Saturday, June 30, 2012

Howard Dean Slams WSJ‘s ObamaCare Op-Ed: I ‘Generally Don’t Bother’ With WSJ Editorials' (with video)

Alex Alvarez, MEDIAite with video (07:03):
“Really?” asked Scarborough. “Does that mean I shouldn’t read the editorial page of the New York Times?”

“I usually don’t read that either, except for Kristoff and Krugman,” Dean responded.

“That was a silly thing to write,” he then said of the WSJ piece, calling it utterly wrong.

Dean went on to comment that ObamaCare is a very “centrist” piece of legislation and a “relatively free market reform,” which is “probably one of the reasons why I don’t like it.” MORE...

(Updated) the FIELD NEGRO: "American Intellectuals"

UPDATE: Let the record show I doorbelled for Obama, Inslee and Cantwell for two hours this morning in West Seattle.

I was going to write something about the politics of the Supreme Court decision on Thursday, but, quite frankly, I am sick of politics in this country and all the players who are involved with it.

Most of us who know how America really works, and how the political parties function, understand that it doesn't matter who is in the White House or who controls the halls of congress. We know that real power in America comes from lobbyist and the people who can afford to pay them. Politicians who go to Washington need money to get elected and John Q. Public cannot afford to write a big enough check. MORE...

Sandra Fluke: "Why Obamacare is worth fighting for against Mitt Romney's repeal threat"

Sandra Fluke (GuardianUK):
Now that the supreme court has declared, once and for all, the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, much of the debate has turned to the politics of the ruling and what it means for the coming election. It's events like Thursday's that shine a light on the stark contrasts between our two presidential candidates.

In the hours after yesterday's ruling, Governor Romney wasted no time reminding us that repealing Obamacare will be a top priority if he's elected, egged on by congressional Republicans who had already scheduled a vote to dismantle the law. Meanwhile, President Obama continued to focus on the real-world benefits this law will bring to millions of Americans.

I agree with the president that we cannot lose sight of the human impact this law will have on young women and men just graduating from college; on mothers, fathers, and children alike. And while the supreme court's decision was a decisive victory for the American people, it does also underscore just how much is at stake in this election. MORE...

(Updated) The Blethen Times Lamely Loves McKenna

UPDATE: I just read Sanders' piece in The Garfield Messenger (from the May 25th issue, not online yet) about his experience as a high school newspaper editor. My daughter also benefited greatly from her experience as an editor there when she was a high school senior.

Eli Sanders (SLOG):
So. Inslee is better on financial reform, better on media consolidation, better on foreign wars, better on the environment, and basically—as the Times writes later—the same as McKenna on education. He also happens to agree with the Times in its support of gay marriage (unlike McKenna). But! But! MORE...
H/to Marcia Kato.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Obama’s Big Health Care Win: An Incredible Stroke of Luck"

David Goldman / AP/"Supporters of President Barack Obama's health care law celebrate outside the Supreme Court in Washington, on June 28, 2012, after the court's ruling was announced."

Michael Grunwald (TIME):
During the Tea Party summer of 2009, when suburban revolutionaries with funny hats and nasty signs began screaming about Obamacare and tyranny, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel urged the President to settle for a less comprehensive health plan. But Obama said no, he felt lucky. At the end of the summer, after Obama’s approval ratings had sagged and Obamacare’s approval ratings had plunged, Emanuel asked during an Oval Office meeting whether he still felt lucky.

“My name is Barack Hussein Obama and I’m sitting here,” said Obama, in an anecdote first reported by Jonathan Alter in his book The Promise. “So yeah, I’m feeling pretty lucky." MORE...

Melissa Harris-Perry on the SCOTUS Decision (video)

MSNBC, video (05:29).

"Howard Dean on Healthcare Ruling: 'The President Won' " (interview by Ari Berman)

Ari Berman (The Nation):
Few politicians know as much about healthcare as Howard Dean, a former physician, five-term governor of Vermont and president candidate. Dean has long been an advocate for universal healthcare, although he was critical of the Obama Administration’s handling of healthcare legislation in 2009-2010, particularly the lack of a public insurance option in the final bill (which Dean ultimately supported). I interviewed Dean today about the political and policy ramifications of the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act.

Ari Berman: What was your reaction to the healthcare ruling?

Howard Dean: I was surprised. Like many people, I was shocked that Justice Roberts sided with upholding the bill and somewhat surprised and disappointed that Justice Kennedy voted to get rid of the entire thing along with the three right-wing justices.

I was glad that the president won a victory. But this pretty much ends the debate about the nature of the private sector in the healthcare business—it’s here to stay in a very big way. This is, after all, a Republican bill. Not the Republicans that we see today, but the moderate Republican wing under Mitt Romney in Massachusetts—this is their bill. For the foreseeable future there will be those who wish we had a single-payer healthcare system, but that’s not going to happen in Washington anytime soon. MORE...

"How the Supreme Court's Healthcare Ruling Boosts Obama's Reelection Bid"

Tim Dickinson (Rolling Stone):
"It's constitutional. Bitches." —Patrick Gaspard, Executive Director, DNC

Obamacare lives. And, with it, Barack Obama's case for a second term.

In laying the groundwork for 2012, Obama and Mitt Romney have had dueling imperatives: The president needs to make sure that the November election is a choice. Romney needs to make it an up-or-down referendum.

In Team Obama's frame, choosing to reelect the president is a vote to continue moving "Forward"; choosing Romney is a vote to return to the policies that created our current pain.

That frame only works, however, if you can demonstrate that you're, in fact, creating forward progress that's easing the pain. And June has been a hazardous month for that narrative. The nation's slow, steady economic recovery appeared to stall out. Job growth flatlined. Then Obama gaffed, calling the private sector's stagnating performance "fine."

The June gloom played right into Team Romney's frame: "Obama isn't working." The president hasn't delivered. You need to vote him out of office (by, oh yeah, voting for me.) The upshot of this referendum model is that you don't even have to like Romney, just so long as you want to oust Obama.

