Monday, July 27, 2009

One Year Ago: Knoxville Church Shooting

One Year Ago Today...
By Coury Turczynon July 27, 2009 10:24 AM

...Knoxville experienced a nightmarish attack when Jim David Adkisson decided to strike out against liberals and "kill them where they gather." He chose the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church as the site of his rampage--on a day when children were performing Annie Jr. Greg McKendry and Linda Kraeger were killed, and six others were wounded. It could have been even more horrific were it not for the brave liberals who tackled Adkisson.

Today at 7 p.m., the TVUUC is holding the "Instruments of Peace" concert as a thank-you for the support it received from the Knoxville community. Folk musicians Guy and Candie Carawan are performing. ...

Jim Adkisson didn't see his intended targets as human beings, he only saw them as "liberals". He got his sick twisted ideas from the so-called conservative media. Adkisson's apartment was filled with books and newsletters penned by Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and other right-wing hate talkers.

Right-wing hate talk had worked on Adkisson. Before setting out to murder "liberals" at a Knoxville church that had come to his attention because they welcomed gay people, he wrote in what he intended to be his 'suicide note':

"Know this if nothing else: This was a hate crime. I hate the damn
left-wing liberals. There is a vast left-wing conspiracy in this country &
these liberals are working together to attack every decent & honorable
institution in the nation, trying to turn this country into a communist state.
Shame on them....

"This was a symbolic killing. Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in
the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book. I'd like to
kill everyone in the mainstream media. But I know those people were inaccessible
to me. I couldn't get to the generals & high ranking officers of the Marxist
movement so I went after the foot soldiers, the chickenshit liberals that vote
in these traitorous people. Someone had to get the ball rolling. I volunteered.
I hope others do the same. It's the only way we can rid America of this
cancerous pestilence."

"I thought I'd do something good for this Country Kill Democrats til the
cops kill me....Liberals are a pest like termites. Millions of them Each little
bite contributes to the downfall of this great nation. The only way we can rid
ourselves of this evil is to kill them in the streets. Kill them where they
gather. I'd like to encourage other like minded people to do what I've done. If
life aint worth living anymore don't just kill yourself. do something for your
Country before you go. Go Kill Liberals.

Although one would have thought that Adkisson's manifesto/suicide letter and his reading list would have given rightwing talkers pause, a year later, nothing seems to have changed.

On our local talk/news station, KGMI, still plays syndicated rabid Rightwing fearmongering and scapegoating from 9 to 5; Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity. It's our own little Radio Rwanda.

And this Right-wing brainwashing is working, you can see the signs (pictured to the right) just a couple weeks ago in front of Congressman Larsens Bellingham office.

Sara Robinson did a great job of summing up some of what we can learn from that sad event, a year ago in Knoxville:

Nicely done, Messrs. Hannity, Goldberg, Limbaugh, Savage and O'Reilly -- and all your lesser brethren who keep the hate speech spewing 24/7/365 across every field and into every shop in the country. There is no more debate to be had, no more doubt about it: What you did in the name of "entertainment," and for the sake of the almighty ratings, raised and animated a monster like Jim Adkisson, gave him a list of targets ("the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book"), and was directly responsible for the deaths of two brave and decent people. Adkisson was clearly angry and crazy -- but his "manifesto" draws the clearest, brightest line possible between the media he consumed and his actions that terrible Sunday morning.

Progressives should take three lessons away from Knoxville:

One: we are no longer safe, not even in our own houses of worship. It's ironic that progressives -- the subgroup of Americans who were most determined not to abandon reason and succumb to overblown fears of Islamic terrorism in the wake of 9/11 -- now have good, serious reasons to fear real domestic terrorism against themselves.

Two: A significant part of this country's media infrastructure is thoroughly devoted to inciting people to commit horrific acts of violence against us -- and now, we know for a fact that people are acting on those incitements. It's time to start taking this far more seriously. What goes out across our airwaves these days isn't all that different from what went out over Radio Rwanda a decade ago, spurring that country to genocide. At this point, it's only a difference of degree.

