But as I'm not a fan of Moore - here:
This is appropriate for the above and the new Talk Like William Shatner Day!
Newt Gingrich Says
The former Speaker of the House says health care reform will ruin Obama much like passing civil rights laws "shattered" Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic Party in the 60's. Wow.
But former Republican House speaker Newt Gingrich said Obama and the Democrats will regret their decision to push for comprehensive reform. Calling the bill "the most radical social experiment . . . in modern times," Gingrich said: "They will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years" with the enactment of civil rights legislation in the 1960s."
Not much to add here, except that the GOP is really going for it these days.
It's the end of the world as we know it —
Fox News Says
Reform is the
Healthcare reform has passed. It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing and almost universally a good thing. Unless you're Fox News or Sarah Palin, in which case it's the end of the world. We watched today's apocalyptic coverage, mystified.
Fox Newshas been peddling false information and bad journalism throughout the debate. They've been deliberately misinforming their viewers by featuring, and skewing towards, poorly-researched and ideologically motivated Republican talking points. Today's coverage hit all the buttons — the emphasizing of protests, sad, resigned GOP-ers talking about rationed healthcare, the use of quotation marks in captions (it's a healthcare "fix" according to Fox News), and the posing of ridiculously provocative questions "what is the TRUE cost of this bill — we report, you decide." Even the New York Post — owned, like Fox, by Rupert Murdoch — is condemning them. Which is maybe the lowest moral high ground to be looked down at from. Here's the crazy through the day, until the bill passed.
Here's a lady comparing the Congressional Budget Office report on how much the bill will cost to... Enron and Madoff.
And here's a typical airing of some unquestioned scaremongering from a Republican on abortion — the talking point being that Obama's executive order to prevent federal money being spent on abortions is flimsy and will mean that there will be Federal abortion parties in every town across the nation.
A classic Foxian move, this — let a panelist say something completely ridiculous which stands as fact because it's totally unquestioned. "This will bankrupt the country," says Steve Hayes, columnist for the Weekly Standard. No, it won't.
Aaaaaaand here's Sarah Palin, talking to Bill O'Reilly. She said too many ridiculous, illiterate things about a "leftist" conspiracy to turn America "European" to sum up. Do not watch this if you are easily angered.
Who could possibly make Palin look considered, intelligent and sensible? Michele 'I can't spell' Bachmann, who says, this is a "takeover".
And when the bill finally passed, Fox News talked about... the deficit. Which is a common scare tactic that puts the GOP red in red herring. So a very apt finale.
Now color me confused? Isn't Armageddon what this asshat fundies want? Or are they not really true believers?
Tea party protesters, on Capitol hill to rail against healthcare reform that will benefit them, and stoked up by speeches from Republican lawmakers, unleashed abuse and spit against black and gay members of congress.
The Huffington Post report that thousands of gathered protesters abused Representatives James Clyburn and John Lewis, both veterans of the civil rights movement. The latter had the word 'nigger' shouted at him. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver was spat on. When Rep. Barney Frank, report Talking Points Memo, "rounded a corner to leave the building, an older protestor yelled "Barney, you faggot." The surrounding crowd of protestors then erupted in laughter."
"It was absolutely shocking to me," Clyburn told the Huffington Post. "Last Monday, this past Monday, I stayed home to meet on the campus of Claflin University where fifty years ago as of last Monday... I led the first demonstrations in South Carolina, the sit ins... And quite frankly I heard some things today I have not heard since that day. I heard people saying things that I have not heard since March 15, 1960 when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus."
Republican Senator Jim DeMint tweeted that he was "grateful for the thousands of patriots who are storming the Capitol today protesting government healthcare and defending freedom." The tweet came at around the same time the racist and homophobic comments above were reported.
UPDATE: And here is some (non-controversial) video from earlier in the protests, just so you can get a sense of the atmosphere in DC today.
By Tea Partyers
Yesterday a bunch of Tea Party anti-healthcare protesters called black and gay lawmakers 'nigger' and 'faggot'. Today the right-wing blogs want an apology — from the lawmakers, to the protesters.
Glenn Reynolds, at Instapundit, targeted his ire at James Clyburn, the Congressman and veteran of the civil rights movement. (The capitals, inevitably, are his.) "DOES CLYBURN OWE TEA PARTY PROTESTERS AN APOLOGY? The bogus racism card has been played so often that I no longer find such charges very credible. I'm sure, however, that, true or not, they'll be played much more loudly than the indisputably true statements about the antiwar movement."
Conservative blogger Ann Althouse is more magnanimous and forgiving of the lawmakers. She doesn't want them to apologise. But she does feel that "it's outrageous for them to pose as victims without very good cause. So what if some idiot said a bad word?"
