Why is the Subject Always About Who Won?

First, it started with the healthcare summit President Obama held earlier this year.  Polls were out on Politico and other news/media sources asking viewers and readers who won.  Who won the summit debate?  Why is the subject even about who won?  The summit, in its intentions, was supposed to be reaching an agreement on healthcare and trying to reach some sort of bi-partisan agreement.  Whether or not it did is irrelevant to this post.  

**EDIT: I should make the note that it didn't "First" start with the summit, however, thats just when I started noticing this issue.

Now, on MSNBC, there is a discussion of who "wins" in the healthcare reform battle.  Some may argue that Obama and Pelosi won with their constant advocation and willingness to not give up on healthcare reform.  Others may argue that it is the Republican base who are the winners, because their party is almost unanimously united against the legislation (or most of it at least).  The party's current union is undoubtedly strong, but this isn't the point.

Healthcare reform isn't about winning.  President Obama doesn't keep
W-L columns for all of his agenda items (i hope), so why is there so much discussion over who won?  Democrats, Republicans; Liberals, Conservatives.  The fact of the matter is that, the winners should be the American people

I know it sounds rather cliche and cheesy to say, but its the truth.  We shouldn't be cheering for the Democrats to win, or the Republicans to lose.... should be cheering and hoping that the healthcare reform betters the American population.  If the American people aren't the winners, who is?  Now I know the argument is going to be made that, for the American people to win then Democrats must win or vice-versa.  This, although sometimes may seem true, exacerbates the partisan divide.

The bitter lines that are drawn between Democrats and Republicans in Congress are only made worse by using terms such as "winners" and "losers."  The air in Washington is already filled with enough anger and disagreement, this only adds gasoline to the fire.  Petty bickering has become a problem throughout this debate for certain.   

Although in concept, wanting the Democrats to win makes sense. It especially makes sense if you are pro-healthcare reform and wanted the bill to pass.  Unfortunately rhetoric plays a big part in American politics, and this debate is certainly no exception.  Although sometimes it may make sense to, the discussion shouldn't be about who won.  Rather, the discussion should be about how this will effect the United States and the American people. 




Liberal Opinion Columnist Says "Deem Is Dumb"

Over the last few days, left-wing Georgia bloggers have been justifying the so-called "Slaughter Solution" as a means to pass the yet-to-be-seen health care reform bill.

At Georgia Liberal, Brett called those opposed to the Slaughter Solution "ill-informed fools" [Brett (2010-3-16). The Self-Executing Rule — How to Pass Health Care. Georgia Liberal. Retrieved on 2010-3-18.]. And Johnathan of Beyond The Trestle described the Slaughter Solution as "a perfectly reasonable and acceptable procedural method" [Johnathan (2010-3-16). Common sense and procedural rules. Beyond The Trestle. Retrieved on 2010-3-18.].

For those unfamiliar, the Slaughter Solution is a parliamentary trick being considered by Democratic congressional leaders to pass health care reform without actually voting on it. Essentially, the House Rules Committee --chaired by New York Rep. Louise Slaughter-- would adopt a rule deeming the Senate health care bill passed without a formal roll call vote.

Conservatives have been up in arms over this sketchy move with some even questioning its constitutionality [Barbash, Fred (2010-3-16). ‘Slaughter Solution’ could face legal challenge. Politico. Retrieved on 2010-3-18.].

Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Cynthia Tucker weighed in on the discussion Wednesday afternoon, but her stance on the Slaughter Solution was not the one most would expect.

There's more...

Clowns to the Right, Jokers to the Far Right: Scenes from the Tea Party Convention

Chase Whiteside (interviews) and Erick Stoll (camera) of New Left Media have released a new short video entitled Scenes From An American Disaster. They interview various attendees to the recent National Tea Party Convention exposing the paranoid, delusional and conspiratorial assertions that run rampant in this crowd: Obama isn't a natural born citizen, he's a socialist, he hasn't released his college transcripts. It curious that so many complain about the expansion of government now and yet were silent during the Bush years when the Republicans not only expanded the size of government with irresponsible spending on unnecessary wars but also pushed for a more intrusive government that curtailed our civil liberties.

In this piece, I was most struck by the claims of Orly Taitz, the Queen of the Birthers who has filed numerous frivolous lawsuits, that she is "Facebook Friends" with 16 members of Congress. Given that one chooses one's friends on Facebook, it is bizarre that any member of Congress would associate with her on any level. So driven by curiosity, I looked into it.

She claimed 16, I found six - all Republicans. They are Mary Bono Mack of California, John Fleming of Louisiana, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan, Virginia Foxx of North Carolina and somewhat surprisingly Ron Paul of Texas (who by the way only has 110 other friends beside Orly Taitz). It is frankly reprehensible that any member of Congress associates with such a stark raving mad lunatic as Orly Taitz on any level.

