Saturday, October 31, 2009

Looking at the Bible through Cartoons UPDATE

The Book of Genesis, Illustrated by R. Crumb: A Review
By Greta Christiana's Blog

It's true what they say. Sometimes, a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Especially when those pictures are drawn by Robert Crumb.

And especially when those words come from the Bible.

Crumb genesis coverFor those who haven't heard yet: Legendary comics artist Robert Crumb has just come out with his new book: The Book of Genesis, Illustrated by R. Crumb, a magnum opus, five years in the making, telling the complete, unedited book of Genesis in graphic novel form. And I'm finding it fascinating. It's masterfully illustrated, of course, Crumb being among the very best creators in this burgeoning literary form. And it's getting Genesis across to me, deep into my brain and my imagination, in a way that it had never quite gotten there before.

Crumb genesis abrahamOf course I've read Genesis. More than once. It's been a little while since I've read the whole thing all the way through, but it's not like it's unfamiliar. But there's something about seeing the story fleshed out in images to make some of its more striking narrative turns leap out and grab your brain by the root. There's nothing quite like seeing the two different creation stories enacted on the page to make you go, "Hey! That's right! Two completely different creation stories!" There's nothing quite like seeing Lot offer his daughters to be gang-raped to make you recoil in shock and moral horror. There's nothing quite like seeing the crazed dread and burning determination in Abraham's eyes as he prepares the sacrifice of his own son to make you feel the enormity of this act. Reading these stories in words conveys the ideas; seeing them in images conveys the visceral impact. It makes it all seem vividly, immediately, humanly real.

Crumb genesis abrahamNow, that is something of a mixed blessing. Spending a few days with the characters in Genesis isn't the most relaxing literary vacation you'll ever take. Richard Dawkins wasn't kidding when he said, "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction." The God character in Genesis is cruel, violent, callous, insecure, power-hungry, paranoid, hot-tempered, morally fickle... I could go on and on. And God's followers aren't much better. They lie, they scheme, they cheat one another, they conquer other villages with bloodthirsty imperialist glee, they kill at the drop of a hat. This isn't Beatrix Potter here. It's more like Dangerous Liaisons by way of Quentin Tarantino. With tents, sand, and sheep.

Yet at the same time, there's an unexpected side effect to reading this story in images as well as words. And that's that the story becomes more... well, more of a story. Reading it in comics form made it easier for me to set aside, just for a moment, the relentless hammering on the text that I typically engage in when I read the Bible: the theological debates, the treasure hunt for inaccuracies and inconsistencies, the incessant "How did this pissy, jealous, temperamental warrior god get shoehorned into the All-Knowing All-Powerful All-Good ideal again?" bafflement. It made it easier to set all that aside... and just read it as a story. A story about some very human, very fallible characters: strong and interesting, but not moral paragons by any stretch of the imagination... and not really intended to be.

Crumb_Genesis rain of fireIncluding the God character. Who, in many ways, is the most human and the most fallible of them all.

[Click on pictures to enlarge]

Read more>>>here.

Crumb Genesis adam eve

UPDATE: For another review see:

Crumb’s Genesis

by Paul W. Morris

Keep on truckin’ in the Garden of Eden.

In the beginning...

Liz Cheney, The Defender of Lies

Lawrence O'Donnell tears into Liz Cheney for her remarks criticizing President Obama for his visit to Dover AFB. Liz Cheney lies again. Chip off the old block.

Via Crooks and Liars:

O'DONNELL: When President Obama honored our Afghanistan war dead by taking part in a military ritual at Dover Air Force Base yesterday, it was easily predictable that a Republican would criticize him for it. And in our fourth story on the Countdown, the former Vice President's pet attack dog, his daughter Liz Cheney, has now done just that. And once again, she wasn't going to let the facts get in the way.

On the John Gibson radio show yesterday, Ms. Cheney was rehashing her father's fact-free critique of President Obama's war in Afghanistan, and then Mr. Gibson asked her about the President's appearance at Dover Air Force Base.

