Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
By the way, did you know that there is an entire cottage industry of "Single Ladies" reinactment videos?
Here is adorable little Arianna:
And Baby Ava:
Time explored the phenomenon in their piece "Babies Love Beyonce's 'Single Ladies.'"
And for the daring, you might want to check out Single Man "Heyonce" dancing to "Single Ladies" (disclaimer: while it IS technically safe for work... it's also not.... You've been warned!)
UPDATE: In recognition of the class and grace Beyonce showed to Taylor Swift at the VMA, here's her live performance of "Single Ladies."
Two out of three Americans who watched President Obama's health care reform speech Wednesday night favor his health care plans, a 14-point gain among speech-watchers, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. national poll.
Read more here
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The single-payer option gave the GOP a fake adversary to rail against, which leaves room for real healthcare reform to pass.
The health-care debate threatens to keep energy and climate legislation on the back burner when the Congress returns from recess Tuesday and enters the final push of 2009.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to plead his case on health care in a joint address to Congress this week, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), delays action on climate and energy legislation.
The Senate's top Democrat now says that climate legislation will be considered by the end of the year -- a deadline that buys time to see whether Democrats will have the political strength to take up climate change after a bruising health-care fight.
"The odds change day-to-day, and some days even hour-to-hour," said David Brown, an executive in the government affairs office of electric utility Exelon Corp. "If they can come up with a health-care package that passes sooner rather than later, our chances are better."
But if the health care debate drags on, the energy bill could get stalled by the 2010 congressional midterm elections, he added.
Read more here
Monday, September 7, 2009
UPDATE: Here is the video of the speech:
Ronald Reagan gave a highly political speech to school kids in 1988, where he preached the gospel of low taxes.
From Media Matters:
On November 14, 1988, Reagan addressed and took questions from students from four area middle schools in the Old Executive Office Building. According to press secretary Marlin Fitzwater, the speech was broadcast live and rebroadcast by C-Span, and Instructional Television Network fed the program “t o schools nationwide on three different days.” Much of Reagan’s speech that day covered the American “vision of self-government” and the need “to keep faith with the unfinished vision of the greatness and wonder of America” but in the middle of the speech, the president went off on a tangent about the importance of low taxes:
Today, to a degree never before seen in human history, one nation, the United States, has become the model to be followed and imitated by the rest of the world. But America's world leadership goes well beyond the tide toward democracy. We also find that more countries than ever before are following America's revolutionary economic message of free enterprise, low taxes, and open world trade. These days, whenever I see foreign leaders, they tell me about their plans for reducing taxes, and other economic reforms that they are using, copying what we have done here in our country.
I wonder if they realize that this vision of economic freedom, the freedom to work, to create and produce, to own and use property without the interference of the state, was central to the American Revolution, when the American colonists rebelled against a whole web of economic restrictions, taxes and barriers to free trade. The message at the Boston Tea Party -- have you studied yet in history about the Boston Tea Party, where because of a tax they went down and dumped the tea in the Harbor. Well, that was America's original tax revolt, and it was the fruits of our labor -- it belonged to us and not to the state. And that truth is fundamental to both liberty and prosperity.
During the question-and-answer portion of the event, Reagan returned to the topic, this time telling the students that lowering taxes increases revenue:
Q My name is Cam Fitzie and I'm from St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Virginia. I was wondering if you think that it is possible to decrease the national debt without raising the taxes of the public?
PRESIDENT REAGAN: I do. That's a big argument that's going on in government and I definitely believe it is because one of the principle reasons that we were able to get the economy back on track and create those new jobs and all was we cut the taxes, we reduced them. Because you see, the taxes can be such a penalty on people that there's no incentive for them to prosper and to earn more and so forth because they have to give so much to the government. And what we have found is that at the lower rates the government gets more revenue, there are more people paying taxes because there are more people with jobs and there are more people willing to earn more money because they get to keep a bigger share of it, so today, we're getting more revenue at the lower rates than we were at the higher. And do you know something? I studied economics in college when I was young and I learned there about a man named Ibn Khaldun, who lived 1200 years ago in Egypt. And 1200 years ago he said, in the beginning of the empire, the rates were low, the tax rates were low, but the revenue was great. He said in the end of empire, when the empire was collapsing, the rates were great and the revenue was low.
Read more here.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Just a sample:
On the environment:
* Included funding for "green" jobs in the stimulus bill
* Initiated first steps to develop a legally-binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions worldwide
* Dedicated more than $60 billion for clean energy
* Instituted "cash for clunkers," getting more fuel efficient cars on the street
* Acknowledges reality of climate change and his desire to work on an international policy like Kyoto
* Overturned the federal funding ban for stem cell research
* Instituted better standards for comparative research in medicine and an agency to handle this
* Added staff to the FDA and brought back emphasis on science
* Allocated over $1 billion to the National Institutes of Health, whose budget Bush let stagnate
* Eliminated funding for abstinence-only education
* Signed an executive order repealing the "Mexico City policy" or "global gag rule" that withheld U.S. funds from organizations that discuss or provide family planning services abroad
This NYT video is very instructive about the challenges facing President Obama in passing a healthcare bill.
