S. Senate. We are using both to actively oppose and expose the truth about the Obama Democrat agenda.

So... you ARE the party of "no?"
Oh, and that "truth" that you are talking about... would your fictional death panels be included in the truths that you are exposing?

We believe that you and every one of the more than 60 million voters all across our country who did not vote for Barack Obama deserve to have a voice in the way this country is governed.

You are right, we haven't heard ANYTHING from conservatives for nearly a year now-end sarcasm

The enclosed 2010 Obama Agenda Survey is your opportunity to let Republican leaders in Washington, D.C. and all across the country know where you stand on the policies and programs being proposed by Barack Obama and his Democrat allies in Congress.

Big buildup, Mike... this better not suck.

As a REGISTERED participant in this important touchstone survey, your questionnaire answers will be used to represent a broad sampling of Republicans in your area.

Your sampling method is broken, apparently. Either that, you you are getting a REALLY broad sample of republicans. So broad, that you sent it to a liberal democrat (me).

There is so much about the Obama agenda that most Americans do not know, thanks to the non-stop, swooning coverage of the ultra-biased media.

I expect you to tell me something I don't know, then. And if you don't, then there's ANOTHER ounce of credibility that you've lost with me. Be careful, you don't have much left.

...That's why we are asking where you stand on Barack Obama's promise to raise taxes...

Vague, much?

...On his plans to give amnesty to illegal immigrants, which could lead to billions of dollars of government handouts and possibly bankrupt Social Security...

Oh, I see... you are going to be intentionally vague and not actually contribute to the growth of my personal knowledge. I got it... I'm sorry, I thought we were playing a different game. Go on...

And how do you feel about Obama's efforts to nationalize health care and have it run by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.?

Mike,buddy... Where have you been? Single payer was never on the table. They killed off the public option... and the expansion of medicare was a glimmer in our eyes for all of 10 days. How does a reform bill that increases the saturation and market share of private insurers count as nationalized health care? It's not even a matter of semantics, it's the exact polar opposite of what you are saying. You are saying the president has a vagina WHILE you are sucking his cock, bud!

Holy shit, I'm only half-way through the welcome letter...

Blah blah blah

blah blah blah blah blah

Oh, here we go...

That's why I'm asking you to include a contribution to the Republican National Committee of $500, $250, $100, $50, or even $30 along with your 2010 Obama Agenda Survey in the postage-paid envelope

You no-talent ass-hat back alley gutter whore. Postage paid, huh? Well, shit... I guess I'll put something in the mail just to transfer some of your coffers to that evil socialist post office.

Even though the media acts as though the outcome of the 2008 election was a unanimous, 100% vote in favor of Barack Obama and his liberal agenda... over 60 million Americans did not support Obama and the Democrats...

You left out the part where 69 million people didn't vote for your guy, either...
Look, you got to play leader for the first 4 years of the last decade even though your guy got less votes than our guy. Now, our guy gets 7 and a half million votes more than your guy and it's ALL about the minority voice...

Alright, here is the survey:

1. Do you agree with Barack Obama and the Democrats that taxes should be raised for the sake of "fairness," regardless of the negative impact it is likely to have on the economy?

I can't agree with them on that because that is not their position.

2. Do you believe the federal government has gone too far in bailing out failing banks, insurance companies and the auto industry?

No. A very substantial portion of those funds has been repaid and it prevented a full-scale economic collapse. I believe it was prudent and correct and I give equal praise to George Bush and Barack Obama for taking the appropriate action.

3. Do you support amnesty for illegal immigrants?


4. Should English be the official language of the United States?

I don't care one way or the other. It would not have an effect on daily life. If English were the official language, it wouldn't make Mexicans learn to speak English. I will say No just to fuck with you.

5. Are you in favor of granting retroactive Social Security eligibility to illegal immigrants who gain U.S. citizenship through an amnesty program.

Yes. They've worked here and contributed to our economic power. They should receive the benefits of that contribution.