LIZ CHENEY (RADIO AUDIO): I don't know why he went to Dover. I mean, I think that clearly it is very important for a commander-in-chief, whenever he can in whatever way it possible, to pay tribute to our fallen soldiers, our fallen military folks. But, I think, you know, what President Bush used to do was to it without the cameras, and I don't understand sort of showing up with the White House Press Pool with photographers and asking the family if you can take pictures. I just... that's really hard for me to get my head around—I think it's an honorable and important thing for us to pay tribute. There's no greater sacrifice people make to the nation. But, it was a surprising way for the President to choose to do it.

O'DONNELL: As we mentioned yesterday, President Bush never went to Dover Air Force Base to honor dead American soldiers on their final journey. And Vice President Cheney... never did either.

Hey Liz, have you ever lost a relative in battle? I have. My cousin Johnny, West Point graduate like his father before him. I wish the President or the Vice President had met his casket on the way home.

You know what 'never' means, Liz? It means zero. It means that in over seven years of two wars, your dad never left the comfort of his White House office or the Vice President's mansion and got himself up to Dover to bear witness to how his warmongering fell on families of dead American soldiers. Never, not once.

Liz, don't let your dad do this to you. Don't let him parade you onto the stage to defend the indefensible. Let him suffer the full weight of the shame that we know he must feel when he watches Barack Obama do what he never had the decency to do.

President Bush did meet with grieving military families in private, and he went to military hospitals to visit the wounded. As for Ms. Cheney's reference to cameras, the policy of banning media coverage of coffins continued unaltered throughout the Bush administration. Thus, even families that wanted media coverage of their loved one's ceremony were not given any choice in the matter.

Furthermore, President Obama did not make any special requests to any of yesterday's eighteen families as Ms. Cheney implies, I mean lies. The vast majority of those families had already made their individual decisions about media coverage under the current policy before the notification that President Obama would be part of the ceremony.

As for Dick Cheney, when he was Vice President, he sometimes met with the war wounded, but like President Bush, he never went to Dover, either. Never.

And a reminder, Mr. Cheney successfully sought out five deferments from the draft to avoid having to serve his country in the Vietnam War. Mr. Cheney's fifth and final deferment a result of his wife's becoming pregnant with Liz. Mr. Cheney was granted a 3A status, the hardship exemption by his draft board, which was available to men with children at that time.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Another South Carolina Republican Sex Scandal

The Family Values Party

It's Time to Rethink Strategies

President Obama has a difficult decision to make in Afghanistan. Should the U.S. add more troops, or change strategies in Afghanistan?

Matthew Hoh, a highly regarded U.S. foreign service officer, who also served as a Marine captain in Iraq, has made his decison.
Hoh has resigned over what he sees as a hopeless situation in Afghanistan. In his resignation letter, Hoh said he had "lost understanding" of why the U.S. is fighting, and that the presence of foreign soldiers just fuels the insurgency.
Glenn Greenwald thinks Hoh's resignation is remarkable.
[I]t entails the sort of career sacrifice in the name of principle that has been so rare over the last decade, but even more so because of the extraordinary four-page letter (.pdf) he wrote explaining his reasoning.

Hoh's letter should be read in its entirety, but I want to highlight one part. He begins by noting that "next fall, the United States' occupation will equal in length the Soviet Union's own physical involvement in Afghanistan," and contends that our unwanted occupation combined with our support for a deeply corrupt government "reminds [him] horribly of our involvement in South Vietnam." He then explains that most of the people we are fighting are not loyal to the Taliban or driven by any other nefarious aim, but instead are driven principally by resistance to the presence of foreign troops in their provinces and villages.
The Pashtun insurgency, which is composed of multiple, seemingly infinite, local groups, is fed by what is perceoved by the Pashtun people as a continued and sustained assault, going back centuries, on Pashtun land, culture, traditions and religion by internal and external enemies.

