Extreme Liberal's Blog

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Romney V. Romney In A Grudge Match!

November 28, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Republican Party | , , , | 14 Comments

Helping the Working Poor — A Practical Defense of PPACA, The Health Care Law

Guest Blogger: theangryliberal

The Health Care Bill, more often than not, raises the ire of both conservatives and progressives. They’ve teamed up to spread as much misinformation about the bill as possible. Why? I am not sure, because this bill goes a long way to get more people access to health care.

I think it all began with a guy named Howard Dean and some comments he made In December of 2009.  Dean was very angry that the public option was eliminated from the Senate bill. The target of Dean’s rant was Joe Lieberman, ( I)CT, he was pretty pissed at Lieberman and he seemed to feel no bill would be better than this bill now. He was angry at the process. And his anger is not unfounded. This Senate has become a branch of our government that is immovable, ideologically entrenched, almost completely unable to pass any worthwhile legislation. Dr. Dean was pretty pissed about that, as we all should be. However, instead of directing his anger at the improbable 60 vote requirement to pass any legislation of substance, he decided it would be time to just let Republicans win by killing the bill. That didn’t happen of course, but that was an extreme reaction, one Republicans were relying upon, this is where they were able to begin to sow the seeds of discontent among voters, they have filled the air with misinformation, with the help of people who are otherwise quite progressive. All that discontent, and the Executive Branches unbelievable inability to fight back against the propaganda has left people with a sour taste in their mouths when it comes to their thoughts about PPACA.

A number of people jumped on Dr. Dean’s bandwagon, Keith Olbermann went on the air to loudly proclaim why the Senate Bill should not be passed. Two days after Dean’s rant against the bill, a number of left leaning organizations and people banded together to help kill the bill:

Dave Linderhoff of The Public Record
Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake
Markos Moulitsas; Daily Kos Founder
Darcy Bruner; a past candidate for Congress

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November 28, 2011 Posted by | Accomplishments, Health Care Reform | , | 6 Comments

Political Mythbusters: There Never Was A White House Deal To Kill The Public Option, Stop Lying!

There have been many lies circulated about President Obama over the last 3 years, but the one that seems to have poisoned the water from the beginning is the lie that President Obama struck a deal to keep the public option out of the final health care bill. It has formed the basis of the “caved” meme that people on the left, most of whom never supported Obama as a candidate, have used to feed their irrational hatred for our president.

The lie has taken on epic proportions as it’s morphed over the years. Recently, I’ve had liberal friends throw it in my face when I’ve shown my support for our very accomplished president. The lying has to stop!

The birth of the “public option” lie

The original source from which the lie was created, is an article that David Kirkpatrick wrote in the New York Times about the active role that President Obama was taking in crafting the health care law. There were two mentions of the “public option” in the entire article, one was in reference to what the Democrats in the house were pushing and the other contradicts the lie completely. Rep. Henry Waxman was quoted in the article.

The president has said he wants a public option to keep everybody honest. He hasn’t said he wants a co-op as a public option.”

You really can’t get any more clear than that, can you? In the article that is the source for the public option lie, there is a quote from a respected member of the House saying that the president wants a public option. And to be fair to the author, he never even implies that the public option was part of the deal.

The New York Times article also discusses how the White House was more hands-on with the Senate Finance Committee than with other congressional committees. What is implicit in this analysis is that the White House understood that, as with every piece of legislation the administration supported, it was the Senate that posed the biggest impediment to achieving comprehensive health care reform.

There was another quote from earlier in the article that many used as the basis for the lie. It is an explanation of the deal that caps the costs for hospitals.

Hospital industry lobbyists, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of alienating the White House, say they negotiated their $155 billion in concessions with Mr. Baucus and the administration in tandem. House staff members were present, including for at least one White House meeting, but their role was peripheral, the lobbyists said.

Several hospital lobbyists involved in the White House deals said it was understood as a condition of their support that the final legislation would not include a government-run health plan paying Medicare rates — generally 80 percent of private sector rates — or controlled by the secretary of health and human services.

