Monthly Archives: January 2011

I’ve been reading some posts on Atheism at Humanitarikim…

…and it reminded me of the Atheist Hymn that I put a YouTube cut on this blog last year (Steve Martin and the Stone Canyon Rangers):

And, please, check out Humanitarikim. You’ll enjoy it.

Another Question Eric Cantor is Sidestepping…

Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia

Eric Cantor

If you saw House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R – VA) on Meet The Press yesterday, you know that he evaded every question that was put to him. 

Here’s another from Senators Chuck Schumer (D – NY) and Robert Menendez (D – NJ).

The whole article is available at Talking Points Memo:

clipped from tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com
As promised, Senate Democrats aren’t going to take the GOP‘s health care repeal push lying down
In a letter delivered to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Sunday, Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) demand an answer to a question now at the center of the Republican party’s top legislative priority: Will repealing the health care law force seniors to reimburse the government for the $250 check they received in 2010 to help them pay for prescription drugs?
“We are particularly concerned that repeal would reverse the course of making prescription drugs more affordable for seniors,” Schumer and Menendez write. “The [repeal] legislation approved by the House could require seniors to repay the government.”
“Richard Foster, the Chief Actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), has said that “in theory,” seniors would have to return the checks if repeal becomes law,” the letter reads.
You can read the entire letter here.
blog it

Jack LaLanne is Dead at 96

You know, I actually believed that Jack LaLanne would live forever. I had been tripping over his appearances on television since the 1950s, running exercise classes, selling food processors with his wife, swimming and pulling boats behind him in Long Island Sound in his 70s… he was unstoppable.

His wife, Elaine, who had been with him for 51 years, said:

“I have not only lost my husband and a great American icon, but the best friend and most loving partner anyone could ever hope for.”

LaLanne was active and exercised right up to the end, according to his agent.

A LaLanne quote:

“The only way you can hurt the body is not use it. Inactivity is the killer and, remember, it’s never too late.”

In Jack LaLanne’s case, however, respiratory failure due to pneumonia was the killer.

Goodbye, Jack.

Quote of the Day – So, after Olbermann are we next?

“The loss of Keith Olbermann is a bad omen for America. We should be aware of this loss, and do what we can to let others know its impact — how much of democracy we have lost. I’m sure if George Orwell were alive today, he would weep at this atrocity. Just as we should, but we must also stand strong against these oligarchs. We must realize that they are in control; we must support our alternative media sites so long as we can — because soon they will be taking our websites down by raising prices and by other underhanded means to silence all dissent — even on the Internet.”

- Sam Hamod, Ph.D., at http://www.todaysalternativenews.com

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Takin’ Our Health Away… Wheeee!

Don Wright in the West Palm Beach News:

The Republicans are working hard to take our Health Care away…

- and -

Clay Bennett in the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

…they start by taking back the little things…

- and -

Stuart Carlson at GoComics.com:

… then they go after EVERYTHING else…

- and -

Mark Streeter in the Savannah Morning News:

… and declare a Republican-Style Victory (as if it’s really all over!)

 

What we can do to preserve Liberal/Progressive standards and information in the growing Right-Wing Oligarchy…

My wife asked me, as we watched the news about Keith Olbermann’s firing at MSNBC, the House of Representatives’ attack on necessary human services – especially in Health care, and the limiting of the commercial media to control by 6 right leaning corporations (excuse me… “citizens”, according to the SCOTUS): “What can we do?”

Good question, and one I think many Progressives and Liberals are asking themselves and each other right now.

Well, here are a few things to remember right now:

1.) The Internet, especially the blogosphere on the WWW, is an overwhelmingly Progressive place, with left oriented sites far outnumbering those on the right. As long as technology moves forward, it will remain Progressive… “Conservative Technology” is a backward concept that will not bring us into the kind of social network that we are only recently becoming aware if.

Therefore: get out there on these blogs (start with mine and the list of others you’ll find on the right side of this page)… make your comments seen… start your own blogs and make your opinions stand up with the rest of us. I look forward to cross-linking ith you.

2.) Get anything you can onto other media. I’m particularly fond of Radio and I participate on a very liberal morning radio show (I’m on every Friday and I sub on other days when the regular host is on vacation) called “Winners and Losers” on WSHC FM 89.7, in Shepherdstown, WV. For folks not in our local broadcast range (limited to the WV Eastern Panhandle area) this station at Shepherd University has a large local listening population and more and more people who listen On Line.