Three: The right wing has, as usual, grossly underestimated our courage and our commitment. The members of Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist quickly and effectively disarmed and captured this man within seconds after he opened fire. Adkisson expected fear; what we got was determined resistance. It's why he's still alive today, and why more UUs aren't dead by his hand. The TVUUA congregation should be our enduring example of liberal grace under fire.Adkisson's "manifesto" should end any doubts we ever had about how virulent and dangerous hate talk is, or whether or not that talk will eventually translate into action.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Congressman Larsen Wants To Fix The Public Option

Congressman Larsen's position isn't what a lot of people think it is... check it out.
KGMI - Morning News Extra for 7/24/09 - Congressman Rick Larsen
Congressman Rick Larsen talks about the reasons why he wants health care reform in America, and the recent criticisms he has heard from local groups on both sides of the debate.
Listen to the podcast

Larsen's office also put out a press release that doesn't seem to have been picked up by the press.
Reforming Health Care: Larsen Pushes Fair Deal for Washington State
July 13, 2009

Washington, D.C. — As Congress works to reform health care to bring down costs and ensure, quality affordable health care, U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) is working to get a fair deal for Washington state. Specifically, Larsen is pushing to protect access to health care for Washington state patients by ensuring that Washington state is rewarded, not penalized, for providing high-quality, low-cost patient care.

“Lower Medicare payment rates mean fewer providers in Washington state, and fewer providers mean less access to care for local seniors and other patients,” said Larsen. “Washington state should be rewarded, not penalized, for providing quality, efficient care. That is why I’m working to get a fair deal for our state and make it easier for local seniors and other patients to see a doctor when they need to.”

Larsen is pushing for stronger reforms to help Washington state by changing the way health care is delivered to reward “value not volume” – value for the patient, not volume of tests or procedures. To that end, Larsen has sent a bipartisan letter to House leadership along with 27 of his House colleagues led by Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-04) urging action to fix Medicare geographic disparities in reimbursement.

Washington state is one of several states in which the quality of care exceeds the national average and Medicare costs per patient are substantially lower than the national average. For example, the average federal Medicare payment per patient in Everett, Washington is $6,905 while McAllen, Texas averages $14,946. Studies have shown that increased spending per patient has no correlation with quality of care. While the quality of care in Everett is the same if not better compared to McAllen, medical providers there get paid more than twice as much, costing taxpayers more than twice as much. So while Washington state provides higher-quality, lower-cost care in many cases and delivers better results for patients, Washington state is penalized by the current Medicare reimbursement formula.

Larsen has joined a number of his colleagues to request a meeting with House leadership to restore fairness for Washington and other states before the bill comes up for a House vote. Democratic leaders have agreed to meet with Larsen and his colleagues, but a date has yet to be set.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Message To Blue Dog Democrats

I couldn't have said it better than Headzup has:

Oh, and by the way... Whatcom County Democrats aren't very pleased with New Democrat Congressman Rick Larsen's (WA-02) negative position on health care reform.

Whatcom County Democrats
P.O. Box 3095, Bellingham, WA 98227-3095
• Phone: (360) 647-7661 •
Office Location: 215 W. Holly Street, Suite B-27, Bellingham, WA 98225


*Whatcom Democrats Disappointed With Congressman Larsen's Stance on Health Care Reform*

The Whatcom County Democratic Party passed a resolution at their July membership meeting expressing profound disappointment with Congressman Rick Larsen's statement that he would not support the public option in current health care reform legislation.

Whatcom County Democrats are in complete agreement with President Obama's stance that a public option is essential to increase competition and keep insurance companies honest. The opportunity to pass meaningful health care reform is at hand and lesser issues such as Medicare reimbursement rates can be dealt with later in separate legislation.

The Whatcom County Democratic Party platform endorses a national single-payer health care plan with privately-delivered services that cover all medically-necessary services.

However, since single payer health insurance legislation is not currently being considered in Congress, Whatcom Democrats consider inclusion of a public health insurance option an essential part of any Health care reform Bill.

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows that 76 percent of the American public feel it is important to "give people a choice of both a public plan administered by the federal government and a private plan for their health insurance.", which shows that Whatcom County Democrats views on a public health insurance option are completely in line with an overwhelming majority of the American public.

"While Congressman Larsen's dedication to securing more equitable Medicare compensation for Washington state physicians and hospitals is commendable, tying his vote on a public option to changes in Medicare rates is a baffling stance that is counter to his previous stated goal of seeing health insurance coverage for all Americans", said Whatcom Democrats Chair Natalie McClendon.

Chairwoman McClendon also said that Whatcom County Democrats sincerely hope Congressman Larsen will reconsider and vote yes on the public health insurance option while continuing to pursue fair Medicare compensation for Washington state physicians and hospitals.


TARGET: Max Baucus!

Wake up Max. If you stand in the way of progressive change, you'll get run over.

ANNOUNCEMENT: After over 60,000 votes cast, you chose Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) as the #1 target for our public option accountability campaign. The PCCC & DFA will air the below TV ad in Montana. Our goal is to keep the pressure up for the next critical two weeks.