There is nothing in those two paragraphs that says anything about a deal on the public option, it is talking very specifically about costs to hospitals and reimbursement rates for patients on Medicare. The sentence “would not include a government-run health plan paying Medicare rates — generally 80 percent of private rates…” is poorly worded and could easily be misinterpreted, especially by people searching for a reason to hate the President.

If you read David Kirkpatrick’s words carefully, you see that the deal was on reimbursement rates and how they wouldn’t be the 80% that Medicare generally pays, which was a sore spot for hospitals.

Here is another example of that same idea, worded slightly better, but with selective placement of quotation marks. Tom Daschle wasn’t happy with the authors characterization of his words and corrected it in an update.

Daschle writes. “The other was that it would contain no public health plan,” which would have reimbursed hospitals at a lower rate than private insurers.

Once again, if you were to stop reading after the words “health plan”, you wouldn’t have gotten the entire meaning of the sentence. Experience tells me that the Obama-haters aren’t interested in the truth, only that which fits with their preconceived memes.

Tom Daschle sent a note to the author clarifying his comments and making it very clear that there was no deal on the public option.

“In describing some of the challenges to passage of the public option in the health reform bill, I did not mean to suggest in any way that the President was not committed to it. The President fought for the public option just as he did for affordable health care for all Americans. The public option was dropped only when it was no longer viable in Congress, not as a result of any deal cut by the White House. While I was disappointed that the public option was not included in the final legislation, the Affordable Care Act remains a tremendous achievement for the President and the nation.” (emphasis mine)

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November 25, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Accomplishments, Health Care Reform, Jane Hamsher, Media, Professional Left | , | 17 Comments

Watching Maine On Election Day

 Guest Blogger: TheAngriestLiberal

While most people spent election night watching the outcome of SB5 Ohio, I watched the election happenings in Maine. 1980 was a big year for me personally. It was the first time I’d lived in the United States since I was a small child.  I went to boarding school for my senior year of high school; my parents really thought I should know what it is like to be in America, to go to school in America and to learn to be an American. Boarding school… well that is a whole other story, but yes I ended up in Maine in boarding school and it was my first taste of living in the US for many years, I’d always been an expatriate, I was about to be something else.

I turned 18 in near the end of September in 1980. I’d wanted to exercise my vote since my dad handed me All the Presidents Men, in September of 1974, when we were flying back to the PI from the US at the end of our summer vacation. Reading that book on the plane trip over, back then it took much longer, with a layover in Guam. One time, and it could have been this particular trip our layover was on Wake Island because a large typhoon developed in the flight path and the pilots weren’t going to be in the air, so I remember I read the book in one flight, we had to layover on Wake Island for 8 hours in the tiny little airport and I finished the book before we landed in Manila.

I was taking the required class, American Government, which was not a required class in my school,  but I was quite interested to take it, I’d taken World Governments as our required class. I was interested in learning about how the American form of government differed from where I had come, where I’d lived through Martial Law, a military dictatorship, curfews, suspended elections, and other things that seemed the opposite of everything I’d ever read about the United States, where the will of the people was decided through mostly fair elections.

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November 22, 2011 Posted by | Election, Republican Party | , , | 7 Comments

I Was Sexually Assaulted As A Child

Teach Your Children What To Look For And Listen To Them!

I was sexually assaulted by two teenage boys in my neighborhood when I was around 10 years old. The two incidents were independent of each other. I don’t know exactly how old I was or the amount of time that separated the incidents, but based on what I remember, I’m pretty sure I was between 9 – 11 years old when the assaults happened. From what I’ve deduced, the teenagers were both around 4 years older than me.

It was a difficult time in my young life, my father died when I was 6 years old of a heart attack and my mother was a single, working mom — trying to raise 5 boys on her own. I never told my mother about the incidents. If I had, all hell would have broken loose and heads would have rolled. She was absolutely the best mother that ever walked the earth.