The United States military presence in Afghanistan greatly contributes to the legitimacy and strategic message of the Pashtun insurgency.

As John Nichols sums up Hoh's words, the continued U.S. presence is making things worse rather than better in Afghanistan.That's not a radical conclusion.

It parallels statements made by veteran Central Intelligence Agency analysts, diplomats and soldiers in Robert Greenwald's powerful documentary, "Rethink Afghanistan."

As such, the decorated Marine says, the point of the continued occupation is called into question.

Making his objections known as President Obama is weighing calls for a dramatic expansion of the U.S. military force in Afghanistan, Hoh's letter is a blockbuster.

As Glenn Greenwald asks:

How long are we going to continue to do this? We invade and occupy a country, and then label as "insurgents" or even "terrorists" the people in that country who fight against our invasion and occupation. With the most circular logic imaginable, we then insist that we must remain in order to defeat the "insurgents" and "terrorists" -- largely composed of people whose only cause for fighting is our presence in their country.

Breaking CA News

Via Los Angeles Times

The San Francisco mayor is withdrawing from the Democratic primary amid lackluster poll numbers and meager fundraising receipts. His withdrawal leaves state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown with little opposition in the primary.

Who Gets Credit for the Stimulus?

Is the stimulus working?

The figures show that July through September, the economy grew at a rate of 3.5%.

Can you imagine?

I feel like we should all be in Times Square kissing strangers. Except that gets you arrested now.

In any case -- does the stimulus get the credit. What are the economists saying?

"This is very much in line with an economy that is growing of its own merit not simply because of support from government."

The economy growing on its OWN. So -- if the numbers are showing MORE than just the effect of Cash for Clunkers, does that mean the stimulus was the spark, or would the economy have recovered without it?

I can answer that! If this turns out to be a real recovery -- there is NO WAY the stimulus gets the credit.

Remember what people were calling it?

"Relentless march towards Socialism designed to subvert the work of the individual."

It was socialism:

"We're here to stop Barack Obama's Socialist revolution."

In fact it was worse than Socialism: (!)

"I think he's a Fascist."


"Non-violent Fascism."

So no way the Obama stimulus gets the credit because that would mean that the capitalist's best friend is fascism.

But then who SHOULD get the credit! I say it's this guy:

"The Bible teaches that God wants you rich, that God wants you to have more than enough."

And this guy:

"Money is trying to get in to your hands right now even as I speak."

And maybe even this guy who keeps calling me:

"Hi, this is Victor Simmons with Suburban Debt Solutions. We'll even loan you $1000 to get you started."

I feel like kissing a stranger.

A Perpetual Revulsion Arm

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
For Fox Sake!
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Legalized Corruption

Sen Joe Leiberman against the filibuster until he's for the filibuster.

Rachel Maddow discusses Lieberman's anti-Democratic position with Glenn Greenwald in: Lieberman, Bought & Paid For!


h/t Crooks and Liars:

Maddow: Sen. Lieberman has made it very clear that he plans to oppose health reform that includes a public option. He’ll filibuster it in fact which would be historic. What do you think is motivating him?

Greenwald: Well I think you have to look first of all at a Research 2000 Daily KOS poll that was taken last month that shows that a margin of 68 to 21% of Connecticut voters, the people who he’s essentially representing, favor a public option. That’s a 47 point margin which is almost impossible to find on almost any other issue. So when you ask why he’s doing this, it’s clearly not because the people he’s supposed to be representing favor it.

I think clearly what it’s about is primarily that fact that the industry that he’s serving by doing this—by preventing competition with the public option—is an industry from which he receives very substantial benefits. He’s drowning in campaign contributions from the insurance industry, the health care industry, the pharmaceutical industry—more than $2.5 million.