I am hopeful that healthcare reform will happen. I think that ultimately both sides of the political spectrum, the far right and the far left, will be pissed about the result. One side will say it goes too far, the other not far enough.
But that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Let me continue.
For the record, I am not a single-payer advocate.
There. I said it.
Now go ahead and revoke my liberal card.
The reason I am not an advocate for single-payer is not because I am a mean, selfish person who wants to deny others the benefit of healthcare.
The reason I'm not marching for single payer is because I'm skeptical. I'm not convinced our federal government could carry it off and run an efficient system. So before I carry the single-payer banner, I want to see how our government can deliver. I want to see how they pull off an optional public plan.
If the public plan is a total mess. Well thank God we didn't dismantle our entire healthcare system. If it's a success and America loves it, single payer remains on the table.
To those who are single-payer advocates, keep writing, keep calling the White House. Let them know how you feel. That's the beauty of democracy, and you will let the President know that there is a vocal part of the population that wants him to lean left.
However, I am very concerned about the rhetoric I hear coming from the left wing of this country. I have heard people calling Obama a "liar," "sell-out," that they feel Obama misrepresented himself and they feel "betrayed."
It is irrational. I've heard people who are angry because Obama has met with members of the health insurance industry to discuss the healthcare bill.
Can we get real? The President of the United States should meet with members of the health insurance industry if he's going to overhaul our healthcare system.
I think the left is unaccustomed to having power. We can only relate to being the underdog throwing stones at the halls of power. We're stuck in a frozen state of angry adolescence, unwilling to make the kind of mature choices and compromises it takes to run a country as large and diverse as the United States.
I was not around for the 1960s. My first vote was against Ronald Reagan, and I lost. I'd never seen a homeless person before, and when Reagan came into power it was almost like overnight, there were homeless people on the streets
Besides Obama, I have had ONE Democratic president in my voting lifetime. Every president I've voted for has lost.
My entire life experience has been of a country drifting farther and farther to the right in social policy. I don't mind economic conservatives having a voice at the table. I believe they bring something to offer.
But I do not want another Republican president in my lifetime... not until they shake themselves free from the Christian conservative agenda.
I hear more irrational thought from the left like: "Obama is just like Bush. He is tied to corporate interests. Corporations are evil, yadda yadda." Excuse me, but isn't a substantial part of the American population employed by corporations?
Do you really think the average American wants to see corporations fail so they can lose even more jobs?
By continuing this demonization of Obama, the far left is blowing it, big time.
People on the left work from principle, which is good because we need to always be reminded what our principles are.
But those on the right have won because of strategy and tactics. They are smart. Do not underestimate them.
We have fought hard in this last political race, let's not cede territory we fought so hard to gain. The right knows that the Democrats are a diverse group and will use this diversity against us.
...And squeak through a Mitt Romney in 2012. And then we're back to a Christian conservative agenda.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Did they not download one flyer from MYBO during the election? I did. And I never was under the impression that Obama's plan was a single-payer one, and I never canvassed people and told them so.
To those who have these views about Obama "selling out" on single payer, I submit the following, "The Wages of HillaryCare," a Wall Street Journal article from Feb. 7, 2007 detailing the differences between Hillary Clinton's healthcare plan and Obama's.
It is instructive to read the entire piece, but here are a few excerpts:
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama agree on most policy issues, but that makes their rare differences all the more revealing. To wit, their running scrap over Mrs. Clinton's "individual mandate" for health care, which Mr. Obama has now had the nerve to expose for its inevitable government coercion.
Mrs. Clinton's proposal requires everyone to buy health insurance, along with more insurance regulation, a government insurance option for everyone and tax hikes. Mr. Obama likes all that but his mandate would only apply to children. He argues that the reason many people aren't insured is because it's too expensive, not because they don't want it. Mrs. Clinton counters that coverage can't be "universal" without a mandate.
...Yet if Mrs. Clinton's plan is better because it has a mandate, how does it work in the real world, where some people still won't be able to afford insurance, or would decline to acquire it? At a recent debate, the Illinois Senator drove the point home, asking Mrs. Clinton, "You can mandate it but there will still be people who can't afford it. And if they can't afford it, what are you going to fine them? Are you going to garnish their wages?" And in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, Mrs. Clinton conceded that "we will have an enforcement mechanism" that might include "you know, going after people's wages."Read more here
Well, well. In other words, HillaryCare II isn't all about "choice," but would require financial penalties for people to pay attention, including garnishing wages. To put it more accurately, the individual mandate is really a government mandate that requires brute force plus huge subsidies to get anywhere near its goal of universal coverage.
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- Barack Obama "Single Ladies" Spoof (video)
- Defeating the Man Who Called the President a Liar
- CNN Poll: Obama Wins with Speech Watchers
- NYT: Healthcare Overhaul on Track
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- Video: President Obama's Speech to American Studen...
- The Single Payer Bogeyman
- Climate Bill Stalled by Healthcare Debate
- Obama's Speech to School Children
- Has Obama Accomplished Anything?
- Obama to Make Case for Public Option
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