December 4, 2013, 5:43 pm
Well, we already know Republicans have no limits to how low they will stoop when it comes to trying to defeat an Obama initiative. But this one has to rank among the lowest.
Republicans in the California Assembly have sent out this mailer (PDF, thanks to Crooks and Liars) to millions of California residence. The mailer is titled “Covering Health Care: A California Resource Guide”. As one would expect, it is nothing more than another fear-mongering tool; however you won’t find the word “Republican” on it anywhere. But the most despicable is the mailer directs constituents who may be trying to actually sign up for Obamacare to a fear-mongering website.
After a brief intro, you are drawn to three very large links in the middle of the page which is reflected in the following image:
Although the site looks very much like an official California government website, clicking on any of the images will not direct you to a page with clear direction of how to sign up for Obamacare. It is designed to confuse the visitor, and instill fear and panic such as healthcare rationing. And you only know it is a Republican website if you scroll all the way to the bottom and look for the very small print. But they do attempt to cover their own asses with the website: Take a look at the follow image, which is a wider image of the above. Look over to the left, a place where people don’t usually look while visiting a typical website.
Do you see it — the much small image of “Covered California”? Kinda looks like an ad, doesn’t it. That’s because it’s in a location where you normally see ads on websites. But if you click that image you will be taken to the official California Obamacare website. Walla! Ass covered!
November 25, 2013, 6:35 pm
The Obama Administration has initiated a deal with Iran to halt their pursuit of a nuclear weapons program. Although there are a number of Democrats who are leery of the approach that was taken, the entire GOP world is naturally against the idea — mostly due to no other reason than the fact that President Obama led the effort. Then there are those Republicans who are against a peaceful solution of any sort, such as neocon war-monger John Bolton who thinks the only option is to attack Iran militarily. As such, Obama needs to watch his back very close: Relative to Iran, the GOP has a history of sabotaging a Democratic Presidents’ efforts for a peaceful solution in order to get what they want — even at the expense of placing American lives’ in grave danger.
On November 4, 1979, when Democrat Jimmy Carter was President, a mob of young Islamic revolutionaries overran the U.S. Embassy in Tehran Iran, taking more than 60 Americans hostage. The Carter Administration worked for more than a year to free the hostages, even attempting a failed rescue mission. The Americans were held for a total of 444 days, only to be released peacefully just minutes after Republican Ronald Reagan took office in 1981.
Americans were surprised at the release; in particular, the timing. Why just minutes after Reagan took office? It would be a dozen years later before the general public would know the truth.
Obviously, Republicans did not want Carter to win a second term. Although Reagan was very popular among many Independents, as well as some Democrats, the powers-to-be behind Reagan didn’t want to take any chances. So they devised a plan to make Carter look weak on the hostage situation in Iran.
Iran was at war with Iraq, and in desperate need of weapons and supplies. The sanctions put on them by the Carter Administration were preventing Iran from getting what they needed for their war effort. So a group of Republicans in the US, along with a receptive Israeli government, cut a deal with Iran behind Carter’s back.
They promised Iran an immediate flow of military weapons and supplies even though there was a sanction against such items, and also promised that the sanctions would be lifted altogether if Reagan was elected President. As part of that deal — in order to boost the possibility of Reagan winning the 1980 election — the Republicans insisted that Iran not release the hostages until after the election and, if Reagan won, until he was in office. This was a temporary sticking point with both Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s then-current spiritual leader, as they and Carter was near a deal to release the hostages. But they eventually went along with the deal.
Carter was very upset when he found out that Israel was breaking the terms of the sanction, but he didn’t find out until much later that American Republicans was also involved, although he suspected it.
Extensive evidence now exists that [Israel’s Prime Minister Menachem] Begin’s preference for a Reagan victory led Israelis to join in a covert operation with Republicans to contact Iranian leaders behind Carter’s back and delay release of the 52 American hostages until after Reagan defeated Carter in November 1980.
In a little-noticed letter to the U.S. Congress, dated Dec. 17, 1992, Bani-Sadr said he first learned of the Republican hostage initiative in July 1980.
Bani-Sadr said the message from the Khomeini emissary was clear: the Reagan campaign was in league with pro-Republican elements of the CIA in an effort to undermine Carter and wanted Iran’s help.