Now, imagine for a moment that the president's signature legislative accomplishment had gone down the tubes this morning, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the dissenters in finding the Affordable Care Act "invalid in its entirety."

The Romney camp could have rightly blasted Obama for two years of wasted effort. MORE...

H/t to Ari Berman.

"Obamacare Upheld: How and Why Did Justice Roberts Do It?"

David Cole (The Nation):
So why did Roberts do it? In part, the outcome reflects the fact that the truly radical position in this dispute was that of the challengers. Even very conservative lower court judges, including Jeffrey Sutton of the Sixth Circuit and Laurence Silberman of the DC Circuit, had concluded that the law was valid (although on Commerce Clause, not taxing power, grounds). But in addition, I cannot help but think that at the back of Roberts’ mind was the Court’s institutional standing. Had the law been struck down on “party lines,” the Court’s reputation would be seriously undermined. In May, the Pew Research Center reported that favorable views of the Supreme Court as an institution had reached an all-time low. Sharply divided partisan decisions like Bush v. Gore and Citizens United appear to have done damage to the Court’s legitimacy—and ultimately, its legitimacy is the source of the Court’s power. Today’s result, which upholds the actions of the democratically elected branches on a major piece of social welfare legislation that affects us all against a challenge that was always a real long shot, driven more by politics than legal principle, may help repair the Court’s tarnished image. MORE...

WA: "Inslee says it's time to make health care law work"

Congressman Jay Inslee, the Democrat running for governor of Washington, says the Supreme Court upheld the health care law despite "enormous political pressure by Republican attorneys general."

In a statement Thursday, Inslee says he hopes Republicans do not see the ruling as an opportunity for further partisan bickering.

Inslee says both parties need to make the law work for the American people.
Howie P.S.: Or as Tim Gunn says, "Make it work!"


Video from Democracy Now!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Obama prepping thousands of lawyers for election"

Mike Baker (AP):
OLYMPIA, Wash. — President Barack Obama's campaign has recruited a legion of lawyers to be on standby for this year's election as legal disputes surrounding the voting process escalate.

Thousands of attorneys and support staffers have agreed to aid in the effort, providing a mass of legal support that appears to be unrivaled by Republicans or precedent. Obama's campaign says it is particularly concerned about the implementation of new voter ID laws across the country, the possibility of anti-fraud activists challenging legitimate voters and the handling of voter registrations in the most competitive states. MORE...

WA: "Rally in Response to the Supreme Court’s Health Care Decision"

Washington Community Action Network:
Attend a rapid response event near you!

This Thursday, the US Supreme Court is expected to rule on Rob McKenna’s partisan challenge to the Affordable Care Act - President Obama’s health care reform law. It’s perhaps the most anticipated Supreme Court ruling in our nation’s history.

Regardless of the outcome, we’ll be ready.
Please RSVP on Washington Community Action Network's web site.

Thursday, June 28 outside the Attorney General's offices around the state

800 Fifth Avenue

SPOKANE - noon
1116 W Riverside Avenue

115 E Railroad
TACOMA - 4pm
1250 Pacific Avenue

8127 W. Klamath Court, Kennewick

103 E Holly St

18 S Mission St

EVERETT - 10am
3501 Colby Avenue

OLYMPIA - 12:15pm
1125 Washington St SE

YAKIMA - noon
1433 Lakeside Court

Matt Taibbi: "On Hunter Thompson and Why Barack Obama Isn't a Great Shark"

Eric Sundermann (Village Voice):
What do you think Thompson would say about Obama?
I think he'd be disappointed. I think he would've liked him at first. I think he would've wanted to believe in him. Obama would've been his McGovern in '08. And I think he would've been disappointed afterwards. I hope. That's my impression. He went through that cycle with a number of politicians, I guess Carter comes to mind. He really liked Carter at first, but then he got turned off to Carter over time. His tendency was to fall in love with politicians and then fall out of love after he got a good look at them.
It's not like, you know, he (Obama) tried to fight the good fight and he couldn't overcome the bureaucracy in Washington. There just was never a fight. He never tried. That's got to be on him. MORE...

"Dems go AWOL in class war"

Jonathan Martin (Politico):
“If you vote to break up the major banks, within weeks you’ll be flooded with millions of dollars in attack ads,” observed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont). “If on one hand your allies are not as strong as they used to be and your opponents are much stronger, then you get more nervous.”

Just under 12 percent of the American workforce belonged to a union in 2011 — down from a ’50s-era high of about 35 percent.

“The labor union movement is the movement that carries [populism] into the Democratic Party, and as it gets weaker populism has gotten weaker,” lamented Robert Borosage, a longtime liberal activist who heads the Campaign for America’s Future. MORE...

Howie P.S.: This is not what I wanted to read this morning.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

MIchelle Obama to OFA Team @HQ: "You all are doing a great job!" (photo)


From Michelle Obama, on Twitter.

"How Badly Will SCOTUS Screw Up Obamacare?" (Updated)

"Uninsured patients receiving care at a free clinic."

Jonathan Chait:
The Supreme Court is likely to announce soon if it has decided to declare the individual mandate unconstitutional. (Which is to say, it’s announcing whether Anthony Kennedy hates health care reform a lot or only a little, because everybody assumes the other four Republican justices hate it so much they’ll declare it unconstitutional.)

As you can tell, I’m already bitter about this, as the constitutionality of the individual mandate is so obvious that the mere fact that the controversy exists suggests a frightening will to power by the legal arm of the conservative movement. But, as we consider the possible outcomes, it’s worth keeping in mind something that is not likely to come through in the news coverage: The vast majority of the bill is likely to stay in place. MORE...

Howie P.S.:
Pithy quotes from Chait-

"Conservatives tend toward triumphalism, liberals tend toward despair, and the news media tends to overplay the importance of whatever thing just happened."

"If the Court strikes down the mandate, I will lose my shit. But striking the mandate would not end the law, or even most of the law."
Howie P.P.S.: Public Option Advocates To Push Medicare For All If Supreme Court Strikes ‘Obamacare.’