If you live in a college town, you may find other stations like this one who allow locals to broadcast (you do it for Free as college stations have very low budgets.) Check it out.

3.) You can run for local, state, county… even National offices. Get involved in politics now. 2012 is likely to bring back the many voters who got Obama elected in the first place.

In Summary… GET INVOLVED. And when you come up with things, click on my little mailbox and let me know what you’re doing. Or leave a comment.

-Bill.

Quote of the Day… one of many I’m seeing all over the Internet

Countdown with Keith Olbermann was the anchor of something extraordinary that emerged, painstakingly and against all odds, during the Bush years. A mild liberal alternative was established in the corporate media to counter the flamethrowers at Fox. Nothing like it had existed since MSNBC fired Phil Donahue in early 2003. Now it’s gone. And it’s hard to see how this gaping hole on the “liberal” end of the corporate media is going to result in anything other than giving a louder voice and greater ventilation to the policies that are currently being advanced by an aggressive right-wing oligarchy.”

- Joseph A. Palermo, Associate Professor, American History, California State University, Sacramento.

Saturday Morning…

I don’t know why it is, but, standing in the shower this morning, I was overtaken by the score from “Carousel” and started singing Billy Bigelow‘s Soliloquy out loud, persisting until it’s completion as I was getting dressed. Byron, our younger dog, lay on the bedroom floor staring at me.

I hadn’t been thinking about Carousel… I don’t recall thinking about it and I hadn’t dreamed about it. I have been thinking about Candide, however… since I am reviewing the Shepherd University production next week for WSHC radio. I’ll be going to a dress rehearsal in order to get the review on the air timed with the Friday opening on the 4th.

I have been playing a couple of versions of Candide from my iTunes collections… primarily the Harold Prince version from 1974 and the British Royal National Theatre version from 1999 (and somewhere I have the Original Cast album , sometimes known as the Lillian Hellman version, whose story and Richard Wilbur lyrics and Barbara Cook soprano vocals, many prefer over the revisions… but I don’t know where it is right now. On a CD download somewhere (although I have a 33 1/3 rpm record somewhere as well.) That is where the thoughts of Carousel may have come up.

Each of the two musicals have significant overtures which often stand by themselves in legitimate Orchestra performances. Richard Rogers’ Carousel Waltz and Bernstein’s Candide Overture (available on YouTube with Bernstein conducting it shortly before his death) are both splendid, long (4 minutes or so) pieces which are quickly recognized even by people who have not seen either shows. That’s a thought which may have brought Carousel into my mind this morning.

Isn’t it interesting how music I learned at age 14 persists at age 64.

This Sucks! Olbermann is leaving MSNBC

I was coming back from an event in Gettysburg, PA, with Elly’s AIGA group, so I didn’t see Countdown tonite. To find this out on line when I got home is both depressing and maddening. I hope Keith turns up on another network soon… he is very important to the Progressive perception of the world.
clipped from news.yahoo.com
MSNBC host Keith Olbermann announced Friday that he is leaving the network and has taped his last “Countdown” show.
MSNBC issued a statement that it had ended its contract with the controversial host, with no further explanation. Olbermann hosted the network’s most popular show, but his combative liberal opinions often made him a target of critics.
Olbermann did not explain why he was leaving.
A spokesman said Phil Griffin, MSNBC’s president, would not comment on Olbermann’s exit. Spokesman Jeremy Gaines would say only that the acquistion of NBC Universal by Comcast, which received regulatory approval this week, had nothing to do with the decision.
Olbermann, before leaving the show with a final signature toss of his script toward the camera, thanked his audience for sticking with him and read a James Thurber poem.
He thanked a series of people, including the late Tim Russert, but pointedly not Griffin or NBC News President Steve Capus.
blog it

Woman Paralyzed By Hickey

I figured you needed some medical news now that the Health Care debate has entered the absurdity phase:
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
The next time you find yourself getting intimate, be sure to cover your neck — a hickey might be more dangerous than you thought.
That’s right, a woman in New Zealand suffered a small stroke that partially paralyzed her after receiving a hickey — or as the Kiwis call it, a “love bite” — from her eager bedfellow, reported New Zealand Medical Journal.
At first, doctors struggled to find the cause of the stroke, until they discovered a small “bruise” on the woman’s neck — located very close to a major artery.