You can help keep this ad on TV in Montana

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Health Care Reform Cannot Wait

President Obama says "... any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange: a one-stop shopping marketplace where you can compare the benefits, cost and track records of a variety of plans – including a public option to increase competition and keep insurance companies honest ..."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Bush/Republican Budget Deficit

Numerous economists have noted, Bush administration policies are responsible for a large portion of the current deficit, but you won't hear that from the Republicans or their pals in the media .

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, stated that "the overwhelming majority of the budget deficit that the Republicans are now complaining about is directly attributable to President Bush's policies. The additional deficit for 2009 that it is attributable to President Obama's efforts to fix the disastrous economy that he was handed by President Bush is trivial in comparison, as can be clearly seen."

Here's my slightly enhanced version of Baker's graph:

Monday, July 13, 2009

in support of Don Siegelman

i sent these emails to:

Tim Kaine Chairman,
Democratic National Committee, 430 S. Capitol St.
SEWashington, DC 20003 202-863-8000 email

Rahm Emanuel (Hon. Rahm Emanuel, Chief of Staff to President Obama,
The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, DC 20500 202-456-1111
202-456-2461 email

today on behalf of Don Siegelman who is facing more prison time as a result of this travesty of "justice" perpetrated by the previous administration and if there ever needed to be change this is screaming for attention.....

Dear Hon. Tim Kaine

i am writing to ask you to please help to ensure that President Obama's, not bush and roves procecuters, decide the fate on Don Siegelman.

Please do everything possible to influence Eric Holder to remove the partison prosecuters involved.

remove Leura Canary and her prosecutors NOW....please

thank you

Dear Rahm Emanuel.,
i am writing to ask you to please help to ensure the President Obama's, not bush and roves procecuters, decide the fate on Don Siegleman.

remove Leura Canary and her prosecutors NOW....please

thank you

Sunday, July 12, 2009

healthcare by wall street or doctors???

attention all who represent us in congress and President Obama:

who do you want between you and your doctor??? insurance companies or "the gov-ment" ??? the "gov-ment" is supposed to be us. when are we going to take it back from the greedy selfish wall street profiteers. they are turning us against each other to continue looting our treasure. shame shame shame!!!!....if we make health and healthcare a priority we can choose to have it for all of us. or we can continue to allow the selfish and greedy among us to continue on their corporate jets with gold plated everything. they are spending millions of dollars to market their agenda to keep we the people from using our treasure for the good of we the people ....shame shame shame!!!!.... do these people not have children and grandchildren......?????

end healthcare profiteering!!! make stuff (shoes tv's computers) , hopefully employing we the people, and we will buy it for a profit.

thanks to button man for sending this amazing Bill Moyers interview with Wendall Potter along.......

single payer now!!! at the very least, a public cooperatives or triggers or whatever phrases the greedy think of to try to fool us so they can keep stealing.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

TeaBag Boneheads

I read a (July 8th) post on the B'ham Tea Party blog and was amazed at the pure boneheadness. Aside from the writers fantasy that no one refers to the 4th of July as Independence Day, the most revealing bit of obstinate ignorance was this: "..., our own President won’t even place his hand over his heart during the pledge ...". Obviously something the writer wants to believe in spite of the fact.

That's a smear that's been debunked for a very long time. FactCheck set the record straight a year and a half ago:

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

freedom still on the march....or 10 minutes with the women in Afghanistan

as we continue to export the corporate war machine and expect others to host the nightmare in their country, we bankrupt ourselves and squander the dewindling resources of our planet (and no, there is no planet b) how long will the other humans on our beautiful planet continue to live the nightmare as we over consume and live our national narcissist disorder. ENOUGH!

RETHINK AFGHANISTAN and let's rethink our descendants future. (check out the $$$$clock on this site and look your children and grandchildren and great grandchildren in the eye as you continue to hand over their credit card)

i say we follow the best model and look out 7 generations.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Tim Eyman, Spending Your Tax Dollars, Again!

hmmm... once again Tim Eyman is using our tax dollars to experiment with how to create an initiative that will suck people in. He's filed an experimental initiative, he has no intention of gathering signature for, to get Secretary of State's office to do his legal research for him.

Eyman wants to extend the time allowed to gather signatures for initiatives from 10 to 16 month, keep anyone who opposes an initiative at least 25 feet away from his paid signature gatherers, prevent verification that petition signers weren't tricked into signing and make the names of petition signers secret.

Here's the details from the Washington Office of the Secretary of State’s blog:
R-71 monitoring plan draws Eyman fire

by David Ammons June 26th,2009

Initiative promoter Tim Eyman is taking aim at potential harassment of signature-gatherers and people who sign their petitions. One feature of his new initiative says the names, signatures and addresses of people who sign initiatives and referenda would be blacked out before petition sheets are made public by the state Elections Division.

