Archive for the ‘Harry Reid (D-Nev.)’ Category

Last July 24th I was in the audience at Netroots Nation when Sen. Harry Reid took Lt. Dan Choi’s West Point ring after Choi asked that he keep it until Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed and the bill was signed into law. Choi, who was honorably discharged from the Army National Guard for being gay first met Reid last year. At the time Reid promised he would repeal the DADT policy. In July Lt. Choi gave Sen. Reid the ring to remind him of that promise, and vowed to hold Reid accountable:

On Saturday the bill passed. I had followed the earlier votes in the Senate that day on C-span, but I wasn’t able to see the final vote. When I finally got the chance to check and see if the bill had passed I used my phone to check Twitter.

Ironically, the first Tweet I saw about DADT was actually this one from Lt. Choi himself:

The bill was expected to pass, so learning that it had wasn’t a surprise. Finding out it had passed this way certainly was, and I can tell you it made me smile.

Sen. Reid made good on his promise and gave Lt. Choi his ring back, and once again Choi took to Twitter in celebration:

Congratulations to Lt. Choi and all those men and women who won another round in a hard-fought victory in the face of unconscionable and indefensible obstruction.

And many thanks to President Obama for another in a long line of accomplishments met and promises kept.

He vowed to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, and yes, he did.


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Sue Lowden, a former Nevada GOP chair seeking to run against Democratic Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, has a great idea for an alternative health care policy that’s sure to be a winner with the people of Nevada:

Encourage people to save as much money as they can in tax-free health savings accounts — the number she mentioned was $20,000 — and to barter with their doctors.

That’s right! Barter with your doctors! That way, if you have a hefty medical bill, or you need a costly procedure that you can’t afford, you can offer them your car. Or if it’s really steep, your house…..oh wait, that wouldn’t work if you live in the burbs where all the houses are abandoned and under foreclosure. Well, I’m sure you have plenty of other resources.

Here’s a short list of the cost of three medical procedures in Nevada from a very informal search I did. It comes from something called “Nevada Compare Care” which boasts of being “Nevadans’ Source for Transparency in Health Care” and it lists these few procedures and their costs as of 2008. You do the math!

From Nevada Compare Care:

A coronary artery bypass averages from $132,702 – 493,936

To deliver a baby? The average cost: $15,070

Average charge for renal failure? $38,785

Of course the bad news here is that probably doesn’t cover hospital stays and all the other fees thrown in, but hey, who really need anesthesia anyway, huh? Man up!

Now, far be it from me to suggest she’s the “Jonathan Swift” candidate in Nevada. I’m certainly not from Nevada. What do I know about politics out there? I’m from Florida after all. We would never DREAM of trading our children for food, or medical procedures! Puh…lease! No, our senior citizens do that! (We’re looking for a “No unsupervised visits with grandparents” candidate down here at the moment, so if you know of anyone, call us?)

Don’t worry, I’m sure it won’t be so bad that you’ll have to resort to selling children. You just might have to shop around a little for doctors. Someone along the lines of, say Theodoric of York maybe?

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And now for another episode of “Today In Condescension”

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, (a.k.a. “The Turtle”) had yet another hissy fit this morning when he was on ABC’s “This Week.” He’s always complaining and wagging his finger at someone.


So let’s see who was in the dog house today, shall we?

Uh oh, looks like the GOP are eating their own! Today McConnell was scolding the Republican National Committee, and its chairman, the one whose name McConnell dare not speak! (Shh! “Michael,” cough, cough, “Steele,” cough.)

It seems the RNC came up with a brand new strategy for fundraising that puts “the fun back in FUNdraising” by dividing donors into two groups, the “haves” and the “haves not much,” and mocking them by outlining precise tactics designed to suck as much money out of each of them as possible. It’s a simple idea, really. If you’re a “Have” (Big, rich donor; they don’t call you a “have” for nothing you know!) they’ll massage your ego. If you’re a “have not” (poor, easily fooled and manipulated Tea Bagger) they’ll scare the pants off you. Ka-ching!

So they had this brilliant idea, and they made it into a Power Point presentation and presented it to a bunch of rich donors down in Boca Grande, Fla. The only problem was the guy who gave the presentation (a former Bush stooge) left a copy of it lying around and a Democrat got a hold of it and it made its way into the hands of the media, and now Michael “What Up” Steele claims to know absolutely NOTHING about it! Who knew?

Well, Mitch McConnel is NOT happy about it!

McConnell blasted the Republican National Committee on Sunday for producing a fundraising presentation that mocked the President and congressional leadership as cartoon villains and socialists.

Who, McConnell? Show disrespect to the President? Pshaw! NEVER! Not him!

