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Ear to the Ground

That’s Senator Al Franken to You

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Posted on Jun 30, 2009
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commons.wikimedia.org / Jonathunder

At long last, the Minnesota Supreme Court has declared Al Franken the victor in the state’s remarkably tight and seemingly endless U.S. Senate race. The comedian-turned-politician won the almost eight-month-long battle against Republican incumbent Norm Coleman, who conceded Tuesday, by 312 votes, giving the Democrats a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate to add to their comfortable advantage in the House.

The Democrats now have firm control over Congress and the White House and no one to blame if they fail to reward voters with comprehensive health care reform and the other goodies they have promised.

Here’s hoping Franken is as enlightened in his Senate career as he was on radio and in print. Because he’s good enough, he’s smart enough and at least 312 more people favored him over the other guy.

Reuters:

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday declared Democrat Al Franken the winner of a tight U.S. Senate race over Republican Norm Coleman, which should give Democrats the 60-seat majority they need to overcome procedural obstacles and push through their agenda.

Coleman has said in published reports he is unlikely to appeal the state court’s decision to the federal courts. Under state law, the court’s decision gives Franken the right to occupy the seat, which has been up for grabs since last November’s election.

Minnesota Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty has said he will certify the election winner based on what the state court decides.

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By KDelphi, July 5, 2009 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

Outraged—Of course the issues are personal, but, I just meant that I dont “dislike you” because we disagree. I dont even know you. I know you supported Nader during the election so I do find your conversion a bit odd..Nader is very upset with Obama on military spending , Af-Pak, heatlh care “reform”, etc. What happened to all the Dems saying “push Obama to the Left”??

It is not Obama—I know you wouldnt remember it,(dont expect you to) but I was so sickened by the GOP of neo-cons, that I can barely mention them without getting sick so I dont. They are not worth mentioning.That doesnt mean it has to be the devil or the deep blue sea.

I feel that the entire govt is NOT “on the side” of the people. If I attack “who is against health care reform” that would be Obama.(any reform that would actually matter) With his immense popularity right now, he could pass single payer but he wont. He has stated many times that he dosent support it.(ie since he became reliant on industry to raise campaign funds)

As long as the insurance industry is involved it will fail, Trust me on that one.

The US, if it is to survive, can no longer accept the restraints of “two camps”.

If I get peronal about it, I cannot support any Dems at all..it has become a matter of conscience.

I work within another party to change things, not by supporting Obama—I cant do it.

I think that he is behaving in an immoral manner.

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By ardee, July 4, 2009 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

Outraged, July 4 at 6:42 pm #

Re: ardee

You forgot the lead in:
.....................

The real lead in is that you are a sad little fellow, sorry for you.

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By Outraged, July 4, 2009 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

Re: ardee

You forgot the lead in:

Eeeewwww…. can anyone say SNIPPY…?

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By ardee, July 4, 2009 at 4:44 am Link to this comment

Outraged

You posted at 6.30a and I posted at 6.00a….. hmmmm, “one of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong, can you guess which thing is not like the others by the time we finish our song”.....la, la, la, ... mmm…mmm…mmm… (you know what that’s from don’t you?.... no….? you poor child…I’ll give Nancy Grace a call, there’s a story in there somewhere, you betcha….)
.........................

Either you are “through with me or you arent, which is it?

If you werent teetering on the edge of sanity, as it appears you are, you might note that my posting schedule is rather regular. I awaken between 2:30AM and 3:AM ( Pacific Time) every week day morning. I post while drinking my coffee and after checking and responding to personal emails.

I arrive at work at 4:30AM and check my work load for that day, then log on at work to check my business related emails (intranet). Then I usually go back to Truthdig for a half hour or so. I begin my work day at 5:00AM and end at 1:30 PM. Upon arriving home I generally go back online at some point that afternoon or early evening.

I only post this schedule to attempt to bring the lightof day into what appears to be a very darkplace in your head. Please try really hard to avoid posting like a freaking clown.

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By Outraged, July 4, 2009 at 1:18 am Link to this comment

Re: KDelphi

Your comment:  “Outraged—Look, this is not personal for me. I have always thought you to be a decent person. I just think that you are wrong.”

Do not be misled, MAKE IT PERSONAL this is the straw that breaks the camels back…..  In this regard, I will without hesitation admonish, that your acclimation to “not make it personal” is incorrect and I disagree.  Make it PERSONAL, it IS personal.

Regarding your statement, “I have always thought you to be a decent person. I just think that you are wrong.”