The first person I told about these assaults was a girlfriend, I was 20 years old at the time. I’ve since been very open about it and have come to terms with it. I encourage anyone else who has suffered through similar assaults to get it out in the open, talk to people. So much of the pain that people carry around is because they keep it to themselves.

Although there is a difference between my assaults and the ones perpetrated by Jerry Sandusky, there are also similarities. I was manipulated by these older boys in much the same way as the victims of Sandusky. I remember feeling special that these older boys wanted to hang around with me and actually were paying some attention to me. I remember the details of the incidents clearly, but I’m not sure if sharing those details will help anyone, so I will keep it vague. I would surely hate for some pedophile to get off on my descriptions of what happened. They involved oral sex, touching and in one case an attempt at penetration.

I’ll talk about each incident separately.

Greg was an older boy, like I said, approximately 4 years older than me from my recollection. He and I were a part of a group of kids in the neighborhood who decided to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy. We were going door to door trying to collect donations and we also organized a backyard play, a sketch comedy, that we put on for the neighborhood. We charged a nickel to watch. I was dressed up as a girl, with a short skirt, nylons, makeup and a wig. The reaction I got when I came out brought the house down. I remember getting all sorts of attention from everyone. I was a cute little boy and apparently made a pretty cute girl too. I can’t help but think back and wonder if that is the reason why this older boy decided to target me for his assault.

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November 20, 2011 Posted by | General | , | 10 Comments

Is The Herman Cain Trainwreck Over Yet?

I’ve been incredulous when it comes to Herman Cain since he came on the scene. He’s just one of the sideshows of the political circus that the media is fully invested in these days. I suppose we have to have something to laugh at and make fun of along the way.

I wrote Cain off immediately when I heard some of the crazy stuff he was saying about Muslims and his overall lack of seriousness on almost every issue.

He’s a shameless self promoter and good for him if he can get the brain dead media to play along and improve his brand. You can pretty much take it to the bank that he will end up on Fox News or who knows, maybe MSNBC — they seem to be trying to play catch up to Fox News these days.

The pattern that the media and the Washington talking heads perpetuate is to bring attention to someone or something, elevate it by repeating and nourishing it. Take a poll about it, which registers all the attention it just received. Then, use the poll to justify talking about it some more. When the media grows tired of it, they either tear it down or just ignore it and move onto the next sideshow. I know I’m not the only one who sees this pattern.

Herman Cain has had a pretty long run at it so far, considering all the missteps he’s made along the way. There certainly is no shortage of gaffes when it comes to Herman Cain’s ride on the media merry-go-round. Here is just one example from Roland Martin’s blog, go read the rest.

1) Nein! Nein! Nein!

The Foot: Herman Cain’s controversial tax plan, the 9-9-9 Plan. He says it will promote fairness in our tax code. Critics say it will shift the tax burden on the poor and middle class.

Moment When Foot Entered Mouth: During a series of debates, Cain’s idea repeatedly got punched in the face with the most fatal blows coming from just about everyone else on the stage, including Mitt Romney during the Las Vegas debate when it turned into an embarrassing discussion of “Apples v. Oranges,” and during the Bloomberg News debate when Michele Bachmanntotally went there and said 9-9-9 was a little too close to 6-6-6Cain’s not Abel! He’s got the Mark of the Beast, according to Bachmann! The power of Christ compells you!

Ultimate Foot Fatality: The makers of the video game Sim City point out Cain’s advisors may have ripped of the 9-9-9 plan from their game, Sim City 4, which was like crack to me.

Cain’s Response: He tried to tweak the plan and still insists that it works. Cain has said 9-9-9 so many times, my mother doesn’t call him Herman Cain, but the “9-9-9 Man.” Typical conversation: “Danielle, did you hear what that crazy 9-9-9 man said today?”

I love the part where Bachmann thinks that 999 is just a little too close to 666. Tell me this shit isn’t funny?

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November 15, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Media, MSM, Politics, Republican Party, Tea Party | , | 20 Comments

2011 – The Year The Republican Party Went Completely Batshit!

