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Archive for November 16th, 2010

That Data Emmer And The MN GOP Say They Want, And Are Suing To Get? Much Of It’s Publicly Available

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 16, 2010

Hat tip to Jeff Rosenberg at MNpublius for spotting this pertinent fact in an article on the Minnesota Republican Party’s bizarre denial-of-service attack masquerading as a data request:

Suits were filed Friday against the two counties, Trimble said, because Republicans had not heard back from Pine County and received a St. Louis County letter saying that information would come in two weeks, which Trimble said was too long.

But St. Louis County Auditor Don Dicklich said Monday that most of the election data that Republicans sued to get copies of is available and open to the public. If they wanted immediate access, Dicklich said, party representatives would have to go to the courthouse in Duluth to see it.

So why is the RPM suing? Is it because they’re too lazy to go to the Duluth courthouse and photocopy the stuff themselves? They could have easily done that, for less than two hours’ worth of an $800-an-hour recount lawyer’s charge.

Posted in 2010, Minnesota, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer | Comments Off on That Data Emmer And The MN GOP Say They Want, And Are Suing To Get? Much Of It’s Publicly Available

Things Found On Twitter

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 16, 2010

PhoenixWomanMN Phoenix Woman
@pwire Rep Larson:”We had a Roosevelt moment & responded like Hoover”

Minnesota’s History of Close Elections http://aBetter.MN/NI #stribpol #p2

PatKessler Patrick Kessler
At MN GOP press conf announcing legislature overhaul, more lobbyists in the room than reporters & lawmakers– combined.

SuzanneTwoTon Suzanne TwoTon
Gropey Joe: Lieberman “Comes Down on the Side of Pat-Downs” before TSA Hearing (VIDEO) from @firedoglake

SuzanneTwoTon Suzanne TwoTon
Tea Party FAIL: GOP’s Historic Ban on Earmarks Already History from @firedoglake

SuzanneTwoTon Suzanne TwoTon
Schakowsky Releases Progressive Deficit Reduction Plan from @firedoglake

CharlieQuimby Charlie Quimby
Bachmann, whose family owns a business, doesn’t know diff between gross & personal income. Scary either way.

Posted in Democrats, Democrats with spines, economy, hypocrites, Minnesota, Republicans, Republicans acting badly | Tagged: | Comments Off on Things Found On Twitter

An interview to listen to

Posted by Charles II on November 16, 2010

DemocracyNow did an interview with Wendell Potter, the health insurance exec who got sick of being the frontman for an industry that kills 40,000 Americans every year. There were lots of good parts to it, but this one is probably the best:

AMY GOODMAN: We’re speaking with a chief whistleblower, former chief spokesperson for the health insurance industry, the insurance industry’s greatest nightmare. He was the spokesperson for CIGNA for years and, before that, Humana. And then, through a series of incidents, his own encounters with people without healthcare dying for lack of insurance, he stepped out. He quit. And he’s written the book Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans. Wendell Potter is our guest.

OK, this is Politico today, says, “Republican Andy Harris, a conservative Maryland physician elected to Congress on an anti-Obamacare platform, surprised fellow freshmen at a Monday orientation session by demanding to know why his government-subsidized health care plan takes a month to kick in.” A congressional staffer who saw the exchange said Harris “stood up and asked the two ladies who were answering questions why it had to take so long, what he would do without 28 days of health care.”

WENDELL POTTER: Isn’t that supremely ironic? And he had been campaigning against an incumbent, a Democrat, who was—and he was accusing him of being in favor of Obamacare. And he, this guy who was elected who you just spoke about, has pledged to repeal the legislation. Yeah, he is finally, I guess, for 28 days, possibly going to be in the same predicament that many Americans are in for months, if not years. And he was saying, essentially, “Where’s my government-run healthcare?”

These are the people who control the House of Representatives and, thanks to cowardice by Democrats, control Washington. They are the people who are willing to let you die as long as their own existence is maintained in the style to which they have become accustomed.

God help the United States of America, because He sure ain’t gonna bless a country run by people like that.

Posted in abuse of power, Flying Monkey Right, health care, hypocrites, Republicans as cancer | Comments Off on An interview to listen to

Ted Koppel Ignores How GOP, Cons Forced Murrow Off The Air

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 16, 2010

Keith Olbermann steps up to address — and destroy — Ted Koppel’s faux-history and hypocritical invocation of Cronkite and Murrow as alleged gods of “balance”:

…There was the night Cronkite devoted fourteen minutes of the thirty-minute long CBS Evening News to a report on Watergate which devastated the Nixon Administration, one so strong that the Administration pressured CBS just to shorten the next night’s follow-up to eight minutes. There was the extraordinary broadcast on Vietnam from four-and-a-half years earlier in which he insisted that nothing better than stalemate was possible and that America should negotiate its way out, “not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.” All that newscast did was convince the 36th President of the United States to not seek reelection. The deserved and heartfelt sadness at the loss of a great journalist and a great man had been turned into a metaphor for the loss of a style of utterly uninvolved, neutral  “objective” reporting. Yet most of the highlights of the man’s career had been of those moments when he correctly and fearlessly threw off those shackles and said what was true, and not merely what was factual.