In early 2005 his wife was hired by a large P.R. firm, Hill & Knowlton, in the pharmaceutical division, which at the time was representing the health care giant Glaxo in major legislation before the Senate. And several months later Joe Lieberman was on the floor of the Senate offering legislation that would directly steer huge amounts of incentives to that company in order to develop vaccines.

So I think what you’re seeing here is the kind of legalized corruption, legalized bribery that runs the United States Senate; only in this case it’s particularly sleazy and transparent because Lieberman is ready to gut the major initiative of the Democratic Party.

Maddow: In doing so, using a procedural tactic that he’s in part made his name by opposing is the thing that’s so dramatic. Sen. Lieberman of course—he made this big announcement yesterday—today Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana followed suit saying that he reserves the right now not only to filibuster the final vote, but even to filibuster earlier than that any debate on a bill that he’s not happy with. Sen. Bayh—we had thought that other conservative Democrats might follow Lieberman’s lead here, he sort of threw the door open and now presumably Bayh and maybe even others will follow. Can you say anything about what may be motivating Bayh.

Greenwald: Well, let’s look at Sen. Bayh. His wife sits on the Board of Directors of WellPoint, one of the largest health insurance companies in the nation. They own by their own disclosures between $500,000 and a million dollars just of WellPoint stock alone. And as I think you reported yesterday when Sen. Lieberman threatened to filibuster to the public option as one would expect the value of the stock of the health care industries and the health care companies skyrocketed—which directly benefited, personally benefited the finances of the Bayh family.

Let me just quickly reference this column two weeks ago by Dan Carpenter, a columnist for the Indianapolis Sun, who knows Sen. Bayh the best. He talks about how his wife is benefiting directly from the very actions Sen. Bayh is taking in the Senate to block health care reform—financially benefiting his family. And he wrote “after it became clear he was going to be a Senator, Susan Bayh started stacking up memberships on the board of health care corporations. Susan Bayh got paid a little over $2 million for her service between 2006 and 2008. Her husband had a good 2008 also, collecting more than $500,000 in campaign donations from the health care industry.

And now these very same people who receive enormous amounts of benefits, in Lieberman’s case from camp contributions and through his wife and also in Bayh’s case are not ignoring their constituents and the interest of their country to serve the very industries that enrich them. It’s really clear corruption.

It is time that the voters of Connecticut and Indiana vote Sen. Lieberman and Sen.Bayh out of the office. Voters need to support Progressive Democrats who will vote for the interests of their constituents and not just for the lobbyist who are lining the politicians' greedy pockets.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wake Up President Obama!


Not a Sunrise, but a Galaxy Rise

The sky calls to us
If we do not destroy ourselves
We will one day venture to the stars

John Boswell's musical tribute to two great men of science. Carl Sagan and his cosmologist companion Stephen Hawking present: A Glorious Dawn - Cosmos remixed. [h/t Crooks and Liars]


If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch
You must first invent the universe

Space is filled with a network of wormholes
You might emerge somewhere else in space
Some when-else in time

The sky calls to us
If we do not destroy ourselves
We will one day venture to the stars

A still more glorious dawn awaits
Not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise
A morning filled with 400 billion suns
The rising of the milky way

The Cosmos is full beyond measure of elegant truths
Of exquisite interrelationships
Of the awesome machinery of nature

I believe our future depends powerfully
On how well we understand this cosmos
In which we float like a mote of dust
In the morning sky

But the brain does much more than just recollect
It inter-compares, it synthesizes, it analyzes
it generates abstractions

The simplest thought like the concept of the number one
Has an elaborate logical underpinning
The brain has its own language
For testing the structure and consistency of the world

For thousands of years
People have wondered about the universe
Did it stretch out forever
Or was there a limit

From the big bang to black holes
From dark matter to a possible big crunch
Our image of the universe today
Is full of strange sounding ideas

How lucky we are to live in this time
The first moment in human history
When we are in fact visiting other worlds

The surface of the earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean
Recently we've waded a little way out
And the water seems inviting

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What You Don't Like...Change It!!!