Tomgram: "And You Thought It Would Be Easy? Graduating the Class of 2012 Onto Our Overheated Planet"

[Note: No one invited me to give this graduation speech. It was concocted freely in the campus of my mind and it’s meant for the rest of us in the class of 2012.]

Class of 2012, greetings! It’s a deceptively glorious day, even under this tent in the broiling heat of an August-style afternoon in mid-June on this northeastern campus. Another local temperature record is being set: 98 degrees. And yes, let’s admit it, the heat, the sun, the clearness of the azure blue sky stretching without a cloud to the horizon, the sense of summer descending with a passion, it’s not quite as reassuring as it might once have been, is it? I suspect that few of you, readying yourselves to leave this campus, many mortgaged to your eyeballs (some for life no matter what you do), and heading into a country on edge, imagine personal clear skies to the horizon. MORE..

Seattle: "DOJ discouraged by talks, accuses city of 'negotiating in the press' "

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Police Chief John Diaz. Photo: JOSHUA TRUJILLO / SEATTLEPI.COM. (no byline):
On Monday, Mayor Mike McGinn released a number of documents that show how little progress has been made since the investigation was completed.

In a May 16 letter to City Attorney Pete Holmes, the DOJ's Jonathan Smith says he is "troubled and surprised" that the city hasn't taken steps to address issues of discriminatory policing and community engagement.

"We have been very discouraged by the way that these negotiations have been handled by the city," the letter reads.

In the same letter, Smith accuses the city of leaking confidential material and "negotiating in the press." MORE...

Monday, June 25, 2012

"Fact: President Obama Doubled funding for Pell Grants"

MHP: "Obama Starts to Use the Power of His Office" (with video)

Max Rivlin-Nadler (MHP Show), with video (10:56):
Clinton used it fourteen times. Bush, six. As Obama uses his executive privilege for only the first time, why all the outrage? Could it be because Attorney General Eric Holder is a Republican target after looking into the legality of new voter-suppression laws? Nation columnist Melissa Harris-Perry looks at the history of executive privilege, and how Obama is fashioning himself into a strong, sometimes unilateral leader heading into November’s election. She’s joined by NYU Law School professor Kenji Yoshino and Yahoo! News’s David Chalian to discuss Obama’s attempts at bipartisnaship and how lately he’s come to embrace the power of his office.

"Obama Mocks ‘Financial Wizard’ Romney For Bain Outsourcing" (with video)

Benjy Sarlin (TPM) with video (01:18):
President Obama mocked Mitt Romney’s explanation for a Washington Post story on Romney’s investment in companies that were “pioneers” in outsourcing during a freewheeling speech in New Hampshire on Monday.

The president noted that Romney’s campaign had pushed back against the Post’s scoop by complaining it didn’t sufficiently distinguish between “outsourcing” and “offshoring,” only the latter of which expressly involves shipping jobs overseas.

“You cannot make this stuff up!” Obama said. “What Gov. Romney and his advisers don’t seem to understand is this: If you’re a worker whose job went overseas, you don’t need somebody trying to explain to you the difference between outsourcing and offshoring, you need someone who’s going to wake up every day and fight for American jobs and investment here in the United States.”

Obama warned voters that Romney’s work with outsourcing companies at Bain Capital was reflected in his economic plan today, and pledged to end tax breaks that benefit companies that ship job overseas. MORE...

Seattle high-school students: "Don't Throw Your Vote Away" ---Video Project / YOUTH VOTING

The Nation with video (07:01):
This video project by Seattle, Washington high-school students Ellie Neilson and Ani Schroeter offers a good history of youth voting, shows how and why the Republican right is aiming to limit youth turnout in November and makes the case for why young people should be engaged electorally.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

John Fulgelsang asks "Who said it: Romney or Obama?" (with video), with video (03:02):
Political candidates will say anything to get your vote, even if it means flip-flopping on important issues. “The War Room” guest host John Fugelsang hit the streets of San Francisco yet again, but this time to play a game of “Who Said It?”

"REPORT: Media Overwhelmingly Focus On Rulings Against Health Care Reform Constitutionality"

Media Matters:
A majority of federal rulings on the substance of President Obama's health care reform law have found it to be constitutional, including the law's mandate that individuals purchase health insurance. But a Media Matters review of the five largest newspapers and the flagship CNN, Fox News, ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news programs finds that the media overwhelmingly focused on rulings that struck down the law in whole or in part -- 84 percent of segments on the broadcast and cable programs reviewed and 59 percent of newspaper articles that reported on such rulings -- while largely ignoring rulings that found it constitutional or dismissed the case. MORE...

WA: "1st District Congressional Debate Part One" (with video)

KING 5 News Up Front, video (20:16):
Republican John Koster and Democrats Darcy Burner, Suzan Delbene, Steve Hobbs, Darshan Rauniyar and Laura Ruderman debate issues including jobs, health care reform, marijuana and foreign affairs.

Here's Part Two, video (21:05).

Howie P.S.: "KING 5 poll: Koster vs. Burner likely in WA 1st District race."

Howie P.P.S.: "Up Front Extra: 1st Congressional candidates on health care, primary," with video (11:12):
Having six candidates in one debate left us wishing for more time, even though we already extended Up Front to one hour this week. After the debate, we continued our discussion with the candidates and talked further about health care. Plus, an entertaining question for the candidates, two of whom will survive the August primary to compete in the November general election: Which other candidate do you believe should survive the primary?

Wall Street Journal; "Turns Out Obama Isn't Guilty of Reckless Spending" (video) with video (05:54):
Marketwatch's Rex Nutting checks in on Mean Street and disputes Republicans' claims about President Obama's high levels of spending, and he's got the numbers to prove his case. Photo: Getty Images.

"America Doesn't Need an Outsourcing Pioneer in the Oval Office" (video)

BarackObamadotcom, with video (00:52):
According to a June 21, 2012 Washington Post article:

"Bain...owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories...specialized in relocating jobs done by American workers to new facilities in low-wage countries like China and India."

