Monday, August 31, 2009

Must See Bill Maher Interviews Bill Moyer On Health Reform

Bill Moyer can articulate the issue of health care reform better then most. The interview from Bill Maher's Real Time Show last Friday is compelling and informative.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

All The Kings Men

I remember sitting on the floor of my Uncle's house on his farm just outside CleElum, WA on the summer night in 1960 when John F Kennedy was nominated by the Democratic Party to be their presidential candidate. As a rather impressionable 13 year old Irish Catholic boy I considered it quite a moment in time. We rarely were allowed to watch Television. So it was special. My Uncle, an Italian, was an Eastern Washington farmer, gypo-logger and a Democrat. A rare find in Eastern WA today.

Many of my ilk didn't believe it could happen then. But the Kennedy guile made Catholics and especially those who considered themselves mostly Irish proud of our heritage. A heritage, I may add, that was the backbone of the American Labor movement, and gave us many of the social reforms and protections working class people take for granted today in America. The Kennedy brothers were a extension of that progress.

This was the begining of the Kennedy brothers long legacy in American politics. Although the Kennedy's were imperfect, rich and mortal most of the time they were also champions for weak, poor and the working class. Their idealism, oratory, and wit inspired us. With the passing of Teddy today the final Kennedy brother of that generation is now gone. Teddy had his flaws, his boozing, his womanizing, but he still seemed to never forget that he was an important voice for the middle class, the common folk and the vulnerable everywhere. I think in many ways the Kennedy's imperfections and their absolute zeal for living is what endeared them to many Americans. People recognized in the Kennedys their own imperfections and most reasonable people often forgave the brothers for theirs.

Like his brothers before him, Edward Kennedy fought for civil and human rights, dignity for all, and organized labor and he especially fought for health care reform. A battle he lead for nearly 49 years. It is too bad that he will not be here with us to see that chapter in his life successfully completed. But, maybe his passing will become the impetus or spark that will make enough people and their representatives realize that real health care reform's time has come in this nation in spite of the demagoguery and lies of the Republican Party, their corporate numskulls or the loony of the radical right.

Friday, August 21, 2009

National Sick Out For Heath Care Reform October 9th

Is the health care reform debate making you sick?. Then call in sick on October 9th to show your support for health care reform and a viable public option.

This is my attempt to start a grass roots based action that will give people a vehicle to show that they are sick of insurance companies and their duped politicians and crazies controlling the debate. I believe the majority of Americans support health reform with a strong and viable public option, but they feel somewhat impotent about what to do about it. This could be their chance.

I need your help spreading the word. Post this link to your facebook, myspace or twitter account. Lets show the health insurance industry that we mean business with a national day of action.

Here is the website I've just put up.

Danny O'Brien

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What The Hell Are We Doing In Afghanistan?

I think many on the left have a sinking feeling about America's present strategy in Afghanistan. This Robert Greenwald film does little to quell that feeling. Maybe it's time for a reboot before we escalate the situation into another American nightmare.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I'm A Jeffersonian Asshole

How many crazy town talking points does it take to make you a twit.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sarah Here's A Reality Check On Health Insurance Reform

The white house new website with some great videos addressing the major wingnut myths about health insurance reform.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

It’s Time To Put Nick Licata Out To Pasture

He maybe the sweetheart of the fussy, knee jerk echo chamber occupying artsy-fartsy lefties and to the hipster writers at the SLOG who cream their jeans all over their computers at the thought of their champion. Apparently they support Licata’s feeling groovy ideology rather then for any known major civic accomplishment over the last 11 years. Most of Nick's accomplishment tend to be a subtraction rather then a addition to the vitality of the city I think.

He’s well meaning and probably a real nice guy, but its time to put Nick Licata’s parochial, vision less obstructionism and phony political posturing on the Seattle City Council to an end. 12 years of keeping Seattle from being visionary or obstructing meaningful progress and projects whenever he can should be enough.

Change is good people! Especially in a city known for taking as much time as possible to get anything meaningful done, also known as the Seattle process. At the center of that process stands one Nick Licata, chief civic bullshitter and mouse milker.

Licata said it himself in 1989 when he pushed for a two-term limit for City Council members. Believing at the time that allowing 3 terms would produce bored, lazy and unimaginative lawmakers. Well I don’t know about the bored or lazy part, but Licata has nailed the unimaginative part almost every time some big challenge or issue faces the city. It's just say no Nick. That’s fine if you want to live in Hicksville, but it doesn’t pay the rent if you want to act and be a metropolitan worldly world-class city.

Let’s look at some of the record. Licata fought light rail in favor of buses. He favored the reconstruction of a new even bigger monstrosity of a viaduct. He opposed the Mariners and Seahawks stadiums, now both successes. While president of the Council he opposed the Olympic Games 2012 bid, effectively helping to kill it. Meanwhile Vancouver, BC will welcome millions in tourist dollars next year by staging the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Much of the money Vancouver is getting to underwrite and build for their games will be Canadian federal funds that will leave long term civic infrastructure improvements once the games leave. As it was in Salt Lake City when they hosted the winter Olympics. But Licata didn't see that opportunity when Seattle wanted to step up to the plate. Instead, he wanted to ban circus animals from the city limits in a classic snobby, condescending, example of social engineering and overreach of his role. He led the charge that drove the Sonics to Oklahoma City. Hey basketball and NCAA tournament fans remember that? I only hope you remember to vote on August 18th.