Andy Schlafly, the son of anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly, has been known to counter "liberal" views. In 2006, he launched a wiki site called
Conservapedia as an alternative to Wikipedia which "he felt become dominated by liberal and anti-Christian bias."

Now he has come to the conclusion that the King James Version of the Bible needs to be free from liberal bias. Therefore, Schlafly has decided to rewrite the Bible through a new online wiki format.

Joseph Laycock and Thomas Fabisiak have recently spoken of Schlafly's project in their article, The Conservative Bible Project: Looking for Conservative Diamonds in a Liberal Dung-Hill.
While the Conservative Bible Project (CBP) has so far been regarded largely as a joke, it does raise some interesting questions. The idea of writing a sacred text through a wiki is largely unprecedented. The CPB also marks an escalation in what Robert S. McElvaine has called “Grand Theft Jesus”—the appropriation of the Christian tradition for political ends. Is Schlafly a profoundly cynical politician, attempting to manipulate religion in a way that would put Machiavelli and Karl Rove to shame? Or does he truly believe that the Bible has been tainted by “liberalism” for over a thousand years?

Even leaving aside the question of historical or linguistic accuracy, however, this project presents serious problems for those scholars, ministers, and lay-people concerned with the ethics of intepretation. One would have to question the grounds of understanding young girls to be “temptresses” or “bimbos,” for example, or of excising a passage in which Jesus defends a woman from being stoned to death for adultery because it is too “liberal.”
Is it sacrilegious or just ridiculous?

Gil Ross has suggested that this is just an example of the Gospel According to the SSSRWNJ's.*

*Sanctimonious Shrilly Screaming Right-Wing Nut Jobs

Monday, October 26, 2009

Religion - Not a Laughing Matter

Via AlterNet, remember the days when Al Franken used his humor to make a point. In the video below is Al Franken's animated comic strip, "Gospel of Supply-Side Jesus."

We can laugh at Franken's "Supply-Side Jesus."

But what is not a laughable matter is an article by Adele M. Stan at AlterNet entitled, Meet the Senators in the Creepy Right-Wing Cult Trying to Defeat Health Care Reform. This is an in depth look into the Republican Senators and Representatives of Congress who are members of a right-wing religious cult known as The Family.

You could chalk it up to nothing more than pure partisanship, this obstructionism on the part of these Republicans. Or you could say that the ideology-cum-theology of The Family, which has spent decades consolidating power within the GOP, has at last come to dominate the party even among those who do not belong to the cult. [...]

The people of South Carolina, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nevada, Kansas and Wyoming find themselves represented by at least one U.S. senator who belongs to The Family. If he subscribes to the theology of the cult of which he is a member, the senator believes himself to be anointed to his lofty position by Jesus himself -- a Jesus who tells him that his constituents' health care dilemmas are of no consequence to God; they are just the natural order of things as deemed by him.

The Jesus worshiped by The Family is neither Jesus the peacemaker, the champion of the poor, nor even Christ the personal savior. He is Jesus the power broker, who works his will through well-situated men committed to free enterprise of a most unregulated sort.

The Family members believe that God is all powerful and all controlling.

Things are as they are in the world because that's the way God wants them. The poor are poor because God ordained it to be so -- a condition that they may have earned through disobedience to the creator. The powerful are powerful -- be they murderous dictators or corporate polluters -- because they are God's chosen. Any regulated economic system, according to this theology, is less than godly, because regulation forestalls the exercise of free will.

Who are the Representatives and Senators in Congress who are members of The Family?

In the Senate members include: Sens. Charles Grassley [R-IA]; Sen. Jim DeMint [R-SC]; Sen. Tom Coburn [R-OK]; Sen. John Ensign [R-NV]; Sen. James Inhofe, [R-OK].

In the House of Representatives members include: Mike Enzi [R-WY]; Zach Wamp [R-TN]; Joe Pitts [R-PN]; and Frank Wolf [R-VA].

