Thursday, December 31, 2009

AT&T Dumps Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods' multiple extramarital affairs have cost his sponsors billions, reports NPR. Meanwhile, Golf Digest has suspended Woods' column, and AT & T is the latest corporate sponsor to dump the unethical lying and cheating golf pro.

AT&T, whose logo had been emblazoned on Woods’s golf bag, said Thursday that it is ending its sponsorship agreement with him. In a brief statement, the company said it wishes him well in the future.

The Decline of Hope

Jezebel reports that in America hope is on the decline. I think this means that despair is on the rise.

"[I]n a CNN poll of 1,160 Americans only 51 percent said they're hopeful for the world, down from 68 percent in 1999."

The Music of 2009’s Departed Musicians (Video)

From the Ronettes to the Kinks to Mary Travers to Michael Jackson, we lost some of the best in 2009. Hear their sounds stitched together in something of an "aural quilt."

Happy New Year in Australia (Video)

I hope everyone is enjoying the last day of 2009. It looks like Australians are happy to see the end of the first decade of the new millennium. They are not alone.

No Toys for Children of the Undocumented

After word got out that the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program was reserved for the children of documented citizens only, the outcry was so loud that the Salvation Army announced that henceforth it would permit Santa to visit even the children of undocumented parents. Still, it happened. And other charities are continuing the shameful practice. This is NOT progress:

Some children in Nashville this Christmas awoke to a barren Christmas tree because their parents weren't able to provide Santa with social security numbers. What does it say about a country when two of its largest holiday gift givers, the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program, and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots, will decline applicants who are unable to demonstrate proof of citizenship, and income, according to an article in The Tennessean.

The Angel Tree program, based in Nashville, will have distributed Christmas presents to nearly 15,000 children and seniors throughout Tennessee in response to nearly 5,000 applications, and this program that matches gifts to families in need, is not shy about its requirement to produce a social security card. . . Any charity that would reject the children of immigrants at Christmas isn't worthy of the name.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Most Admired Women: Hillary Clinton & Sarah Palin

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sarah Palin are very nearly tied in the poll for most admired woman. Hillary wins at 16% to 15%. Among Independents, the women do tie, 14% to 14%.

Even more interesting, Hillary Rodham Clinton pulls in 6% of votes from Republicans while Sarah Palin doesn't even get enough votes to register from Democrats. Republicans also gave votes to Michelle Obama.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues her reign as the Most Admired Woman in the eyes of Americans, but barely edges out former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin this year, 16% to 15%. Talk show host Oprah Winfrey and first lady Michelle Obama finish third and fourth, with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Queen Elizabeth II, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and poet Maya Angelou -- all regulars on the list -- joined by newcomers German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Elin Woods in the top 10.

Hillary Clinton has now been named Most Admired Woman 14 times since 1993, spanning her career as first lady, New York senator, and now secretary of state. The three times she has not finished first during this time, she earned second place (to Laura Bush in 2001 and to Mother Teresa in 1995 and 1996).

Women to Get $19 Million from Outback Steakhouse for Sex Discrimination

Women who have worked at Outback Steakhouse for 3 years or more since 2002 are eligible for a cut of the $19 million. They just have to fill out the forms.

And the EEOC and some brave women win another one! Outback Steakhouse got caught promoting men and not women. Hello? Is there a restaurant in this country where all the managers are not men? Yeah, we have tokens. I think we all know that businesses that discriminate against women are the norm in this cowboy country. The more women step up and do the very hard work of holding the sexists accountable, the sooner we will see some real change!

Outback Steakhouse has agreed to pay $19 million to settle a major class lawsuit alleging sexual discrimination at its hundreds of corporate-owned restaurants nationwide, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Tuesday. According to the EEOC, Outback discriminated against thousands of female employees by not promoting them to higher-level profit-sharing management positions and denying them favorable job assignments that would help them be considered for top positions. . .