6. Are you in favor of the expanded welfare benefits and unlimited eligibility (no time, education or work requirements) that Democrats in Congress are pushing to pass?

Yes. Specifically because your side has said that we are going to have a shitty economy forever because of the big, bad democrats. If what your side says is true, then capping welfare benefits is just cruel.

7. Do you believe that Barack Obama's nominees for federal courts should be immediately and unquestionably approved for their lifetime appointments by the U.S. Senate?

No. But I also don't think they should be delayed forever. There is a difference between moving on with the nomination process and stonewalling the nominations. You aren't providing any more debate on these nominees by holding up the process.

8. Do you believe that the best way to increase the quality and effectiveness of public education in the U.S. is to rapidly expand federal fudning while eliminating performance standards and accountability?

In short? Yes.

9. Do you support the creation of a national health insurance plan that would be administered by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.?

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

10. Do you believe that the quality and availability of health care will increase if the federal government dictates pricing to doctors and hospitals?

Absolutely. Move closer to a European model, get closer to European access, quality, and affordability.

11. Are you confident that new medicines and medical treatments will continue to be developed if the federal government controls prescription drug prices and sets profit margins for research and pharmaceutical companies?

I didn't follow you on that one... I am a little groggy from my French-developed flu shot.

12. Are you in favor of creating a government-funded "Citizen Volunteer Corps" that would pay young people to do work now done by churches and charities, earning Corps Members the same pay and benefits given to military veterans?

Fuck Yeah! That sounds AWESOME! Where do I sign up?

13. Are you in favor of reinstituting the military draft, as Democrats in Congress have proposed?

Nope... and I will venture a guess that it will never happen... why do you hate the military, Mr. Steele?

14. Do you believe that the federal government should allow the unionization of Department of Homeland Security employees who serve in positions critical to the safety and security of our nation?

If their positions are critical to the safety an security of the nation, I would definitely not want them preoccupied with worrying about whether they will get arbitrarily shit-canned... so yes.

15. Do you support Democrats' drive to eliminate workers' right to a private ballot when considering unionization of their place of employment?

Nope... hey, we agree on one thing. Go fuck yourself :-)

Time to drop this in the mail...
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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Karl Rove, I agree with you *vomits*

by Cylinsier

In one of today's political ticker articles, CNN reports on some of Karl Rove's suggested New Year's Resolutions for Barack Obama and his administration. Shockingly, they are appropriate and far from partisan. Maybe Rove's divorce has caused him to rethink his life. Or maybe I'm just becoming more conservative...nah, Rove must have rethought his life.

From CNN's story, the first suggestion is:

Mr. Obama should work on his habit of leaving a room of people with deeply divided opinions thinking he agrees with all of them. That leads to disagreements over essential issues, like the meaning of his pledge to begin withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2011 and the nature of the new military mission there.

Wow. Very insightful, you fat bastard. I agree, President Obama's biggest mistakes so far have often resulted from a lack of initiative in taking sides. Obama needs to tell people where he stands and stop trying to please everyone. Just please the people who voted for you.

Rove on Biden:

Every time he opens his mouth, the West Wing staff uses him to make the president look good by comparison.

Well, yeah. But maybe that's part of the plan! No, seriously, I agree again. Biden has been much better of late, though.

Back to the administration in general:

Why not resolve to have a few less "historic" moments? How many can one president really have, anyway? A little more grace toward his predecessor would help him, as would less TV time. He is wearing out his welcome and his speechwriters—judging by the quality of their work lately.

There's stink of some partisan sniping here, but a grain of truth as well. I get what Rove is saying. There does seem to be a preoccupation with setting this administration up to be the best ever. How about we just get shit done and let history decide how good it was? But fuck Rove on the "wearing out his welcome" comment. He's the President, bitch. Get over it. And "less TV time?" Really? Consider the age we live in.

