It is finished

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Late in the midnight hour, the President addressed the nation basking in the glow of a landmark political triumph over right-wing massive resistance to health care reform. His understated demeanor and measured words belied the enormity of this breakthrough.

Ted Kennedy would be so proud that his dream of universal health care is on the path to reality. His instinct that Barack Obama was the president we needed was vindicated in last night’s roll call. At the president’s side in this fight was the most effective Speaker of the House in living memory, Nancy Pelosi.   She refused to let this effort die and she helped revive the push for reform the pundits thought dead.

Nobody but Barack Obama could have pulled off this legislative victory.  Behind the genial exterior and megawatt smile is a disciplined, ruthless, pragmatic pol equipped with a flawless mastery of policy minutia.

The president’s  politically expedient compromises with the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies greased the skids of the legislative process and ultimately resulted in the enactment of a recycled package of Republican proposals from the last health care showdown 16 years ago that provide at last a framework for health insurance for most Americans.

While others focused on progressive goals like covering everyone, bringing down health care costs and providing competition, Obama focused on getting a passable bill that partially addressed those goals. This President is interested only in the art of the possible.  Ideology is secondary.

Obama won and left the Republicans sputtering unintelligible nonsense for over a year.  They showed their arses last night, every flat hairy butt cheek. They used every arrow in their quiver to defeat reform: fear, deception, xenophobia, and racism.  They still lost.

Over the course of the next few years, 32 million Americans will finally gain access to health insurance they should have had all along. It is the most expensive in the industrialized world and doesn’t cover what it should, but it is better than nothing at all. 

My hat is off to the Commander-in-chief for this triumph over unadulterated Republican evil.

I still want a public option.

Stephanie Tubbs Jones 1949-2008

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The reaction to the death of Ohio Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones has been swift.

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

“On behalf of all Members of Congress, I express my deepest condolences on the sudden death of our friend and colleague, Chairwoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, to all who loved her, particularly her son, Mervyn Leroy Jones, II, and her sister, Barbara Walker. 

 

Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones was a tremendously vibrant presence in the halls of Congress.  She believed in all the best things about our nation, and was a tireless force for justice, equality, and opportunity.  As a leader in election reform, she fought on behalf of voting rights to ensure that every American voter can vote.  She loved her hometown of Cleveland, and she believed that serving her constituents was the best job in the world. 

 

…Stephanie Tubbs Jones was always full of enthusiasm for the work of the Congress and for life in general.  In our sadness at her sudden passing, we remember that she seized every opportunity and enjoyed every moment that she was given.  I hope it is a comfort to Chairwoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones’s family and friends that so many people mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time.”

 

President and Senator Clinton:

 

“There are few words to express the shock we feel at this time. Our deepest condolences are with Stephanie’s son, Mervyn, her family, and her many loved ones, friends, and supporters.

 

Stephanie’s friendship meant the world to us, a friendship that deepened through every trial and challenge. We could always count on her to be a shoulder on which to lean, an ear to bend, a voice to reassure. Over the course of many years, with many ups and many downs, Stephanie was right by our side—unwavering, indefatigable.

 

It was that fighting spirit—safely stowed behind her disarming smile, backed by so much integrity and fiery intelligence—that allowed Stephanie to rise from modest beginnings, to succeed in public service, to become a one-woman force for progress in our country.

 

All of us who were lucky to know her and love her can only hope now to live like her—to be as passionate, loyal, hard charging, and joyful in life’s pursuits.  Stephanie was one of a kind. We will miss our friend always.”

 

Senator and Mrs. Obama:

 

“Michelle and I are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Stephanie was an extraordinary American and an outstanding public servant. It wasn’t enough for her just to break barriers in her own life. She was also determined to bring opportunity to all those who had been overlooked and left behind – and in Stephanie, they had a fearless friend and unyielding advocate. It was an honor to serve with Stephanie in Congress, and I know her legacy will live on in all those who walk the trails she blazed and walk through the doors she opened. Our hearts and prayers are with all those who knew and loved her.”