It has been the same with every invocation of Edward R. Murrow: Murrow would never have stood for the editorializing of today in his newscasts! The Murrow radio reports from London rooftops during the Blitz of 1940 are replayed – and forever should be – and their creator is offered as a paragon of “straight” reporting. Yet it is never mentioned, that as they happened, CBS was pressured to stop those searing explosions of truth, because our political leaders believed they would unfairly influence Americans to side with the British when the nation was still officially neutral and the Republican Party was still completely convinced that there was a deal to make with the Nazis. President Roosevelt did not invite Murrow to the White House to congratulate him on his London reports because they were “fair and balanced.”


Similarly, the journalism students of now seven different decades have studied the Murrow broadcasts about Senator Joseph McCarthy from 1954. These are properly lauded as some of the greatest moments not merely in the history of American Journalism; they are considered such in the history of America. The story is told that a cowering, profit-hungry press stood idly by – or even rode McCarthy’s paranoia for circulation and ratings – while the blacklist and the fear grew. And then Murrow slayed the dragon.


Always left out, sadly, is the fact that within hours of speaking truth based on facts, Murrow was attacked as a partisan. The Republicans, and the Conservative newspapers, and the Conservative broadcasters described – in what they would have insisted was neutral, objective, unbiased, factual reporting – that in smearing the patriotic McCarthy, Murrow was a Democrat, a Liberal, a Socialist, a Marxist, a Communist, a traitor. Always left out, sadly, is the fact that these attacks worked. Within 12 months, Murrow’s “See It Now” program had lost its sponsor and been reduced from once a week to once a month. Within 18 months it had been shifted from every Tuesday night at 10:30 to once in awhile on Sunday afternoons at 5 — becoming, as one CBS producer put it “See It Now And Then.”


Mr. Koppel does not mention – nobody ever does – that the year in which Edward R. Murrow helped save this democracy by including his own editorial judgment in “The News,” was the last year of his life throughout which Murrow appeared on a regular prime-time news broadcast. He would be eased out of CBS entirely in seven years and would be dead in eleven.

The great change about which Mr. Koppel wrings his hands is not partisanship nor tone nor analysis. The great change was the creation of the sanitized image of what men like Cronkite and Murrow – and H.V. Kaltenborn and Elmer Davis and John Charles Daly and H.R. Baukhage and Howard K. Smith and Eric Sevareid and Dan Rather and Peter Jennings and George Polk and even Ted Koppel – did. These were not glorified stenographers. These were not neutral men. These were men who did in their day what the best of journalists still try to do in this one. Evaluate, analyze, unscramble, assess – put together a coherent picture, or a challenging question – using only the facts as they can best be discerned, and their own honesty and conscience. And if the result is that this story over here is a Presidential chief of staff taking some pretty low-octane bribes and the scandal starts and ends there, you judge all the facts, and you say so. And if the result is that that other story over there is not just a third-rate burglary at a political office, but the tip of an iceberg meant to sink the two-party system in this country, you judge all the facts, and you scream so.

Insist long enough that the driving principle behind the great journalism of the television era was neutrality and objectivity — and not subjective choices and often dangerous evaluations and even commentary — and you will eventually leave the door open to pointless worship at the temple of a false god. And once you’ve got a false god, you’re going to get false priests. And sooner rather than later, in a world where subjective analysis is labeled evil and dangerous, some political mountebank is going to see his opening and seize the very catechism of that false god, words like “objective” and “neutral” and “two-sided” and “fair” and “balanced,” and he will pervert them into a catch-phrase, a brand-name. And he can create something that is no more journalism than two men screaming at each other is a musical duet.

Thanks, Keith.

Posted in GOP/Media Complex, Keith Olbermann, media, Media machine, mediawhores, news media, speaking truth to power | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Tea Partier Andy Harris Whines For Government Handout

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 16, 2010

This is utterly unsurprising to anyone who’s followed the “do as I say, not as I do” Republicans and their Tea Party wing for any length of time (h/t David Dayen):

A conservative Maryland physician elected to Congress on an anti-Obamacare platform surprised fellow freshmen at a Monday orientation session by demanding to know why his government-subsidized health care plan from the government takes a month to kick in.

Republican Andy Harris, an anesthesiologist who defeated freshman Democrat Frank Kratovil on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, reacted incredulously when informed that federal law mandated that his government-subsidized health care policy would take effect on Feb. 1 – 28 days after his Jan. 3rd swearing-in.

“He stood up and asked the two ladies who were answering questions why it had to take so long, what he would do without 28 days of health care,” said a congressional staffer who saw the exchange. The benefits session, held behind closed doors, drew about 250 freshman members, staffers and family members to the Capitol Visitors Center auditorium late Monday morning,”.

“Harris then asked if he could purchase insurance from the government to cover the gap,” added the aide, who was struck by the similarity to Harris’s request and the public option he denounced as a gateway to socialized medicine.

Harris’ minder tried lamely to do damage control, saying that he was just pointing out the flaws in evil government-run healthcare, but nobody over the age of twelve takes that seriously.

I’ll bet the dude worships Ayn Rand, too.

Posted in 2010, health care, hypocrites, IOKIYAR, Tea Party | Tagged: | Comments Off on Tea Partier Andy Harris Whines For Government Handout

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