The force of the hickey-giver’s suction had caused a blood clot in the artery, which then travelled to the woman’s heart, doctors told the The Press. The woman made a full recovery.

blog it

Republicans ignoring the things that the People want cut in the budget…

Our Republican friends in the House are proposing cutting all kinds of things to balance the budget, including The National Endowment for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Humanities, the Essential Air Service subsidy and more… all things that cost fairly little in comparison to the things which are the major money eaters. Are they talking about cutting Military Spending…OOOO NOOOO… not even allowing it to be brought up.

A new NY Times.CBS poll however shows what Major expense people really want cut:

 

 

 

 

Even Republicans are more heavily weighted to cutting the Military. Maybe the folks in the Congress will take a hint and bring the Military Waste into the discussion.

How the GOP will force a repeal vote in the Senate

This from Salon, by Alex Pareene… something to start your depressing morning with:

 

clipped from www.salon.com
Exciting news! Having already wasted a day of everyone’s time pretending to repeal the Affordable Care Act in the House of Representatives, Republicans are now set to force a vote on repeal in the Senate, where purely symbolic expressions of legislative sour grapes can take weeks.
It was previously thought that Harry Reid would simply block a vote on repeal and that would be the end of it, but Minority Leader Mitch McConnell always finds a way. He could use “Rule 14″ to bring it to the floor, for example. Or — and this is what he’ll probably do — he could attach repeal as an amendment to something likely to pass the Senate.
The Heritage Foundation even has a little FAQ on how the Senate can repeal Obamacare. Of course, irony of ironies, every repeal option requires either 60 or 67 votes.
I am expecting basically weeks of make-believe repeal of Obama’s cootiecare health bill, over and over again. It just feels good, to the GOP.
blog it

Howard Dean: The ‘State Of The Progressive Movement’ Is Strong

TPM ran this article by Governor Dean today… I’ll give you a piece of it, but please go in and read the whole thing.
clipped from tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com
Republicans may be enjoying their ascendancy and critics may be suggesting the President Obama is tilting to the right along with them, but former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean says the “the State of the Progressive Movement is strong.”
“The next few years aren’t going to be easy either,” Dean writes. “It’s going to be a fight to stop right-wing Republicans from rolling back progress and forcing gridlock in Congress.”
Despite the progressive critics of Obama, Dean makes it clear that he’s fully behind Obama — and that Obama’s cause is a progressive one.

“We’ll need to work harder than ever to accomplish real change and reelect President Obama in 2012,” Dean writes. “But we’ve never been afraid of hard work.”
“Republicans often play to the worst impulses in human nature and separate people from each other, scapegoating minority groups and dismantling our community support systems,” Dean writes.
“We have a better answer,” he adds. “We know what we believe.”

Perhaps you don’t know what it takes to be a Sarah Palin supporter…

Well… you have to sing:

And that, of course, is the Battler Hymn of Sarah Palin. So lock and load and get out there, folks.

And please, friends, stop sending me copies of this!

Rick Santorum Invokes a Racial Slur on Barack Obama in Abortion Discussion

Whooeee! This was on that Christian Network CNS News (they’ve come up before in this blog, and not in any complimentary terms):

Of course it’s not the first time Santorum has slurred the President. Last year on Fox News he told Greta van S.:

I think the Democrats are actually worried he may go to Indonesia and bow to more Muslims. That’s sort of the concern that every time he seems to go to these other countries, he comes back or starts some sort of controversy that hits his popularity. I’m serious.

Word is out that Santorum is considering a Presidential run. That would be a fascinating campaign.

Obamacare or BoehnerScare.

As most of you know, I have been upset with the way the Right has tagged the Affordable health Care and Patient Provider Act as “Obamacare“, mostly because they included insults like Socialist, Communist, Fascist and others in the same breath. After yesterday, however, I’m not so sure that Obamacare isn’t something that is starting to work against the Republicans.

First, in the last week Obama‘s popularity has gone up an average 8 points in the polls with at least one putting him above 53%. Frankly, given all the problems we have with Recession, Inflation, the 2008 elections, etc., this is a guy that Americans, for the most part, like. At the same time, the popularity of the Right, be it the Tea Party or the Republicans or John Boehner himself have gone down about the same number of points. This means something.