Asked about the document — which outlines how “ego-driven” wealthy donors could be persuaded to take out their checkbooks — the Kentucky Republican called it “certainly not helpful” to the Republican cause.

It is “certainly not helpful” now that those dopes left that stuff lying around for everyone to see! Good luck getting them to give us money now! This is bad for our… cause, our… cause…the cause……what was our cause again?

“I can’t imagine why anybody would have thought that was helpful,” McConnell added.

So McConnell pretends that a racist picture of Obama with the word “socialism” on it isn’t helpful, while blocking health care reform legislation that he calls “socialized medicine” is helpful?

“Typically the way parties raise money is because people believe in the causes they advocate.”

The “causes” the Republican Party (and McConnell) believes in would be blocking things like health care reform, unemployment benefits, jobs bills, financial reform and regulations, credit card regulations, energy bills, alternative energy, tax incentives, prescription drug benefits, Iraq war funding, antiterrorism and counterterrorism operations, voter representation, (in Washington D.C., which McConnell himself said was unconstitutional) pay discrimination claims, employee free choice act, foreclosure prevention, to name just a few.

In other words, using the filibuster to block almost everything that this administration tries to do, and bringing the country to a halt until….the Grand Obstructionist Party comes back into power sometime in the future?

“I think the way we raise money from donors across America is to stand for things that are important for the country.”

The GOP doesn’t raise money by standing for things that are important for the country. They raise money for things that are important to the Republican Party. Period. The way the GOP raises money from donors across the country is by lying to those donors, a fact that they illustrated quite accurately in that “putting the fun back in fundraising” presentation. They raise money by doing things like this,

because they think the American people are as stupid as they are. Their claim to “stand for things that are important for the country” is just a small part of the manipulation. How many times in the past few weeks have you heard Mitch McConnell, or Eric Cantor, or John Boehner say something like this: “The American people don’t want health care reform!” Are you one of those people who don’t want health care reform? No? Do you know anyone who feels that way? Do you know anyone who has ever said that? Besides one of those guys? Didn’t think so.

Getting back to McConnell and his feigned outrage over that RNC Fundraising presentation, well I’ll bet McConnell is SO ANGRY that they will put an end to this kind of nonsense in a hurry! I’ll just bet this is the last time we see anything like this! Surely someone will pay for this, won’t they?

Appearing on ABC’s This Week, McConnell was asked whether someone at the RNC should resign over the fundraising snafu.

The Senate leader didn’t take the bait.

“Well look, I don’t run the RNC,” he said. “That’s up to them. But I don’t like it and I don’t know anybody else who does.”

Oh, I think we know SOMEONE who does.

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Back in January of 2009 the Republican Party was in absolute disarray. Barack Obama had just won the election, putting an end to eight years of disaster under George W. Bush, where the country was barely teetering on the edge of the cliff that the Shrub had driven us to as he jumped out of the car and fled the scene of the crime. What he left was perhaps similar to the child’s prank of leaving a certain type of package on a doorstep, ringing the doorbell, setting the package on fire, and running before the door was opened. When Obama opened this door, Dubya was gone, and without even so much as a “Well, heere ya’ go! Heh, heh!” Of course, the GOP offered the rest of us no help to clean up the mess. Besides, they had their own sack of…well, their own mess to deal with.

Fast forward to March 2010, and how do we find the GOP? About the same. They’re still in disarray, and they have offered no ideas to help deal with the mess we’re in. In fact, they’ve gone out of their way to make sure the mess never gets cleaned up under Obama’s watch. They’ve devoted all their time in the past year trying to game the system to get back in power. Of course, if they carry out that goal, they’ll have a mess on their hands as well, but no ideas on how to deal with it. I guess their platform of “Magical Thinking” will make them all go away.

Basically one year later not much has changed for the GOP. Except that they put this guy in charge:

Yes, the “genius” of the GOP is Michael Steele, chosen from a group of candidates so bad they couldn’t get enough votes for any one person. And since they thought they could win the Presidency just by picking any woman, like Sarah Palin as a VP candidate just because the Democrats had a woman candidate, perhaps the same logic was used to settle on Michael Steele? See? The GOP is just like everyone else! There’s room for an african american in the GOP tent too!

So as Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael “What Up” Steele has made a few blunders as the GOP chairman, to put it mildly. He created a new website for the GOP that resulted in a series of embarrassing missteps, then he wrote a book behind the GOP’s back, spent and made lots of money on a book tour, and because they were strapped for cash he scrimped by holding their meetings in places like Hawaii.  He’s also toured the country running up huge bills for airline tickets, wining and dining, and gaining all that “fiscal conservative cred baby!” Because “that’s how he rolls!” Now he’s made another really BIG blunder to add to the list.