According to the suit, filed in September 2006, managers allegedly made comments that disparaged women workers. Tom Flanagan, a joint venture partner, allegedly said female managers had "let him down" and "lost focus" when they had children. He also allegedly said women managers had trouble "saying no" and that he wanted "cute girls" to work in the front as servers.

The $19 million will be paid to female workers at Outback who have worked from 2002 to the present who have worked there for at least three years.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ms. Claus Banned from Xmas Parade

Apparently only men can be the center of attention in parades and receive adoration and acclaim for taking care of the children. Sheesh.

The Greater Raleigh Merchants Association banned Mrs. Claus from the parade, saying that the sight would "confuse" the children.

John Odom, executive director of the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association, which runs the parade, said it's confusing for children to see two people in Santa suits. He said it's a policy that only Santa may wear the official outfit.

The confused Greater Raleigh Merchants Association should stay far away from my house where Ms. Claus is the only Santa we know. As noted over at Feminist Law Professors, probably Mrs. or Ms. Claus would have been approved if only she'd been wearing fewer clothes.

Notes from the Cracked Ceiling

Anne Kornblut has a new book, which I'm going to have to read: "Notes from the Cracked Ceiling: Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin and What It Will Take for a Woman to Win." According to the Washington Post, the book explains why women lost.

Kornblut touched on the topic of young women who "don't vote for women" in yesterday's paper. I say "touched" because I couldn't find a mention of the historical pattern of young women denouncing feminism in favor of pleasing boyfriends. At a certain age, women in patriarchy prefer pleasing boyfriends to eating food, drinking water and engaging in any and all rational thought.

Other than the small minority of women who sign up for feminist studies in college, young women get their ideas about feminism from a popular culture and media steeped in misogyny. Inspirational movies about courageous women who devoted their lives to fighting for and winning rights that today's women take for granted pretty well don't exist in this country (well, I can think of exactly one.) The fight for the vote alone took 72 years, yet few can name even a handful of the brave women who fought all their lives for women's basic citizenship rights.

Except as wives, mothers and mistresses, women are still not in the mainstream history books, which in 2009 is pretty damn incredible. The absence fuels and confirms the patriarchal propaganda, the lies which drum into our children's heads the myth that the only people in history who have done anything worthwhile are men. Yeah. Pretty well everything about male-centered culture tells young women to listen to, respect, and vote for the men.

[See more on Notes from the Cracked Ceiling here.]

Senate Rebuffs Progressive Nominees. Will Obama Fight for Them?

Before adjourning for the holidays, the senate refused to confirm six of Obama's nominees, including the solidly progressive Office of Legal Counsel nominee Dawn Johnsen and Department of Labor Solicitor Patricia Smith.

But all is not lost. President Obama could renominate them. President Obama could fight for them. Yeah, right. We all know that Obama won't do that. No Drama Obama is a lot of things, but most certainly he is not a fighter.

Paul Rosenberg, over at Open Left, says it best:

The year is almost over, and it's time to face facts: Obama is a great campaigner, but for politicians, campaigning is only a means to an end. And when it comes to the ends achieved, Obama is not even close to playing in the deep end with the grown ups of presidential history, such as they are. During his campaign, Obama tried to paint himself with the ambition of presidential greatness. He would break the gridlock, end the culture wars and get us back to solving the big problems we face that others have been ducking for so long.

Two words: Yeah, right. . .

Bush could have successfully nominated a horse for any of those positions. A dead horse. Obama, OTOH, would have trouble nominating Jesus.

He is the very definition of a mediocre politician, frittering away his ability to get anything done, while constantly worrying about looking good in the eyes of people who despise him. Once upon a time, it was a badge of honor that they despised him. But by now, he has confirmed their judgment with his pathetic acquiescence to their sense of priorities--and proprieties.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Misogyny Ad Watch: Redtape Shoes Puts Women in Vending Machines

Here's the ultimate in objectifying women. An ad campaign in India by Redtape Shoes portrays men selecting women out of closets and vending machines.

Redtape's sexist ads include a male drooling over women trapped inside a giant fishbowl and a male office worker being amused by women performing a pole dance on top of his desk.