Secondly, as more of the Health Care Plan has kicked in, a majority of Americans in general, and an extreme majority of Seniors and folks with pre-diagnosed conditions, have come to favor it… to a point where there was at least one poll that put the number of people who actually wanted it repealed was at 18% and few of the other polls were above 25%.

So what I think is happening is that the continual naming of the plan Obamacare, initially intended to attack a Bill that the Right was spending all its time and money to link with the President has actually linked it with a politician we are supporting… therefore it is probably a good thing. At the very least, the Republicans are consistent in repeating the President’s name over and over, something P T Barnum always thought was a good thing… as long as they spell it right.

And I’ve started to see a few publications that refer to “BoehnerScare” as the technique that was used to try and turn us against our  own best interests. Yeah, we would be mentioning Boehner’s name if we use this… but Scare is not Care, and the meaning is clear.

We’re going to see a very active Minority in the House and their focus is clear: “Make these guys show their worst side.” Not hard to do, I think But it will be fun watching C-Span.

Thursday Morning and the House is at it again…

John Garamendi as California Insurance Commiss...

John Garamendi (D - CA)

They are “debating” a proposal to start their committees off on putting together a new Health Care plan, pretending that the repeal they voted in yesterday is actually going through. Since it’s not, their wasting time again instead of working on legislation to create jobs and fix the economy.

As Rep. John Garamendi (D – CA), former Insurance Commissioner of California, said this morning:

“This is like Alice in Wonderland,” and commented on the discussion being the most amazing he has ever experienced in the House.

So what they are doing is Republican Playtime. Is America going to stand for it?

Chinese President Hu Jintao in China’s first state visit since 1997.

Obama kicked it off with a State Dinner at the White House kast night. All the important people were there…except of course for John Boehner. Mr. Speaker declined his invitation.

Here’s the guest list for the White House State Dinner:

THE PRESIDENT and MRS. OBAMA

HIS EXCELLENCY HU JINTAO

The Honorable Madeleine Albright, Washington, D.C.
Ms. Alice Albright

Ms. Christiane Amanpour, ABC News, New York, NY
Mr. James Rubin

The Honorable David Axelrod, Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor
Mrs. Susan Axelrod

Mr. Jeffrey Bader, National Security Council
Ms. Rohini Talalla

The Honorable Elizabeth Bagley, Washington, D.C.
Mr. Kevin Frawley

Mr. Steven Ballmer, Microsoft, Redmond, WA
Mrs. Connie Ballmer

Ms. Bette Bao Lord, New York, NY
The Honorable Winston Lord

Mrs. Denise Bauer, Belvedere Tiburon, CA

The Honorable Howard Berman, Representative from California
Mrs. Janis Berman

Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
Dr. Jill Biden

The Honorable Joseph Beau Biden, III, Attorney General of Delaware, Wilmington, DE
Mrs. Hallie Biden

His Excellency Zheng Bijian, Chairman, CIIDS

His Excellency Dai Bingguo, State Councilor

Mr. Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs, New York, NY
Mrs. Laura Blankfein

The Honorable Antony Blinken, Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor, Office of the Vice President

The Honorable Stephen Breyer, United States Supreme Court
Dr. Johanna Breyer

Mr. Greg Brown, Motorola, Schaumburg, IL
Mrs. Anna-Louise Brown

The Honorable Dr. Zbigniew Brezezinski, McLean, VA
Mrs. Emilie A. Brzezinski

The Honorable Kurt M. Campbell, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
The Honorable Lael Brainard, Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs

The Honorable James E. Carter, former President of the United States
Mrs. Rosalynn Carter

Mr. Jackie Chan, Beverly Hills, CA
Mr. Phillip Button

The Honorable Elaine Chao, Washington, D.C.
Dr. James Chao

His Excellency Wang Chao, Vice Minister for Commerce

His Excellency Tung Chee Hwa, Vice Chairman, CPPCC, former Hong Kong Chief Executive

Mr. John A. Chen, Chairman, Committee of 100, New York, NY
Mrs. Sherrie Chen

The Honorable Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey, Trenton, NJ
Mrs. Mary Pat Christie

The Honorable Judy Chu, Representative from California
Ms. Chiling Tong

The Honorable Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy
Mrs. Jean Chu

The Honorable Hillary R. Clinton, Secretary of State

The Honorable William J. Clinton, former President of the United States

The Honorable James E. Clyburn, Representative from South Carolina
Mr. John Clyburn