The Grand Obstructionist Party has had a little difficulty raising money of late, so they’ve gotten a little desperate. Steele’s most recent, and desperate big idea to raise cash was to send out some fundraising letters and surveys. Since so many people in their own party are wary of giving them money, he tried something new. He made these letters and surveys look like they were Census forms to perhaps trick people into sending them in, since the 2010 Census is fast approaching. We’ve gotten several here in Florida, at east four rounds of them at last count, and they’ve sent them to Democrats as well as Republicans.

They have all sorts of scary questions about Obama and the democrats. They also make absolutely no sense. Because they’ve sent so many, and because they look like real Census forms, people started filing complaints. But the GOP merely did a little creative editing. They still continue to arrive in mailboxes in spite of all that. I received one myself just two days ago.

The latest thing the RNC has tried in their quest to get back in power is to capitalize on the formation of the “Tea Party.” This new third-party of sorts doesn’t like Obama and the Democrats. But they also don’t care much for the GOP. They’re an angry group, their numbers have increased, and some are disgruntled former members of the GOP that have splintered away. Because of this, Steele and the GOP have tried to appeal to them while pretending to embrace their views like no taxes, and no big government, which can prove a bit difficult when you’re a party that prefers tax cuts only for the rich, and really big government. It’s an idea that’s been used in the recent election of Scott Brown as a Tea Party candidate in Massachusetts, and in Florida, where Marco Rubio is pretending to be a Tea Bagger to drive a wedge between Charlie Crist and GOP voters.

The GOP knows that a little sleight of hand is in order if they are to be successful in hijacking all those Tea Party voters. But fear not! As Michele Bachmann would say, Michael Steele “Be Da Man” and “Da Man” has a plan!

Steele’s newest trick of fundraising brilliance comes with a twist, that Markos Moulitsas from Daily Kos said “made it look like the RNC was run by third graders.” Steele sent RNC Finance Director Rob Bickhart to top donors and fundraisers at an RNC retreat, this time in Boca Grande, Florida on February 18. Bickhart gave a “Tools For Success” Power Point presentation to explain these newest Republican fundraising methods that capitalize on fear of Barack Obama and a promise to “save the country from trending toward socialism” to sway voters, like those in the Tea Party crowd, along with the usual major donors. The strategy was detailed in a confidential party fundraising presentation, obtained by POLITICO, which also outlines how “ego-driven” wealthy donors can be tapped with offers of access and “tchotchkes.” The first slide says:

The Who, What, When, Where, How and Why of RNC Finance

Putting the Fun Back in FUNdraising a.k.a. RNC Marketing 101

Followed by (Oops, someone forgot to use spellcheck!) this one:

I guess the fake Census forms and surveys must fall under mail and list tools in both the “Direct Marketing” and “Major Donor” methods. So far no “tchotchkes” in Florida though.

For small Tea Party donors: “VISCERAL GIVING”, for big $$ donors: “CALCULATED GIVING.”

“What can you sell when you do not have the White House, the House, or the Senate…?” “Save the country from trending toward Socialism!”

Again, spellcheck would have helped here. It’s “Cruella De Vil” (why does the GOP hate Disney?) and “Scooby-Doo.” Plus, I’m not sure what “American Gothic” has to do with anything, unless they’re confusing “Regionalism” with “Socialism” or they just found portraying Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid as farmers a real knee slapper? And last, but not least, they forgot the Hitler Poster!


The 72-page document was provided to POLITICO by a Democrat, who said a hard copy had been left in the hotel hosting the $2,500-a-head retreat, the Gasparilla Inn & Club. Sources at the event said the presentation was delivered by Bickhart and by the RNC Finance Chairman, Peter Terpeluk, a former ambassador to Luxembourg under President George W. Bush.

The most unusual section of the presentation is a set of six slides headed “RNC Marketing 101.” The presentation divides fundraising into two traditional categories, direct marketing and major donors, and lays out the details of how to approach each group.

The small donors who are the targets of direct marketing are described under the heading “Visceral Giving.” Their motivations are listed as “fear;” “Extreme negative feelings toward existing Administration;” and “Reactionary.” Major donors, by contrast, are treated in a column headed “Calculated Giving.” Their motivations include: “Peer to Peer Pressure”; “access”; and “Ego-Driven.” The slide also allows that donors may have more honorable motives, including “Patriotic Duty.” A major Republican donor described the state of the RNC’s relationship with major donors as “disastrous,” with veteran givers beginning to abandon the committee, which is becoming increasingly reliant on small donors.