Thanks for the misogyny, Redtape Shoes. Here's wishing you a speedy bankruptcy!

"Misogyny is like jazz: women know it when they hear it. . . women have poison."
-- Kristin Schaal

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Obama Campaigned on a Public Option (Video)

Another day, another campaign promise that Obama can't recall ever making. Now President Obama says: "I didn't campaign on the public option."

Yeah, well, then who is that imposter in the video clip below? Help the Progressive Change Campaign Committee put this ad on tv.

And who is the imposter campaigning for the public option in this MSNBC Countdown clip?

"Essentially . . we're going to set up a public plan that all persons and all women can access if they don't have health insurance. It will be a plan that will provide all essential services, including reproductive services."

Firedoglake: Obama Thinks Lying To The American People Is The Best Strategy / Digby: President Goldilocks: Depends on what the meaning of the word "campaign" is: / Think Progress: FLASHBACK: Obama Repeatedly Touted Public Option Before Refusing To Push For It In The Final Hours / Daily Kos: President Obama: "I Didn't Campaign on the Public Option."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jane Hamsher: Left & Right Fed Up With Two-Party Tyranny (Video)

A diary at Daily Kos is attacking Jane Hamsher for going on Fox News where Jane basically pointed out that whether you are a Dem or a Repub, you are being played.

I notice there is a diary up on Daily Kos attacking me for going on Fox & Friends. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t say what I actually said:

In 2000, the Republicans passed Medicare Part D, and it had no negotiation for prescription drug prices. And then in 2006, when the Democrats took over Congress, the first thing they did was say “hey, we’re going to roll that back, we’re going to allow for [negotiation of] prescription drug prices to be passed. But now that they actually have the chance, they’re not doing it. And you’ve got people like Jeff Sessions on the floor of the Senate saying this is criminal, this deal is criminal, but he didn’t vote for it in 2000 or 2006 when he had the chance. So we’re sort of looking at a situation where people on the right, people on the left, are looking at the Senate, and they’re saying “nobody’s there representing us. Nobody’s representing the people.” It’s just a matter of who’s in power and who’s taking PhRMA’s money.

Tag Heuer Stands With Tiger Woods

After the Tiger Woods sex scandal broke, Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer told the world that it was dropping poster boy Tiger Woods.

But the Tag Heuer website tells a different story. For all those good old philandering boys interested in ridiculous status symbols for the wealthy and vain, Tag Heuer is standing with its man.

Paramedics Refuse to Help Dying Pregnant Woman

The moral of this story is: don't expect to have your life saved by an emergency medical worker if you get sick while they are on a coffee break. This is so sad:

Two emergency medical workers in New York City have been suspended without pay after refusing to help a pregnant woman who collapsed and died in front of them. Jason Green, 32, and Melissa Jackson, 23, were taking a break from work and had just received their food from an Au Bon Pain restaurant on Dec. 9 when a worker at the coffee shop, Eutisha Revee Rennix, collapsed in their presence. Rather than helping Rennix, Green and Jackson "callously" walked out with their bagels and said "Call 911" while Rennix lay on the ground gasping for air, according to witnesses.

Rennix, 25, and her unborn child later died.

A furious Mayor Bloomberg yesterday blasted two EMTs who allegedly refused to help a dying, pregnant mom because they were on break at a Brooklyn coffee shop.

"It was unconscionable, [an] outrage, pick some adjectives and stick it in," the fuming mayor said at a news conference a day after The Post broke the scandal involving tragic mom Eutisha Revee Rennix, 25. "The Fire Department, including EMS, is responsible for life-saving, and their first responsibility is to do that," the mayor said. "But even if they weren't part of the Fire Department sworn to protect all of us, just normal human beings, drop your coffee and go help somebody if they're dying. C'mon."