The Honorable Richard Daley, Mayor of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Mrs. Maggie Daley

The Honorable William Daley, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff
Ms. Bernadette Keller

His Excellency Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce

Mr. Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan Chase & Co., New York, NY
Mrs. Judith Dimon

The Honorable Thomas Donilon, Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor
Ms. Cathy Russell, Chief of Staff to Dr. Jill Biden

The Honorable Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education
Mrs. Karen Duncan

Mr. James Fallows, The Atlantic, Washington, D.C.
Mrs. Deborah Fallows

Mr. Xie Feng, Director General, MFA

Mr. Thomas Friedman, The New York Times, Washington, D.C.
Mrs. Ann Friedman

The Honorable Michael B. Froman, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs
Ms. Nancy Goodman

His Excellency Wan Gang, Minister of Science and Technology

The Honorable Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense
Mrs. Becky Gates

The Honorable Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury
Mrs. Carole Geithner

Mr. Mark Gilbert, Boca Raton, FL
Mrs. Nancy Gilbert

The Honorable Chris Gregoire, Governor of Washington, Olympia, WA
Ms. Courtney Gregoire

His Excellency Zhu Guangyao, Vice Minister for Finance

His Excellency Zhang Guobao, Vice Minister for NDRC

Mr. Herbie Hancock, Los Angeles, CA
Mrs. GiGi Hancock

The Honorable Dr. John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Science and Technology

The Honorable Robert Hormats, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs

The Honorable Steny Hoyer, Representative from Maryland, Democratic WHIP

His Excellency Wang Huning, Director of the Policy Research Office of CCCPC

The Honorable Jon Huntsman, U.S. Ambassador to China
Mrs. Mary Kaye Huntsman

Mr. Robert Iger, The Walt Disney Company, Burbank, CA
Ms. Willow Bay

Mr. David Ignatius, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.
Dr. Eve Ignatius

Mr. Jeff Immelt, General Electric, Fairfield, CT
Mrs. Andrea Immelt

The Honorable Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement

His Excellency Li Jiaxiang, Vice Minister for Transportation

His Excellency Yang Jiechi, Minister of Foreign Affairs

His Excellency Ling Jihua, Director of the General Office of CCCPC

Mr. Robert Kagan, McLean, VA
Ms. Victoria Nuland

Mr. Michael Kempner, East Rutherford, NJ
Mrs. Jacqueline Kempner

Mr. Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola, Atlanta, GA

The Honorable John F. Kerry, Senator from Massachusetts
Mrs. Teresa Heinz Kerry

Mr. Robert King, UAW, Detroit, MI
Ms. Julie Kushner

The Honorable Ron Kirk, United States Trade Representative
Mrs. Matrice Ellis-Kirk

The Honorable Henry Kissinger, New York, NY
Mrs. Nancy Kissinger

Mr. Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times, Scarsdale, NY
Ms. Sheryl WuDunn

Ms. Ellen Kullman, DuPont, Wilmington, DE
Mr. Michael Kullman

Dr. Zhang Kunsheng, Director-General, Protocol Department

Ms. Michelle Kwan, Torrance, CA

Mr. Lang Lang, New York, NY
Mrs. Zhou Xiulan

The Honorable Jacob Lew, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources

Ms. Maya Lin, New York, NY
Mr. Daniel Wolf

Ms. Limin Liu, Reno, NV
Dr. Hugh Shapiro

Mr. Andrew N. Liveris, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI
Mrs. Paula Liveris

The Honorable Gary Locke, Secretary of Commerce
Mrs. Mona Locke

The Honorable Christopher Lu, Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary
Ms. Kathryn Thomson

The Honorable Richard Lugar, Senator from Indiana
Mrs. Charlene Lugar

Mr. Yo Yo Ma, Burbank, CA
Ms. Jill Hornor

The Honorable Capricia Marshall, Chief of Protocol, Department of State

Mr. W. James McNerney, The Boeing Company, Chicago, IL
Mrs. Haity McNerney

Mr. Evan Medeiros, Director for Asian Affairs, NSS

His Excellency Jiang Mianheng, Vice Chairman, CAS

Mr. Mel Monzack, Wilmington, DE
Mrs. Ann Monzack

Admiral Michael G. Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Mrs. Wendi Deng Murdoch, New York, NY