So I guess Michael Steele’s version of  “RNC Marketing 101” goes something like this:

Steele comes up with a brand new idea for fundraising that both mocks and insults the very donors he is trying to woo. Those giving the presentation of his new ideas then leave a copy of that presentation just lying around after they’ve finished. The copy is picked up by a Democrat, and the embarrassing evidence is passed along to the media for the rest of us, not to mention potential donors, to see. When asked about it, the RNC claims “The document was used for a fundraising presentation Chairman Steele did not attend, nor had he seen the document.”

Or, as Michael Steele would say: “I don’t know anything about it! Honest injun on that!”

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I was checking the latest Public Option Whip List today to see if any more senators had signed the letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urging him to pass the public health insurance option through reconciliation. Specifically, I was looking for the name Bill Nelson (D-FL). Well, so far he still hasn’t signed it.

Of course, I suppose he must have other priorities, like this one for instance (from Twitter):

While it’s nice he’s looking out for Florida fishermen, I’ll bet those same fishermen could benefit from a public health insurance option too, along with the rest of us in Florida. So while I appreciate that he’s “gone to see a man about a fish,” I would hope that this would be a priority of his as well.

If he’s your senator, here is the number to call:

Senator Bill Nelson: (202) 224-5274

If you would like to add your name to the letter you can do so here.

To check the list, or to call your congress member, you can do so here.

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When Joe Lieberman announced that he would not support any healthcare reform bill that includes a public option, it caused a great deal of outrage, and rightfully so. This past weekend he did so again, threatening to join Republicans and filibuster any bill with a public option, stating that he would not even allow the bill come to a final vote. Another reason for the anger was his wife Hadassah’s involvement in the insurance and pharmaceutical industry and lobbying efforts.

Today I read that Hadassah Lieberman is currently a “global ambassador” for the Susan G. Komen “Race for the Cure,” the organization that advocates some of the very things in a bill that Sen. Lieberman threatens to “kill.”

From Salon:

But whatever Hadassah actually does for Komen, the question that women might ask is whether she brings its important messages home to Joe. Has she explained, for instance, that thousands of uninsured and underinsured women die every year because so many don’t get timely preventive care or treatment for their cancers? Has she pointed out that healthcare reform is of special importance to women, cancer patients and cancer survivors? Did she tell him why her organization is demanding the same health insurance reforms — such as guaranteed provision of coverage and elimination of preexisting condition limitations — that his Republican allies are determined to prevent?

Or would she even bother to do so? She claims she’s an advocate for women’s health, and raises funds for the Komen “Global Promise Fund.” According to the Salon article, she also co-hosted a fundraiser at the Republican National Convention last summer. So what’s going on here exactly?

Lieberman “will not allow” any bill with a public option to even come to a vote, and threatens to filibuster with Republicans against such a bill, claiming that “stopping reform altogether would be better than passing a bill with a public option.”

Really Joe? This man has the gall to say that “doing nothing is better than a so-called public option. We ought to follow the doctors’ oath and say, “First let’s do no harm.”

Does this man have no idea what kind of harm comes from doing nothing? Has he no knowledge whatsoever about a little thing called “early detection?” Yes, he could consult Hadassah, (but I think that’s a moot point) or anyone else affiliated with the Komen organization.

Or, better yet, he could ask any breast cancer survivor. He could start with me.  I could give him a pretty good rundown on the harm that can come from doing nothing, and how lives can be saved when you’re lucky enough to have health insurance that allows you to see a doctor for preventive care before it’s too late, or to see a doctor period. Any time.

I could tell Joe early detection is a good thing. I could go into detail, but it’s a pretty logical conclusion: I had insurance, I went to the doctor, and discovered I had breast cancer early enough to do something about it. Women with cancer who can’t afford and don’t have health insurance and no access to doctors die. It’s that simple.

Maybe we should be asking Sen. Lieberman, Mrs. Lieberman, and the “Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure” why they have any connections at all? It seems to me like this is a bit of a conflict, when you have a foundation out there raising a lot of money for the very things Sen. Lieberman wants to block. How exactly does that work? Another question: How do Komen donors and volunteers feel about this? I can answer that one too. It infuriates me.

We’re supposed to sit and watch this healthcare debate start  all over again, knowing that Sen. Lieberman threatens to stop legislation in its tracks for purely political reasons. Because of “costs.” Or whatever reason Lieberman comes up with tomorrow, or the day after that. We’re supposed to pretend that it has nothing to do with the health insurance companies. Sure.

Now, Harry Reid is telling everyone to “Leave Lieberman alone, he’ll handle him.” Like he’s “handled” him before?

If Sen. Reid had “handled him” after he campaigned for John McCain and his careless choice for Vice President, the absolutely unqualified and ignorant Sarah Palin, putting the entire country in jeopardy just to keep the GOP in power, well, we wouldn’t be here, would we?

“Race for a cure?” You bet it is.

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