Government regulation is not acceptable!

There appear to be only two decipherable things about the God of The Family: his unyielding disdain for government regulation of any kind and his demand for obedience to that notion.

The Family's notion of free-market capitalism...any attempt to regulate a market means you're messing with God. This doctrine is known, in The Family's language, as "Biblical capitalism."

And so government services, by this doctrine, are against God's will; they interfere with God's markets, skewing values and disturbing the natural order of things, just as a public health-insurance plan would do to the current insurance industry. Having been exempt from anti-trust law since 1946, the health-insurance business must be as close to godly perfection as one can get, in the minds of The Family's key men.

And what of the poor and suffering, the health care-related defaults on mortgages that claim 60 percent of all home foreclosures? What of those who have no health insurance? They are simply not among the anointed. Or worse, according to a report commissioned by The Family, the cause of their poverty, the cause of all poverty, is "disobedience."

Is healthcare a privilege or a right?

South Carolina's DeMint told a reporter from his hometown newspaper, the Charleston Post and Courier, "I think health care is a privilege. I wouldn't call it a right. ..." On the House side, Family member Zach Wamp of Tennessee told MSNBC's Tameron Hall virtually the same thing in March: "Health care is a privilege."

One issue which has arisen in this healthcare debate is whether Senators and Representatives should read the legislation before they vote on it.

Sen James Inhofe, [R-OK] seemed untroubled by that dilemma: his religion would appear to demand that he oppose health care reform as a matter of principle.

As a government disruption of God's free markets, the very concept, by The Family's reckoning, is an abomination. At an August town-hall meeting, Inhofe told residents of Chickasha, Okla., according to the Express-Star of Grady County, that "he does not need to read the 1,000-page health care reform bill, he will simply vote against it." Inhofe explained: "I don't have to read it, or know what's in it. I'm going to oppose it anyways."

Appearing on C-SPAN's Washington Journal last month, Inhofe was asked by a caller to explain what bearing, if any, his religion had on his politics. "I'm a follower of Jesus," he said, "and I’m not embarrassed about it."

Other members of the Family have been in the news lately regarding other issues.

South Carolina Republican Gov. Mark Sanford, who disappeared for five days in August, ostensibly hiking the Appalachian Trail while actually visiting his Argentine mistress, and former Rep. Chip Pickering, R-La., whose affair led his wife to sue his alleged mistress for loss of affection. [...]

While the apparent hypocrisy of fallen, self-righteous prudes will grab the spotlight every time, The Family's other scandals -- its cozy relationships with despots around the world, its embrace of big business at the expense of the poor, its reinvention of Jesus as a figure contraindicated by his teachings -- should be of far greater concern to the rest of us. Especially when one considers the group's longevity and its extraordinary power.

"Showdown in Chicago"

Taxpayers in Chicago are in the midst of a series of demonstrations against Wall Street banks and their lobbyists to call for financial reform, reclaim America and hold Wall Street accountable.

BUT this story cannot be found in the Chicago Sun-Times or the Chicago Tribune.

Dylan Ratigan spoke about the demonstration on his morning show.

Also The Huffington Post has an article with pictures.

The American Bankers Association's annual convention in Chicago has become the scene for a series of major protests, which are set to continue through Tuesday. Dubbed "the Showdown in Chicago."

Groups like the National People's Action, the Service Employees International Union, Americans For Financial Reform and the AFL-CIO are expected to turn out with thousands of protesters. Sen. Richard Durbin (D - Illinois) is scheduled to address the protesters Sunday evening. Conference speakers include Newt Gingrich, conservative columnist George Will and FDIC chairman Sheila Bair.

Here's a video of Sen. Durbin's speech:

Click on Showdown in Chicago for more information.

Here's a picture of a banner that greeted conference attendees during their riverboat cruise through Chicago.