The F Word: Who You Callin' Moderate? (Video)

"White men are the least likely Americans to identify as progressives. The people most likely to identify with the liberal worldview -- women, people of color, LGBT people, disenfranchised workers -- are those who have experienced a lack of freedom and opportunity themselves. They are then motivated to broaden their scope and see how injustice also affects other Americans. It is the progressive movement's commitment to these people -- its base, its core -- that will ensure its long-term survival. If we continue to compromise on the concerns of those people, or dismiss them as "special interests" working against an imaginary greater good, we will ultimately render our shared concept of liberalism totally meaningless. After all, if each group within the coalition is actually just in it alone, what's the point of subscribing to a common ideology at all?"

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sen. Feingold Blames Obama for Loss of Public Option

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) joined Howard Dean and many others on the left when he expressed his disappointment over the Obama Administration's failure to lead in health care, or failure put up even a minimal fight for the public option.

Senator Feingold:

Unfortunately, the lack of support from the administration made keeping the public option in the bill an uphill struggle. Removing the public option from the Senate bill is the wrong move, and eliminates $25 billion in savings. I will be urging members of the House and Senate who draft the final bill to make sure this essential provision is included.

Howard Dean on MTP: Health Care Reform Rips Off Seniors (Video)

Howard Dean, on Meet the Press, lays out some of the most serious problems with the senate health care reform bill. DEAN: "The Senate bill says you can charge three times as much for somebody who is older than who's younger, now, the House says twice as much. In Vermont, it's 20% more."

Dean: "It's 1.2 times what an 'ordinary' person pays. That's clearly not... there is going to be insurance that's unaffordable. Suppose you make $70,000-80,000 a year, you could end up paying $20,000 for your insurance under the Senate bill. So, there are some big, big problems.

It is not a coincidence, David Gregory, that insurance company stocks, health insurance company stocks hit a 52-year high on Friday, so they must know something that the rest of us don't.

I think it's gotta have a public option, at least allow some of the states... now, there are two countries that have done this without a public option - Switzerland and The Netherlands - but they treat insurance companies as public utilities. . . We are nowhere near where Switzerland and The Netherlands are, in terms of the regulatory apparatus on the private insurance industry..."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

NOW Condemns Health Care Bill's Abortion Compromise

Apparently there are now 60 votes for the senate's health care 'reform' bill. Ben Nelson is on board because he got another compromise on abortion and because he got a hefty bribe of money for Medicaid in his state, but not in my state, nor in anyone else's.

Briefly, here's the latest compromise on abortion: (1) ensure that no public funds will be used for abortion; (2) mandate that every state provide an insurance plan option that does not cover abortion; and (3) gives each state the right to pass a law barring insurance coverage for abortion within state borders. Scroll down to hear about it in Nelson's own words. [via Think Progress]

Or as NOW president Terry O'Neill calls it:

December 19, 2009: The so-called health care reform bill now before the Senate, with the addition of Majority Leader Harry Reid's Manager's Amendment, amounts to a health insurance bill for half the population and a sweeping anti-abortion law for the rest of us. And by the way, it's the rest of us who voted the current leadership into both houses of Congress.

The National Organization for Women is outraged that Senate leadership would cave in to Sen. Ben Nelson, offering a compromise that amounts to a Stupak-like ban on insurance coverage for abortion care. Right-wing ideologues like Nelson and the Catholic Bishops may not understand this, but abortion is health care. And health care reform is not true reform if it denies women coverage for the full range of reproductive health services. We call on all senators who consider themselves friends of women's rights to reject the Manager's Amendment, and if it remains, to defeat this cruelly over-compromised legislation.

Boxer and Murray on board with abortion compromise
Senate Bill Would Allow States To Prohibit Abortion Coverage In Exchange

Friday, December 18, 2009

Health Care: I'm A Democrat, And I'm A Republican. (Video)

MSNBC's He-Man Ratigan Bullies & Yells at Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Video)

Maybe He-Man Dylan Ratigan is trying to get his sinking ratings up, or maybe he is just continuing the MSNBC tradition of hating women.

