Saturday, September 5, 2009

Beam In Thy Own Eye

Turns out that Florida GOP chair Jim Greer, who has ruthlessly attacked Obama's planned speech to schoolchildren, went across Florida's schools to speak to schoolchildren himself.
It was Greer who, in a striking tantrum, issued a statement condemning the president for, among other things, trying to "indoctrinate America's children to his socialist agenda." He added that Obama "has turned to American's children to spread his liberal lies." Greer's hysterical press release said the very idea of a political figure taking a political message to school children is "infuriating" and "an invasive abuse of power."

Obviously, for sane people, the claim itself is ridiculous. What we didn't know at the time was that it was also remarkably hypocritical. The Orlando Sentinel's Scott Maxwell had an important column today.

There once was a political operative who loved to tell crowds he had a simple way of explaining to children the difference between Republicans and Democrats.

"Republicans get up and go to work," he would tell his son. "Democrats get up and go down to the mailbox to get their checks."

This man not only talked to his son about Republican values, he went into public-school classrooms and talked about them as well.

That man is Jim Greer -- the same Jim Greer who, as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, just threw a nationwide hissy fit, claiming that the classroom is no place for politics and Barack Obama's "indoctrination."

One Seminole County mother, Barbara Wells, remembers the day Greer spoke to her son's sixth-grade class. "My son said he made some sort of Hillary Clinton joke," she recalled.

But you know what? Wells didn't pitch a fit. She didn't call up the local TV station to scream about Republican indoctrination. Instead, she advised her son: "Whatever you are told in life, remember there are two sides to every story."

Greer argued on Thursday, "Before anybody talks to my children from a political perspective, I want to know what they have to say." Of course, the administration is letting school districts know exactly what the president will say the day before his remarks. And how about Greer? Did he run his pro-Republican message by parents and school officials before he talked to school kids?

"That was different," Greer said.

Actually, it's not. The president of the United States wants to encourage children to work hard and do well in school. This caused Greer to have some kind of breakdown and accuse Obama of "indoctrination." But it's Greer who's taken partisan messages directly to school classrooms.

And this piece of work is the head of Florida's state Republican Party. Other Florida Republicans were contacted, and not a one of them was willing to go on record as calling Jim Greer out.

But that's how Republicans roll: viciously attack and smear Democrats for anything that you've done yourself.

Speechifying For The Win

Politico has done some legwork on President Obama's address to Congress and the nation on health care on Wednesday and has the following intel:
The contents of the speech were still being debated over the weekend. But here is what POLITICO gleaned from conversations with top aides:

1) Obama will lay out a specific “President’s Plan,” even if he doesn’t call it that. He will make clear what’s on the table, and what he thinks warrants further debate, such as how to pay for the overhaul.

2) He will not confront or scold the left. “This is a case for bold action, not a stick in the eye to our supporters,” said an official involved in speech preparation. “That’s not how President Obama thinks. The politics of triangulation don’t live in this White House.”

3) He will make an overture to Republicans. “He will lay out his vision for health reform – taking the best ideas from both parties, make the case for why as a nation we must act now, and dispel the myths and confusion that are affecting public opinion,” the aide said.

4) He will make it clear that it’s better to get something done than nothing done. White House aides are reminding fellow Democrats that the party lost Congress in 1994 by failing to do any health reforms at all after Congress balked at the original plan by President Bill Clinton. “The lesson of 1994 is not that tackling health reform is politically perilous. It’s that failing to act could be devastating,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House deputy communications director.

5) Obama will try to reassure the left about his commitment to a public option, or government insurance plan. Aides said they are rethinking what he will say about this. He wants to thread the needle of voicing support for a public option, without promising to kill health reform to get it. But liberal congressional leaders were unyielding in their support for it on a conference call he held from Camp David yesterday, and he's going to meet with them at the White House early next week.

Point one was necessary four months ago, but it's good to see it now. The lesson was that Clinton's plan was set in stone and Congress used it as an excuse to revolt. The lesson now is that leaving Congress to its own devices is just an excuse for them to waste time. Lesson learned: Republicans and some Democrats simply aren't going to let a plan pass.

Point two is also necessary, you dance with the girl you brought. Obama owes progressives not just for the Presidency, but for the primaries as well. I'd argue that he's triangulating by saying he's not triangulating, but the realism here is that Obama will have to make compromises. On this however he's learned that 4 months of good faith negotiations with Republicans has led to repeated kicks to the jibblies and some brutal personal attacks.

Point three? Showmanship. Republicans are irrelevant. They have made themselves irrelevant by saying no to every single compromise, every single overture, every single trial balloon, every single back channel query. They do not want health care reform the Dems can take credit for. He's doing this out of playing the Village game, but that game too needs to be played.

Point four is also vital. Democrats in Congress need to be made to understand that if nothing passes, it will be the Democrats who are blamed, not the Republicans. Honestly, what are voters going to do to the Republican Party should health care reform not pass, kick them out of office? The perfect should not be the enemy of the good, but Obama also needs to understand that compromising for the sake of compromise is pointless, the Republicans will fight any and every plan as unacceptable. The White House finally gets this.

Point five is the most vital, frankly. The liberal wing of the Democratic Party will not let Obama kill the public option outright. As I've said before, the number one problem with health care costs is profit motive. The insurance industry makes money when they collect premiums and deny payment, the medical industry makes money by charging for drugs and procedures that may or may not be needed, and the doctors make money by getting payments from the insurance and drug companies. That has to end for our system to be fixed. A public option is one part of that fix, but an absolutely necessary one. Democrats will force Obama's hand on this.

So now the President has a game plan for Wednesday, and we'll see if he delivers.

The Punch Felt Round The Sports World

Oregon football star RB LeGarrette Blount is gone for the season after his famous opening weekend sucker punch on Boise State's Byron Hout.
In their home opener, the 14th-ranked Broncos ran over the 16th-ranked Ducks, as Kellen Moore threw for 197 yards and a touchdown to cap a 19-8 Boise State win Thursday night.

But all didn't end quietly. As the Broncos started celebrating their victory, defensive lineman Hout yelled in Blount's face and provokingly tapped him on the shoulder. Broncos head coach Chris Petersen responded immediately, but before he could pull his player away, Blount snapped and punched Hout in the jaw.

Hout did indeed provoke Blount, and frankly Blount blindsided the guy as a result, but I absolutely agree with the punishment here. Blount's a loose cannon and there's no place for him in sports if he's going to act like that. As somebody who's had to learn the hard way to keep physical reactions to his temper in check, I can relate to Blount's competitive spirit after getting smoked in the season opener like that.

But you take that off the field and you deal with it like an adult. Period. I would have shitcanned him too.

Poor Shelly

Bachmanniac is playing the gender victim card, saying that Democrats are only picking on her because she's a woman.
Also with women politicians, they want to make sure no women, no woman becomes president before a Democrat woman, and so they're doing everything they can to, I think, sabotage women like Sarah Palin, perhaps women like myself, or similarly situated women, to make sure that we don't have a prominent national voice. But the thing is, the people in our country, they don't care who the voice is, they just want someone, they want to know that someone is speaking out for them against what will certainly bring about the destruction of our great country if we continue to go down the Obama path.
And while I can't speak for the entire known blog universe, I can assure the good Ms. Bachmann that I don't pick on her because of her gender, but because I feel I have to correct the several wildly inaccurate statements she regularly spews (bordering on insanity) and to point out the fact that we have a national lawmaker who should be held accountable for her staggering ignorance and the very high probability that she is playing with only 42, 43 cards in her deck.

Her gender has nothing to do with it. Suggesting the Americorps program is an indoctrination camp, for example, makes me question her intellect. Playing the gender card makes what she has done over the last six months or so even more repugnant.

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