Really, you ask? The shows gotten better? Russert is actually asking follow up questions and holding his guests accountable? Of course not. Sadly, this victory is pretty minor....read on
76 documents found in 0.001 seconds.
- Bill Maher
- Breaking news
- Chris Bowers
- Conservative Talking Points
- Democratic Party
- Democratic Party
- Harry Reid
- Health Care debate
- Healthcare Reform
- Jeff Bryant
- Jim Gilliam
- Michelle Rhee
- Salsa Labs
- Sen. Harry Reid
- Social Security
- White House
- cause-based organizing network
- corporate takeover
- deficit commission
- mid-term elections
- public option
- venture capital
Bachus took exception to a remark Bill Maher made and wants his show cancelled.
It will be nice to hear Maher's response on this one.
Update-Commentor Jeremy found Bill's response in the Huffington Post
What is happening to Change.org and other organizations should worry all of us. With venture capitalists buzzing around these organizations waiting to put money and effort into buying the grassroots, Change.org appears to have decided it's too much trouble to make a decision about whether or not sponsored campaigns should be accepted from organizations doing evil to progressive causes, like Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst did earlier this year.
Jeff Bryant wrote a post for the Campaign for America's Future aptly entitled "Change.Org, Enabler Of Davids, Decides To Side With Goliaths Instead", exposing the decisions Change.org launched on Monday. They had not planned to actually tell their progressive clients they were moving in this direction, preferring to roll things out and then deal one on one with any complaints. However, someone leaked the internal documents to Jeff, who then published them along with his post.
According to the new policies, the social action platform will now be open to companies and corporations of any size, political parties, "front groups," and "astroturf" organizations. Only advertisers strictly identified as "hate groups" are to be barred.
According to a Change.org document "Rebrand-Internal FAQs," the more than 20 million users of the platform will not notice dramatic changes to the site. They will see "a new visual look" and "updated language on the About Us" and other boilerplate pages. And users will be able to submit petitions as they have done in the past.
But wait, there's even more.
What will change is that Change.org will no longer "filter potential advertisers" based on the advertisers' "values." Nor will Change.org filter potential advertisers based on any "gut feelings about the content of the ad itself."A different document, "Change.org Advertising Guidelines," provides more detail about the new policies, including that ads can't "promote hate, violence or discrimination… promote bullying, harassment, or intimidation… use or promote hate speech… discriminate against an organization, person, or protected group." Also, "Ads cannot contain inaccurate or deceitful content."
According to the Huffington Post, these new policies came about after the furor over Rhee's StudentsFirst organization putting up misleading petitions in order to harvest email addresses.
As per Chris Bowers' whip count, we knew Thursday that Sen. Reid said he wouldn't rule out the addition of the public option to health-care reform through the reconciliation process, but today's statement sounds much stronger:
The health care debate just got reignited in Washington, D.C. Late Friday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced he would work with Democrats and the White House to pass a public option through reconciliation, according to the Huffington Post.
Reid put a caveat to the statement saying that he would support it if that's the path the Democratic Party chooses with the legislation.
Ezra Klein, who too often accepts the conventional "centrist" wisdom, still might be right when he says the public positions in the Senate are a lot different from the private ones (Jonathan Cohn expresses similar doubts):
I've spoken to a lot of offices about this now, and all of them are ambivalent privately, even if they're supportive publicly. No one feels able to say no to this letter, but none of them seem interested in reopening the wars over the public option. That's why the White House kicked this at Reid and Reid tossed it back at the White House. If the public option is a done deal, everyone will sign on the dotted line. But between here and there is a lot of work that no one seems committed to doing, and that many fear will undermine the work being done on the rest of the bill.
What you're seeing here are the weird politics of the public option at play. It's popular in the country. It's wildly popular among the base. It's the subject of obsessive interest in the media. There is little downside to supporting it publicly, huge downside to opposing it, and no one is allowed to ignore the issue, or even take a few days to see where the votes are.
[...] No one I've spoken to -- even when they support the public option -- thinks that its reemergence is good news for health-care reform. It won't be present in the package that the White House will unveil Monday. Everyone seems to be hoping this bubble will be short-lived.
But it might not be. The media is talking about it, liberals are organizing around it, none of the major actors feels politically capable of playing executioner, and Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson don't have the power to do the job on their own. As of now, the strategy only has 20 or so supporters, and it'll need at least another 20 or 25 to really be viable. But if it gets there, White House and Senate leadership are going to have some hard calls to make.