The emissary added that the Republicans “have enormous influence in the CIA,” Bani-Sadr wrote. “Lastly, he told me my refusal of their offer would result in my elimination.” [Bold mine]
So, as we can see, Republicans have no problem whatsoever in breaking American laws, undermining an American President, undermining an election, conspiring with enemies of the US and even issuing death threats to get what they want. But if their President, George W. Bush, had done the right thing in 2003, we and Obama probably wouldn’t have this situation with Iran today. But Bush and his neocon’s elected to let Iran advance their nuclear program:
In 2003, Iran approached the United States with an offer to talk about its nuclear program. The George W. Bush administration rejected the offer because it believed that the Iranian regime was weak, had been battered by sanctions, and would either capitulate or collapse if Washington just stayed tough.
So there was no deal. What was the result? Iran had 164 centrifuges operating in 2003; today it has 19,000 centrifuges. Had the Geneva talks with Iran broken down, Iran would have continued expanding its nuclear program. Yes they are now under tough sanctions, but they were under sanctions then as well. And yet, the number of centrifuges grew exponentially. [Bold mine]
Republicans: Americas’ patriots — MY ASS! 52 Americans would have been freed almost a year earlier had it not been for criminal and unpatriotic Republicans.
November 21, 2013, 5:09 pm
After nearly 5 years of total and complete obstructionism, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had enough. Not a single judicial Obama nominee has escaped the filibuster during his Presidency (something that’s never happened to a President before). After numerous warnings of his intent if this obstruction didn’t end, which was completely ignored by the GOP, Reid finally invoked the nuclear option today — virtually ending the filibuster option by the minority.
The “everybody-gets-filibustered-regardless” mentality began when President Obama was first sworn in. More than a year before the 2011 election, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said their number one priority was to ensure Obama didn’t get re-elected. One of the ways they tried to prevent Obama’s re-election was through the poor jobs numbers. Both the Senate and House leaders sent a letter to the Federal Reserve urging them to not inject more money into the economy knowing that would stifle job growth, which is a clear violation.
Then on inauguration night of 2012, the GOP held a secret meeting plotting ways to go after Obama on any and everything during his next four years.
“As President Barack Obama was celebrating his inauguration at various balls, top Republican lawmakers and strategists were conjuring up ways to submarine his presidency at a private dinner in Washington.
For several hours in the Caucus Room (a high-end D.C. establishment) …they plotted out ways to not just win back political power, but to also put the brakes on Obama’s legislative platform.” [Bold added]
Present were 15 high-ranking members of the House of Representatives, as well as GOP heavy-weight outsiders. Other details were discussed such as going after Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, a Bush appointee, for not paying Social Security and Medicare taxes while on a previous job. New Gingrich was quoted as saying after the meeting “You’ll remember this as the day the seeds of 2012 were sown”. [Ooops! Sorry Newt!]
So there was never any intent of working with Obama or Congressional Democrats, not even a little bit. The filibuster was just one tool in their arsenal.
UPDATE with graph below: Thanks to Daily Kos, we now have a graph showing Democratic filibusters vs. Republican filibusters for executive nominees. Notice that there were only 20 filibusters in the 32 years prior to Obama. Republicans have issued 32 in the past 5 years with 12 more planned.
Here are today’s headlines on the matter. Let’s began with the most asinine and biggest bald-faced lie of them all:
McConnell: ‘Senate Republicans Have Been Very, Very Fair To Obama’
Now for the rest:
- Once Again, Republican Obstinacy Bites Them in the Ass
- Senate GOP blows itself up. What the hell were they thinking?
- McConnell on Filibuster Vote: ‘Power Grab’ to ‘Advance Obama’s Agenda’
- McConnell unleashes torrent of lies in response to Reid’s nuclear threat
- Mitch McConnell: Democrats Are Using Filibuster Reform To Distract Americans From Obamacare
- FLASHBACK: When Conservatives Decried Filibusters And Urged Senate Majority Leader To Use Nuclear Option – Those wanting the filibuster to go away during the Bush Presidency: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Wall Street Journal, Rich Lowry, Karl Rove, Bill Kristol, Donald Lambro, Pat Robertson, WSJ’s Daniel Henninger, Thomas Sowell and People For The American Way.
- McConnell: For going nuclear before he was against it
- NRO Warns That Filibuster Reform Will Bring About Right-Wing Jurists. Too Late.