UPDATE: Reddy Tuxpin in the comments below points out that the Tea Partyers — bravely soldiering on without an apology — are Twitter-reported to be calling Barney Frank 'faggot' again today. Oddly, the slurs against Frank are not being condemned or even mentioned alongside the racial slurs (at least on the parts of cable news that I'm watching). Matt Kibbe, the President and CEO of Freedomworks, who helped organize the Tea Party protests, did not mention homophobia in a bizarre semi-apology on MSNBC. Neither did any of MSNBC's pundits, or the Republican leadership. Is 'faggot' less appalling than 'nigger'?
The LA Times report on ethical concerns raised by Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas, who is an active tea partyer and conservative campaigner. But it will make no difference to anything. And here's why.
In January, report the Times, Virginia, who goes by Ginni, started a non-profit lobbying group called Liberty Central that will "organize activism around a set of conservative "core principles"." She's been on panels at CPAC and worked for the Heritage Foundation, where Dick Cheney is sometimes a speaker. On the surface it's worrying — it's unfeasible to assume that the couple do not discuss politics, and are not somewhat influenced by each others views. But:
- Clarence Thomas is not his wife: what if he's a centrist and merely tolerates his wife's leanings? What if they're James Carville and Mary Matalin? And if that's not the case...
- People are less stupid than blogs (like this one) make out: assuming he is right-wing, and fully supports his wife's views, and keeps a laminated picture of Leo Strauss in his wallet, Thomas is doubtless an intelligent man with a comprehensive grasp of the law. It is somewhat ludicrous to argue that, if he wanted to, he could not utterly separate his views from his work. He was born dirt poor, experienced appalling racism and still occasionally votes against (perceived) black interests. If he can make that separation, why assume he can't make this one? But if even that is too much of a stretch...
- Every judge holds political views: there's a myth that judges are apolitical. Which is ridiculous. However much Justice Scalia says he's merely a constitutional literalist, he's clearly not a secret ACLU member in his spare time. A child of eight could map each justice on a left/right spectrum with very little difficulty. Is it a surprise that the Thomas household leans right? Not if you look at his decisions. So his wife's activism will make little difference even if it makes all the difference it possible could.
Imagine that face in the morning. Poor Clarence.
Tea Partiers Once Again Attacking Congress With Crazy Signs
There was another independent, nonpartisan "Tea Party" on Capitol Hill today! Just a buncha regular folks with funny signs that aren't at all racist but are a little bit provided by the RNC. Then they met a mean congressman.
This congressman was so mean that when an actual angry mob showed up outside his office screaming "LIAR" at him, in unison, he shut his door, rather than trying to engage this angry mob in some sort of rational discussion of... whether or not he's a liar, I guess.
Then this angry mob sort of hung out outside his office for a while, being angry. If they had been Code Pink they would've been dragged out of there by armed guards.
Hooray for America. Once the House passes the health care bill someone's gotta get shot.
Iraq vet, Army officer, Arab linguist, and avowed homosexualist Dan Choi has chained himself to the White House fence to protest Don't Ask Don't Tell. It's safe to say he did not inform Bravo of his intent.
(Now, personally, if we were a gay West Point grad protesting a discriminatory military policy that Congress is currently debating, we would chain ourselves to either the Pentagon or the Capitol. But those buildings are actually way harder to chain yourself to, and they are much larger, so it'd be pretty easy to not even notice someone chained to them.)
Choi apparently interrupted a "rally" by useless old gay rights group Human Rights Campaign, an organization that exists to collect money from rich gays and use that money to politely not ask or expect very much from Democrats. The "rally" itself was actually just a set piece for the filming of an episode of Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D-List.
Kathy apparently did not enjoy the fact that her "political gays" prop turned into an actual rally for the actual civil rights of actual human beings, and she decided not to join Choi at the White House.
Update: Oh fuck you, Kathy Griffin and HRC:
According to Tweets from Robin McGehee at GetEqual (see stream below) reporting from the Kathy Griffin - Human Rights Campaign "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" rally, McGehee, who is traveling with Lt. Dan Choi, asked Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese if Choi could speak at the rally and he rebuffed her, telling her it was Kathy Griffin's rally.
Update: Kathy is practicing a little damage control. Lt. Dan Choi and Captain Jim Pietrangelo were arrested a little while ago. The cable networks don't seem to have covered this event at all, because it wasn't a Tea Party.
[Pic: John Aravosis]
For the Guru:
If this catches on, half of Hollywood's females will fall into poverty. Casting for their fourth Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney specifies that fake breasts are not permitted, and actresses will be subjected to pre-shoot jiggle tests to check.