On Desiree Rogers, who is in charge of White House guests:

[She] should take a lead from Santa Clause and make her list and check it the White House gates.

El oh El. You rotund fuck. I agree again, though. The biggest embarrassment to this administration so far, in MY HUMBLE opinion, is those clowns who got through the gate at that party. Are you shitting me? Secret Service must have been on crack at the time.

So what does this mean, me agreeing with Karl Rove? Did hell freeze over? Maybe, but neither he nor I believe in hell. Whatever it is, let's put partisan politics aside and admit there is always room for improvement. Thank you Karl Rove for saying some stuff that lightened my day a little. Now go jump off a cliff.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The healthcare battle nears conclusion, but who are the winners?

by Cylinsier

The highest hurdles have been cleared. Both houses of Congress have passed their mangled, well-intentioned versions of health reform, each resembling a good plan in some ways and yet each bearing the scars of political machinations. The final step is cobbling the two together into something both houses will agree on, and then sending it on to the President for it to become official.

There are a lot of people, on both sides of the aisle, calling for this thing to be totally dismantled. They want a fresh start, and I don't totally disagree with them. There is enough in these bills to dislike that I too would like to take it back to the drawing board, but that is unrealistic at this point. One way or the other, there seems to be little if any chance that the Democratic majorities will remain the same in either house of Congress after next year's elections. Considering the paper thin margins by which each bill passed, and the nauseatingly partisan politics employed by the right and conservative left in attempting to stonewall this bill, there is no second chance. If this bill is tossed, then we have to be okay with that being all she wrote on this issue until the system collapses, because nothing is going to be done about it sooner.

There are also a lot of good reasons to see this bill passed. Admittedly, some are going to be of the petty nature; I can't be the only one that allows himself a bit of satisfaction in thinking about how hard the right has fought on their platform of lies and deceit, only to still see a bill passed (wishful thinking in many ways; the GOP is most likely secretly patting themselves on the back for doing so good a job of neutering the bill). But at the end of the day, whether or not this bill is signed and passed should depend on whether or not it improves the system in any way for the people of this country. Nothing else should play into it.

To determine whether or not the bill is an improvement, we need to understand it. It is my opinion that the final product is going to be most similar to the Senate version, as the House is already signaling making concessions to favor it. So what does the Senate version look like? According to Reuters, the bill includes:

  • a mandate for US citizens to purchase health insurance.
  • Federal subsidies for individuals up to 400 percent of the federal poverty line.
  • Federal tax benefits for small businesses.
  • Penalties for employers who do not provide plans to employees when said employees tap into subsidies to purchase coverage.
  • the creation of State-based insurance exchanges.
  • contracting between OPM (which overseas federal insurance plans) and private insurers to create non-profit plans available in the exchanges.
  • a medicaid increase in all states who's Senator didn't play mercenary with their vote.
  • the removal of the preexisting conditions copout.
  • the removal of higher charges based on gender, health history or employment.
  • the removal of insurers' ability to drop people when they get sick.
  • the removal of lifetime limits on coverage.
  • requiring insurers to cover preventative care.
  • a provision to streamline paperwork as well as other measures to reduce overhead costs.

Really, the House version isn't terribly different in most ways; its just some of the numbers that differ. The big difference is the public option, which existed in the House version, but which seems dead now. There was also a medicare increase floating around, but Senator Lieberman killed that.

So why are the above things good? Well, the mandate may not make people jump for joy, but its important to understand why that is included before being critical of it. If you remove insurers' ability to deny coverage because of preexisting conditions (and you should), but do not mandate insurance, then you will have a huge number of people who don't buy insurance until right after they get sick, then get a policy quick to cover costs, then cancel. The system can support that kind of use for approximately 3 seconds before succumbing. The mandate is probably the least popular part of the bill excluding debates of cost, but it has to be there or the whole thing falls apart.