"Poll: One Quarter Of Voters Undecided Between Barack Obama, Mitt Romney"

Laurie Kellman and Jennifer Agiesta (HuffPo):
The poll also found that demographically, they are more likely to be members of Generation X (between the ages of 30 and 49) than other registered voters. Many, 71 percent, have not graduated college. They are a bit more likely to have lower incomes than all registered voters. Fifty-two percent of persuadables have incomes below $50,000, compared with 44 percent of all voters. MORE...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

"Oliver Stone, 'Savages' Director, On Graphic Sex Scenes, The War On Drugs And Barack Obama" (with video) (Updated)

UPDATE: Here's a political angle in the story
you can pile it on to Obama but, you know, he’s done some very intelligent things. I think the latest immigration act -- I applaud it. I mean there is a brain there, but he doesn’t seem to be willing to confront real issues and take them on. I think he has bad advice. I think by putting Hillary Clinton back in the State Department -- I don’t think that’s helpful. When you continue the old regime like with [Robert] Gates in Defense or James Sternberg in the State Department for a long time. They were against any kind of movement, reform movement, in any of these countries.

Michael Hogan (HuffPo) with video (02:32) from SavagesMovie:
Don Winslow's Savages is a sexy, ultraviolent page-turner about two Laguna Beach pot dealers and their shared girlfriend, who find themselves in a world of trouble when a Mexican drug cartel targets their business. It's not exactly literature (ain't that a relief?) but it does raise a host of disturbing questions about the drug war and its corrosive effect on just about everything we claim to hold dear.

So when Oliver Stone, America's premier practitioner of over-the-top moviemaking, announced that he was adapting the novel for Universal Pictures, it was clear that this could go one of two ways: he could go big with the story, or he could go big with the politics. Fortunately, he chose the former path. Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson and Blake Lively are glistening sun (and sex) gods, forced to confront and revise their personal codes as events spin way beyond control, while Salma Hayek, Benicio Del Toro and John Travolta chew the scenery and spit it in every direction in an all-star competition to see who can be the most endearingly ruthless villain on either side of the border. MORE...
Howie P.S.: READER ALERT- Merriam-Webster offers this definition of "savages"
A member of a people regarded as primitive and uncivilized.

Nate Silver: "Do Democrats Have a Shot at the House?"

Nate Silver (NY Times):
So far this election season we have written very little about the race for the House of Representatives. In part this is because this looks to be less dramatic than the presidential race — where Barack Obama has only a slight edge, in my view — or the race for the Senate, which looks increasingly like a tossup.
In the House, by contrast, Republicans are reasonably clear favorites to maintain their majority.
Still, the House is probably more difficult to analyze than the battle for the Senate or the presidential race. Democrats, in my view, do retain something of an upside case that revolves around the possibility that anti-incumbent sentiment could manifest itself in a large amount of Congressional turnover. MORE...

"President Obama on Mitt Romney's Outsourcing of American Jobs" (with video)

BarackObamadotcom, with video (01:08):
"We can reform our tax code in a way that is fair and responsible. Which by the way means let's stop giving tax breaks to businesses that ship jobs and factories overseas let's reward companies that create jobs and manufacturing right here in the United States of America. Now, Mr. Romney disagrees with this, you know today it was reported in The Washington Post that the companies his firm owned were "pioneers" in the outsourcing of American jobs to places like China and India. Pioneers! Let me tell you Tampa, we don¹t need an outsourcing pioneer in the Oval Office. We need a President who will fight for American jobs and fight for American manufacturing. That¹s what my plan will do. That's why I'm running for a second term as President of the United States."
H/t to Darryl.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"The Great Voter Tune-Out of 2012"

"Youth voter turnout, 2012 vs 2008 primaries" (courtesy Jason Rzepka) 
Micah Sifry (TechPesident):
It's the "'meh'-ing" of the president, says Roger Simon. "The 2012 campaign is the smallest ever," says another headline in Politico. All over the political landscape, signs abound of a dismal political season.
No one seems to want to read stories about Mitt Romney, Buzzfeed reports, noting that online traffic to a variety of political websites from the conservative Daily Caller to the center-liberal Atlantic to their own buzz-machine is a tenth of the attention flowing to stories about President Obama. And lest lefties take heart in that factoid, consider the results of a straw poll taken earlier this week at the Take Back the American Dream conference, where half the progressive leaders in attendance said they were "less enthusiastic" about the election than they were in 2008.
Youth engagement in particular is down. As MTV's Jason Rzepka pointed out in his plenary talk at PDF June 12th, turnout by young voters in the 2012 primary races was a fraction of voting levels in 2008. This is not surprising given the lack of a Democratic primary battle this time. And efforts like MTV's soon to be launched Fantasy Election just might help make a few college-age kids a bit more involved, though you can only "gamify" a bad game so much, and if politics isn't saying much to young people, it's not surprising if many of them tune it out too. MORE...

"Trayvon's killer takes his case public" (with video)

Jamil Smith (Melissa Harris-Parry Show) with video (03:40):
Turns out that the site, which George Zimmerman's attorney set up for him back in April, is for more than just fundraising and media spin for their client. It appears that they intend to use it to try the case in public. Whether or not this is intended to win a media cycle, taint the jury pool, or simply keep Zimmerman's supporters informed, it's worth taking a look at the evidence. MORE...

"No Rainbow Flag atop the Space Needle for gay pride parade?" (with video)

KCPQ with video (02:24):
Seattle's gay pride parade is Sunday, but there will be no rainbow-colored flag atop the Space Needle this year. Or at least that's what Space Needle management was saying Wednesday. The Space Needle released this statement: "As we don`t raise any flag but the American flag on a regular basis, there are no plans to raise the Rainbow Flag again this year. We will continue to support equal rights and actively foster these causes as we have in the past." Last year, the Space Needle also said it would not raise the flag, but then issued a challenge – raise $50,000 for LGBT charities and the Pride Flag would be raised. The money was raised, and the flag went up. MORE...

