Tag: Jane Hamsher

What Jane Said

There was a recent kerfluffle at FDL that in the light of presidential election, Jane Hamsher, FDL’s founder, felt it necessary to restate and clarify the site policy regarding diaries and commenting. I agree with what Jane said:

In the contentious 2008 Democratic Presidential primary, there were many members of the FDL community who passionately supported one candidate over another.  We chose as a blog not to endorse either candidate because we did not want to alienate either significant sector of our community.

Moreover, we firmly believe that elections are the time when candidates are the most responsive to the needs of the constituents whose votes they hope to woo. [..]

We believe that the Presidential election should be a time for healthy discussion among those who have different and often passionately held points of view. [..]

Individual writers on FDL may take different positions.  It does not mean that as a blog we endorse any of them.  Our goal is to make a fair home for all sides of this discussion, and not shut it down. [..]

The one thing we have no interest in being is a mind-reading site.   “You just want Obama to win” or “you just want Romney to win” or “you just don’t care about X” furthers no conversation.  Its only intent is to poison the discussion and launch a pie fight. [..]

Our only goal is to foster a vigorous and open debate on FDL in the ensuing months.  The fact that we will not be playing the role of arbiter is not a reflection of any hidden agenda, but rather a continuation of what we have historically sought to be during times when our community is intensely divided:  a town square where a fair discussion of the merits of all sides can take place.

That is what our goal is here at The Stars Hollow Gazette and Docudharma

Thank you, Jane, for all you do.

Report From NN11 Minneapolis: Friday

Cross posted posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Yesterday was a busy day here at NN11 in sunny, warm Minneapolis, MN. There are so many really interesting panels that choosing which to attend is tough. I’m also here in a different capacity than I was in Pittsburgh two years ago, I have two webs sites that I administer. I’ll talk about that later probably when I get back.

On  of the outstanding panel I attended was with Jane Hamsher of FDL, John Aravosis of AMERICAblog, DADT, LGBT and Army veteran Lt. Dan Choi and Dream Act activist Felipe Matos. They discusses what progressives could do when the president is not into your issues and how to get the administration to take the lead. When the floor opened to questions, the first person to a approach the stage was a young an who said he was a member of Obama For America (OFA) who managed to cause an incident that has gotten quite a bit of attention from the internet and on-line news media:

Lt. Dan Choi, who was discharged from the military for running afoul of its anti-gay Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, provided a visual when an Organizing for America volunteer stood up and asked him to support Obama in 2012. The man said he did not support gay marriage — “civil unions?” he offered weakly — and Choi promptly ripped up an Organizing for America flyer he had been given and threw it back in the man’s face.

I also had the pleasure and honor of saluting Lt. Choi and giving him a hug. Here’s is the video of the full panel which was quite a lively conversation

Watch live streaming video from freespeechtv at livestream.com

Ellsberg Afraid US May Kill Wikileak’s Assange Over Iraq Leaks

This was previously blogged this afternoon over at FDL much better than I could do it, so I’m going to direct you over to there and Jane Hamsher and Jim White:

Transcript:  Daniel Ellsberg Says He Fears US Might Assassinate Wikileaks Founder

http://fdlaction.firedoglake.c…

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange released the Iraq War video “Collateral Murder” this past April, which is shot from the viewpoint of the US Apache Helicopter crew who murdered 2 Reuters journalists in 2007.   The person who leaked the video to Wikileaks, Spc Bradley Manning, was arrested May 26th 2010 in Iraq.

My previous diary 6/7/10  “Wikileaks source arrested, hacker snitched”

https://docudharma.com/diar…

Diary on the video, 4/5/10,   “Wikileaks: Reuters and kids as collateral damage”

https://docudharma.com/diar…

For you younger folk, Daniel Ellsberg was the reason we finally began to get out of the Vietnam War, because he leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971.  