When the "Teabaggers" were protesting and asking for less government control, the media was on the story 24 hours.

Where is the mainstream media when American taxpayers are protesting government bank bailouts and asking for more government oversight and regulation of banks?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The GOP Plan

Here's an ad from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee about the differences between Republicans and Democrats. If the Republicans have any solutions to America's problems, they sure aren't sharing. So what is the GOP's plan?

A Republican for Everything

Regarding Republicans in Congress:
The Republican party today has little interest in developing constructive policy. Its reps would rather spend their energy offering up ridiculous claims to see if they can ride a wave of deceit back into power. Hopefully, they’ll just catch a riptide and get pulled further out to sea. GOP'n...

Protesting with a Song

American's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) is the powerful insurance lobby that spends 5 million dollars a week trying to kill health care reform. Billionaires for Wealthcare is a grassroots network looking to stop them - with song. •...

Rachel Maddow has info on Billionaires for Wealthcare and suggests that they are the antidote for the 9/12'ers. WATCH:

"Thank you for supporting the billionaires, woooo!" "We want the status quo!" "The status quo IS wealthcare!" they shouted.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Getting Attention!!!

Sen Bernie Sanders Unfiltered

On Healthcare Reform

One of the reasons that I am a strong proponent of a single-payer, Medicare-for-all proposal is that it is much less complicated than what we are going to end up with in Congress. A single-payer approach saves hundreds of billions of dollars a year because you don’t end up with thousands of different health insurance programs appealing to all different kinds of people and costing a fortune to administer. I am going to continue the fight for single-payer. I am cautiously optimistic that we may end up with legislation that will allow states to go forward with single-payer if they want to.

Friday, October 23, 2009

VP Cheney's Fuzzy Math

Via Washington Monthly

"What Vice President Cheney calls 'dithering, President Obama calls his solemn responsibility to the men and women in uniform and the American public,'" Gibbs said. "I think we've all seen what happens when somebody doesn't take that responsibility seriously."

That's a pretty good response, actually.

Now, if you watch the whole clip, you'll notice that Gibbs repeatedly references a request for additional troops and resources for the conflict in Afghanistan from Gen. David McKiernan in early 2008 -- a request that Gibbs argues Bush/Cheney put off for the next administration to deal with.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Republicans in Congress Think the Public Option is OK for them...

...but not anyone else!

Did you know that 151 members of Congress already have a "public option" for their healthcare services.

Yup, they “currently receive government-funded; government-administered single-payer health care — Medicare” according to Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY). His office released an internal study .

Of those 151 members, 55 are Republicans who also happen to be “steadfastly opposed [to] other Americans getting the public option, like the one they have chosen.”

Included on Weiner’s list are anti-public option crusaders Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Orin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and Rep. Peter King (R-NY).

This morning on C-Span, Weiner explained the idea behind the project:

WEINER: It’s more another way of looking at this debate, this discussion about the public option, to put it in focus. We went, just out of curiosity, looked at how many members of Congress get the public option. And I know a lot of people have said, “Well under the new bill, how many of you members of Congress would choose the public option?”

Well there already is one; it’s called Medicare. And we found 55 Republicans and 151 members of Congress are on Medicare right now. So they’re already getting the same type of public option that we’d like people who are without insurance to be able to get. And I guess the purpose of this list was to kind of point out some of the hypocrisy of this debate.

“You have members of Congress thumping their chest how they’re against government health care,” Weiner noted, adding, “and yet when it’s time for them to accept Medicare, they’re like, ‘Sign me up!’” Watch it:

Back in July, Weiner offered an amendment that would eliminate Medicare, saying at the time that it was “put-up or shut-up time for the phonies who deride the so-called ‘public option.’” Of course, no one voted for the measure.

“Even in a town known for hypocrisy,” Weiner said in a statement today releasing his study, “this list of 55 Members of Congress deserve some sort of prize. They apparently think the public option is ok for them, but not anyone else.