Seattle volunteers phone-banking at the 2012 OFA Obama Campaign HQ (photo)

Photo by Rob Fuentes.

"President Obama knows that fairness for women means a stronger middle class for America." (video)

BarackObamadotcom with video (00:31):
The son of a single mom. Proud father of two daughters. President Obama knows that women being paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men isn't just unfair, it hurts families. So the first law he signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to help ensure that women are paid the same as men for doing the exact same work. Because President Obama knows that fairness for women means a stronger middle class for America.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Occupy Together Tweets about 'Change'

Occupy Together:
"no matter how much the govt says it will curtail the abuses of big business, needed change will come when we all meet in the street."

"Camp Austerity" (cartoon)

Jen Sorensen (Daily Kos).


"The Daily Show" Skewers "Sex and the City," Sarah Jessica Parker Fundraiser" (video)

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Sam and the City
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook
NBCLosAngeles, with video (05:13) from Comedy Central:
On Monday's edition of "The Daily Show," correspondent Samantha Bee mocked the Obama campaign's fundraiser at the home of actress Sarah Jessica Parker with a clever parody of "Sex and the City." Bee starred in the video skit as a caricature of Parker's popular alter ego, Carrie Bradshaw. Debating whether to "go to the party or not," Bee turned to real-life pundits like The Nation's Ari Melber and MSNBC's S.E. Cupp, who offered political analysis of the fundraiser. Meanwhile, Bee ruthlessly skewered familiar tropes from "Sex and the City." When Bee showed up to Parker's fundraiser in a giant ballet tutu — an allusion to the opening credits of the popular HBO series — she was turned away by security. Ultimately, Bee concluded, she didn't have what Carrie Bradshaw has (and President Obama needs): "powerful friends and an enormous and available line of credit."
Howie P.S.: I am confident that Mr. Cupp, Ari and Samantha are still Obama supporters, like me. I don't want to speak for Jon.

Monday, June 18, 2012

"Obama: Keep the change"

E.J. Dionne Jr. (WaPo):
Obama is not blessed with the opportunity to be simple. He has to show that he knows things are bad for a lot of people but also insist that his policies made things a whole lot better than they would have been. He has to argue that the Republicans are blocking his proposals to improve the economy, but he doesn’t want to look like a politician inventing an alibi. MORE...

"Rodney King will never see if we can get along." (with video)

field negro:
R.I.P. R.I.P. It took you getting your ass kicked on camera to tell the rest of America what us Negroes already knew.

Rodney King passed away today. Most of us who saw that horrific video believe that he got a 21 year rain check from the Grim Reaper. He should have died that night. In a way it is only fitting that the man who begged for us to get along has died. Because, in America, any hope of us getting along has pretty much died as well.MORE...
Howie P.S.: To illustrate the point he made in the last sentence, field offers this video evidence:"Philadelphia Police Beating - June 2012 - White Cops Beat Black Motorist," with video (00:46):
Philadelphia, PA (June 4, 2012) -- Marcus Warryton, 18, was dazed and confused because he had just been involved in a traffic accident. When four white cops happened upon the scene, which included a car with front-end damage and a deployed airbag, they assumed the worst because Warryton was black. The officers immediately brutally attacked him because he did not instantly obey their self-important command to sit down. There was no evidence whatsoever that Warryton had a weapon or was dangerous in any way, only that he was stunned from a car wreck. The damaged car can be seen next to the police car. Warryton suffered sever injuries from the unwarranted attack, including multiple broken bones and lacerations. As always happens after cops perpetrate felonies, the victim was arrested for the very crimes which the cops committed against him. Warryton has no prior arrest record. Note that the news media blurred out the blood that was pouring from the young victim.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

"Tracy Martin's Message For Father's Day" (video)

SecondChanceCampaign, video (01:01).

"Rep. Lisa Brown Talks About Kosher Dishes & Her Vagina" (video)

RabbiJason, with video (01:41):
Rep. Lisa Brown, a Democrat State Rep in Michigan (West Bloomfield) gets censured in the Michigan State House for talking about her vagina... but not before she goes on the record explaining that she's keeps kosher in her home and has separate milchig and fleishig dishes as well as two more sets for Passover. MORE...

"You're Welcome -- BP Voices From The Gulf" (video)

TheSecondCityNetwork, video (00:52).  

Howie P.S.: If you were skeptical (like me) of BP's claim that "everything's fine in The Gulf", this video is the answer to your prayers. H/t to Darryl.

Friday, June 15, 2012

"1994 Lost Barack Obama Interview" (video)

johnnibarger, video (12:46).

Greg Sargent: "The Morning Plum: The GOP plan to replace Obamacare with ..."

Greg Sargent:
With a ruling set for as soon as next week on Obamacare, both sides are busily preparing for the ferocious spin war that will erupt in the wake of the decision. I’m not one who believes there’s any silver lining for Dems in a decision against the law — it could help reinforce the narrative that Obama allowed himself to get distracted from the economy with nothing to show for it.
But it’s still fair to ask whether such a decision would also put more pressure on Republicans to explain what, exactly, they would replace health reform with, and what they’d do for those who’d be stranded if the law is voided. And so this nugget buried in today’s New York Times piece on the coming public relations battle is pretty interesting:
After a repeal vote, Republicans plan to first let the dust settle. Then ... they would move forward incrementally with bills to allow the purchase of insurance across state lines, to loosen restrictions on consumers wishing to change insurers, and to bolster tax-preferred health savings accounts. When several Republican lawmakers suggested popular parts of the health care law would be maintained, conservatives loudly revolted....
A senior Republican House aide said it was up to the White House, not Republicans, to produce a contingency plan for those left behind by a court invalidation, like the thousands of sick people or consumers with pre-existing conditions in new federally backed high-risk pools.
This obviously is not great sourcing, and could definitely use some more reporting. But if Republicans have decided that their argument will be that it’s all on the White House to come up with another plan for the sick and for those with preexisting conditions, that seems pretty newsworthy. After all, Mitt Romney’s campaign has now gone on record admitting something similar: His plan would only guarantee coverage to people with preexisting conditions if they’ve had constant, continuous coverage in the past.
Again, a decision against the health law — which seems very possible, or even likely — would be terrible for Dems. But the provision barring discrimination against those with preexisting conditions is very popular. And if it becomes clear that the GOP sees no obligation to replace that provision, it could clarify the choice this fall in new ways and play unpredictably during the campaign. MORE...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