This, from the New York Post, sounds like the beginning of a porno:
The filmmakers sent out a casting call last week seeking "beautiful female fit models. Must be 5ft7in-5ft8in, size 4 or 6, no bigger or smaller. Age 18-25. Must have a lean dancer body. Must have real breasts. Do not submit if you have implants."
And they warn that there'll be a "show and tell" day.
To make sure LA talent scouts don't get caught in a "booby trap," potential lassies will have to undergo a Hollywood-style jiggle-your-jugs test and jog for judges. If there's nothing moving from the waist up, they're saying, it's a dead giveaway that you're not all flesh and bones—and you're out.
How is that not sexual harassment? On the other hand: Is there any way to prove veracity of breasts without sexually harassing? In case Disney meets any ambiguous jiggle tests, here are a few other ways I have thought of to test for veracity of breasts:
- Force actresses to answer, "Have you ever met Hugh Hefner?"
- Compare and contrast lie detector result for "Are your breasts real?" with "Are you a natural blonde?"
- Introduce the actresses to Donald Trump. Anyone he is attracted to can be eliminated prima facie.
- You'll have to sign an NDA once you read this, but: Dr. 90210: Silicone Victims Unit
"In the last movie, there were enhanced breasts to give that 18th-century whorish look, and men were pretty well padded too, and no one worried," a former casting agent said. "But times are changing, and the audience can spot false breasts."
Obama On Health
WASHINGTON - Capping a long day and a consuming political journey, President Barack Obama celebrated the passage of health care legislation with hugs, high fives and an emboldened attitude. Said the president to the nation, "Tonight, we answered the call of history."
At nearly midnight in Washington, with a big swath of country asleep or headed that way, Obama strode into the ornate East Room withVice President Joe Biden backing him. There was no hour too late for the president to embrace this moment.
"I want to thank every member of Congress who stood up tonight with courage and conviction to make health care reform a reality," Obama said as the top members of his own health care team stood beaming nearby. "I know this wasn't an easy vote for a lot of people. But it was the right vote."
Obama was proud but not unrestrained in victory, mindful that the Senate still has not gotten to a companion bill to fix problems with the one that just passed. The sense in the West Wing was one of perseverance after a debate with so many turns and doubts.
"We did not fear our future," Obama said. "We shaped it."
The final day had been a low-key one for Obama. No more fiery speeches, no trips to Capitol Hill, no ventures outside the White Housegates at all.
Instead, the most visible spokesman for health care reform spent the final day of an exhaustive lobbying campaign out of public view.
Aides said he was roaming the West Wing, getting updates, calling lawmakers with thanks as a huge legislative win was imminent.
As the president said when he crashed a morning meeting of senior staff, this was a big day. But the spotlight fell on the House of Representatives.
The first glimpse of the president on Sunday did not come until late at night, after the final House vote on legislation to revamp health insurance rules for millions of people. But the announcement that he would give such a statement underscored that Obama was sensing victory -- and history.
Beforehand, the White House released two photos showing hand-picked images of a president in a serious fight for votes until the end.
In one, Obama was on a cell phone talking to an unidentified lawmaker from the office of his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. The president was surrounded by Emanuel and four other legislative and political advisers. There wasn't a smile in the room.
The other photo showed Obama in the Oval Office, sleeves rolled up, working the phones again in conversation with another unnamed lawmaker.
Obama called more than a dozen lawmakers on Sunday and got in touch with more than 90 during the week, the White House said without identifying them.
Before nightfall, the only burst of Obama news came in a press release around 4 p.m.
Obama revealed he would issue an executive order to make sure that the emerging health care legislation would uphold all federal funding restrictions on abortion. That step had the enormously important effect of locking in the votes of a bloc of anti-abortion House Democrats.
After that, around the White House, it was mostly a matter of counting down until the House acted.
Obama watched the main House vote on the Senate-approved health care bill in the Roosevelt Room with Biden and about 40 other members of the White House staff. When the bill won enough votes to pass, the room burst into applause and hugs.
Had this been any other spring day in Washington, Obama might have ventured out for basketball or golf.
Not on this Sunday, when no hint of taking the vote for granted would be allowed.
However, Obama did have time, like many Americans, to absorb the reality of his own busted March Madness bracket.The president picked Kansas to win the men's NCAA basketball title; the Jayhawks fell in a big upset on Saturday. The basketball tournament continued Sunday, when some TVs in the West Wing were tuned to the games and other carried the action on the House floor.
Obama caught some of both.
Bwahahaha! And Joe - this is for your own good.