Benny's World

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Goin Gone

I saw Kathy two weeks ago sing this in person.

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Mr. President, are you listening?

I missed watching Keith Olbermann last night in his discussion about the public option many of us want. Here's the clip of Keith talking to Markos:

(courtesy of Daily Kos TV).

Keith and Markos are spot on. Don't shelve this part of the legislation.

Bill Moyers, another grown up, makes it crystal, we don't get legislation by just being nice.

From the transcript:

Come on, Mr. President. Show us America is more than a circus or a market. Remind us of our greatness as a democracy. When you speak to Congress next week, just come out and say it. We thought we heard you say during the campaign last year that you want a government run insurance plan alongside private insurance — mostly premium-based, with subsidies for low-and-moderate income people. Open to all individuals and employees who want to join and with everyone free to choose the doctors we want. We thought you said Uncle Sam would sign on as our tough, cost-minded negotiator standing up to the cartel of drug and insurance companies and Wall Street investors whose only interest is a company's share price and profits.

Here's a suggestion, Mr. President: ask Josh Marshall to draft your speech. Josh is the founder of the website . He's a journalist and historian, not a politician. He doesn't split things down the middle and call it a victory for the masses. He's offered the simplest and most accurate description yet of a public insurance plan; one that essentially asks people: would you like the option — the voluntary option — of buying into Medicare before you're 65? Check it out, Mr. President.

This health care thing is make or break for your leadership, but for us, it's life and death. No more Mr. Nice Guy, Mr. President. We need a fighter.

Of course, Elizabeth Edwards could write it too.

Mr. President, do you hear us?

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Peggy Noonan Should Meet a Real Grown-up: Al Franken

I just heard about this video clip of Al Franken from earlier this week at the Minnesota Fair. He's talking to constituents about health care reform and how he intends to vote. He put a teabagger right in her place by acknowledging her passion, but letting her know he thinks independently in general, even though it's different from what she wants.

Peggy probably thought there weren't any grown up Democrats in the Senate. She should also meet Bernie Sanders and Jeff Merkley.

(h/t to David Waldman at Congress Matters)

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Peggy's Folly

Nearly every Saturday, I read Fox Street News the Wall Street Journal. I wish I had more time during the week to read it. The bloviations from the editorial hacks staff are comical. And the reason they are comical is because unlike Rush or Glenn Beck, they aren't trying to be entertaining. They take themselves very seriously.

One would think since I'm a strong progressive that I wouldn't bother to read teh Journal. Well, before our new reader NOISE gets his drawers in an uproar, most of BW readers know that I am in a mixed marriage. My spouse is a Ronald Reaganite who like the rest of the GOP pines for someone like Reagan. Back in the 1980's, I was semi-liberatarian and I never liked Reagan. To me, he was an actor, but obviously a good one because the unions didn't care that he busted them, especially in airline safety industry. I had no appreciation for Reagan wanting to dismantle education either. And thanks to Reagan, we have Justice Antone Scalia, who is a very smart man, but cannot interpret the Constitution.

Another person who pines for the good ol' days of the GOP is Reagan's former speechwriter, Peggy Noonan. She's fairly eloquent in her pennmanship, which is why each Saturday, I eagerly await to take the wrapper off the WSJ and open it during lunch (sometimes breakfast) to read her column.

Peggy gushed over Obama when he first took office. She called him a grown-up, which her highest complement to anyone. But now, the charms of Obama are wearing off on Peggy. Today, she said he was "coruscating" on thin ice." Coruscating was an unfamiliar word to me, as it probably would be for many readers, so let me provide a definition from :

To give forth flashes of light; sparkle and glitter: diamonds coruscating in the candlelight.

I had to laugh.

Obviously, Peggy has not been reading TomP's posts at the Daily Kos, Chris Bowers at Open Left, Desmoinesdem at Bleeding Heartland, Dean Baker at TAPPED, Glen Ford of the Black Agenda or bothered listening to Montana Maven's show on Saturdays. None of them, and I am like them, were ever charmed by Obama as a candidate. I am charmed by his wife and children, and they are the best part of the White House, because they are role models for so many in our society. Difference between Peggy and those of us in left flank is that Peggy imbibed some of the kool-aid but we didn't. But like her, we'd hoped for the best. Maybe we would get at least thing we wanted the most: a public insurance option for health care in which there are no annual caps. We think Obama should have exerted more leadership early on given that he has a legislative branch in which the majority are of his same party. Yes, we know he didn't want to come across as the unitary executive, but sorry he had done so with his decision to increase troops in Afghanistan.

Peggy's flaming of Obama and his administration doesn't particularly bother me. But did bother me was her dishonest thinking about the GOP. Yes, she kind of slapped the GOP a bit today when she reflected about watch Teddy Kennedy's funeral last week:

"... and saw in a clearer way than I had in the past a big cultural difference between the elites of the two parties, or rather the Democratic and Republican establishments. Pretty much the entire Democratic establishment was at the Kennedy services, and the level of shown affection among those in the pews and the audience was striking—laughing, hugging, telling stories, admitting weaknesses, weeping. It was Irish, and old-time. If it had been a gathering of the Republican political and journalistic establishment it would have been less emotive, with little shown affection. Polite laughter, cordial handshakes, a lot of staring ahead. A guy with his head down and you think he's mourning but he's BlackBerrying. They don't especially like each other, they compete against each other, and they don't feel the need to fake liking each other."

I would have almost agreed, except then she finished her thought this way [about the GOP difference]:

They have the old dignity of the old grown-ups. And I suppose their style reflects some of their philosophy: Politics isn't about emotions but thoughts.

Well, as Reagan would say in avoidance, "there you go again", Peggy. How covenient to be like your former boss in forgetting important events. If one believes the GOP has behaved like a bunch of grown ups the town halls Democrats have been holding in the past month, Freepers who write hate mail to Markos, and GOP Representives, such as this one makes these kinds comments in public like this, it is sheer folly to say how "unemotional" they are.

Peggy, perhaps it's time you took off your blinders. Otherwise, I have some great beach front property in Central Illinois to sell you and your ilk, and I'll even throw in a BBQ grill.

(image courtesy of WSJ online)

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Monday, August 31, 2009

Skunks Show up again at Fixed Noise

Jed L had a good video clip of the lying pack of skunks, saying that Teddy compromised with Bush on the bad prescription bill in 2003.

When Dubya did an about face on the bill, Teddy railed at the GOP.

This was one of finest hours and one of my fondest memories of Teddy.

JRE also railed at the lobbyists that same day. He was the sole candidate for President who didn't duck this vote and run off to New Hampshire or Iowa, such as the way Lieberman did.

Well, my apologies to skunks. They were born that way. Fox News commentators were not.

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