"Be One Million Strong for One Million New Jobs" (video)

WatchOurTime with video (01:44):
Add your name along with Larry David, Rachel Zoe, Usher, Trey Songz, Nas, and Jessica Alba, who show their support for expanding national service jobs. Join them right now at and help create one million new jobs. To add your name, get more information, and see how the numbers work be sure to check out is a campaign of in partnership with ServeNext in addition to a wide variety of other groups who support the expansion of jobs for youth and national service.

"Obama rocks Cleveland in big economic speech" (with video)

MSNBC-Martin Bashir, video (09:56)
Mother Jones' David Corn, Democratic strategist Krystal Ball and the Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page analyze the President's big economic speech in Cleveland, Ohio, today and whether the narrative of a recovery underway will sell in the battleground state.
Howie P.S.: Keep watching and see the next segments with more from the speech and Mr. Romney.

Thom Hartmann on Republican obstructionism: "waiting for the economy to tank" (with video)

Tommy Christopher-MEDIAite with video (07:57)from TheBigPictureRT:
As the general election heats up, Republican obstructionism has become an increasingly hot topic, traced to an Inauguration Day meeting of GOP lawmakers, along with pollster Frank Luntz and former Speaker Newt Gingrich, detailed in Robert Draper‘s Do Not Ask What Good We Do. Liberal radio and TV host Thom Hartmann makes the case that the Republicans (and Fox News, by virtue of Luntz’s involvement) are guilty of “treason, or sedition, or whatever it was,” and makes a nice smoking-gun catch from Friday’s Real Time with Bill Maher. MORE...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, is standing up for 1st District U.S. House candidate Darcy Burner."

Joel Connelly:
She was the keynoter who invited women who’ve had abortions to stand up during a “War on Women” panel last week at liberal bloggers’ NetRoots Nation conference in Providence, R.I. Now, one of the nation’s most prominent bloggers, Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, is standing up for 1st District U.S. House candidate Darcy Burner. The Berkeley, Calif.-based founder of the popular web site — which receives 2.5 million unique visitors a month and 250,000 registered users — will raise money for Burner on June 30 with a $12-a-person appearance at Seattle Town Hall and an earlier $250 reception in Kirkland. MORE...

George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling on Wisconsin: "morality is central to identity and, hence, trumps policy."

George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling:
In taking over the framing of just about every major issue, conservatives have hidden major truths. Democrats need to speak those truths from their own moral perspective. To show how, we have just published "The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide for Thinking and Talking Democratic." Here is how the book applies to the Wisconsin Recall. MORE...

Ari Melber: "Exposing Obama's not-so-secret war"

Ari Melber:
Jaffer, who directs the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, says the issue comes down to a fundamental question: Should any president have the power “to kill suspects on the basis of secret legal standards and facts that are never disclosed to the public or any court?” Right now, the administration’s answer is yes. But that’s a secret. MORE...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

WA Gov Debate LIVE Streaming

TVW, streaming video.

George Packer on Obama and 2012

George Packer (The New Yorker):
To a surprising extent, this is still the country that Obama inherited in 2009, the one that George W. Bush led for two terms, even the one that Bill Clinton presided over. Why didn’t Obama’s first term bring transformation that he promised? That will be one for the historians, but the lines of explanation are already clear: The recession was longer and worse than the Administration expected, and for many Americans it’s still going on; the Republicans decided from the start that they would lay all problems at Obama’s door and do as little as possible to help him solve them, a daring as well as immoral strategy that paid off handsomely; the White House seemed completely unprepared for this approach, letting the President’s opponents to define him by August of his first year; Congress, especially the Senate, has sunk into a state of paralysis in which the only thing that moves quickly is money. No single President, however gifted, could bridge the political divide, because it is real and deep and semi-permanent, and to believe otherwise was profoundly ahistorical. MORE...

WA: "Today is the first gubernatorial, attorney general debate in Spokane" (with live streaming video)

The Capitol Record (
We’re at the Bing Crosby theater in Spokane, where the first gubernatorial and attorney general debate of the election season is set to take place this afternoon. The debate will be carried live on TVW and streamed on the web.
Attorney general candidates Democrat Bob Ferguson and Republican Regan Dunn will debate at 2 p.m., followed by gubernatorial candidates Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee at 3:30 p.m.
Each debate lasts an hour, and the candidates are expected to take media questions after each debate — stay tuned, we hope to bring you live interviews from the theater.
Back at our studios in Olympia, we’ll have a live special edition of The Impact offering analysis of the event, both before and after the debates with political reporters Jim Camden of the Spokesman-Review and Jordan Schrader of The News Tribune. That will start at 1:45 p.m.
The debate will be moderated by Austin Jenkins, host of Inside Olympia and a public radio correspondent with Northwest News Network.

NN12: "Revitalizing state and local blogging" (video) with video from
Since the historic 2006 and 2008 election cycles, state and local blogospheres all around the country have been fragmenting and decaying to the detriment of the progressive movement. This panel will examine the challenges that surviving blogs face; discuss short-term projects that would help state and local bloggers strengthen their audience, reach and income through the rest of the 2012 cycle; and explore what can be done to sustain the Netroots community at the state and regional level long-term.
 Howie P.S.: Joel Connelly gets to ask a question.

John Nichols: "Here are some great clips from great conversation we had on @upwithchris about drones and leaks" (video)

MSNBC-UP, with Chris Hayes, video (05:42).