Here's Chase and Erick's introduction to their film:

Last week, the group Tea Party Nation organized the first Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tenn., a for-profit event. Some 600 people paid $550 to attend, and Sarah Palin was reportedly paid $115,000 to the be the keynote speaker. After criticism of the convention’s cost, for-profit status, and payment to Palin, multiple national Tea Party organizations withdrew their participation. But the event went on.

And so did the paranoid, conspiratorial assertions–that President Obama was born in another country, that he has covered up his college transcripts, that he is pushing a communist/socialist agenda, that he is protecting terrorists and endangering our country, etc.

The organizers of the convention made great efforts to limit access to the press, and even held “new-media training” sessions to help the Tea Partiers sound and look better on camera–the more people see inside this movement, the less like it. But we got ourselves into the event, where the right-wing, fringe sentiments were on plain display.

That said, these Tea Partiers–able to pay the cost of attendance–are more affluent than those at the 9.12 DC March, and more self-conscious of [the way] they are portrayed in the media. There were fewer signs and homemade t-shirts here, but the attitudes, if more subtle in delivery, were the same.

Both Chase and Erick attend Wright State in Ohio. If you can spare a few bucks, please consider throwing a few dollars their way. Their films are really some of the best short documentaries on the radical right being produced today.

The Real Reason Behind Increased Global Warming Skepticism Hotlist

American concern for global warming appears to have reached a nadir. Poll after poll indicates that Americans are more skeptical of global warming; meanwhile the Senate cap and trade bill appears to be going nowhere fast. As with so many other liberal issues nowadays, the news is grim.

Most pundits attribute this skepticism to partisan politics. The theory goes something like this: with partisan bickering at an all-time high, Republicans are tending to reflexively oppose any Democratic proposal, and vice versa. Because preventing climate change has become associated with liberals, Republican voters are now automatically treading against it. This <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2009/12/03/03climatewire-rising-partisanship-sharply-erodes-us-public-47381.html">Times</a>. article exemplifies the strain of thought; it is titled “Rising Partisanship Sharply Erodes U.S. Public’s Belief in Global Warming.”

There is only one problem with this theory: it is not true.

On the surface, there is a certain credence to this claim. Most would agree that partisanship is “rising.” Belief in global warming is also undeniably falling. Add consistent conservative disbelief of global warming, and everything links together.

In fact, increased skepticism over global warming is not confined to the United States – as would be the case under the “Republicans v. Democrats” explanation. In Australia, for example, an October <a href="http://www.lowyinstitute.org/Publication.asp?pid=1148">Lowy Poll</a> indicated that only 56% considered tackling climate change a “very important issue” – a 19% drop from two years ago. More globally, an online <a href="http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/global-climate-change-survey.pdf">Nielsen poll</a> revealed concern about climate change falling in 37 out of 45 countries, compared to October 2007.

There is only one thing has affected the entire world since October 2007: global economic recession.

As the picture above shows, it is this shift which holds responsibility for climate change skepticism – not partisan bickering in the United States or leaked e-mails of scientific lapses. (Also note the graph’s previous decline, which took place in the midst of the technology bust.) When people’s pocketbooks suffer, the environment automatically lessens in priority. The immediate disaster takes precedence over the disaster that will come in fifty years. Or, if one is a climate skeptic, it may never come.

To give conservatives credit for increased global warming skepticism, therefore, would be akin (warning: bad sports analogy incoming) to claiming Pau Gasol single handedly brought the Lakers last year’s championship ring.  It is to miss the elephant in the room: the economy, stupid.

-- Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/


Conservative Activist Arrested After Bugging Attempt on Senate Office

What is this country coming to?

Alleging a plot to tamper with phones in Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in the Hale Boggs Federal Building in downtown New Orleans, the FBI arrested four people Monday, including James O'Keefe, 25, a conservative filmmaker whose undercover videos at ACORN field offices severely damaged the advocacy group's credibility.

Also arrested were Joseph Basel, Stan Dai and Robert Flanagan, all 24. Flanagan is the son of William Flanagan, who is the acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, the office confirmed. All four were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony.

This is seriously scary stuff. An arrest is not a conviction, and allegations are not stone cold facts. But if what appears to have happened actually happened, we have real reason to be concerned about the direction in which this country is going.

The dangers involved in these allegations cannot be overstated. If proven, they represent a shot across the bow to our Democratic system, a signal that some believe themselves to be above the Constitution and our laws. Again, if proven, today's news would represent a very sad day for our democracy.

[UPDATE by Jonathan]: Media Matters reports that 31 House Republicans -- more than one-sixth of the party's caucus -- backed a resolution honoring O'Keefe not all that long ago.


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