Licata has done some good things. He been a advocate for the homeless, housing and supporting the arts. But I just don't think his record warrants making him practically a Seattle City Council member for life.

Many think driving the Sonics out was a good thing. The effect of their loss on the city will be “next to zero” Licata told Sports Illustrated at the time of the debate. Well tell that to the merchants, nightclub operators or their former employees on lower Queen Anne, or to basketball fans. Not to mention the potential lost tax revenue and the harm it did to the city in the way of our image as a city that could get and keep it’s shit together enough to save the franchise.

He opposed the SLUT streetcar saying it only benefited Paul Allen. He is often anti-business in favor of elements of the community that are consumers rather then those that produce jobs and business tax revenue. There has to be a balance for a city to be viable folks. We don’t need a Council full of members who are forever caught up only in their own tired mostly anti-business ideology, a Licata specialty, because you won't have a place to freaking work and earn a living people.

But, the most annoying thing about Licata is his penchant for posturing and obstructing on an issue up until he sees that it’s politically advantages to flip flop. Usually after irreparable damage has been done. This was especially evident on the viaduct replacement and transit issues. Licata often supports the status quo or is seldom for something, just mostly against. His positions and policies seemed like they are aimed at returning Seattle permanently to Podunkville. It’s time we had some different and hopefully visionary leadership on the council. Seattle could be a player not a city known for not being able to get big things done as it has become with Licata muddling up the works.

My endorsement goes to Jessie Israel because I think she's the best of the two candidates running for his seat, and I think the effect of loss of Licata will be as he himself put it, “next to zero”.

Note: Licata is opposed in the August 18th primary for City Council position 6 by King County Parks Manager Jessie Israel and Architect Marty Kaplan.

Crazy for God Author On Town Hall Hooligans... "The Election Broke Their Brains"

The video below I think this is one of the most precise and insightful interviews I seen on TV about what is going on behind the hooliganism and violence we see at town halls across the country and what part talk radio and to a certain extent the religious right are playing.

It's a violence prone and dangerous gambit.

He points out the people showing up at the meetings are white people who are not well informed or educated who have bought into the lies about the health care system and reform. "The election broke their brains".
The people showing up and closing down any real discussion are mainly pawns in a elaborate right wing game. Many of them have been dupped into doing something that isn't good for their own personal interest.

Appearing on Rachel Maddow show on Friday Frank Schaeffer, a co-founder with his father Francis Schaeffer of the modern evangelical movement and author of the best seller Crazy for God, stresses that the right has crossed the line by associating Obama with Hitler.

They are "un-American, and want the country to fail." He also points out that he thinks the right wing talkers like Beck and Limbaugh and others are "bad Americans" who are, "leaving a loaded gun on the table and saying the first person who comes along who wants to use this, be our guest". Schaeffer denounces the right for fermenting hatred and facilitating the phony rage and shout down battles that block the real debate on health care reform policies. Their goal is only to stop reform. It's not really about reform of the health care system at all but a violence promoting attempt to maintain the power of the insurance companies and health industry.

Ironically, he believes the tactics used by the right and the corporate backers of the hooligans are akin to the brown shirts of Nazi Germany. A minority who used many of the same tricks to break up popular political meetings and suppress dissent in Germany in the late 1930's.
It's the pot calling the kettle black.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Jewish Groups Don't Like Conservatives Comparing Obama's Policy Agenda to Hitler's

Jews should know. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and a few other crackpots new wrinkle the last couple of days is trying to sell the half baked conspiracy theory to their ignorant hardcore listeners that somehow health care reform and other Obama policies amount to some new form of the Third Reich's National Socialism.

What the fuck does reforming the health care system, lowering the cost of coverage or saving the economy have to do with Hitler? Answer is nothing. If nothing else Obama's policies are more centrist and mainstream American then most on the left would like to see. Limbaugh and Beck like to prey on the misinformed masses out there in an effort to improve their ratings and feed their egos. Much of this crap is far off point of course, but it muddles or blocks the real debate. In the fifties it was the commies are coming to get us. Now our brains are being taken over by some unseen Nazi agenda to place computer chips in your soon to be ethanized granny's head.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

White House Fires Back At Drudge False Claims On Health Care

The White House, is responding to a misleading and out of context Drudge Report linked video that catches Obama in 2003, that's six years ago, talking about how he would favor a single payer plan. Well good for him I'd say. But to the wingnuts it just more fuel for the socialist conspiracy mind meld takeover bullshit.

The rebuttal features Linda Douglass, formerly an ABC News correspondent and now a White House official, showing Drudge’s homepage on the screen of her office computer.

Keith Olbermann On Why Some In Congress Are Selling You Down The River On Health Care Reform

It's a battle to the death people.... I know this has been posted lots of places, but it just too good not to get posted one more in hopes that someone who may not of seen it, will.

Teabagging The Townhall Healthcare Reform Comics

click on image to enlarge

I hope Norman Rockwell and FDR will forgive me.