Passing As Men Still Pays: Men With Pens Blogger is a Woman

Women have a long history of posing as men in order to earn a living or pursue a dream. Women have passed as men in order to play jazz, publish books, fight in wars, and be free from sexual assault and compulsory marriage.

Kate Harding has the interesting story of a woman who found financial success by posing as the sexist good old boy Men with Pens blogger James Chartrand:

Today, Men with Pens blogger James Chartrand revealed that "he" is actually a lady with a laptop. After working under her real name for years, Chartrand was still struggling to make it as a freelance writer. Not only was her income negligible, but "I was treated like crap, too. Bossed around, degraded, condescended to, with jibes made about my having to work from home. I quickly learned not to mention I had kids. I quickly learned not to mention I worked from my kitchen table." Out of desperation, she started submitting work under a male pseudonym, just to see if it made a difference. And boy, did it ever.

And Amanda Hess has the not-so-inspiring details of just how despicably sexist the still-anonymous female blogger was in her quest for success as the Men with Pens blogger. Maybe we should take this as the ultimate mockery of what too often passes for mainstream masculinity?

Meg Whitman Leads in CA Primary, but Are Women Paying Attention?

Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is way out front in California's GOP primary race. It will be interesting to see if Whitman gets hit with the same barrage of sexism that tried so hard to derail Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, but right now that's not her big problem. After spending 20 million on her campaign, the former eBay CEO continues to face quite a battle getting women to pay attention:

Meg who? Meg Whitman has spent millions bombarding state radio waves with her message but half of likely voters haven't heard of her or don't hold a view of her. More than two-thirds of women don't have an opinion of the only woman in the governor's race, while 51 percent of men have no opinion.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ed Schultz to Obama: "Your base thinks you're nothing but a sellout." (Video)

The 30 Democrats Who Voted Against Importing Prescription Drugs from Canada

The 30 Democrats who voted against the prescription drug importation amendment -- which would permit Americans to get affordable drugs from Canada -- include John Kerry, Harry Reid and Chris Dodd. Only 17 Republicans voted against the amendment. See the full list of Turncoat Dems here. The traitorous Democratic senators voted against affordable prescription drugs for Americans in order to protect Obama's behind closed doors deal with Big Pharma.

Dems Voting No on Prescription Drug Imports Receive 70% More Pharma Money

Fundamentally, Bush's 3rd Term

Ian Welsh has penned an excellent post that summarizes the demoralized state of America and gives Obama's his due credit. If Obama were honest, he'd use Ian Welsh's post for his State of the Union speech, but he's not.

We are debt slaves trapped inside a two-party tyranny. Like one of Welsh's commenters says, "Thank god there's gin." If you've been looking for one piece of writing that could awaken your delusional still-sleeping friends, this is it. Read it at Crooks and Liars: Notes on the Moral and Political Degradation of America. A sobering excerpt follows:

The news in the last few days has continued the drumbeat of demoralizing events which started in the Bush administration, and with only a few hiccups has continued through the Obama administration. It is clear that Obama is, fundamentally, Bush's 3rd term.

First we have the health care "reform" debacle, where it has been confirmed that the White House pushed Harry Reid to accept Lieberman's ultimatum, not go to reconciliation. There will be no public option in the Senate bill. There will be no Medicare expansion. There will be no cap on yearly limits. What there will be is a mandate forcing people to buy insurance, some subsidies which can still leave people spending money they can't afford, and guaranteed issue of lousy plans (Plans where only 70% of the premiums have to be spent on care, for example.) Unless progressive Senators are willing to filibuster, or House progressives are willing to vote against en-masse, something very close to the Senate plan is what will pass, because as I noted some time ago, the White House's bottom line is that something, anything must pass, and conservative Dems are willing to kill the bill to make sure it doesn't actually threaten health industry profits in any way, shape, or form. (Thus why drug importation, which would cost Pharma money, will be made illegal.)