I have no issue with that.  Also, understand that your premise “I have always thought you to be a decent person.” is likewise, reciprocated.

Soldier on.

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By Outraged, July 3, 2009 at 11:43 pm Link to this comment

Re: ardee

Your comment: “You need a bigger shovel, then you can dig your hole even deeper.

My every criticism of your posts deals, not with issues but with your penchant to dissolve into acrimony and screed. Seems to me a propagandist might spend more time on issues.

I also note your couching any criticism of the actions or lack thereof of the Obama administration in terms of “us vs. them”, a truly propagandists role, and very, very similar to what the GOP attempts.

That you mention my name in a thread unrelated to me, and in one I did not previously comment to you, and distort the nature of my criticisms in the past as well, seems to show rather plainly who is shoveling the horseshit around here.

Good luck with that new shovel, outraged. I will continue to comment upon issues and my opinions thereof, regardless of stupid people attempting to distort criticisms as fifth column efforts…Perhaps you would be far more comfortable if you simply stuck to reading comic books? Far, far beneath you…”

Eeeewwww…. can anyone say SNIPPY…?  What does THAT tell ya’?  Oh, btw…. I checked.  You posted at 6.30a and I posted at 6.00a….. hmmmm, “one of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong, can you guess which thing is not like the others by the time we finish our song”.....la, la, la, ... mmm…mmm…mmm… (you know what that’s from don’t you?.... no….? you poor child…I’ll give Nancy Grace a call, there’s a story in there somewhere, you betcha….)

I did want to address your comment here though:

“Seems to me a propagandist might spend more time on issues”

Come, come now, you know that’s not true, PROPAGANDISTS…..(stay with me).....INVENT ISSUES… “can you hear me now”...?

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By Outraged, July 3, 2009 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment

Re: KDelphi

I am not asking you to choose from the duopoly, why do you think I am?  What I am saying is NOW, RIGHT NOW…. Obama is the President, not someone else.

I think there are many good people who attempt to make a difference who are in the duopoly, such as Sanders, Feingold, Kucinich, and now Franken….and others.  All of these will do what they can, but that is the problem, the are locked into a construct which allows them only so much wiggle room.  There are OUTRIGHT crooks in this same construct….. I agree.

My point with Pres. Obama is that whether I agree with his agenda or not…. I do not think him AGAINST me/us, not like Bush/Cheney….  We went into this election with things completely gone awry in our government.  Rampant corruption, alot of it is still there, but some has been exposed and corrupt politicians voted out.

I am not asking, nor telling you not to be a democratic socialist, as I’ve stated….. fight for your cause.  While some pontificate otherwise, I’ve never said anything of the kind.  I voted for Nader, for crissake…. why would I say that….?

Right now, especially when you consider the dangerous elements still in our government and society, it is foolish politically and as a power voice to separate up into factions.  I’m NOT saying “don’t be a democratic socialist”, what I AM SAYING, is on the issues wherein the largest amount of Americans agree….BAND TOGETHER….. this is where the power lies.

President Obama is not AGAINST YOU. Is he on your side…?  As a democratic socialist, it doesn’t appear so, but that doesn’t mean he’s against you.  Consistently trashing Pres. Obama will not get us better healthcare, it won’t get us better regulations, it won’t get us national parks, it won’t make him sign legislation we favor…. IT’S STUPID, the only thing TRASHING President Obama will do is empower his enemies and OURS….. it’ll be the Rush Limbaugh era all over again. (even he’s not gone yet!)

If you think trashing Pres. Obama will give you better healthcare explain, please.  I don’t see it.  Who are the enemies of healthcare reform…. TRASH those folks, not Pres. Obama.  If we can get this legislation on his desk, I think he’ll sign it…. I do.  I think the insurance companies know it, I think the AMA knows it, I think the right-wingers know it…. in fact, I think THEY’RE POSITIVE of it!  When you TRASH Pres. Obama, you shoot yourself in the foot, all you are doing is aiding and abetting the enemies of healthcare reform.

Am I satified with the public option…..no.  I am fighting for single-payer, but this doesn’t need to detract from Pres. Obama HIMSELF, he has his opinion and I have mine.  All of the people who are TRASHING Pres. Obama have either a very short memory, are stupid, do not have a full grasp of the very serious situation our country was in or are one of the CROOKS.

Only corporate interests and right wingers have something to gain by constantly trashing Pres. Obama.  He said, single payer will never pass “politically”, for all I know he’s likely correct.  He wasn’t the only one, Feingold too, has said it’ll never pass in the current senate (although we do have Franken now, but there’s still those dirty dogs too).  There you go, THAT’S where the problem lies.