- Reid: Senate GOPer Approached Me With A Deal On Filibuster
- Historians On Senate Filibuster Change: ‘Bout Time
- Three More Reforms That Will Still Be Needed To Prevent Republican Obstruction In The Senate
And maybe the truest statement of them all:
President Obama Speaks on Filibuster Reform Vote: Today’s Obstruction ‘Just — Isn’t — Normal’
November 21, 2013, 11:13 am
Besides belong to the world of news, what does these reporters / anchors / talk-radio host have in common?
|Joe Kernen – CNBC
||Larry Cudlow – CNBC
||Erin Burnett – CNN
|Melissa Francis – CNBC
||Michelle Caruso-Cabrera – CNBC
||Maria Bartiromo – CNBC
|Shepard Smith – Fox
||Sean Hannity – Fox
||Megyn Kendall – Fox
|Bill O’Reilly – Fox
Give up? Ok, here goes. Besides sharing a strong bond in right-wing ideology, they have been very outspoken against public & private union members. In fact, they, among many others in the news / talk show world, demonize unions and their members due to their power of negotiation. But here’s the rub & commonality: Every single one of these critics belong to a union; at least in effect.
They all have hired agents / agencies that do their employment bidding for them — just as unions do for their members. The agent negotiates for the highest position and compensation they can get: salary, expenses, benefits, clothing, vacation, holidays, personal staff, etc. Many of them, including Erin Burnett and Rush Limbaugh, use agents to book personal appearances and negotiate the terms of their appearance.
17 years ago Lou Prato wrote this article for American Journalism Review in which he said “Years ago, network news personalities and big city local anchors were usually the only people in television news who had agents. Not anymore. Today many people in local TV news use agents to help them find jobs and negotiate their salaries.”
There are hundreds of talent agencies to choose from. The really big boys don’t advertise their existence – they rely solely on their reputation and popularity inside the industry. But some do advertise and have their own websites.
One of the well-known agencies is TVContract. They represent some of the more familiar names with major networks and cable news in big cities across America. Mediastars Worldwide is another as is Willinger Talent Agency in New York. As with any company who has satisfied customers, these agencies like to tout their clients. Most of them, such as TVContract and Mediastars, have a page on their website listing their bigger clients. Willinger once had such a page but has removed it for some reason. One guess is that since news personalities have become so controversial over the past few years (due to their anti-union stance), they don’t really want their name or face associated with an agency. In fact, news people now go to great lengths to hide the fact they are represented by an agent or agency.
One of the biggest in the agency industry is Napoli Management Group in Los Angles, California. They claim fame to placing news anchors and reporter with all the major networks and every single big cable news network. They, too, have a client’s page. And maybe the biggest — at least in New York — is Geller Media Management. Geller doesn’t actually have a website; that’s probably because they are one of those “big-boys” mentioned earlier. But they have represented some of the big national and international names such as Connie Chung.
All this is to make the point: When you hear these holier-than-thou or “for me, not for thee” news personalities shooting down the common man or woman for belonging to a union or trying to negotiate for a living wage, just remember that these news people have their own private “unions” to negotiate their employment contract.
November 19, 2013, 7:39 am
A rarity occurred on CNBC just minutes ago – an interview with the key person of a small 3-man startup company who, on their own, built a website in just days that allows you to shop for the best insurance plan under Obamacare, including the cost; and you can get an idea of what your government premium subsidy will be – if any.
The company is Health Sherpa. I am not including a link to the site for a reason. I want you to Google the company just as I did and see how fast you can start shopping. Hint: all you have to do is enter your zip code once you are at the site. And the site is fast as all gitout. That is, until millions of people start hitting the site at the same time, which will no doubt happen. They’ve had a half-million hits
in just one day since November 1st – without the publicity.
Don’t expect to see a fancy website. It is barebones. It has no header, no logo, no ads and no fancy looks; just a website to conduct the business at hand. Health Sherpa is part of another website the group owns: OpsCost, which allows you to compare hospital cost, and is just as plain. Where the hell did these guys come from?
Health and Human Services (HHS) met with Health Sherpa just last night and HHS is going to hand over to Health Sherpa the necessary info to expand the site’s capability.
This is a really big deal. The 3 men in the company are all programmer’s, and they have yet to set up the company from a legal standpoint. Can you imagine where they will be a month from now?
Oh, about that “rarity” for CNBC I mentioned – this is something you just don’t’ normally see on this right-wing-in-cloak network. But they did it today. I will return here and post the video segment just as soon as CNBC post it on their website.
Well, that didn’t take CNBC long.