Next we have what Glenn Greenwald is calling the creation of Gitmo North, in which people whom the government judges there is not enough evidence to convict, will be held indefinitely without trial. This is the very definition of tyranny. . . To add this sad state, we have the sad spectacle of Obama lecturing the bankers. Meanwhile in Britain, instead of lecturing, the government has imposed a 50% tax on bonuses, and France looks like to follow suit. The British government's response to threats to move employees out of the country? "That's nice, you do that."

. . . Americans exist to be looted systematically by their elites, and if they die young and live sick, who cares?

Leaving Obamaland graphic via The Black Agenda

Sen. Sanders Doubts He'll Vote for Healthcare Bill; Liberal Anger Rising

Bernie Sanders, a remarkable senator with some spine or maybe just integrity, doubts he will be able to vote for the senate's sham of a health care bill:

I’m struggling with this. As of this point, I’m not voting for the bill. … I’m going to do my best to make this bill a better bill, a bill that I can vote for, but I’ve indicated both to the White House and the Democratic leadership that my vote is not secure at this point. And here is the reason. When the public option was withdrawn, because of Lieberman’s action, what I worry about is how do you control escalating health care costs? -- Bernie Sanders

"If I were a senator, I would not vote for the current health-care bill. Any measure that expands private insurers' monopoly over health care and transfers millions of taxpayer dollars to private corporations is not real health-care reform."

"The president keeps listening to Rahm Emanuel. No public option, no extending Medicare to 55, no nothing, an excise tax, God! The insurance lobby is taking over."

"Snowe? Stupak? Lieberman? Who left these people in charge?" he said. "It's time for the president to get his hands dirty. Some of us have compromised our compromised compromise. We need the president to stand up for the values our party shares. We must stop letting the tail wag the dog of this debate."

"The White House has been useless."

Labor Holds Emergency Meetings To Discuss Senate Bill, May Formally Oppose

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Obama Broken Promises Quote of the Day

"We'll allow the safe reimportation of low-cost drugs from countries like Canada."

"We'll tell the pharmaceutical companies 'thanks, but no, thanks' for the overpriced drugs -- drugs that cost twice as much here as they do in Europe and Canada and Mexico. We'll let Medicare negotiate for lower prices. We'll stop drug companies from blocking generic drugs that are just as effective and far less expensive. We'll allow the safe reimportation of low-cost drugs from countries like Canada."

Obama campaign speech, October 4, 2008 [skip to 23.00]:

Democrats Lead in Killing Canadian Drug Import Bill

Update: Click here to see the 30 Democrats who voted against the drug importation amendment, they include John Kerry, Chris Dodd and Harry Reid. The Dems voted against drug importation in order to protect Obama's deal with Big PHARMA.

Howard Dean: Health Care Bill 'Bigger Bailout for the Insurance Industry Than AIG' (Video)

Howard Dean: Health Care Bill 'Bigger Bailout for the Insurance Industry Than AIG'

Jane Hamsher: Kill The Senate Bill

Kos: Remove mandate, or kill this bill

Chris Bowers: If progressive want to kill the bill, they should support it as hard as possible

Feminist Quote of the Day

"Note to the Reliable Source: Two professional women beefing does not equal a cat fight. Two women should be allowed to disagree with each other publicly and not have that dismissive and gendered term apply."
-- Latoya Peterson, at Jezebel

Reid Deigns to Permit Liberals to Vote FOR Single Payer - Better Late than Never

Harry Reid could have waited longer to permit a vote on the life-saving single payer amendment, maybe Christmas day would have worked for him?

Republicans are determined to work through Christmas day. Senator Coburn has forced the reading aloud of the entire 700 page plus single payer bill

Watch the single payer debate at C-Span. Bernie Sanders is no Democrat, and after listening to his passion for single payer, all I can say is, it figures.

The Sanders Amendment would provide health care and dental coverage for every American, save money, and improve health care results."In my view, the single-payer approach is the only way we will ever have a cost-effective, comprehensive health care system in this country," said Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose amendment will come before the Senate. . . "One of the reasons our current health care system is so expensive, so wasteful, so bureaucratic, so inefficient is that it is heavily dominated by private health insurance companies whose only goal in life is to make as much money as they can," Sanders said. Sign Sanders' petition here.