Ellsberg wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D…

He attended Harvard University, graduating with a Ph.D. (summa cum laude) in Economics in 1962 in which he described a paradox in decision theory now known as the Ellsberg paradox. He graduated first in a class of almost 1,100 lieutenants at the Marine Corps Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, and served as an officer in the Marine Corps for two years. After his discharge, he became an analyst at the RAND Corporation.

Ellsberg served in the Pentagon from August 1964[1] under Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (and, in fact, was on duty on the evening of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, reporting the incident to McNamara). He then served for two years in Vietnam working for General Edward Lansdale as a civilian in the State Department.

After returning from Vietnam, Ellsberg went back to work at the RAND Corporation. In 1967, he contributed to a top-secret study of classified documents regarding the conduct of the Vietnam War that had been commissioned by Defense Secretary McNamara.[2] These documents, completed in 1968, later became known collectively as the Pentagon Papers. Because he held an extremely high-level security clearance, Ellsberg was one of very few individuals who had access to the complete set of documents.[3] They revealed that the government had knowledge all along that the war would not likely be won, and that continuing the war would lead to many times more casualties than was ever admitted publicly.[4] Further, the papers showed that high-ranking officials had a deep cynicism toward the public, as well as disregard for the loss of life and injury suffered by soldiers and civilians.[4]

Pentagon Papers wiki


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P…

The Pentagon Papers, officially titled United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, was a top-secret United States Department of Defense history of the United States’ political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967. Commissioned by United States Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara in 1967, the study was completed in 1968. The papers were first brought to the attention of the public on the front page of the New York Times in 1971.[1]

Daniel Ellsberg quote, years later:



Well, I had been consulting for the government, and this is now ’64, for about six years at that point, since ’58, in particular since ’59: Eisenhower, Kennedy, and now Johnson. And I had seen a lot of classified material by this time-I mean, tens of thousands of pages-and had been in a position to compare it with what was being said to the public. The public is lied to every day by the President, by his spokespeople, by his officers. If you can’t handle the thought that the President lies to the public for all kinds of reasons, you couldn’t stay in the government at that level, or you’re made aware of it, a week. …..   The fact is Presidents rarely say the whole truth-essentially, never say the whole truth-of what they expect and what they’re doing and what they believe and why they’re doing it and rarely refrain from lying, actually, about these matters.[26]

Sunday musings

If there were no religion, would there be no wars?

A question that is posed by David Swanson in his piece posted at FDL where he makes a number of excellent points. Eight actually. Its here: Nothing to Kill or Die For

And, finally, eighth: On the eighth day we will rest. We work a little bit longer than that other guy.

We don’t get to rest … yet. Even though we are tired and weary.

Photobucket

Betraying America

March 31 – MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan, and Jane Hamsher, on offshore drilling, the oil industry, political corruption, and funding terrorism.

Greens: Now it’s time to work for real health reform – Medicare For All

Now it’s time to work for real health care reform — Medicare For All, say Greens

• The Democratic “insurance company enrichment” bill burdens millions of Americans and imposes mandates that enrich insurance companies

WASHINGTON, DC — Green candidates and party leaders said today that the passage of the Democratic health care bill, with its increased financial burdens on millions of Americans, should not slow the movement for Medicare For All (single-payer national health care).

The Democratic bill “falls short on many levels, and hurts many people more than it helps,” as Jane Hamsher writes in “Fact Sheet: The Truth About the Health Care Bill” (http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2010/03/19/fact-sheet-the-truth-about-the-health-care-bill).

Physicians for a National Health Program said in a statement on Monday, “Instead of eliminating the root of the problem — the profit-driven, private health insurance industry — this costly new legislation will enrich and further entrench these firms. The bill would require millions of Americans to buy private insurers’ defective products, and turn over to them vast amounts of public money.” (http://www.pnhp.org/news/2010/march/pro-single-payer-doctors-health-bill-leaves-23-million-uninsured)

• Dennis Spisak, Green candidate for Governor of Ohio (http://www.votespisak.org/governor): “Now that this bill has passed, those of us who support real universal health care must keep up the demand for Medicare For All. Every American deserves the same high-quality guaranteed health coverage that Congress members enjoy. We will challenge those who insist that further health care reform is no longer on the table. The Democratic bill was mainly written to give the appearance of reform. It forces people to buy insurance or face a tax penalty. It works like a regressive tax, in which in the uninsured — in the midst of a recession — must pay for insurance they can’t use due to the likely high co-pays and deductibles. Especially vicious is the amendment prohibiting states from enacting their own single-payer programs.”

