“Get the Government Out of My Social Security!” Inside the 9.12 Teabagger Rally

This is a response this comment by Timberdoodle who is a frequent commentor at Huffington post.

Read “Get the Government Out of My Social Security!” Inside the 9.12 Teabagger Rally at HuffingtonPost

This too shall pass, Tim…

I choose to be part of the society just like Barack and Michelle do.

I have lived elsewhere. In more than one country.

We’ve survived a civil war that few countries could have survived. We have
declared a dream that accords with the deepest hopes of most humankind.

And we have been as harsh in criticizing what we despise here as anyone
from any other country has.

I read your comments regularly and respect them. I have never felt I had to
reply until I read your final sentence. “I just can’t believe any sane sensible
person would want to be part of a society like this.”

I will take it as an example of the kind of flak I took when I lived briefly in
Quebec during the Vietnam era.

We will overcome our wingnuts just as we overcame the authors of
Vietnam, the minions of McCarthy and Father Coughlin, the original
trusts, the secessionists and the know nothings.

Thanks for the good comments you have given to that effort.

Best, S


A Cheap Shot Versus Twitter in The New York Times

I hope James P. Othmer’s forthcoming book is better than his column in today’s New York Times.

The headline in my paper copy reads: Don’t Tweet About Health Care.

The author informs us that the President was wise to use TV as his platform to address Congress last week. Fine. Duh.

Then, to hang this truism on something provocative, he suggests that using social media to get his message out won’t work this time around. He notes that there are opponents of health care reform online. This is also a truism, but his advice is entirely wrong.

The health care reform battle will be won online. Mr. Othmer does not offer a shred of evidence to back up his thesis that it won’t. He says there are a lot of opponents online. He does not indicate that there are widely effective pro-reform activities going on all the time and growing in intensity and effect.

It is columns like his that add weight to the scales I look at in my mnd’s eye when evaluating the future of the Times. It is a pebble added to the side that moves downward.


History Suggests GOP Wingnut Movement Will Lose Steam Eventually

Read the Article this Comment is Based on at HuffingtonPost

Interestingly, most nonviolent social movements have folded into the mainstream and have been more progressive than not.


The page above notes the following distribution of social movements:

African American History (40) Immigration (7) Asian American History (7) Native Americans (15) Civil Rights (10) Womens History (14) Hispanic American (5)

When one turns to abrasive and violent-tending movements, there is no reliable source I can find that details the instances of violence or creates criteria for what to include.

But one can certainly suggest that violent threats and actions have come in reasonably even volleys from left and right. We can further say that when the largest conflict of all erupted, there was a Civil War. Apart from that, we have generally seen movements rise and then peter out, whether we are talking Draft Riots, KKK activity or other onerous activities.

Generally our much-maligned two-party system has operated to mollify the sentiments on both extremes until they morph into proposals that can be voted up and down.

I am not saying we should be sanguine about things, only that, in the words of Jessie Coulter, storms never last.


My Problem With MSNBC

My problem is I hardly watch it any more. A while back I thought it had real potential. Now I think it is on its way down.

Not because I do not agree with what I assume to be its hopes for the President. But because they serve these hopes in the following ways:

1. I cannot believe the Rachel Maddow peremptory attitude that says essentially, “We’ll see what the President can do now…” As though it was up to him alone. It is up to us and if she is a true progressive she will get with the program and stop playing wise guy. I know she often does exemplary things. But I also know she has shied away from major global human rights issues that cried out for some progressive attention. I think she is probably the best of the lot now, but a shaky best.

2. Keith Olbermann’s format is becoming a bore to me. I liked Jean Shepherd and his music and other anachronistic things on Keith remind me that the next time around is never equal to what is being evoked. The plain fact is we do not care about the pissing contests and fun-making and grimaces and other posturing. The most recent denouement of the current style was the Glen Beck Daily Kos fiasco in which Keith went full bore and then pulled a Wizard of Oz nothing act on the air. It was literally unbelievable. And I think full justification for the President’s gentle chiding of progressives last night.

3.  Then there is Chris Matthews who has evidently decided that visible aging is an excuse for the emulation of a gravitas that he lacks. Many of us who have served in various ranks have a choice to make when we talk about our less-than-central role in things. One can shut up or write a novel or start celebrating yourself at every turn. Chris has chosen the last option with numbing effect. But that is probably a nasty jab, even if  true. The main problem I have with Chris is that while he is routinely being rude and interrupting his guests, he is also allowing his own opinions and feelings to so predominate that he becomes a most unreliable witness to events. Because he is dealing with important issues, this is bigger than just accusing him of being opinionated. He is using words to distort the truth at times. And this makes him no better than the more obvious examples of this sad tendency.

4. I reserve my last place concern for the Ed Show which I think would require a H. L. Mencken to adequately describe. Again I agree with many of his impulses and points but I find his show a travesty, a production bust and an exercise in blather and bloviation beyond my capacity to describe or adequately criticize. I do not think he serves the causes he so obviously represents. I think he toadys to some guests and thinks that off-the-cuff will play to his audience. I find the whole thing frankly unbelievable. A man of the people in 30 Rock ? Enough said.

This is the MSNBC lineup and this is how I see it. I know there are many who are happy with this channel.  I think it is precariously perched on the road to perdition. I wish CSPAN would put up a news channel that simply reads news in something like real time.


For All Americans, the President’s Health Care Reform Plan

For All Americans, the President’s Health Care Reform Plan:

  • Won’t add a dime to the deficit and is paid for upfront.
  • Requires additional cuts if savings are not realized.
  • Implements a number of delivery system reforms that begin to rein in health care costs and align incentives for hospitals, physicians, and others to improve quality.
  • Creates an independent commission of doctors and medical experts to identify waste, fraud and abuse in the health care system.
  • Orders immediate medical malpractice reform projects that could help doctors focus on putting their patients first, not on practicing defensive medicine.
  • Requires large employers to cover their employees and individuals who can afford it to buy insurance so everyone shares in the responsibility of reform.
  • To Support Health Care Reform Make This Url Viral http://bit.ly/1UxPWR

If You Don’t Have Insurance, the President’s Plan

If  You Don’t Have Insurance, the President’s Plan:

  • Creates a new insurance marketplace — the Exchange — that allows people without insurance and small businesses to compare plans and buy insurance at competitive prices.
  • Provides new tax credits to help people buy insurance.
  • Provides small businesses tax credits and affordable options for covering employees.
  • Offers a public health insurance option to provide the uninsured and those who can’t find affordable coverage with a real choice.
  • Immediately offers new, low-cost coverage through a national “high risk” pool to protect people with preexisting conditions from financial ruin until the new Exchange is created.
  • To Support Health Care Reform Make This Url Viral http://bit.ly/1UxPWR

If You Have Health Insurance, the President’s Plan

If  You Have Health Insurance, the President’s Plan:

  • Ends discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Limits premium discrimination based on gender and age.
  • Prevents insurance companies from dropping coverage when people are sick and need it most.
  • Caps out-of-pocket expenses so people don’t go broke when they get sick.
  • Eliminates extra charges for preventive care like mammograms, flu shots and diabetes tests to improve health and save money.
  • Protects Medicare for seniors.
  • Eliminates the “donut-hole” gap in coverage for prescription drugs.
  • To Support Health Care Reform Make This Url Viral http://bit.ly/1UxPWR