The rest should be pretty straightforward unless you're a total asshole. There's nothing there that you can argue doesn't benefit a large number of people. So let's draw the line in the sand right here and make it crystal clear: the people that are against this bill have one argument, and that is cost. Sure, these are all good things, but how much of my paycheck do I have to fork over for it? Well, I don't think we're truly going to know that until the deal is done. Note that most of the above benefits don't kick in until 2014, so we'll sure have plenty more time to talk about it. But to say whether or not the cost outweighs the benefits, we're just going to have to wait and see.

I can tell you that the cost would have been nil, or even negative, if some people had just stopped bitching early on and let us have a public option or single payer, but there was too much money in politicians' back pockets and too much propaganda on Fox News for that to happen. Really, if we get boned by this bill, we have no one to blame but ourselves; for being gullible, for not putting the right people in office, and for succumbing to our own arrogance and selfishness. In a way, this bill failing might be a good thing for us. Americans seem to have a hard time learning by any means but the hard way nowadays.

But the reason I think this bill needs to be passed is twofold: first, I do firmly believe that more people will benefit from this bill than people will suffer from costs. I'm not saying there won't be a few people that see prices go up without a change in quality of coverage. Actually, most people will probably see no change at all. But the people that see their quality of life improve because of this bill will outweigh, probably by far, the people that see any kind of degradation. That's enough reason to support it for me. It seems everyone in support of this bill and reform in general also views the issue that way, while everyone against it seems to think only of how it will affect them personally. Morally condescending comments about being selfish pricks aside, the world and specifically this country does not run on the whims of a select few, regardless of how much money you have or your class status. The needs of the many outweigh that of the few. That's not an argument on what philosophy everyone should subscribe to, that's a law of nature.

The second reason I support this bill's passage is because I firmly believe that the people of this country, when it comes down to brass tacks, have just enough collective intelligence to recognize that any shortcomings of this bill are a result of it not going far enough as opposed to too far. If we start talking about making changes to this bill in a few years, it will be a move towards single payer, not away. I believe that because that is how things have always worked in this country. Just look at Civil Rights. It didn't happen overnight. There were baby steps, in some cases frustratingly and dishearteningly slow steps, towards something that actually worked the way it was supposed to. We might have had a shot at changing this overnight, but we missed it. That's not a reason to stand still for another decade or so. We need to take the first step to complete the journey. Comprehensive reform is still a ways off, but if this bill passes, it'll be just a bit closer.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

House Dem to Switch to Republican

by Cylinsier

Per CNN's political ticker, Parker Griffith of Alabama will switch from Democrat to Republican by the time he runs for reelection next year. If you were wondering, yes, he was a Blue Dog.

I think we're all thinking the same thing here, and that is, "Really? Alabama? You were a Congressman from Alabama and you didn't think we all didn't already know you were a Republican?"

I mean, shit, he was a Blue Dog from the bible belt. Kind of like when Lance Bass came out of the closet. Everyone just nodded and went on with their day. But I do have to give Griffith some credit. At least you came out. The other Blue Dogs still want to pretend they are Democrats. Kudos for wearing your true colors with pride.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

More Alan Grayson Fireworks

By Ellipses

Grayson starts the shame-game of rattling off death stats for specific elected officials at about the 15:00 mark. It's not really a secret if I were able to, I'd cut myself in half so that part of me could live and vote in Al Franken's district and part of me could live and vote in Alan Grayson's district.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Here's what happened in the Senate today

By Ellipses

A meaningful amendment is actually proposed... and what happens? Coburn shits on it, mashes it into the carpet with his feet, and lights it on fire.

Coburn requires that Sanders' single payer amendment be read in its entirety (767 pages). The clerk reads it for a few hours and then Sanders withdraws his amendment and proceeds to use his 30 minutes to say "Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, you're cool, fuck you, fuck you, I'm out!"

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dick Armey really is a brigade of cocks

By Ellipses

And another charmer by America's favorite lesbian:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Franken Flogs Thune

By Ellipses

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