So here's this Huffington Post story that has the Hill in a tizzy, all about the massive amounts of money the Republicans plan to spend to win the mid-terms this year, and this paragraph in particular jumped out:
While it's anticipated that both parties will be able to maintain approximate parity in the amount of money they can spend on congressional races, top strategists are resigned to the likelihood that Democratic interest groups won't match their Republican counterparts. So far this cycle, the activist base -- personified by groups like MoveOn.org -- has been motivated by issue-advocacy and primary challenges, not the Democratic Party's well being.
Au contraire, mes amis! We are absolutely motivated by the Democratic Party's well-being. In fact, we are so concerned, we've been staging a series of interventions during primaries in order to stop the party from shooting that corporate crack right into their veins.
To hear the party bigwigs speak, you'd think there had never been a netroots movement that put Howard Dean in charge of the DNC, and thus created the 50-state strategy that put the Democrats in the position where they even have control of the House and Senate!
What did it mean when the brand-new administration put Tim Kaine in charge of the DNC, and offered Howard Dean not a thing as reward for his faithful service? It meant that the Beltway "grownups" were in charge now, and that they thought they could handle things just fine by ingesting that corporate crack.
How's that working for ya, fellas?
If you read the article, you'll see they're complaining that unions spent money on primary challenges -- without even considering the fact that unions were fighting anti-union Blue Dogs. (As Rich Trumka pointed out, why do the Democrats assume that money would go to them?)
You'll notice that the netroots are still funneling large sums of money to candidates who actually represent the people's agenda -- and not that of Wall Street and multinational corporations.
You'd think that maybe, just maybe, someone in the Democratic leadership would Connect. Those. Dots.
I wish I wanted to give the Democrats money. I wish they showed leadership, I wish they inspired me. I wish I could enthusiastically recommend them to my friends.
And I wish they could come up with a selling point other than "we're not quite as bad as the other guys."
And ponies, too! Ponies for everyone!
It's a cynical political strategy almost beyond belief, but it's becoming obvious that President Obama and the Democratic leaders plan to let the Republicans do what they've tried to do since the days of FDR: Cut Social Security.
Members of President Obama's deficit commission huddled behind closed doors Wednesday despite pleas from the left and right that they hold all their meetings in public.
The move only heightens suspicion that rather than forging a national consensus on future spending priorities, the commission's work will consist of backroom dealings in which members of the Washington aristocracy find high-minded excuses for cutting the social safety net.
[...] Reed said the "actual deliberations are going to be in public, at the full commission meetings."
Uh huh. Right. And I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.
When I wrote about this last week, some readers insisted it would "never" happen, and questioned whether there was any logical reason Obama would support benefit cuts. So I talked to a couple of D.C. Social Security activists this week and posed that very question. I was told that Obama's reelection strategy was based on allowing Social Security cuts to win over independent voters. (Apparently it polls well with the Tea Party crowd.)
Now, in case you haven't been following this, the Catfood Commission bypasses Congressional line-item input (this alone should be enough to make you worry) and will get an up or down vote in December -- after the elections. So a lame-duck Congress (where some members may be looking for lucrative new jobs) will have to vote on it.
Now, seriously. How can any intelligent person convince themselves that the Obama administration isn't backing this? The commission is stacked with deficit hawks; the national deficit is on track to be more fiscally sound if they let the Bush tax cuts expire; and Social Security, which is a tax-transfer program, doesn't have a damned thing to do with the deficit.
But deficit hawks aren't grounded in reality. They just like inflicting pain on the people who didn't cause our economic crisis.
Ted Marmor, a professor emeritus of public policy and management at Yale writes:
It is crucial to understand how devious such arguments are. They are ideological stances searching for plausible occasions to celebrate what they presume. This ploy is obvious in the case of Social Security pensions, which are not suffering worrisome fiscal imbalances now or later.
The deficit hawks say they are worried about future years - 2037 or 2042 - when there might be some shortfall in Social Security revenues against claims, according to the Congressional Budget Office. But why are they focusing on future decades when the near-term federal deficit is the problem?
Duh! Because the "think about the grandchildren!" line makes it easier to sell!
Now, I suspect Obama also wants to use the Social Security cuts to force Republicans to accept some kind of tax increases -- because it's just so typical of how he operates. "I'll give away economic security for our base if you'll agree to upset your base by accepting new taxes."
This is absolutely the wrong approach. This is the proverbial downward slope. Void the Social Security contract, and it's the beginning of the end for what tattered pieces of the safety net ordinary working people still have.
You want to cut the deficit, Mr. President? It's the war, stupid.