 

 

Iconic, intelligent, and irreplaceable, Ohio Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones is being remembered today for her zest for life, law and politics.  A trailblazer in law and politics, she was the first African American woman to sit on both Cleveland’s Municipal Court and Cuyahoga County’s Court of Common Pleas.  After losing a 1990 race for the Ohio Supreme Court, she entered the race to become Cuyahoga County Prosecutor and served until her election to Congress to replace a legendary member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Louis Stokes. 

 

As a member of congress, she became the first African American woman to sit on the House Ways and Means Committee and chair the House Ethics Committee.   A fighter of legendary prowess, she challenged the counting of Ohio’s electoral votes in the aftermath of deliberate subterfuge perpetrated by Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, a black wingnut who subsequently ran for Governor and lost, and his Republican minions who deliberately understaffed polling places with machines and personnel in Democratic areas to create long lines that frustrated voters and compromised their right to vote.

 

With the congresswoman’s passing, she leaves a void to be filled.   According to MyFox Cleveland:

 

With just four months remaining in Tubbs Jones’ current term of office, Governor Ted Strickland is required to issue a writ of election setting the dates for both a special primary and a special general election. The winner of these contests would be elected to serve until the current session of Congress ends in January.”  

 

“… The Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Central Committee must also decide who will replace Tubbs Jones as the party’s nominee on the November general election ballot.  Party chairman Jimmy Dimora has until October 27 to hold a meeting to select a replacement.”

 

Cuyahoga County Commission President Peter Lawson Jones, Cleveland City Councilwomen Nina Turner and Sabra Pierce Scott and State Representative Michael DeBose are some of the obvious names that should be looking into a race to succeed the late Congresswoman.

Extorting Nancy: White Hillarycrats threaten to lynch Speaker Pelosi

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Nancy Pelosi First Woman Speaker of The House 

 “If the votes of the superdelegates overturn what’s happened in the elections, it would be harmful to the Democratic party.”    -Speaker Nancy Pelosi

I agree with the Speaker that it indeed would be harmful to the Democratic Party and harmful to the goal of replacing the brain dead, wingnut cabal atop our federal government.   It is apparent, however, that a well-heeled group of white Hillarycrats, with a billionaire blackface minstrel and wealthy Indian couple thrown in to make it look kosher, think otherwise.  

According to TPM, the group sent a threat letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi which reads in part, “Several states and millions of Democratic voters have not yet had the chance to cast their votes.   We respect those voters and believe that they, like the voters in the states that have already participated, have a right to be heard.  None of us (meaning your ass) should make declarative statements that diminish the importance of their voices (votes for Hillary) and their votes.  We are writing to (threaten your ass if you don’t take it back) say that your remarks on ABC News This Week On March 16TH did just that. “

“…We have been strong supporters of the DCCC (the campaign arm of House Democrats). We therefore (are extorting you) urge you to clarify your position on super-delegates and reflect in your comments (exactly what we fu*#ing tell you) a more open view to the optional independent actions of each of the delegates at the national convention in August.   We (don’t give a sh*t who the hell you think you are because you wouldn’t be there if not for our money) appreciate your activities in support of the Democratic Party and your leadership role in the party and hope you will be (compliant with our demands) responsive to your major enthusiastic supporters.

The brazen extortion evident in this arrogant missive really ticked a sistah off, which is probably why TPM got a hold of this letter.   I love the Illusion of inclusion that asking the colored folks to sign implies so that the strong-arming of Nancy Pelosi would look less like the high tech lynching that it is.  These Mofo’s ain’t slick.  It’s just another example of the lengths the Clinton crime family will go to in order to win. I really don’t have more to add, I just thought y’all would benefit from a few edits to put it all in the proper context.  

Big Backers: The Democratic contributors who wrote Nancy Pelosi have been major donors to the party and its candidates.