Democrats Lead in Killing Canadian Drug Import Bill

Now why would Democrats -- the party that swore it fully supported the right to import unbelievably cheap drugs from Canada -- lead the way in killing the drug importation bill? After all, the Dems told us that it was only the Evil Republicans who stood in the way of giving Americans easy access to affordable prescription drugs. Yeah, it was only the Evil Republicans who stood in the way of universal health care too, except our Democratic president forgot to even ask for it.

That would be the same Democratic president who magically forgot all about his campaign promise to support drug importation when he made a deal with Big PHARMA almost immediately after he got into office.

Gotta keep that Big PHARMA money coming to the Party of the People! Good cops, bad cops, we are suckers being played. Or as Glenn Greenwald calls it: White House as helpless victim on healthcare:

The President: I really want a public option and Medicare buy-in. What can we do to get it?

Rahm Emanuel: Unfortunately, nothing. We can just sit by and hope, but you're not in Congress any more and you don't have a vote. They're a separate branch of government and we have to respect that.

The President: So we have no role to play in what the Democratic Congress does?

Emanuel: No. Members of Congress make up their own minds and there's just nothing we can do to influence or pressure them.

The President: Gosh, that's too bad. Let's just keep our fingers crossed and see what happens then.

"This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place, so I don’t think focusing it on Lieberman really hits the truth."
-- Russ Feingold

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

U.S. Senate Says No Affordable Drugs for Americans

The U.S. Senate has rejected a plan to import low-price prescription drugs from Canada. And that would be because the millionaires in the U.S. Senate have no need of cheap drugs. So the millionaire senators decree that ordinary Americans don't get cheap drugs either. After all, tax payers and big PHARMA support the prescription drug habits of the U.S. Senate. As a former Canadian resident, I have to confess that when it comes to accessing health care and prescription drugs, crossing the border from the U.S. to Canada feels like crossing the border out of hell:

The Senate voted 51-48 rejecting a plan to import low-price prescription drugs from Canada and other countries. The amendment was put forth by North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan (r).

Importing prescription drugs for personal use is a violation of federal law. Dorgan’s amendment would have lifted the ban, allowing access to low-cost medicines from developed countries where the government limits drug prices.

Howard Dean: Health Care Reform Is Dead in the Senate. Lieberman Gloats.

So much for the public option and the Medicare buy-in. Joe Lieberman does not approve. Now that we know that Joe Lieberman is in charge of the senate's Lieberman Health Care Reform bill, Dr. Howard Dean says the smart thing to do is kill the damn bill:

“This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate. Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill.”

And Joe Lieberman is apparently loving it:

Mr. Lieberman could not be happier. He is right where he wants to be - at the center of the political aisle, the center of the Democrats' efforts to win 60 votes for their sweeping health care legislation. For the moment, he is at the center of everything - and he loves it. "My wife said to me, ‘Why do you always end up being the point person here?' " he said, flashing a broad grin in an interview on Monday.

"No individual should hold health care hostage, including Joe Lieberman, and I'll say it flat out, I think he ought to be recalled."

"If Rahm Emanuel is all he was supposed to be, we can safely assume that the Obama White House either never gave a shit about health care reform, or they managed health care reform so horrifically and incompetently that they are now willing to settle for a “win”, no matter how meager."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Women Comedians Mocking Men: If Men Menstruated (Video)

Never mind the hopelessly sexist nature of the English language, or that menstruate is yet another word made ridiculous with the inclusion of men in it. Language is patriarchal territory marked absurd by a ceaselessly pissing dog.

Women mocking men, now this is funny:

Of course this brings to mind Gloria Steinem's classic piece: If Men Could Menstruate . . . . Statistical surveys would show that men did better in sports and won more Olympic medals during their periods. Generals, right-wing politicians, and religious fundamentalists would cite menstruation ("men-struation") as proof that only men could serve God and country in combat ("You have to give blood to take blood"), occupy high political office ("Can women be properly fierce without a monthly cycle governed by the planet Mars?"), be priests, ministers, God Himself ("He gave this blood for our sins"), or rabbis ("Without a monthly purge of impurities, women are unclean").