Mr. James Murren, Las Vegas, NV
Mrs. Heather Murren

The Honorable Thomas Nides, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources
Ms. Virginia Moseley

Mr. Paul Otellini, Intel, Santa Clara, CA
Mrs. Sandy Otellini

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Representative from California, Democratic Leader
Mr. Paul Pelosi

His Excellency Zhang Ping, Minister of NDRC

The Honorable David Plouffe, Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor
Ms. Olivia Morgan

Mr. Tom Pritzker, Pritzker Organization, Chicago, IL
Mrs. Margot Pritzker

His Excellency Wang Qishan, Vice Premier of the State Council

Ms. Jean Quan, Mayor of Oakland, CA
The Honorable Edwin M. Lee, Mayor of San Francisco, CA

Ms. Azita Raji, JP Morgan Securities, Inc., Belvedere, CA
Mr. Gary Syman

The Honorable Ben Rhodes, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting
Ms. Ann Norris

The Honorable Susan Rice, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, New York, NY
Mr. Ian Cameron

Mr. Robert Roche, Shanghai, CN

Mr. Kenneth Roth, The Human Rights Watch, Washington, D.C.
Ms. Annie Sparrow

The Honorable Pete Rouse, Counselor to the President
Ms. Courtney Chapin

Mr. David M. Rubenstein, The Carlyle Group, Washington, D.C.
Mrs. Alice Rubenstein

Mr. Kirk Rudy, Austin, TX
Mrs. Amy Rudy

The Honorable Brent Scowcroft, The Forum for International Policy, Washington, D.C.

The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
The Honorable Gary Sebelius

The Honorable Susan Sher, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady
The Honorable Neil Cohen

Mr. Robert Sherman, Boston, MA
Ms. Kim S. Sawyer

His Excellency Chen Shiju, Chief of the President’s Office

The Honorable George Shultz, Stanford, CA
Mrs. Charlotte Shultz

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, Culver City, CA
The Honorable Phil Gordon, Mayor of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ

The Honorable Gene Sperling, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy & Director of the National Economic Council
Ms. Allison Abner

The Honorable Jim Steinberg, Deputy Secretary of State
Ms. Sherburne B. Abbott

Ms. Barbra Streisand, Malibu, CA
Mr. James Brolin

The Honorable Tina Tchen, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement

Mr. John Thornton, The Brookings Institution, HSBC North America, Palm Beach, FL
Mrs. Margaret Thornton

His Excellency Cui Tiankai, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs

Dr. Stanley Toy, Jr., Pasadena, CA
Ms. Lana Toy

Mr. Luis Ubinas, The Ford Foundation, New York, NY
Dr. Deborah Tolman

Mr. Jose Villarreal, Commissioner General, Shanghai Expo, San Antonio, TX
Ms. Sara Villarreal

Ms. Vera Wang, New York, NY
Mr. Arthur Becker

Mr. Steve Westly, Menlo Park, CA
Ms. Anita Yu

Ms. Anna Wintour, Vogue Magazine, New York, NY
Mr. Shelby Bryan

Ms. Patricia A. Woertz, Archer Daniels Midland, Decatur, IL
Mr. Kelvin R. Westbrook

Mr. B.D. Wong, New York, NY
Mrs. Roberta Wong

Mr. Charles Woo, Mega Toys, Los Angeles, CA
Mrs. Ying Woo

The Honorable David Wu, Representative from Oregon
Ms. Anna Kopperud

His Excellency Xie Xuren, Minister of Finance

His Excellency Zhang Yesui, Chinese Ambassador to the United States
Madam Chen Naiqing

His Excellency Sun Yibiao, Vice Minister for Customs

Related Articles

Quote of the Day – might as well end the day with a laugh…

Rep. Anthony Weiner

“I want to just advise people watching at home playing the now-popular drinking game, if you take a shot whenever the Republicans say something that’s not true, please assign a designated driver.”

- Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.)

House Passes Repeal…Something only 26 % of Americans Support (AP poll). Now what?

Breaking down by party lines the Republicans got Repeal voted through 245 to 189, and it now heads to the Senate where Harry Reid has stated he will block it’s being raised. Although Republicans are expected to find any kind of trick possible to get it brought up in the Senate, it is doubtful that it will happen.