Donor Name Total to Democrats Total to Clinton Total to Obama Total to DCCC
Haim & Cheryl Saban
$10,892,848
$31,600
$0
$1,142,000
Bernard L & Irene Schwartz
$4,245,750
$32,400
$0
$1,082,300
Robert L. Johnson
$1,535,800
$24,800
$4,500
$117,500
Mark & Susie Tompkins Buell
$1,066,625
$79,200
$13,500
$207,550
Steve & Maureen White Rattner
$1,062,144
$31,300
$1,000
$45,500
Jay T. & Tracy M. Snyder
$824,999
$28,200
$0
$27,666
Alan J. & Susan Patricof
$770,918
$39,200
$1,400
$62,841
Hassan & Sheila Nemazee
$523,000
$21,200
$0
$28,000
James R. & Mary K. Pritzker
$492,900
$18,400
$8,200
$12,900
Stanley S. & Sydney R. Shuman
$454,082
$51,300
$1,000
$21,666
Marc & Cathy Lasry
$422,000
$23,900
$0
$100,000
Pradeep R. & Amy J. Rao
$341,850
$46,200
$2,000
$66,000
Sim & Debra S. Farar
$252,450
$38,800
$2,500
$0
Clarence A. & Jacqueline A. Avant
$227,300
$19,200
$15,600
$26,000
Lynn Forester de Rothschild
$218,679
$39,700
$2,000
$39,000
Christopher G. & Irene Korge
$189,600
$18,300
$0
$0
Mark A. & Judith M. Aronchick
$80,300
$9,950
$500
$7,000
 
Grand Total
$23,601,245
$553,650
$52,200
$2,985,923

Cindy Sheehan arrested in capitol protest

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Hat tip: WASHINGTON (AP) — Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested Monday at the Capitol for disorderly conduct, shortly after saying she would run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the California Democrat’s refusal to try to impeach President Bush.

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Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan says “Impeachment is not a fringe movement.”

Sheehan was taken into custody inside Rep. John Conyers’ office, where she had spent an hour imploring him to launch impeachment proceedings against Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Conyers, D-Michigan, chairs the House Judiciary Committee, where any impeachment effort would have to begin.

“The Democrats will not hold this administration accountable, so we have to hold the Democrats accountable,” Sheehan said outside Conyers’ office after the meeting. “And I for one am going to step up to the plate and run against Nancy Pelosi.”

Sheehan and about 200 other protesters had walked to Conyers’ office from Arlington National Cemetery. She said Conyers told her there weren’t enough votes for impeachment to move forward on the issue.

Forty-five of Sheehan’s fellow protesters also were arrested. Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said that after they are processed, the arrested activists could each pay a $50 fine to be released.

“Impeachment is not a fringe movement, it is mandated in our Constitution. Nancy Pelosi had no authority to take it off the table,” Sheehan told her group of orange-clad activists before they began their march from the national cemetery.

Sheehan, whose 24-year-old son, Casey, was killed in Iraq, has been saying for two weeks that she would seek to oust Pelosi from office by running against her as an independent in her San Francisco district if Pelosi didn’t change her mind by July 23 on trying to impeach Bush.

Conyers introduced a bill last term calling on Congress to determine whether there are grounds for impeaching Bush. Pelosi has steadfastly dismissed any talk of impeachment, saying Democrats should focus their efforts on ending the war in Iraq.

Activist Cindy Sheehan to Challenge Speaker Pelosi

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HAT TIP: Associated Press, Washington Post

CRAWFORD, Tex., July 8 — Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan said Sunday that she plans to run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) unless Pelosi introduces articles of impeachment against President Bush in the next two weeks.

Sheehan’s deadline, July 23, is the same day she and her supporters are to arrive in Washington after a 13-day caravan and walking tour departing from the group’s war protest site near Bush’s Crawford ranch.

Sheehan said she lives in a suburb of Sacramento but declined to disclose the city, citing safety reasons. She added that she would run against Pelosi in 2008 as an independent and “would give her a run for her money.”

“Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership,” Sheehan said. “We hired them to bring an end to the war.”

Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said the congresswoman has said repeatedly that her focus is on ending the war in Iraq.