Male liberals and radicals, however, would insist that women are equal, just different; and that any woman could join their ranks if only she were willing to recognize the primacy of menstrual rights ("Everything else is a single issue") or self-inflict a major wound every month ("You must give blood for the revolution"). . . Menopause would be celebrated as a positive event, the symbol that men had accumulated enough years of cyclical wisdom to need no more.

Liberal males in every field would try to be kind. The fact that "these people" have no gift for measuring life, the liberals would explain, should be punishment enough.

Vicious Betty Crocker Sexism Our Mothers Lived With

Lisa over at Sociological Images calls this:

Pity America

This piece from Germany called "Poor America" could easily be titled: "Pity America." Anyone who doesn't pity the people of America has not been paying attention to the sham of a health care reform debate conducted by America's self-serving leaders.

Drama King Joe Lieberman may be winning the "Most Despised Pol" award, but the modern day Simon Legree is not exactly out of step with America's reigning sick ideology:

In “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” it is not socially acceptable to have to depend on government help, and that explains why many needy people in the U.S. do not even seek assistance: it is a matter of personal embarrassment. . And because many Americans consider solidarity to be some kind of communist plot, they leave a lot to be desired when it comes to helping others through these needy times.

Child Hunger is Up in America: . . the number of youngsters living in homes without enough food soared in 2008 from 13 million to nearly 17 million. .

Why Welfare Reform Fails its Recession Test: Benefits are tiny, too, with 30 states paying a maximum benefit that's less than 30 percent of the federal poverty line. Mississippi skimps by offering its TANF recipients $170 a month for a family of three, about 9 percent of the poverty line and barely enough to cover the utility bills.

Are Americans a Broken People? Why We've Stopped Fighting Back Against the Forces of Oppression: Can people become so broken that truths of how they are being screwed do not "set them free" but instead further demoralize them? Has such a demoralization happened in the United States? Do some totalitarians actually want us to hear how we have been screwed because they know that humiliating passivity in the face of obvious oppression will demoralize us even further?

Solidarity: Men in Headscarves

Here's a creative response to the worldwide patriarchal tradition of expressing contempt for girls and women by shaming boys and men with taunts that they are like girls. Some men respond by dressing themselves in women's mandated clothing. Better late than never. [Watch the video: We are all Majids]

via Feminist Law Professors

Sunday, December 13, 2009

SNL: Adulterers Press Conference (Video)

Houston Has A Lesbian Mayor!

Annise Parker and the voters of Houston, Texas just made history. It's official. Texas is more progressive than Tennessee -- and many other states.

HOUSTON — Houston became the largest city in the United States to elect an openly gay mayor on Saturday night, as voters gave a solid victory to the city controller, Annise Parker.

Cheers and dancing erupted at Ms. Parker’s campaign party as her opponent, Gene Locke, a former city attorney, conceded defeat just after 10 p.m. when it became clear he could not overcome her lead.

“Tonight the voters of Houston have opened the door to history,” she said, standing by her partner of 19 years, Kathy Hubbard, and their three adopted children. “I acknowledge that. I embrace that. I know what this win means to many of us who never thought we could achieve high office.”

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jenny Sanford Files for Divorce

Jenny Sanford is a woman who is Not standing behind her man. This could catch on.

First Lady Jenny Sanford issued a statement this morning saying she is filing for divorce from Gov. Mark Sanford. In a two-page filing made this morning in Charleston County family court, Jenny Sanford asked for a divorce on grounds of adultery.

"It's been a crazy year. ... Certainly his actions hurt me, and they caused consequences for me, but they don't in any way take away my own self-esteem. They reflect poorly on him," she said, in an exclusive interview as part of Walters' "10 Most Fascinating People of 2009."