This grows out of announced plans by some supporters of a new “everything but marriage” domestic partnership law to put online the names and addresses of all who sign petitions for Referendum 71. The referendum is sponsored by people who oppose the new law, Senate Bill 5688, and seek a public vote this fall.

Some opponents of R-71 say they want to create a database of the names and addresses so that opponents can talk with them about the ramifications of the
referendum. The referendum sponsors, though, say it amounts to bullying and that the threat of publicizing the signers is aimed at suppressing signatures.

Eyman’s “Protect the Initiative Process” measure, filed Friday with the state Elections Division as an initiative to the 2010 Legislature, says redacting the names and addresses from petitions that are made public would “ensure the safety of individuals … and protect them from and make them less susceptible to, intimiation, retaliation, harassment and identity theft.” His measure also includes other protections for signature-gatherers and would extend the amount of time sponsors have to collect signatures.

Eyman will have until the end of the year to gather about 241,000 valid voter signatures to win a place on the Legislature’s agenda.

Lawmakers could pass his plan, ignore it and allow it to go to the ballot, or send it and a legislative alternative to the ballot. Another route is for Eyman to switch his goal and try to send it directly to the 2010 ballot and not go through the Legislature.

R-71 sponsors have until July 25 to turn in at least 120,577 valid signatures. The Elections Division has said it has no authority to withhold or redact petitions from review as a public-records request.

UPDATE: Tim Eyman says this proposed initiative is “one of several ideas we’re doing R&D (research and development) on as an initiative in the future,” possibly as an initiative to the people next year. If history is a guide, a 2010 initiative to the voters would be far more likely than Eyman actually pursuing signatures this year for a plan he would route through the Legislature. He says he hopes his proposal will generate discussion about the issue, and that he will announce specific plans once they firm up. He notes that he went through more than a dozen drafts of his current I-1033 before actually going to the street to get signatures. That one deals with revenue limits at state, county and city levels, with any excess collections going to property tax relief.

5 minutes in West Virginia

or can this planet be saved??? mountain top removal of the 2nd most diverse forest on our planet, largely responsible for some of the best news following the last ice age, will foreclose on a grim future for our descendants. along with the rainforest protection, what we do now will determine the future for those who come matters and it's up to us ....ATTENTION CONGRESS !!!!!!!!


oh and attention President Obama and Michelle Obama too....

A President Breaks Hearts in Appalachia A mountaintop coal mining site at Kayford Mountain in West Virginia. (By Jeff Gentner -- Associated Press)

By Robert F. Kennedy Jr.Friday, July 3, 2009

Mountaintop removal coal mining is the worst environmental tragedy in American history. When will the Obama administration finally stop this Appalachian apocalypse?

A mountaintop coal mining site at Kayford Mountain in West
Virginia. (By Jeff Gentner -- Associated Press)

If ever an issue deserved President Obama's promise of change, this is it.
Mining syndicates are detonating 2,500 tons of explosives each day -- the
equivalent of a Hiroshima bomb weekly -- to blow up Appalachia's mountains and extract sub-surface coal seams. They have demolished 500 mountains -- encompassing about a million acres -- buried hundreds of valley streams under tons of rubble, poisoned and uprooted countless communities, and caused widespread contamination to the region's air and water. On this continent, only Appalachia's rich woodlands survived the Pleistocene ice ages that turned the rest of North America into a treeless tundra. King Coal is now accomplishing what the glaciers could not -- obliterating the hemisphere's oldest, most biologically dense and diverse forests. Highly mechanized processes allow giant machines to flatten in months mountains older than the Himalayas -- while employing fewer workers for far less time than other types of mining. The coal industry's promise to restore the desolate wastelands is a cruel joke, and the industry's fallback position, that the flattened landscapes will provide space
for economic development, is the weak punchline. America adores its Adirondacks and reveres the Rockies, while the Appalachian Mountains -- with their impoverished and alienated population -- are dismantled by coal moguls who dominate state politics and have little to prevent them from blasting the physical landscape to smithereens.

full post

also see The myth of clean coal
ok so 5 minutes was the just a start ....i love these mountain people !!

Friday, July 03, 2009

WSJ's Lies About Franken (and Gregoire) !

Three day old fish would be embarrassed to be wrapped in this issue of Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal. Not only did they lie about Al Franken's election to the Senate, they repeated the same tired lies about Governor Chris Gregoire's 2004 election, again.

From The Brad Blog:

By Brad Friedman on 7/3/2009 9:45AM
WSJ Whackos in Denial: 'Franken Stole It (and So Did Gregoire in '04!)'
Debunking evidence-free, sore-loser wingnuttery from John Fund and fiends. Again...