Republicans rejected a procedural maneuver by the Democratic minority to make repeal ineffective unless a majority of the House and Senate withdraw from the federal health benefits program within 30 days after passage by each chamber.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the effort was “an attempt to derail an appeal of the Obamacare bill.

Now the Republicans in the House say they will be proposing a new Health Care Bill starting tomorrow, and Democrats may use this as a way to alter the existing law by bringing in a Single Payer policy, which many of them wanted originally.
Whatever happens, there is very little chance that the current Health Care law will be taken away and the Republicans, instead of creating legislation to increase jobs, has wasted most of the start of their majority presence in the House. The question, then, is why is this man laughing?

Two Blue Dogs Explain Why They Oppose Repeal

Barbara Barrett wrote this article for McClatchy Newspapers. I picked it up in Truthout.
Here’s a clip, but go in and read it all:
clipped from www.truth-out.org

Rep. Heath Shuler

U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, co-chairman of the Blue Dog coalition of conservative Democrats, voted “no” last year when President Barack Obama’s health care reform proposal came before the House. So did U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell.

But when the Republicans vote today on repealing the health care law, both Shuler and Kissell, Democrats from North Carolina, will side with their fellow Democrats to keep the law.
Shuler earlier this year said that doing away with reform now would be “immoral.” Kissell has told constituents that he would rather chip away at the law through changes and that, in any case, with Obama in the White House and the Democrats still controlling the Senate, the Republican House effort is a doomed effort.

Rep. Larry Kissell

“Simply put: we must live in a reality-based world,” Kissell wrote in a column he disseminates inDistrict 8. “Those who are saying they are able to repeal the law are ultimately misleading the people.”

blog it

It has started again… and they call this “debate”

The House is now continuing it’s “debate” on repealing the Affordable Health Care act. I say “debate” with a tongue in cheek.

Formal debate would consist of making points from both sides, thinking and responding to those points, and, hopefully, having both sides modify their positions for a bipartisan conclusion.

That is not what is happening here. We are back to alternating speeches with each side asserting the same points as the previous speakers on their side. There is no listening to each side (indeed, there are not enough House members in the hall at any given time to really make a difference… this is part of the reason that television cameras are placed by the House authorities to not show either the emptiness of the desks or the viewers in the balcony.

And this is going to go on for five hours…the true function seems to be to present their “advertising” points to the folks at home over C-Span. These are campaign speeches of the worst order aimed at the 2012 elections.

However, I can’t help but watch these Bozos as they say the same things as many different ways as possible. If only they would really talk about the things WE need in a country that is truly suffering.

So it looks like Joe Lieberman is not going to run in 2012… How nice.

“It’s the first thing he’s done in 10 years to make Connecticut Democrats completely happy.” said Connecticut Democratic leader and former State Senator Bill Curry.

 

And I must agree. Although I said back when Lieberman betrayed Democrats everywhere (first by running as an independent against his party after losing the State Primary, and second by campaigning for McCain against the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama, in the 2008 election) that I would ignore him in this blog, his announcement that he will not seek reelection is worth noting…if only to elicit public sentiment in favor of the decision. As you can see, I don’t really trust him to keep his word.

Sargent Shriver dies at 95…

The last great name from the John F. Kennedy Administration, Sargent Shriver died of Alzheimer’s on Tuesday at age 95. He was the first Director of the Peace Corps, the leader of the War on Poverty for Lyndon Johnson, George McGovern‘s running mate as VP candidate, Husband of the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver with whom he created the Special Olympics, Ambassador to France, and once was called the “First Brother-In-Law.

“Sarge has been a presence in our lives for decades,” President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement. “We went into public service because of the example of leaders like Sarge, who translated President Kennedy’s call to service into action.”

No task was too hard for Shriver, and Jacqueline Kennedy turned to him in her hour of despair to plan and execute JFK’s funeral. For Johnson he created the Head Start program.

Beginning in 2003 he started showing the effects of Alzheimer’s and eventually could not recognize members of his own family, a heartbreaking occurance for his daughter Maria Shriver Schwarzenegger.

A truly great man who helped define the latter half of the Twentieth Century.

Surprise Quote of the Day… Don’t Repeal The Health Care Bill

“It is not the bill that I would have drafted. But it is the law of the land and it is the platform, the fundamental platform, upon which all future efforts to make that system better, for that patient, for that family, will be based.”

- Former Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist in support of NOT repealing Health care. And this guy is a DOCTOR.

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