Frequently Booman says exactly what I’m thinking. This is about the Republican clown debates, did they ride out on tiny bicycles? Take it away Booman…

The only thing that could possibly be interesting about any of these debates is when someone screws up their lines and accidentally says something true. Rick Perry tried that a couple of times and he never recovered. Voters are not learning anything by watching these debates. They’re just being misinformed and presented with an alternate reality that is quite different from anything normal people experience in their lives. Unless you are immersed in right-wing talk radio and Fox News, most of what they’re saying doesn’t even have a passing relationship to your understanding of the world. Their statistics are fabricated. The problems they identify don’t even exist. Their solutions are not plausible on any level you might want to consider. It’s really a lot more like pro wrestling than actual politics. Except it’s actually less entertaining than actual politics, which proves they’re doing it wrong. Even Herman Cain, who was providing some consistent comedic value for a while, is no longer funny now that he’s trying to explain how many women he’s never harassed. I know it’s hard to write about a presidential campaign if you don’t watch the debates, but I just can’t do it. My capacity to imbibe The Stupid has been maxed out.

I can’t bring myself to watch the debates either. It’s bad enough watching the highlight reels. If there are any adults left in the Republican Party, they have to be doing facepalms like hourly.

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Update: If you didn’t see this quote from President Obama yesterday, it is golden!

“I don’t think it requires us to go negative in the sense of us running a bunch of ads that are false, or character assassinations,” Obama told Univision News. “It will be based on facts … We may just run clips of the Republican debates verbatim. We won’t even comment on them, we’ll just run those in a loop on Univision and Telemundo, and people can make up their own minds.”

Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles

November 11, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Election, Politics, Republican Party, Tea Party | | 13 Comments

Herman Cain Doesn’t Get It — And Neither Do A Lot Of Other Men

Guest Blogger: RL Gardner

Another shoe has now dropped in the Herman Cain sexual harassment saga, thanks to the revelations of Sharon Bialek at a news conference the other day.  According to Ms. Bialek, Mr. Cain put his hand up her skirt, and tried to force her head down into his crotch.  To me, this action crosses the line from harassment to assault.

Mr. Cain’s reaction was a rather angry, incoherent email in which he called the accusations of sexual harassment “nonsense” and claims that the media is setting him up.

Um, Mr. Cain?  If these allegations by Ms. Bialek and the other three women are true (and I am thinking that they are), the only person who set you up is youYou are the one who said and did things to women that they didn’t like. You are the one who acted inappropriately.  You are the one who put yourself in this position.  Stop yelling at everybody else, and do what you told others to do: look in the mirror.

That being said, what I really wanted to talk about is what underlies all of this: sexual harassment and sexual assault are real.  It happens all the time, whether it be an unwanted remark or out-and-out rape.  It. Happens.  It is perpetrated by men who think that they have the right to say anything they want, touch any woman they want, do whatever they want with her, and if that woman doesn’t like it, well, there must be something wrong with her.  She must have been asking for it.  She was dressed in a provocative way.  She was leading you on.  She was sending signals.  She was asking for it!

I’ve got news for you, Mr. Cain and any other male out there who has been guilty of sexual harassment or sexual assault. She was not asking for it!  You were foisting it upon her because you thought you could.  Because you thought it was your right.  Because you have no respect for women as human beings.  Because you think that women are objects, property, chattel, etc., that that gives you the right to act out your fantasies, your desires, your power trips.

And when she says no, your male ego gets all hurt and sulky and angry and accusatory.  How dare she reject you?  How dare she say no?  How dare she just not take what you want to dish out and be grateful for it?  How dare she? She was asking for it, after all.  You know that because, well, you’re a man, and that’s what men do.  (Disclaimer: No, not all men do this; there are a lot of good, decent men out there who, even if they had thoughts of making an advance on a woman when said woman had not given you an opening to do so, would not act on those thoughts.)

