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Everything you need to know about twitter as a political medium

See this post from twitter founder Biz Stone, November 10, 2000:

This site is great. You can manipulate the faces of Bush and Gore so they look like freaky old men. If you make their white collars really tall they look like Edward Gorey drawings! I love Ed Gorey!

240 characters, here we come! Read below the fold...

Sarah's picture

"I've never had a helicopter before, so you know, maybe ..."


I like a lot of the things I read in the transcript of the fiscal responsibility meeting -- for example, despite the misreporting on the subject, President Obama accurately identified the biggest problem we face: it isn't Social Security. It's the rising cost of health care.

That affects the states' budgets in terms of Medicaid / S-CHIP. It affects the federal budget in terms of Medicare. (Yeah, THAT program needs a money infusion in a major way and will need so very soon if it's to continue serving the needs of its customers. Fold it and the VA into single-payer and you get about a quarter of the way there ... fold EVERYBODY in the country into single-payer and BINGO! -- but that's another post.)

But with all due respect to Senator John McCain, lately the Republican candidate for President and a genuine US Navy veteran whose experience as a POW has earned him some respect, if not affection or veneration, he may not have meant to give the President the opening he did when invited to comment.

"I'm going to start with John McCain, because, know, he and I had some good debates about these issues," President Obama said in the final session of the Fiscal Responsibility Summit. "But -- and I mean what I say here -- I think John has also been extraordinarily consistent and sincere about these issues. And I want to see if you've -- John, you've got some thoughts about where we need to go and some priority areas. I know you were in procurement, for example, which is an area I know we would like to work on together with you."

So up steps Senator McCain.

Now give the man his due, he's always had a streak of something un-goose-step-Republican-like in his public statements. So, with that in mind, maybe what he said wasn't such a huge surprise -- even if the reaction he got surprised him.
After all, he's looking for something he can use to get an advantage for his party over the President. We've all heard that there's a new Marine One on order (or is it a whole bunch of 'em, so that bad guys won't be able to tell which one is real by looking when they're working?) and that, as happens with defense contracts, it's going to cost more than it was supposed to back when President George W. Bush (well, actually, I suspect it was VP Cheney, but what can I prove?) ordered it.

Said the president's former Republican rival, "Well, thank you, Mr. President. And thank you for doing this...Just one area that I wanted to mention that I think consumed a lot of our conversation on procurement, it was the issue of cost overruns in the Defense Department. We all know how large the defense budget is."
And, McCain noted, "your helicopter is now going to cost as much as Air Force One. I don't think that there's any more graphic demonstration of how good ideas have -- have cost taxpayers an enormous amount of money."

Nothing new there. Same-old same-old, spar between the representatives of the parties. But then President Obama said this:

"I've already talked to [Defense Secretary Robert] Gates about a thorough review of the helicopter situation. The helicopter I have now seems perfectly adequate to me. Of course, I've never had a helicopter before. So, you know, maybe -- maybe I've been deprived and I didn't know it. But I think it is an example of the procurement process gone amuck, and we're going to have to fix it."

Broke up the room; and, I admit, me.

Shorter Eugene Robinson on stress tests: "Lie to me!"

Via the great Avedon, this from Read below the fold...

DCblogger's picture

Rep. George Miller: I favor a single payer system

The Summit Breakouts: Health Care, and Everything on the Table

Rep. George Miller: "Thank you for starting this conversation as opposed to a demand or a debate."
He said he favors the single payer system.
There needs to be a strong focus on prevention, and improving the health status of Americans. Child obesity will soon become a problem for the adult population.
"We have turned every dial ... over the last 30 years, and it is only gotten more expensive and more difficult, and the health status of Americans has gotten worst. It is startling what children are bringing to school because of the lack of health education and access to care."

Read below the fold...

I like Sirota's Celtics v. Lakers metaphor

(here), but those who actually saw and still remember the series may think he's missing a very important data point: Read below the fold...

Why should looting Social Security be a "Grand Bargain"ing chip?

Hamsher asks a good question.

As she's been doing a lot, lately.

As Avedon writes:

Baby-Boomers didn't just pay for their parents' retirement during their working lives, but also for their own, thanks to Ronald Reagan giving us the biggest tax hike in American history - on payroll taxes.

Read below the fold...

Gimme a trillion or I shoot this market!


Sports fans, your humble blogger earnestly endeavors to keep up with the machinations of of big financial firms to extract rents from the poor chump taxpayer, usually by invoking scary images of the financial version of nuclear winter. Since we seem to be heading there anyhow, I'm at a loss to explain why these tactics should have such sway with the officialdom, save that they labor under the delusion that their efforts are having a positive effect.

Read below the fold...

You can even get stucco!

Oh, boy, can you get stucco.

Yes, I know Lord Eschaton posted on this, but I just had to write the headline... Read below the fold...

Gary Locke for Commerce?


Mr. Locke, a two-term governor, former state legislator and onetime county executive, would bring a technocratic, pro-business record to the post. As the first Chinese-American to serve as a governor in the United States, Mr. Locke would also be the third person of Asian descent in Mr. Obama’s cabinet, after Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki.

Read below the fold...

We're not the only ones with troubles...


More than 20 million workers have lost their jobs, the government disclosed in February. A record 6 million students will leave universities this year unable to walk straight into the high-paying jobs that their predecessors took for granted. Strikes and mass protests occur daily.

Only corruption continues to flourish -- at a cost of $86 billion a year, according to the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Read below the fold...
Damon's picture

Not-So Extreme Makeover: Gitmo Edition

It looks like the Pentagon is continuing on its all-out offensive to keep the Guantanamo Bay prison camp open by trying to put cosmetic touches on a prison set up on inherently unconstitutional grounds: indefinite seizure and gaining intelligence by torture.

WASHINGTON, (AFP) – A Pentagon report has found conditions at the controversial Guantanamo prison in line with the Geneva Conventions, but called for the isolation of some inmates to be eased by allowing them more social contact and recreation.

Read below the fold...
DCblogger's picture

Attention Peter Orszag

Attention Peter Orszag, if you were serious about fiscal responsibility, if that were your real concern, you would be pushing for a single payer health care system, which would save our country $350 BILLION a year.

If you say that is not politically realistic, that says you are not willing to put fiscal responsibility first, to say nothing of the well being of the American people. Read below the fold...

Sarah's picture

Why Some Things Never Change


There's a diary over at DKos I think everybody should -- no, NEEDS TO -- read. It's called Second Class Citizens and its focus is on the inequities between respect for women, people of color, and Native Americans that we take for granted in this society, even during its most (arguably) progressive era, The New Deal.
Go read it. I'll wait. Then come back and talk to me about it. Read below the fold...

"Hard decisions"

Also, "tough decisions."

Translation: Fuck the little people.

That is all. Read below the fold...


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