On the Trail: From 8-Mile to the Amazon with Investigative Reporter Greg Palast.
From Greg Palast's ass-kicking BBC Newsnight Television exposes, as seen on Democracy Now!
Featuring Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Mike Papantonio.
Music by Willie Nelson and Foo Fighter's guitarist Chris Shiflett with Jackson United.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
David Neiwert (Orcinus), with video (07:11):
I went on Countdown last night to chat with Lawrence O'Donnell -- who was filling in for Keith Olbermann -- about Bill Clinton's remarks the other day about the never-ending bloodlust of the "vast right-wing conspiracy".
Finally, I should add that, while I disagree with Clinton on this point, I generally agreed with the overall thrust of his recent comments, particularly his warning that the "conspiracy" (as it were) remains a potent force, capable of undermining Obama's presidency in unexpected ways. One can't help but suspect that Obama has been naive on this front -- how many times does he have to reach out to Republicans and come back with a chewed-up hand to get it? -- and I suspect Clinton intended to point out the cold reality. To which I can only add: Hear! Hear!
DarcyBurner, video (01:50):
Congressman Alan Grayson (FL-08) offers up an apology after being called on by Republicans to do so for his previous remarks. I don't think it was precisely the apology they were expecting.
In her remarks in support of Sen. Charles Schmer’s (D-NY) public option amendment today, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)—the co-sponsor on the losing amendment—boiled the wisdom of the public option down to an analogy about Washington state’s top Fortune 500 company, Costco:
I know many people my colleagues here love to tell me about how they go to Costco. Well they go to Costco because somebody has bought that product in bulk and has driven down the price for them and they have driven down the price because they were able to buy in large volume.
That’s what the American people want. They want us to stand on their side, drive down the price by buying in bulk and compete with this unrelenting increase in rates that they have seen.
The Sable Verity, with audio:
It’s safe to say hell hath frozen over- Mike McGinn sat down with me last week for a 1 on 1 interview. Known for being the guy against the tunnel (to replace the AWV) McGinn is neck and neck with his opponent Joe Mallahan as they race to the election finish line- hoping to grab your vote along the way. McGinn asked to meet at a downtown coffee shop, which at times makes the interview more challenging to hear, so, apologies for that.It sounded to me as if he was saying that they wanted to outreach south and they wanted to be utilized by neighborhoods with great needs…but I never got a list or an example of one, which is just more of an observation and not a condemnation.
"What we have to do is show Max Baucus that we have the votes. Today he said he likes the public option. If he thought there were 60 votes on the floor of the Senate he'd be for it.
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|The Word - Out of the Closet|
Howie P.S.: Laugh to keep from crying. On a more serious note, "Insurance Industry Whistleblower Wendell Potter Blasts Senate Panel Rejection of Public Insurance Option," Democracy Now!, video (26:46).
Chris Grygiel, Strange Bedfellows-seattlepi.com:
The latest KING5/SurveyUSA poll shows that Seattle mayoral candidates Joe Mallahan and Mike McGinn are tied. The upcoming televised debates will be key for both candidates.
RepAlanGrayson, video (02:27).
This is Rep. Alan Grayson discussing the GOP plan for health care. Part one, don't get sick. Part two, if you do get sick... Part three, die quickly.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Howie P.S.: Did "violent rhetoric" help bury Obamacare? Charles M. Blow and Melinda Henneberger join Tweety to discuss the prospects for health care reform after today's votes on the Senate Finance Committee. For some reason, Tweety ends the segment with a conversation about the Roman Polanski case. For another take on today's vote, see "Public Option, still an option?," video (03:08) from The ED Show. Following today's vote, "Senate Dems Look to Obama to Move Health-Care Votes" (Dan Balz-WaPo).
Initiative 1033 means death for Main StreetHowie P.S.: The quote in this post's title comes from Geov Parrish.
We're all looking for a way forward out of these difficult economic times. Unfortunately, there's a measure on our ballots this November which would trap us and all of Washington State in a permanent recession: Initiative 1033, the latest ill-conceived free lunch scheme from Tim Eyman.
Initiative 1033 takes direct aim at our quality of life by freezing all public services at their current reduced levels, which would mean job losses in every city and every county across our great state.
At a time when we can barely afford to keep our first responders out on the streets and teachers in the classroom, Tim Eyman is proposing a massive freeze on services that would rob billions of dollars from our public treasury over the next five years. Public services would be eviscerated and small businesses dealt a horrible, perhaps catastrophic blow. The sad truth is that Initiative 1033 is a recipe for death on Main Street.
There's only one way to protect our communities from the harm that Initiative 1033 would cause: Vote NO.
Nurses at a Nicaraguan hospital. (Photo: interplast / flickr)El País:
One of the most contentious elements of the American health care debate right now is the proposal to create a public agency that would offer the uninsured - especially poor and low-income citizens - a nonprofit alternative to private insurance companies. President Obama has made it clear to the American people that those who already get their insurance through the private system can keep their coverage, and that their freedom of choice will be maintained in all cases at all times. But opponents of the proposed reforms - those who are fighting to defeat the president and don't care if (or actively desire that) the system remains as it is - have raised the specter of "socialized medicine": the "grave threat" of a giant state apparatus supported by intergovernmental fiscal transfers and placed in a position of competitive advantage against private insurers.
The lesson from Chile and Latin America is unambiguous: the United States should support, not fear, a public option and increased government regulation of the private corporations. This will help to expand coverage, reduce abuse and keep the insurers in check, leading to lower costs and better health and well-being for the American people.
Dwight Pelz (email), with video (03:41).
During these tough economic times, Suzan's exactly the kind of leader we need in the 8th Congressional District. And it is time that we send Reichert into retirement.