• Jill Stein, physician and Green candidate for Governor of Massachusetts (http://www.jillstein.org): “”The position of most Democrats and Republicans on health care is that Americans have no right to medical treatment, but private insurance companies have every right to enrich themselves on our need for health care and to send hundreds of thousands of Americans financial ruin over medical costs. According to Physicians for a National Health Program’s critique of the bill, about 23 milion Americans will remain uninsured after nine years, resulting in ‘an estimated 23,000 unnecessary deaths annually and an incalculable toll of suffering’. In the media coverage of health care reform, the angle was whether President Obama could prevail against the GOP and uncooperative Democrats. It was all about personalities and a horse-race competition. Whether the Democratic legislation — or obstruction of reform by Republicans — actually helps people became a
side issue.”

• Rich Whitney, Green candidate for Governor of Illinois (http://www.whitneyforgov.org)
: “The real story of health care reform over the past year is how the insurance and other health lobbies sent millions of dollars in campaign checks to both Democrats and Republicans to make sure their interests came first. We’ll get real health care reform when Americans get angry enough to stop voting for Democratic and Republican candidates who are addicted to corporate contributions, and elect Greens, who call health care a basic human right.” (Visit the web site of the Center for Responsive Politics to learn how much these corporations donate to each Congress member: http://www.opensecrets.org)

• Nancy Allen, farmer and long-time Green organizer from Maine: “Some of the Tea Partiers showed their true colors this past weekend, when crowds hurled racist and homophobic epithets at Rep. John Lewis, Rep. Barney Frank, and other Congress members. How much did Republican politicians, insurance companies, and other industries encourage such behavior? How did these corporations successfully convince so many Americans that their own medical care is less important than corporate profits and power?”

• Rodger Jennings, Green candidate for US Congress in Illinois, District 12 (http://www.rodgerjennings.org): “The winners are the largest for-profit health insurance companies. Both Democrats and Republicans made the bottom lines of the insurance cartel the top priority, rather than every American’s need for quality medical care. Private insurance adds cost to health care but provides no value — physicians, nurses, and other professionals do the actual medical work. The administrative overhead, including CEO bonuses and salaries, of private insurance raises health care costs by up to 31%. The administrative overhead for Medicare is under 3%. By eliminating the corporate insurance middle-man, we’d reduce health care spending from over 15% to about 9% and cut the price of coverage and care dramatically, and every American would enjoy guaranteed, quality health care.”

MORE INFORMATION

Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org

• Green Party Speakers Bureau: Greens available to speak on health care reform: http://www.gp.org/speakers/speakers-health-care.php

• Green candidate database and campaign information: http://www.gp.org/elections.shtml

Single-Payer Now! Green Party page on health care reform
http://www.gp.org/campaigns/health/single-payer

Physicians for a National Health Program http://www.pnhp.org
PNHP’s Frequently Asked Questions page http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single-payer-faq

Healthcare-Now http://www.healthcare-now.org

Single Payer Action http://www.singlepayeraction.org

“The Sober Reality of Health Care Reform”
By Jane Hamsher, FireDogLake, March 22, 2010
http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2010/03/22/fdl-statement-on-the-passage-of-the-health-care-bill

“Deaths Rising for Lack of Insurance, Study Finds”
By Michelle Andrews, The New York Times (blog), February 26, 2010
http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/26/deaths-rising-due-to-lack-of-insurance-study-finds/#preview

“NY Times Reporter Confirms Obama Made Deal to Kill Public Option”
By Miles Mogulescu, Huffington Post, March 15, 2010
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/miles-mogulescu/ny-times-reporter-confirm_b_500999.html

Reposted from Green Party Watch

For Your Consideration: Attacking Back

Jane Hamsher, again, says it quite eloquently when she calls out MoveOn.org for attacking Dennis Kucinich for sticking with his promise to not vote for a HCR bill that did not have a Public Option. Rep. Kucinich is being attack by the so-called “liberal” blogosphere that has now veered fo far right that it is unrecognizable to true progressives like Ms. Hamsher.