Who would want Pres. Obama mercilessly attacked and ridiculed….?  Think about it.  He’s not against me… I know it.  Do Pres. Obama and I have the EXACT same political leanings, truthfully…. I’m not sure, but I know, he is not AGAINST me, why….. because he hasn’t done anything to make me believe that.  Additionally, he and his admin. have done some things I VERY MUCH agree with.

I’m not saying, don’t call him on the carpet when he does something you disagree with AND it is solely within his power, delegated or not, to change it…... have at ‘er, I know I will.

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By ardee, July 3, 2009 at 3:39 am Link to this comment

KDelphi, July 3 at 12:40 am #

Certainly one of the most eloquent and moving posts I have read on this forum.

While we differ in some methodologies we do share common goals for this nation.

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By KDelphi, July 2, 2009 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

Outraged—Look, this is not personal for me. I have always thought you to be a decent person. I just think that you are wrong.

Maybe years of social work , trying to work within a system that was so lacking, that I cannot forget. Seriously people died right in front of me for a lack of money, slept in my car, ate out of garbage cans, and sometimes I could just watch—those of us working with cients could not go over the heads of PhDs and psychiatrists. They just let people DIE—very young, some of them. I cannot get needed surgery now. (They would give me opiates if I asked for them, though, over yrs time, much more expensive…but I’ve seen people die of that…)A man who lives here is a vet and hasnt seen a dr in 25 yrs.

I had to pull an encisor with a pair of pliers last week—-maybe that was the straw that broke the camels back. Or maybe it was a call that the insurance industry would not cover more of my sister’s cancer care, knowing that there is no more money—every penny my father ever saved, all the years me or both my sister’s worked for—-gone. All to the insurance industry and the Dems want to give them more?!

I have felt for years the Cqapitalism was a scam. But I never though I would be living on what I felt so horribly for my clients hav ing to live on.

I worked my ass off to put myself through college and now I cant afford a dentist. But many are much worse off—I have a roof over my head.More and more do not.

I cant just let it go—its right here—my neighborhood.

I do not like to see the middle class suffer, but, perhaps that is what it will take.

I dont hate the upper middle class—I used to be one.

I’m asking that, in the country with the richest people on earth (even if its all paper), ever, that , every human being have the necessities of life. Everyone. Not 40% , not even 97%. Everyone.Not just kids. Everyone.

It would cost about 2% of GDP to pass HR676. It would cost about another 1% to fill those foreclosed homes with homeless people. We already have enough food thrown away every day to feed the world.

I know that alot of fun has been had with Capitalism…but it is time for it to stop and the uS to grow a heart.

The people without power cannot fight the duopoly alone. The Dems have it in spades right now, If they cannot fulfill their meager promises,....to hell with them.

It has to stop.

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By Outraged, July 2, 2009 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

Re: KDelphi

Sorry…. I forgot to give you the link.  Here it is:

http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/20090627_perils_of_a_prodigy/

Remember…. there are good people too, and they care.  Like you, like me.

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By Outraged, July 2, 2009 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

Re: KDelphi

Your comment: “With people like Obama to “save” us, we would be better off left alone.”

All I can say to this, at least from what we currently know, is maybe….. maybe not.  Remember this is politics… an illusory premise to be certain.  Very seriously (that’s no joke) I have other issues with which I need to wrap my head around.  I will attempt to get back to you.  I will.  All of it, such a slippery slope.

However, I know you to be genuine…., this I do not ascertain regarding “ardee”, you will make your determination,... and I know you will use integrity when you do.  Hopefully, you will consider, both sides of this slippery slope.

Today has been an “engaging” day…. we will see, the both of us.  I will say, the corporatists…. are out in FULL FORCE.  They can’t “get me”, so they attempt to HURT ME, could backfire….. yep, that’s a fact.  Consider “ardee’s” comment:

“By ardee, July 2 at 6:01 am #


Outraged, July 2 at 1:39 am

But I am far from done with you, outraged, can you hear me now?

The postings on this, or any forum, are public content, and subject to the comments and criticisms of others. You should know this , if there is any spark of humanity left within you that is.

I have read your hate filled and sophomoric screeds for long enough sans comment, now I comment.”

Does that sound like you or me…?  Given the events of today…. I would say, this was NOT an idle threat.

Soldier on.

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By ardee, July 2, 2009 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, July 2 at 8:22 pm #

Outraged—I do not have to “choose” from the duopoly and I will no longer do that.

I have disagreed with ardee plenty.
.........................