Monday, June 11, 2012

Nerdy Girl Reviews John Fugelsang Live in Seattle

Nerdy Girl:
My husband and I went to see comedian John Fugelsang's Drama-League Nominated Off-Broadway solo show, Guilt: A Love Story, last night at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle.

Since I've been following Fugelsang's career and social media activities for some time, I knew the show was going to be both hilarious and touching. He intertwines the story of his parents' rather unusual courtship (a nun and a Franciscan brother conduct a chaste exchange of letters between New York and Africa for 10 years), his own courtship and eventual marriage to long-time girlfriend, designer Charmien La Framenta, and a few of the highlights of his career that include an energetic re-enactment of his confrontation with American Nazi/KKK leader David Duke on Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect into a compelling and astonishing performance that defies most of what we have come to expect from the frequently self-indulgent artform known as the "one-man show." MORE...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ryan Lizza on "The Second Term - What would Obama do if reëlected?"

"President Obama awaiting G8 leaders at Camp David last month. He has an ambitious agenda, which, at least in broad ways, his campaign is beginning to highlight." Photograph by Luke Sharrett.

 Ryan Lizza (The New Yorker):
Congressional Republicans aren’t Iranian mullahs or five-star generals, but Obama’s approach to them is beginning to look familiar, as coöperative idealism gives way to hard-nosed realism. As his first term ebbs and threatens to take him with it, Obama seems to be learning how to be a forceful President. Whether he’ll be remembered as a great one depends on his reëlection. SNIP ... Almost every permutation of government control is possible after November. There are plausible scenarios in which either party could be in charge of the House, the Senate, or the White House. If the election were held today, the Democrats likely would gain some seats in the House and lose some seats in the Senate, and Obama would be narrowly reëlected. Under these conditions, the White House is cautiously optimistic that a compromise could be reached. MORE...

Joel Connelly: "Obama to progressives: I’m taking you for granted" (with video)

Joel Connelly (, with video from NetrootsNationVideo (04:36):
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — President Obama greeted Netroots Nation on Saturday night with a desultory “Hi, everybody!” video, and sent no administration official of front or even middle rank to America’s largest gathering of political bloggers. The message, from a politician who once came calling to ask for liberal bloggers’ support: I’m taking you for granted because you don’t have anyplace else to go. “As long as you keep up that fight I am there with you,” said the 44th president. What fight? He didn’t elaborate, other than to say it is “the time to dig deep” — presumably into wallets. The game of giving a nod to cause-driven believers among your supporters, but keeping them at arm’s length, is played often by the White House. MORE...

"Did Republicans deliberately crash the US economy?"

The Republican party congressional leadership (left to right): Senate Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell, House majority leader Eric Cantor, and House speaker John Boehner, after the 2010 midterms. 
Photograph: AP Photo/Alex Brandon  

Michael Cohen (GuardianUK):
Be it ideology or stratagem, the GOP has blocked pro-growth policy and backed job-killing austerity – all while blaming Obama---MORE...

AlJazeeraEnglish on Wisconsin: "A nail in the coffin of US unions?" (video)

AlJazeeraEnglish, video (25:44):
Scott Walker sparked massive protests when he eliminated collective bargaining rights of most public workers in his state, Wisconsin. But after months of political turmoil, the Republican US governor claimed a decisive victory in a recall election. How will this impact the US presidential race? Guests: Robert Kraig, Alex Seitz-Wald, Brendan Steinhauser.

Charles P. Pierce: "Terror by Another Name"

Charles P. Pierce (Esquire):
So, I was at the Netroots Nation thing on Thursday, hanging with the invaluable David Neiwert, who has spent years tracking and reporting on the activities of America's violent white-supremacist underground. "Hey," he said to me, "what about that thing in Florida?"
"What thing in Florida?" I responded, demonstrating once again how very much on top of things I am. I knew Florida had Pensacola, which had a reputation for being the OK Corral, especially when it came to shooting abortion doctors, and that it was a place in which, if you shot an abortion doctor, a nice fella who later would host the morning show on liberal MSNBC would represent you in court. But that was the best I could do. No, Neiwert said, the thing that happened a couple of weeks ago. MORE...

"Colin Powell: Another War Criminal Cashes In"

 Charles Davis and Medea Benjamin (Code Pink):
The reality is Powell, like most powerful men in Washington, is a well-documented liar. In fact, those State Department employees Powell blames for his repeating thinly sourced lies before the international community did in fact speak up. Powell just ignored them since what they had to say wasn’t convenient to the task at hand: selling an unjust war against a third-rate military power. MORE...

The TPM Interview: "Current TV Host Cenk Uygur"

 David Taintor (TPMDC):
Am I for President Obama in the second term? Yes, because he’s running against Mitt Romney. I wouldn’t vote for Mitt Romney if you put a gun to my head. Having said that, am I hopeful for a second term? Absolutely not. I think President Obama is not progressive. And I know a lot of people hate to hear that, it breaks their heart. But that’s the reality. It’s not in his nature. His nature is pro-establishment. If he had a wrestling nickname, it would be The Establishment.
I believe President Obama can do the right thing. There’s a much better chance that he will do the right thing, more than Mitt Romney. MORE...

Saturday, June 09, 2012

"President Obama’s basketball love affair has roots in Hawaii high school team"

 David Maraniss (WaPo):
To say that President Obama loves basketball understates the role of the sport in his life. He has been devoted to the game for 40 years now, ever since the father he did not know and never saw again gave him his first ball during a brief Christmastime visit. Basketball is central to his self identity. It is global yet American-born, much like him. It is where he found a place of comfort, a family, a mode of expression, a connection from his past to his future. With foundation roots in the Kansas of his white forebears, basketball was also the city game, helping him find his way toward blackness, his introduction to an African American culture that was distant to him when he was young yet his by birthright. MORE...
Howie P.S.: There's a pretty good photo gallery at the link.