It doesn’t matter if she says no.  It doesn’t matter if one of your co-workers or one of your buddies says to you, “Hey dude, that wasn’t cool.  Knock it off!”  You just don’t get it.  You just don’t understand what all the fuss is about, because you have no respect for women.  Because you do not see them as human beings.  So again, there must be something wrong with her.  It couldn’t possibly be you, could it?

Let me ask you something, though.  What if your mother, your wife, your sister, or your daughter was in a situation where her boss, her teacher, a guy at school, a stranger on the street, grabbed her or put their hand up her skirt, or tried to force her face into some guy’s crotch?  Hmmmmm?  Would you tell her that she was asking for it?  Would you tell her she should just have gone along with it? Would you ask her why she thought it was such a big deal?  Although I do know men who would indeed blame the female even if she were related to him, I also know men who are inappropriate with women they aren’t related to who would be appalled if a woman close to him were treated in this fashion.

I have had my ass grabbed.  I’ve had my breasts grabbed.  I was almost raped.  I’ve had things said to me that to this day piss me off when I think about them.  They weren’t funny then, and they aren’t funny now.  I’m not your little toy, not some thing you can play out your sexual and power fantasies on.  I am a person. You might want to remember that (or get it through your thick skull in the first place).

And while I know I may be asking the impossible, I’d like you to think about this.  If you would find it offensive and horrible if someone did something inappropriate toward a female you are close to, then the next time you think it would be okay to slide your hands up the skirt of a female who is not your wife or significant other, remember that she has a father, a husband, a brother who would find it offensive if you did it.  And keep your hands and your inappropriate remarks to yourself.  Just. Shut. Up.  Sit on your hands.  Whatever.  Just don’t do it, whatever it was you were thinking about doing.  If the only way you think you can prove you’re a man is to treat women in such an inappropriate way, then I would say you aren’t much of a man at all.

Take a look in the mirror and think about that.

Also found at Democrats for Progress

November 9, 2011 Posted by | Politics | , , , | 21 Comments

The Republican Takeover Of The Sunday Morning “News” Shows

On my cable system, I’m forced to choose which Sunday morning news shows I watch.

My game plan recently has been to watch Chris Hayes’ new show until 9am, then I switch over to Meet the Press, followed by This Week and then I top it off with Howie Kurtz’s show Reliable Sources. Sometimes I catch Fareed Zakaria’s GPS on the repeat, depending on when the Detroit Lions are playing.

This last Sunday, Meet the Press had the following lineup.

Former Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM), 2008 Presidential Candidate – Great guy, thankfully there was a Democrat somewhere to be found on Sunday!

Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS), Former RNC Chairman – Who considering his history on race, probably shouldn’t be elevated to talking head status on a major network.

Alex Castellanos, Republican Strategist – Who was responsible for the racist ad for Jesse Helms called “Hands”.

Kim Strassel, Editorial Board Member, Wall Street Journal – Strassel has a long history of wingnuttery.

Chris Matthews, Host, MSNBC’s “Hardball” – What can you say about Chris, he’s like the crazy uncle who goes in and out of reality.

Maggie Haberman, Senior Political Writer, POLITICO – Who came to Politico via Rupert Murdoch, a great fit for her.

At 10 o’clock, I switched over to This Week with Christine Amanpour and was treated to this lineup.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio – Ringmaster of the Republican circus.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. – President Bush’s greatest enabler, or at least one of them.

And then the following panel, which couldn’t have been any better for Republicans had it been on Fox News.

George Will – I like to refer to him as “Hair Wedge George”, defender of all things conservative, facts are malleable to him.

Arianna Huffington – The Newt Gingrich protegé who has made a lot of money from liberal anger during the Bush years, but has never strayed from her Republican roots.

Niall Ferguson – This man absolutely hates President Obama and doesn’t hide it very well at all. I’ve seen him foam at the mouth.

Matthew Dowd – He was the chief strategist for President Bush’s 2004 campaign. You can imagine how he leans, right?