“She believes that the best way to support our troops in Iraq is to bring them home safely and soon,” Daly said in an e-mail.

Sheehan first came to Crawford in August 2005 during a Bush vacation, demanding to talk to the president about the Iraq war, in which her son Casey was killed in 2004. She became the face of the antiwar movement during her 26-day roadside vigil, which was joined by thousands.

Nancy’s triumph

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HAT TIP : By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer 

A sharply divided House voted Friday to order President Bush to bring combat troops home from Iraq next year, a victory for Democrats in an epic war-powers struggle and Congress’ boldest challenge yet to the administration’s policy.

Ignoring a White House veto threat, lawmakers voted 218-212, mostly along party lines, for a binding war spending bill requiring that combat operations cease before September 2008, or earlier if the Iraqi government does not meet certain requirements. Democrats said it was time to heed the mandate of their election sweep last November, which gave them control of Congress.

“The American people have lost faith in the president’s conduct of this war,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif. “The American people see the reality of the war, the president does not.”

The vote, echoing clashes between lawmakers and the White House over the Vietnam War four decades ago, pushed the Democratic-led Congress a step closer to a constitutional collision with the wartime commander in chief. Bush has insisted that lawmakers allow more time for his strategy of sending nearly 30,000 additional troops to Iraq to work.

The roll call also marked a triumph for Pelosi., who labored in recent days to bring together a Democratic caucus deeply divided over the war. Some of the party’s more liberal members voted against the bill because they said it would not end the war immediately, while more conservative Democrats said they were reluctant to take away flexibility from generals in the field.

Republicans were almost completely unified in their fight against the bill, which they said was tantamount to admitting failure in Iraq.

“The stakes in Iraq are too high and the sacrifices made by our military personnel and their families too great to be content with anything but success,” said Republican Whip Roy Blunt (news, bio, voting record), R-Mo.

Voting for the bill were 216 Democrats and two Republicans — Wayne Gilchrest (news, bio, voting record) of Maryland and Walter Jones (news, bio, voting record) of North Carolina. Of the 212 members who opposed the bill, 198 were Republicans and 14 were Democrats.

The bill marks the first time Congress has used its budget power to try to end the war, now in its fifth year, by attaching the withdrawal requirements to a bill providing $124 billion to finance military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for the rest of this year.

Excluding the funds in the House-passed bill, Congress has so far provided more than $500 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including about $350 billion for Iraq alone, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. More than 3,200 U.S. troops have died in Iraq since war began in March 2003.

President Bush mourns the people’s trailer park princess

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Photo Photo

President Bush released the following statement tonight:

I am utterly devastated. The whole of our country, all of us, will be in a state of shock and mourning. Anna Nicole was a wonderful, warm, compassionate, illiterate gold digger, playboy playmate and minor celebrity who people, not just in America, but throughout the world, loved and will mourn as a friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, in particular with her baby girl, and with all of the trailer park trash families bereaved in this quite appalling tragedy.

I feel like everyone else in this country today – utterly devastated. We are today a nation in a state of shock, in mourning, in grief that is so deeply painful for us. She was a wonderful and warm human being. Though her own life was often sadly touched by dysfunctional B.S., she touched the lives of so many others in the United States – throughout the world – with drug-addicted and drunken joy. How many times shall we remember her, in how many different ways, blitzed outta her damn mind, babbling incoherently, stumbling around, or blissfully high, when, with just a look or a gesture that spoke so much more than words, she would reveal to all of us the depth of her empty-headed fatuousness and her questionable parental skills. How difficult things were for her from time to time, surely we can only guess at – but the people everywhere, not just the executives of TrimSpa but everywhere, they kept faith with Anna Nicole, they liked her, they loved her show, they regarded her as one of them. She was the people’s trailer park princess and that’s how she will stay, how she will remain in our hearts and in our memories forever.

I have asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid to pass a joint resolution to allow Anna Nicole Smith, the people’s trailer park princess to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol at a state Funeral so that all of America can pay their respects and shed crocodile tears.