Plenty!!

No be a good little demobot KD and do what outraged says to do, or risk another hissy fit.

I believe that Socialism has a place in our future governance, especially when one sees how threatened is our social safety net…..I further believe that the Duopoly party is a sham and a fraud, that is why I work for Green Party candidates here in my home town.

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By KDelphi, July 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

Outraged—I do not have to “choose” from the duopoly and I will no longer do that.

I have disagreed with ardee plenty.

I used to frequent samson’s blog and I can tell you, he is no GOP “propagandist”—we both got kicked off of Common Dreams at the same time, when he was supporting Nader and I was questioning Obama. More people should have.(samson’s blog—I know he wouldnt mind)

http://www.commondebate.blogspot.com

I dont care about all that milqutoast “legislation”, watered down with bi-partisanship. Neither party is doing anything for the increasing poverty. Why is cutting Medicaid and Medicare a “good” thing? If the Dems want to “help with foreclosure” they shouldnt have slammed through Bush’s bill, with no regulation, and they could put a freeze on foreclosures tomorrow by nationaling the banks. The should natioanlize GM. The could push the Employee Free Choice Act, HR 676, money to STATES in the “Stimulus’ plan (better than $250!!), so they wouldnt all be cutting social services,when the poor need them the most.

I am a Socialist. It better repsents my class, and would love to see other people who are former middle class, become Socialists. Until we have a Socialist Democratic party in the US, the gap between rich and poor will continue to widen, unemployment will increase, union membership will go down, homelessnes will increase, etc.


The Dems party has been destroyed with big money and they are taking the country with them. The only hope that the US has, in my opinion, is another party.

The Limits of Liberalism:

http://socialistworker.org/2009/05/13/limits-of-liberalism

“Today, Obama makes many of the same pitches for his policies…. But when the policies are crafted from the point of view of the interests of big business, they are just as likely to be curtailed or jettisoned if Corporate America feels it doesn’t need them…Democrats, as much as Republicans, abetted the process of counter-reform.
As political scientist Thomas Ferguson once remarked, this factor explains why the Democratic Party…

...left ordinary Americans alternately confused, perplexed, alarmed or disgusted, as they tried to puzzle out why the party did so little to help unionize the South, protect the victims of McCarthyism, promote civil rights for Blacks, women or Hispanics, or in the late 1970s, combat America’s great ‘right turn’ against the New Deal itself….”

To such people, it always remained a mystery why the Democrats so often betrayed the ideals of the New Deal. Little did they realize that, in fact, the party was only living up to them.

“Three Years of Welfare Reform:Three years of US welfare reform: hunger grows, poverty deepens”
By Debra Watson
26 August 1999
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/jan2000/pov-j12.shtml

http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/aug1999/welf-a26.shtml

“While workers’ wages fall
Obama administration rejects limits on bankers’ pay”
By Patrick Martin
11 June 2009

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/jun2009/exec-j11.shtml


US credit card companies jack up rates
By Andre Damon
2 July 2009

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/jul2009/citi-j02.shtml

“..the proposed bail-out, “Sounds like a breathtaking break from neo-liberal philosophy. It’s not really. Neo-liberalism was always a giant lie. Homeless people don’t matter. People in danger of losing their jobs in a recession don’t matter. But, when it comes to banks and billionaires, self-reliance is for the birds. These people are hapless bums.”

http://www.marxist.com/neoliberalism-dead-or-sleeping.htm

Obama is just another one…and, a pretty conservative one, at that.

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By Outraged, July 2, 2009 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

Obama and his administration ARE MORE ON YOUR SIDE than “ardee” will ever be.  Why do you think “ardee” keeps attempting to disparage ANY and ALL of my comments…?  Why “ardee” is my little shadow, I can’t go anywhere without “ardee”.......

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By ardee, July 2, 2009 at 3:21 am Link to this comment

Note too, mine was posted at 6am, the same day of this “fox news” opinion piece.  Consider how many times “ardee” has attacked me…. think about it “ardee” is NOT your friend, but a propagandist.
.......................................

You need a bigger shovel, then you can dig your hole even deeper.

My every criticism of your posts deals, not with issues but with your penchant to dissolve into acrimony and screed. Seems to me a propagandist might spend more time on issues.

I also note your couching any criticism of the actions or lack thereof of the Obama administration in terms of “us vs. them”, a truly propagandists role, and very, very similar to what the GOP attempts.

That you mention my name in a thread unrelated to me, and in one I did not previously comment to you, and distort the nature of my criticisms in the past as well, seems to show rather plainly who is shoveling the horseshit around here.

Good luck with that new shovel, outraged. I will continue to comment upon issues and my opinions thereof, regardless of stupid people attempting to distort criticisms as fifth column efforts…Perhaps you would be far more comfortable if you simply stuck to reading comic books? Far, far beneath you…

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By Outraged, July 1, 2009 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment

Re: KDelphi

Your comment: “Outraged—were you addressing someone in particular?”

Things are not always as they appear.  Propagandists, are NOT on our side.  They show up here at TD, to skew the argument.  Take my second post on this thread, July 1.  Which said:

“If I were new on the job, and I had accomplished what this new administration has accomplished thus far, and all I heard was disingenous accusations….. especially considering the enormity of the issues left behind from the last administration and the one before that…etc, I would have little to gain by TRYING.”

Compare that to this article from Fox News:

“It is based on the perceptions that he “inherited” a mess left by Bush and the Republicans and that at least he’s trying, he cares and he’s doing something.

To counter that perception, Republicans need to stand it on its head and flip their way of communicating. They need to frame their arguments more in human terms and less in accounting terms. They need to use traditional Democratic language about choice, fairness, caring, helping and similar “heart” language and apply that to Republican ideas. They need to seem less like the party of “no way” and more like the party of a “better way.” Finally, they need spokespersons who don’t seem angry and scolding, but rather are calmly committed to cleaning up a mess being created by Obama and the Democrats.”
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2009/07/01/republicans-stop-delivering-victories-obama/

Note too, mine was posted at 6am, the same day of this “fox news” opinion piece.  Consider how many times “ardee” has attacked me…. think about it “ardee” is NOT your friend, but a propagandist.  The repubs. WANT you to hate Obama, they WANT you to think he can’t do anything right, they want to give the PERCEPTION that they are on your side, but they are not….. they’re toying with you.

Obama and his administration ARE MORE ON YOUR SIDE than “ardee” will ever be.  Why do you think “ardee” keeps attempting to disparage ANY and ALL of my comments…?  Why “ardee” is my little shadow, I can’t go anywhere without “ardee”.......

Watch how “ardee” and “Samson” play off each other after my “debate” with blogdog….. remember….
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090624_foreclosure_fiasco/

Notice too how all comments are negative regarding ANYTHING Obama (all over the place) and how weak and lackidaisically they present a supposeded issue they “endorse”.  ASIDE (of course) from the issue that says basically…., “don’t support Obama”.  Would it be good for the repubs to have indepentants, socialists, liberals or any other party NOT support the Obama administration right now.  YOU BETCHA.

They’re lying.  This is simply a different tactic, than the one they were trying a couple of weeks ago.  Remember, these newcomers are suspiciously “new”......and they’re not nice either. (lol)

My previous post gives an example of only SOME of the things the Obama administration is attempting to do, read the news… follow the stories, they are doing extremely well.  But they have many FOES…..

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By Outraged, July 1, 2009 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

Post 2.

“An investigation by Sen. John Rockefeller, D-W.Va., shows that nearly 20 regional and national insurers also used Ingenix data. An ongoing probe by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo previously focused on the use of Ingenix data by only a handful of top insurers, including Aetna, Wellpoint and Cigna. About a dozen insurers, including UnitedHealth, have already reached settlements with Cuomo.

Tuesday’s report arrives as President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress step up calls for a public health care option. The idea is vigorously opposed by Republicans and insurance industry executives, who say a public plan would drive private companies out of the marketplace.”
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g4s2x4w7hv-cWoKaCbdWmE1sQecAD991BJOO0

I’m not claiming everything is wonderful, I’m not claiming that things are good, I’m not claiming that one should stop fighting, I’m not claiming that this sinking ship CAN be righted, but I know this…. if we want to right this ship its going to take a lot of time, work and effort, COLLECTIVELY.  It’s not going to happen overnight, if it can be done.

Many people, in all types of capacity are working hard to right the ship.  There are those who would like nothing better than to see these efforts fail.

Fight for our rights, fight to bring these injustices to an end, but don’t help the crooks obliterate those on OUR SIDE.

Yes, there are dems who are less than “worthy”, but I see things BEGINNING to move in the right direction.  Now is the time to demand, organize and SUPPORT those on our side.  I think Obama is on our side, I do.

Do I think Obama is going to give me everything my little heart desires…....no.  During the election it became apparent that things were so messed up that, NO MATTER WHO WON (if they were for the people), it was going to take some time and effort before we could turn things around.  It was a situation of almost complete corruption!

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By Outraged, July 1, 2009 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

Post 1.

“The Obama administration announced today an expansion of a key part of its foreclosure prevention program to allow more homeowners who owe more than their home is worth to refinance into lower-cost mortgages.

The effort is an acknowledgment by the administration that falling home prices limited the impact of its housing program, Making Home Affordable. Under the program, homeowners could refinance if their mortgage did not exceed the value of their home by more than 105 percent. Now, the administration is expanding the program to homeowners who are up to 125 percent underwater on their loan.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/01/AR2009070102063.html?hpid=moreheadlines

“June 25 (Bloomberg)—U.S. banks are fighting the Obama administration plan to create a consumer agency for financial services as they seek to protect fees, such as credit-card penalties that have almost doubled to $19 billion in five years.

Fees imposed by banks accounted for 53 percent of industry income in 2008, up from 35 percent in 1995, according to R.K. Hammer Investment Bankers, a credit-card advisory firm. JPMorgan Chase & Co., the second-largest U.S. bank by assets, said such revenue doubled in the first quarter. A U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Agency also may add costs by expanding scrutiny.”
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=agR2UE7gabLM

The Obama administration proposed a regulation Wednesday that would shave as much as $87.5 billion from the cost of one expensive component of healthcare reform.

The House is considering legislation that would make permanent reforms to the way Medicare pays physicians. The current formula, which has called for cuts to doctors’ fees every year since 2002, is universally regarded as flawed, but the cost of fixing it has been pegged at $285 billion over 10 years or more.

“As part of healthcare reform, the administration supports comprehensive, but fiscally responsible, reforms to the physician payment formula,” says a statement issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.”
http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/administration-trims-health-reform-price-tag-2009-07-01.html

The Obama administration Monday announced it would fast-track solar-energy development in the West, with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signing an order setting aside more than 1,000 square miles of public land for two years of study and environmental review.

The government will help companies build powerful solar farms in the desert Southwest by pre-qualifying huge swaths of federal land for development.

The Department of Interior said Monday it will designate 670,000 acres of federal land in Nevada, Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah as study areas for utility-scale solar projects.”
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2009400028_solar30.html

“The AP has a headline worthy of a drama queen: Feds Could Seize Calif. Parks If Closed By Budget!  Oh noes!  Shades of the Fifth Amendment’s takings clause!

The reality is different.  The state will abandon these parks and 200 more, thanks to an insurmountable budget crisis.  The specific parks being eyed by the NPS have been bought and paid for by the federal government and/or they’re on federal land, donated by the federal government on the condition that the state keep them as parks; if the state can’t, then the parks revert back to the feds.

Besides the legalese, there’s a better reason for the NPS to take back California state parkland: the NPS can take better care of the lands than the state.  California is utterly dysfunctional.  The NPS is proposing an intervention.”
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/7/1/748867/-Go-Ahead,-NPS,-Seize-These-Cal-State-Parks,-Please!

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By ardee, July 1, 2009 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

Jason!!, July 1 at 11:12 am #


Franken owes his thanks to those 2,812 dead voters that rose from the grave to cast a ballot.

..........................

So, like Franken, you engage in comedic repartee. I fear you to be too subtle for most and they are liable to think you not exactly sane. After all, the most closely scrutinized election in decades, discounting of course the Bush theft in 2000, and you think it rigged…Poor poor baby.

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By KDelphi, July 1, 2009 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

Gibbs is backing off of the ” seating one senator wont make a real difference” already.

Now, FluffPo says Ben nelson will “stop everything”....Democrats…adorable.

When will folks get it!! The Dems believe very much in the Capital runs the govt system. They worship at the same alter, just more quietly and , maybe, with a prettier face. They smile pretty.

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By KDelphi, July 1, 2009 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

Bud—what do you mean, that Sanders represents your view?? I am in Ohio and really like Sanders, too…if that’s what you mean. (I’m a Socialist)

Outraged—were you addressing someone in particular?

With people like Obama to “save” us, we would be better off left alone. Every watered-down bill the Dems pass just makes things worse for the poor—the credit card bill, (rates are going up—they put no limit on that—Sanders tried), the lame-ass climate change bill (big subsidies to coal and nukes)the bailout bills,  and of course, the massive military spending bill. The “foreclosure” “help” (in buying a new house, while people are still losing homes at 14,000 a day!), the refusal to touch bankruptcy laws (which are a sham and cause more foreclosures), and the , what is it, $13 a week more in min. wage paychecks??

With “friends’ like that, who needs enemies? Now, theyre going to end up cutting Medicaid and Medicare to pass a “reform” bill practically written by the insurance industry! Could you just not make things WORSE, Obama??

If Franken is “left” (and I dont think that he is) he will rapidly be discouraged when he sees what the Senate is all about…

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By Bud, July 1, 2009 at 8:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bernie Sanders I-Vermont is MY SENATOR,and I live in Ohio!Please stop and think about that all you individuals that are ALLEGEDLY represented by the likes of Max Baucus,Kent Conrad,Arlen Spector,Diane Finestein,Ben Nelson,Mary Landrieu,and many more pseudo democrats.Arguably,these people? are working for the insurance industry,the pharmaceutical industry,and themselves.

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By Jason!!, July 1, 2009 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

Franken owes his thanks to those 2,812 dead voters that rose from the grave to cast a ballot.


Every American should morn this travesty against democracy but you in the dem party are willing to sell your soul to achieve a short term political goal.

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By ardee, July 1, 2009 at 5:08 am Link to this comment

“Some people are purposefully invalidly indignant and perpetually cantankerous.”

To thine own self be true….

Looking at what this administration has accomplished so far must be a chore for some, I see little in the way of accomplishments and an awful lot of obfuscation, denial, regression and outright lies.

To say that criticism is an excuse for ‘giving up’ is a sophomoric and unworthy line of reasoning. What politician or administration is immune from criticism? Justice Brandeis once noted that the absence of such would be a sign of a very unhealthy society.

I think all are entitled to criticize, just as all should expect that criticism to be held up to the light and either validated or invalidated. Spirited debate is what will bring progress, if anything will.

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By Outraged, July 1, 2009 at 3:26 am Link to this comment

If I were new on the job, and I had accomplished what this new administration has accomplished thus far, and all I heard was disingenous accusations….. especially considering the enormity of the issues left behind from the last administration and the one before that…etc, I would have little to gain by TRYING.

Personally, if it were me….. I would not take issue with those who fight for what they believe, however if it were me…. I certainly wouldn’t take kindly to lies, implications and complete negativity.

Truthfully, when I work hard and someone negates it, I put that one where they belong….. out of sight and out of mind.

Some complain more than they contribute….. whiners are, apparently “bi-partisan”.  The situation is grave, yet some are so selfish, that they REFUSE to acknowledge any measures which they have, in fact… gained and are damnned unthankful for it.

There’s a difference between whining and fighting…  right now, we need to fight…. collectively, not selfishly.  Some people are purposefully invalidly indignant and perpetually cantankerous.

Don’t worry…. the REST OF US will save your DEAD ASS, (you bank on it… don’t you?) or at least attempt to fix the thing while you sit complaining.  Nothing new under the sun…....

So many comments on Hedges’ article…. but apparently the concept escapes most, “The Truth Alone Will Not Set You Free”

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By slb, June 30, 2009 at 11:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@dihey:

Robert Byrd is the senior senator from WEST Virginia, a different state from (the original) Virginia. And yes, the governor of West Virginia is a Democrat, but he was just re-elected by a wide margin this past November, and there is no limit to the number of consecutive terms you can serve as governor in West Virginia. No danger of him being replaced by a Republican any time soon—the lieutenant governor of West Virginia is also a Democrat.

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By KDelphi, June 30, 2009 at 10:18 pm Link to this comment

I hope that those who are thrilled about “Dem rule” will please make a note of the “progressive” legislation achieved by the Dems having a fillibuster proof majority.

It will be a short list.

Here is a list of the legislation passed so far that wil make any difference to the Am people:

SCHIP.

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By Squeeky, June 30, 2009 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment

Whether you are a democrat or a republican, I fear the country will find itself in California’s predicament before anything constructive is done.

If you unfamiliar w/their situation, educate yourself. I think you’ll be amazed at the damage that can be done when towing the party line is more important than serving the better interests of the nation.

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By coloradokarl, June 30, 2009 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment

Thank You Norm Coleman !!!!

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By Inherit The Wind, June 30, 2009 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

There are 100 senators who think they are comedians but now is one who is actually qualified as one.

Congratulations, Al!  You haven’t even been seated and “The Contingent” and others are attacking you on TruthDig.  I guess that means you have arrived!

And, yes, Rush Limbaugh IS still a big, fat IDIOT!

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By truedigger3, June 30, 2009 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

The election of Franken will make a zero difference in policy. The Senate could have 100 Democrats and the house has all its members Democrats and nothing will change.
We have a single party which is the corporatist party, you can call its members Democrats or Republcans, but first and foremost they are Corporatists. Obama is a good example of that.

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By Pam, June 30, 2009 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I hope the publicans are voted into oblivion for at least the next 20 years.They’re LOOTERS for the RICH

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By KDelphi, June 30, 2009 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

Well, the “excuse” will be that “there is no public support” for a “progressive agenda”.

“Bush left us a mess” (which is true—but not a lifetime excuse)

“Pragmatism”—“It wont stick if it doesnt have bi-partisan support”.

“The GOP will overturn it someday”

The truth is, the Dems will not do the things Samson listed because they never intended to.

If they actually do any of these things I will be amazed and might even vote for one again. But, I sure a hell wont hold my breath.

Ever single bill they have passed—-with majorities, please remember—has been milquetoast blather.

Please, Dems, post some excuses I havent thought of.

BTW, Franken is NOT a “Liberal”!

If Kennedy And Byrd were around they would pass, what? Kennedy’s crappy Massachusetts health insurance payoff plan? Byrd’s reward the coal companies plan?

Thats the stuff they have done (or will do) anyway. NO, they probably wont even pass Kennedy’s plan…but its still crap.

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By Reubenesque, June 30, 2009 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

Al Franken is our newest senator and “Rush Limbaugh is (still) a big fat idiot”.

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By Carol, June 30, 2009 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yeah Franken!! My my Republicans sure are sore loosers!! But loosers they are!!!

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By Samson, June 30, 2009 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

Gee, now that the Democrats have lost their excuse of ‘filibusters’ as why they can’t ever do anything, then surely soon we’ll see them start doing the following.

—pass a Single Payer\National Health Insurance style of Health Insurance reform.
—End the wars and bring our troops home.
—Massive reductions in military, intelligence and homeland security spending as we redirect scarce money towards the economic welfare of Americans.
—Stop giving trillions of dollars to the banks and instead use that money to stop foreclosures and help stabilize the housing markets.
—Pass a real reform to energy policy that ends subsidies for oil, coal and nuclear power.

The list could go on.  And, of course, everyone knows the Democrats won’t do any of this.  But, just remember that their lame excuse that they couldn’t do anything before because of Republican filibusters is gone.  So, when you see them continuing Republican policies and policies that serve the wealthy and the corporations in this country, know that what you are really seeing is the true nature of today’s Democratic party.

The Dems latest excuse for why they have to be so evil is now gone.  If the Dems continue to be evil, even a slightly lessor one, then know that this is just because the Dems are evil.

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By Outraged, June 30, 2009 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

Finally.  This is great news, thanks for hangin’ tough Mr. Franken.  You might want to take a u-haul, greyhound, or…. oh hell, just take a limo to D.C…... (just to be sure you arrive…)

Welcome, SENATOR FRANKEN.

My thanks also to all those who contributed to the effort to see Sen. Franken take his rightful seat in the United States Senate.

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By dihey, June 30, 2009 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

The happy thought that the Democrats will get a “filibuster-proof” Senate is potentially the most egregious political wishful thinking of all times.
Senators Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd are seriously ill and therefore frequently absent from the Senate. How often can the Democrats haul these ill men into the Senate in the future to break recurrent filibuster attempts by the Republicans?
At this time the Governors of Massachusetts and Virginia are both Democrats. In Massachusetts there are gubernatorial elections in 2010. In Virginia there are elections in 2009 (Yes, Virginia, this year!). In both cases it is possible albeit not certain that the next Governor could be a Republican.
For that reason Senators Kennedy and Byrd ought to suppress their outsized egos and resign immediately provided that the law allows their replacement by the current governors before these elections are held.
Will that happen? No, because their egos are much too big.

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Mayponce's avatar

By Mayponce, June 30, 2009 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

Franken is a well known Zionist and a status-quo Democrat—hating Bush and being a progressive are not the same thing folks.

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By freedom loving american, June 30, 2009 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

We would need only 51 senators if all had the courage, conviction, and intelligence of Al Franken.
Man a democrat with democratic values, what’s next will bush and cheney admit to planning 9/11…

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By ardee, June 30, 2009 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

The Democrats already have the public approval, the leverage and , in many cases would have the votes too if their own membership would vote in a bloc.

Franken is a funny man, but a savior of the liberal agenda? I dont think so…..

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By Spiritgirl, June 30, 2009 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

Finally!!!!  Is it just me or are Rethugnikans poor losers and bad sports when it comes to loosing?!?!?

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, June 30, 2009 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

Congratulations are in order to Mr. Franken.

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By KDelphi, June 30, 2009 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

So what excuse will Dems use now?

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