Last August, progressive groups including MoveOn, DFA and blogs across the country came together to raise over $430,000 for 65 members of Congress who pledged to vote against any health care bill that doesn’t have a public option.

Now every excuse made by the President and Congress for not including a public option has crumbled. MoveOn is against Kucinich for keeping that promise, and far from supporting members of Congress who keep that pledge, the unions are them with primaries.

If George Bush had tried to pass a health care bill that was the worst blow to the right to choose since the passage of the Hyde Amendment 35 years ago, liberal groups would be screaming bloody murder.

Dennis Kucinich Will Investigate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D OH-10), Chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is calling for an investigation of lifting of the $400 billion cap by the Treasury Department and possible corruption.

This is Rep. Kucinich’s statement:

As Chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, I’m announcing that the Subcommittee will launch an investigation into the Treasury Department’s recent decision to lift the current $400-billion cap on combined federal assistance to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, opening the way for additional, unlimited funds through the end of 2012. This investigation will include the role played by Fannie Mae chief executive Michael J. Williams and Freddie Mac chief executive Charles E. Haldeman in the decision, if any, and will seek to ensure that the additional assistance is used for homeowners and not Wall Street.

Many questions remain unanswered regarding this move by the Treasury. Why suddenly remove the cap? Indications are that Freddie and Fannie, even as millions of Americans lose their homes, have used just $111 billion of the $400 billion previously available to them. Is lifting the cap on assistance a back-door TARP?

Additionally, I want to determine whether Fannie and Freddie have a cohesive plan to buy up the under-performing mortgages that remain on the books of the big banks, at appropriate prices, and undertake a massive reworking of the terms of the mortgages so as to stem the foreclosure crisis that continues to plague our country.This new authority must be used responsibly and for the benefit of American families. This cannot be used simply to purchase toxic assets at inflated prices, thus transferring the losses to the U. S. taxpayers and acting as a back-door TARP.

As a result of a curiously-timed Christmas Eve announcement by the Treasury Department, the mortgage giants will have access to unlimited funds without having to come back to Congress. Since the federal government is the majority owner of both companies, their operations will remain under Administration control.

This relationship between Treasury and Fannie and Freddie bears inspection, particularly in the wake of reports that the mortgage giants’ chief executives will now receive $900,000 each in annual compensation, bonuses of up to $6 million each, and an additional $42 million in special compensation will be spread among a dozen other executives.

Obama: Accomplished leader or corporate shill?

The wandering eye of media-based attention over at Orange seems to have opened its focus upon the accomplishments (or lack thereof) of President Barack Obama.  Whereas some on this blog would trumpet 90 accomplishments of President Obama which the media fail to report (*media* being a plural noun), others would emphasize Obama’s failure to elicit change on the big-ticket items.  Whatever this diary is, it’s not an attempt to substitute the thumbs-up or the thumbs-down for sober evaluation.  You’ll have to read it to find out its thrilling conclusion.

(originally written for the wandering eyes over at Orange)

Elizabeth Edwards & Bloggers Denounce Racist Ad Against Obama and NC Democrats

Elizabeth Edwards Calls Racist GOP Wright Ad an “Assault Weapon”

Taking time off from her family vacation in Florida, Elizabeth Edwards commented on the GOP racist ad, “Extreme,” during an MSNBC interview, calling it an “assault weapon.” Elizabeth went on to support Obama’s decision to separate himself from Reverend Wright.

Watch the interview here: