Posted by at 15:14  Politics, Religion, Republicans
Mar 302010

Activist judges…

Marine’s father ordered to pay Westboro’s court costs

Lawyers for the father of a Marine who died in Iraq and whose funeral was picketed by anti-gay protesters say a court has ordered him to pay the protesters’ appeal costs.

On Friday, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ordered that Albert Snyder of York, Pa., pay costs associated with Fred Phelps’ appeal. Phelps is the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, which conducted protests at the funeral of Snyder’s son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, in Westminster in 2006.

Lawyers for Snyder say the Court of Appeals has ordered him to pay $16,510.80 to Phelps for costs relating to the appeal, despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the Court of Appeals’ decision.

They say that Snyder is also struggling to come up with fees associated with filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We are extremely disappointed,” said Sean E. Summers, an attorney for Snyder. He added that the U.S. Supreme Court will likely hear the case during its October term and make a decision in June of next year.

“The Court of Appeals certainly could have waited until the Supreme Court made its decision,” Summers added. “There was no hardship presented by Phelps.”

Summers said there is no timetable for when the costs must be paid, but if his client doesn’t have the money when Phelps requests payment the matter would go into collections. Snyder could lose his property or his wages, Summers said.

Summers added that if Snyder pays Phelps’ court costs and then receives a favorable ruling from the Supreme Court, “imagine him trying to get money back from Phelps.”

The high court agreed earlier this month to consider whether the protesters’ message is protected by the First Amendment or limited by the competing privacy and religious rights of the mourners.



Rage of the Right

 Posted by at 14:45  Politics, Republicans
Mar 282010

It has been a while since I have dropped a Sunday reading assignment on you. About time, then, no? If you read no other column today, be sure to read Frank Rich’s in The New York Times. He explains that the rage of the right is not really about health care. (But we knew that, didn’t we?) Here’s an excerpt…

That a tsunami of anger is gathering today is illogical, given that what the right calls “Obamacare” is less provocative than either the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Medicare, an epic entitlement that actually did precipitate a government takeover of a sizable chunk of American health care. But the explanation is plain: the health care bill is not the main source of this anger and never has been. It’s merely a handy excuse. The real source of the over-the-top rage of 2010 is the same kind of national existential reordering that roiled America in 1964.

In fact, the current surge of anger — and the accompanying rise in right-wing extremism — predates the entire health care debate. The first signs were the shrieks of “traitor” and “off with his head” at Palin rallies as Obama’s election became more likely in October 2008. Those passions have spiraled ever since — from Gov. Rick Perry’s kowtowing to secessionists at a Tea Party rally in Texas to the gratuitous brandishing of assault weapons at Obama health care rallies last summer to “You lie!” piercing the president’s address to Congress last fall like an ominous shot.

If Obama’s first legislative priority had been immigration or financial reform or climate change, we would have seen the same trajectory. The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play. It’s not happenstance that Frank, Lewis and Cleaver — none of them major Democratic players in the health care push — received a major share of last weekend’s abuse. When you hear demonstrators chant the slogan “Take our country back!,” these are the people they want to take the country back from.

Click here to read the entire column.

A few days ago, a friend described the Tea Party as the KKK of the 21st century. I argued with him then that I probably would not go quite that far. After this past week, I’m not so sure.

The more they deny, the more transparent the truth becomes.

Weekly Address 03-27-10

 Posted by at 10:24  Politics
Mar 272010

From the White House weblog:

The President looks back on a week that saw the passage of two major sets of reforms: one putting Americans in control of their own health care, and one ensuring student loans work for students and families, not as subsidies for bankers and middlemen.

Click below to listen to the audio only:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The transcript of the president’s weekly address, as prepared for delivery, is available after the break.

Continue reading »

Mar 262010

Once again, as we do every Friday evening in these parts, we present you with the best and the brightest political and editorial cartoons published during the week just ending. Click on the thumbnails to make them bigger or to start a slide show. Enjoy, and always remember: your mileage, though it should not, may vary.

anderson032410.jpg   auth032310.jpg   bagley032110.jpg

bagley032510.jpg   bagley032610.jpg   beattie032110.jpg

beattie032210.jpg   bennett032310.jpg   benson032510.gif

branch032510.jpg   cole032510.jpg   danziger032210.gif

darcy032210.jpg   darcy032510.jpg   duffy032510.jpg

eagan032510.jpg   englehart032110.jpg   harville032610.jpg

heller032410.jpg   horsey032610.jpg   judge032310.jpg

lowe032510.jpg      margulies032410.gif

margulies032510.gif   matson032410.jpg   matson032510.jpg

mikescott032210.jpg   morin032210.jpg   morin032310.jpg

pett0324101.jpg   plante032410.jpg   Priggee032510.jpg

ramsey032210.jpg   reid032510.jpg   rogers032510.gif

sherffius032210.jpg   siers032310.jpg   walters032510.jpg

As always, our thanks go to the talented and observant cartoonists who, each week, help us smile through the pain.

Reconciliation done

 Posted by at 20:30  Democrats, Politics
Mar 252010

Congress completed its work on health care reform this evening…

Congress approves final piece of health care overhaul

Congress Thursday passed and sent to President Barack Obama the final piece of landmark health care legislation intended to change dramatically how most Americans buy, use and maintain insurance coverage.

The House approved the bill by a vote of 220 to 207 Thursday night, hours after the Senate passed the measure by a vote of 56 to 43. No Republicans in either chamber voted for either bill.

This legislation, combined with the bill signed into law on Tuesday, will bring the most significant change in health care policy since Medicare was created in 1965 to provide health insurance coverage for seniors and the disabled.

The new laws will extend health insurance coverage to 32 million people who currently are uninsured. They will expand coverage to 94 percent of eligible Americans. Consumers will find a host of changes in how they deal with doctors, insurers, hospitals and the rest of the health care system.

Done, of course, without a single Republican vote. I hope people remember that come November.




 Posted by at 14:59  Politics, Republicans
Mar 252010

The behavior demonstrated by the Republicans since the passing of the health care bill has been shameful and reprehensible, though not terribly surprising…

Words, and now bricks thrown at lawmakers over health care vote

WASHINGTON — Law enforcement officials are investigating a series of threats against Democrats in the House of Representatives who backed the recent health care legislation, threats that have lawmakers on edge about potential violence against them both in Washington and back home.

“We’ve had some very serious incidents that have occurred in the last 48 to 72 hours,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said at a news conference on Wednesday, adding, “any member who feels themselves at risk is getting attention from the proper authorities.”

The incidents have ranged from threatening phone calls to vandalism of lawmakers’ offices. Hoyer initially wouldn’t give say how many lawmakers feel threatened, but when pressed, he said: “a significant number, over 10.”

“A lot of members are concerned about threats since the weekend,” said Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo…

Congressional leaders are usually reluctant to discuss security publicly, but Hoyer spoke out after five days of reported incidents against supporters of the bill House Democrats approved Sunday night and President Barack Obama signed into law Tuesday.

Given the rhetoric spewed by the leaders of the Republican party over the past year or so, it is difficult to understand how this type of behavior could have caught anyone by surprise. The simpletons are only doing as they have been told.

The following video is from MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast March 24, 2010.


Absence of Class

 Posted by at 20:16  Politics, Republicans
Mar 232010

Bob Herbert’s New York Times column today is a must-read: “An Absence of Class.” Here’s part. Click the link to read it all.

For decades the G.O.P. has been the party of fear, ignorance and divisiveness. All you have to do is look around to see what it has done to the country. The greatest economic inequality since the Gilded Age was followed by a near-total collapse of the overall economy. As a country, we have a monumental mess on our hands and still the Republicans have nothing to offer in the way of a remedy except more tax cuts for the rich.

This is the party of trickle down and weapons of mass destruction, the party of birthers and death-panel lunatics. This is the party that genuflects at the altar of right-wing talk radio, with its insane, nauseating, nonstop commitment to hatred and bigotry.

Glenn Beck of Fox News has called President Obama a “racist” and asserted that he “has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”

Mike Huckabee, a former Republican presidential candidate, has said of Mr. Obama’s economic policies: “Lenin and Stalin would love this stuff.”

The G.O.P. poisons the political atmosphere and then has the gall to complain about an absence of bipartisanship.

The toxic clouds that are the inevitable result of the fear and the bitter conflicts so relentlessly stoked by the Republican Party — think blacks against whites, gays versus straights, and a whole range of folks against immigrants — tend to obscure the tremendous damage that the party’s policies have inflicted on the country. If people are arguing over immigrants or abortion or whether gays should be allowed to marry, they’re not calling the G.O.P. to account for (to take just one example) the horribly destructive policy of cutting taxes while the nation was fighting two wars.

If you’re all fired up about Republican-inspired tales of Democrats planning to send grandma to some death chamber, you’ll never get to the G.O.P.’s war against the right of ordinary workers to organize and negotiate in their own best interests — a war that has diminished living standards for working people for decades.

He’s actually spot on.

Tell the GOP: Stop inciting and supporting hate.

Health care becomes law

 Posted by at 14:53  Politics
Mar 232010

Health care became the law of the land at noon Eastern Daylight Savings Time when President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act…

It probably goes without saying that not a single Republican was present at the signing.

Transcript of the remarks of the Vice President and the President follows the break.

Continue reading »

GOP madness

 Posted by at 19:31  Politics, Republicans
Mar 222010

The bitterness and hatred displayed today by the Republicans over last night’s passage of health care reform in the United States came as no surprise. It has been on open display since the election of President Barack Obama. NBC’s Nightly News did a segment tonight that you should watch if you missed it…

The Republicans will not rest until they have destroyed the United States of America. They were well on pace to do so during the Bush years. They planned on continuing with McCain/Palin. Barack Obama came along and interrupted their program. They are now intent upon destroying President Obama. It makes little difference to them who gets in the way. In fact, in their view, the more Americans they can crush along the way, the better. Republicans hate America and they hate Americans. It really is that simple.