"Obama Was Pushed by Drug Industry, E-Mails Suggest"

Nancy-Ann DeParle was President Obama's health care adviser in 2009 when she corresponded with a drug industry lobbyist. 

Peter Baker (New York Times):
After weeks of talks, drug industry lobbyists were growing nervous. To cut a deal with the White House on overhauling health care, they needed to be sure that President Obama would stop a proposal intended to bring down medicine prices.  MORE...
H/t to Rachel Smith Manrique.

Friday, June 08, 2012

"The Young Dreamer, With Eyes Wide Open ‘Barack Obama: The Story,’ by David Maraniss"

Barack Obama with his grandparents Stanley Armour Dunham and Madelyn Dunham in New York in the 1980s.

  MICHIKO KAKUTANI (New York Times):
Barack Obama’s life, says his latest biographer, David Maraniss, was to an astonishing extent “the product of randomness.” His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, the only child of a couple from Kansas, met his father, Barack Hussein Obama, a student from Kenya, in an elementary Russian language class at the University of Hawaii, and the young Barry Obama would grow up in Hawaii and Indonesia, taking an odd, zigzagging and totally improbable road to the White House. And yet, Mr. Maraniss makes clear, despite the bewildering role that chance played in Mr. Obama’s story, he has been very much the author of his own life — an outsider, who, in the very American tradition of literary heroes like Gatsby, “raised himself” and forged an identity through a series of self-conscious and deliberate choices. MORE...

NN12: "Revitalizing State and Local Blogging: Tomorrow at 12 PM Pacific" (Streaming video)

Andrew Villeneuve (

Good afternoon everyone:

Wanted to let you know that tomorrow afternoon I'll be leading a panel at Netroots Nation called Revitalizing State and Local Blogging, which will examine the state of progressive state and local blogging in 2012 and discuss ways to strengthen local blogospheres in the United States. If you are in Providence for Netroots Nation 2012, the team and I at NPI would very much appreciate it if you make plans to attend. If you are not in Providence, I invite you to follow along and participate from home... we'll be livestreaming beginning at 3 PM Eastern/12 PM Pacific. Here is the panel synopsis:

Since the historic 2006 and 2008 election cycles, state and local blogospheres all around the country have been fragmenting and decaying to the detriment of the progressive movement. This panel will examine the challenges that surviving blogs face; discuss short-term projects that would help state and local bloggers strengthen their audience, reach and income through the rest of the 2012 cycle; and explore what can be done to sustain the Netroots community at the state and regional level long-term.
Joining me on the panel are Phillip Martin (@phillipmartin), Laura Packard (@lpackard), Bob Plain (@BobPlain), and Angelica Rubio (@anrubio). We have great geographic diversity on this panel - Phillip is from Texas, Laura from Michigan, Bob from Rhode Island, Angelica from Mexico, and myself from Washington State (the *real* Washington). Our biographies are available here:

The panel will be livestreamed here:

On Twitter, please use the hashtag #usnetroots to join in the conversation.

Thanks and I hope to see you tomorrow in person or online for Revitalizing State and Local Blogging!

"Democrats paralyzed on tax cuts"

Alexander Bolton (The Hill):
“At this stage, speaking for me, until the Republicans make some definitive statement on revenue, we can’t do anything. We’ve tried. We’ve tried the supercommittee, we tried the Obama-Boehner negotiations, we tried Simpson-Bowles. Until something has revenue, I’m not talking about it,” Reid told The Hill. MORE...

"Cantwell calls for investigation into high gas prices"

Scott Gutierrez (
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., on Thursday called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Washington state’s near-record high gas prices and whether oil companies have manipulated the market. MORE...

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Seattle: "City blasts DOJ's findings on Seattle police in court filing"

Mike Carter and Steve Miletich (Seattle Times):
City attorneys have filed court documents in a federal civil-rights case attacking the "reliability and trustworthiness" of the U.S. Department of Justice report that found Seattle police officers routinely use excessive force, even as city and federal lawyers attempt to negotiate a plan to fix the department. MORE...

15 links from Greg Sargent: "Happy Hour Roundup"


"Kent's Medical Marijuana Collective Garden Ban: Mayor Suzette Cooke's Take"

Matt Driscoll (Seattle Weekly):
"As a city, and government, we are caught amidst a hodgepodge of laws," says Cooke. "I'm most disappointed that the state hasn't been able to clarify," the state's medical marijuana law. "I'm the one who swears in our police officers," Cooke continues, pointing to the fact marijuana is illegal under federal law, which it's clear was one of the the main impetuses for Kent's actions. "It wouldn't be appropriate for me to pick and choose which laws we enforce." Cooke says, as a supporter of collective gardens, she initially suggested they be allowed in people's homes within Kent city limits. However, over time, she says she was convinced even that was unworkable. "My frustration is that we don't have a lawful way to provide that access [to medical marijuana]," she says. In her opinion, and obviously in the opinion of the majority of Kent's city council, action on the matter of medical marijuana was called for. Cooke says the city had received multiple inquiries from medical marijuana dispensary-style businesses interested in opening in Kent, and Cooke describes that scenario as something the city couldn't stand for. "I think the concern from some council members was appropriate," says Cooke. "There had to be a statement." Of course, Sensible Washington, Sarich and other medical marijuana supporters probably aren't buying what Cooke is selling. Sensible Washington's Anthony Martinelli told Seattle Weekly yesterday: ""The actions taken by the majority of this council shows a severe lack of compassion, a blatant disregard for the will of their constituents, and a lack of understanding of how to improve the safety of their community." With an election always looming, Martinelli also noted that Sensible Washington would "strongly back any opposition [to Cooke] who would respect state law and their constituents." Sarich was even more to the point when it comes to municipalities wrestling with the state's medical marijuana laws. "They whine that the state law is muddy and unclear," said Sarich of cities like Kent that have enacted moratoriums or passed similar ordinances. "The law is pretty clear, and is crystal clear when it comes to collective gardens. ... I challenge you to find anything in the state law that gives cities the right to regulate collective gardens [as Kent now has]." MORE...