Washington State Democrats Chair
In a long-anticipated showdown, liberal Democrats twice failed on Tuesday to inject a government-run insurance option into sweeping health care legislation taking shape in the Senate, despite bipartisan agreement that private insurers must change their ways.
Baucus, Conrad and Lincoln joined all Republicans to defeat the proposal on a vote of 13-10.
Fmr. UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter Warns Against “Politically Motivated Hype” on Iran Nuke Program (with video)
Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter joins us to discuss what he calls “politically motivated hype” over Iran’s nuclear program. The Obama administration has warned of sanctions unless Iran allows inspections of a newly disclosed nuclear site. Iran insists the site has been used for peaceful purposes. The row comes just after Iran’s test-firing of medium- and long-range missiles and before Iranian officials are due to hold talks with the US and five other nations in Geneva.
Scott Ritter, former UN weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991-1998. He is author of Iraq Confidential and Target Iran and the forthcoming Dangerous Ground: America’s Failed Arms Control Policy from FDR to Obama. His latest article in the UK Guardian newspaper is Keeping Iran Honest.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Joe Mallahan, running against former Sierra Club leader Mike McGinn for Seattle mayor, on Monday released his environmental goals.
"I am committed to continue leading Seattle forward so we can be the premier city for environmental protection and innovation in North America. That means enacting creative, outcome-based strategies to protect Puget Sound, to create an open and accessible waterfront, to achieve and exceed the Kyoto climate goals, to improve transit options, to enlarge Seattle's forest canopy, and to generate family-wage, green-energy jobs," Mallahan said in a statement.
Among Mallahan's ideas: Retrofitting 10,000 homes in the city to make them more energy efficient and restoring tree canopy to 30 percent of city land area by 2037.
To read Mallahan's entire plan, continue reading. Citizens of Seattle share a common vision of a sustainable future with growing companies that help lead the world to a cleaner future. What we need now is the management experience and the ability to create strong partnerships to make that vision a reality.
Washington Outsiders (with video):
(photo: he almost cried)
We sat eating a soggy turkey sandwich and sweating like pigs at a table near home plate on Safeco Field waiting for Glenn Beck.It didn't make much sense, but it didn't matter, the crowd cheered with the rise his voice, and the timing of his punch-lines.
We scooted out fast in order to scoot up the freeway to Mount Vernon where the protest action was heavy.
Skagit County Young Democrats organized the protest. Some folks from Whatcom County went down to add their voices... I recognize several familiar faces in the video's.
Mount Vernon City Council Rejects "Glenn Beck Day"
The Army grants the officer's resignation under "other than honorable conditions"---First Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned military officer to refuse deployment to Iraq because he believed it was an illegal war, has won his three-year legal battle with the Army.
Watada, who has been working a desk job since the mistrial, was supposed to have been discharged on December 2006, but his legal proceedings have kept him at Fort Lewis' I Corps.
The 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team served three combat tours in Iraq.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
This video was created from still photos of people for all over the United States who took photos of themselves holding signs they created telling their own stories in their own word. These photos were sent to Slinkerwink of the DailyKos community, who then worked to make the video you are now watching. None of these folks was paid, or stage managed, or in any way manipulated to make these pictures or tell their stories.
Seattle Times, with video (01:38):
Beck came to Seattle amid a torrent of anger over his proclamation on July 28 that President Obama was a racist and that he believed the president has a "deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture."Howie P.S.: The complete Seattle Times story is here. The Seattle PI has a story and a photo gallery. Darryl has a "Video Tribute for Glenn Beck Day."
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Over four days and three late nights of meetings, Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee have largely stood up to Republicans’ attacks on a proposal to overhaul the health care system.
But behind the scenes and away from the C-Span cameras, their united front has given way to intraparty tensions, not just in the committee but in Congress generally.
This week, with the president occupied by global issues at the United Nations and the G-20 conference, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was enlisted to intercede with some liberals and keep them on board. In coming weeks, Democrats say, Mr. Obama will have to be much more involved.
So there I was, driving to my friends' house for dinner and babysitting last night when Howard Dean called me.I told him a lot of us were counting on him, and if he told us to support the final bill, I'd feel okay about supporting it.
On "Real Time with Bill Maher" Friday night, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said that while the American dream is not totally dead, it is "dying pretty fast," particularly when it comes to social mobility. Krugman made this statement during a lengthy discussion with former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and host Bill Maher about the troubled state of the American economy and where we are in terms of reforming the system.
Both Krugman and Spitzer expressed optimism that America could right itself in the coming years if the correct steps were taken, but they were also highly critical of the degree of inequality that has become a part of American life and the lack of reform that has so far taken place.
"On bad mornings I wake up and think that we are turning into a Latin American country," Krugman said. "But on good mornings I think, well this is America, we have always in the past managed to turn ourselves around, and there is an FDR just around the corner if we could only find him. I was kind of hoping Obama might be FDR, but maybe not.
Last night Dr. Howard Dean, former chair of the DNC and 2004 presidential hopeful, appeared in conversation with journalist Joe Conason at the 92nd Street YMCA in New York. Dean discussed his new book, Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Health Care Reform.
Later on, I had a chance to ask Dean about the prospects for passing health care reform in the Senate through budget reconciliation, a parliamentary tactic that would allow the bill to pass by majority vote and thwart a filibuster. Many Democratic strategists consider reconciliation to be extremely politically risky, but Dean is unconvinced. He argues that passing a bill through budget reconciliation is not only doable, but also likely to result in a stronger bill.
"I'm not worried about doing this through reconciliation," he said, "I think we'll probably have a better bill if it's through reconciliation because the people who are involved in the passage of the bill will only be Democrats and a very high proportion of Democrats want a public option."