Those are the two broadcast network shows that I watch on Sunday mornings and as a political junky, I’ve always loved to watch the back and forth between representatives or surrogates from each party. For decades, all the Sunday morning shows had an unwritten rule (so it seemed) to balance out the show with representatives from both sides of the political aisle – sometimes even giving third party candidates like John Anderson and Ross Perot time. I absolutely loved it, it was like a ping pong match, back and forth, sometimes one side got a slam in, sometimes the other. I always scored it in my head, which party got the best of the other from week to week. Good times!

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November 8, 2011 Posted by | Media, MSM, President Barack Obama, Professional Left, Republican Party | | 13 Comments

With Friends Like Michael Moore, Who Needs Enemies?

Michael Moore is often dead on with his critiques of Republicans and many times with Democrats as well, but just like with his films, he often makes the facts fit whatever narrative he is trying to push.

Like many others in the “firebagger brigade”, since the election of President Obama, he spends most of his time criticizing Democrats. Personally, I’m sick of his whiny “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately” shtick and based on the actions he takes every election cycle, he doesn’t seem very concerned about electing liberals to office. If he were, he would be more careful about what comes out of his pie hole. In fact, I see his shtick as very harmful to liberal politicians.

There was a clip flying around the internet the other day in which Michael Moore imparts his wisdom to us on politics and tells us why the 2010 elections favored the Republicans. For those of you who are aware of reality, it’s maddening to watch. It is a perfect example of the type of hyperbole that Moore employs and how he will say whatever he needs to — in order to push his narrative and thus his brand. Roll tape:

For those of you who can’t watch clips online, here is my rush transcript of his idiotic, uninformed rant.

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November 4, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Democratic Party, Media, MSM, Politics, President Barack Obama, Professional Left, Supreme Court, Tea Party | | 34 Comments

The Political Power of Cable TV Shock-Jockery

The following post is new to this blog, but is from a while back. Well worth reading, you will see.

Guest Blogger: theangryliberal

While the exceedingly cool members of this nation were celebrating some success, the cable news media was at it again. Let’s review for a moment and be thrilled about the events that took place, leading to the exhilarating events of last night,   Roy McDonald broke with his party, when he told reporters June 15, 2011 this: “F**k it, I don’t care what you think. I’m trying to do the right thing.” And with that, the line of demarcation was absolutely shattered. Then other members defected, and with a stroke of a pen Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law. Marriage equality now exists in NY State.  His speech was stirring. I predict he  will run for the Presidency in 2016, and he can win, if we don’t let the very powerful media destroy Democrats one more time. They certainly are attempting to

So, what happened to Rachel Maddow last night? Did she decide to take classes at Beck U, the propaganda arm of the Center for Shock Jockery? Umm humm, I am pretty sure she did make a stop by there to pick up pamphlets, because that BS meme she wants to push, “The President is against what happened today” (last night) is an outright lie. She too has crossed the line, one where she balanced on a thin line separating her from the other cable news shock jocks, and some decently researched stories. What the hell just happened? Did her rating reflect that the more Outrageous the story she can push about the President, the more viewers she gets? I would like to know, it seems to be a relevant question, is there a correlation between  a shocking bumper sticker slogan that says, “The President is against what happened today”, what? Come again? That is your astute analysis even though it is demonstrably wrong if we just take the DADT issue and the decision by the Justice Dept. not to defend DOMA on any grounds.  Geez, what trite, ridiculous drivel. I thought of  Maddow as one of the least offensive cable tv shock jocks, sometimes she even does some in-depth news-like stories.  She joins a list of people at MSNBC who take their shock-jockery seriously, first and foremost, one Chris Matthews, who is outraged on a daily basis, his new obsession is Michelle “wandering eye” Bachmann, “my hero! she is going to go all the way, he exclaimed excitedly to Bill Maher on Real Time June 17, 2011. What is that exactly, it feels like a dude who calls himself a journalist, is trying But the Matthews effect covers a large area at MSNBC, like its Fox nemesis,  outrage is the one and only agenda.  Keep this in mind, when I get to Ralph Nader and the Media.

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November 2, 2011 Posted by | Media, MSM, Politics, Professional Left | | 16 Comments

   

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