Archive for October, 2009

The Continued Hypocrisy Of Joe Lieberman

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2009 by halmasonberg

During a 1994 press conference, Joe Lieberman emphatically stated:

“[People] are fed up — frustrated and fed up and angry about the way in which our government does not work, about the way in which we come down here and get into a lot of political games and seem to — partisan tugs of war and forget why we’re here, which is to serve the American people. And I think the filibuster has become not only in reality an obstacle to accomplishment here, but it also a symbol of a lot that ails Washington today.”

“But I do want to say that the Republicans were not the only perpetrators of filibuster gridlock, there were occasions when Democrats did it as well. And the long and the short of it is that the abuse of the filibuster was bipartisan and so its demise should be bipartisan as well.”

“The whole process of individual senators being able to hold up legislation, which in a sense is an extension of the filibuster because the hold has been understood in one way to be a threat to filibuster — it’s just unfair.”

“I’m very proud to be standing here with Tom as two Democrats saying that we’re going to begin this fight, because we’ve just been stung by the filibuster for a period of years, and even though the tables have now turned, it doesn’t make it right for us to use this instrument that we so vilified.”

Yes, the same “I’m gonna join the GOP filibuster against the public option” Joe Lieberman.

Yes, he truly is a shining example of the worst Washington has to offer. Nice to know he stands behind his “ideals.”
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Trick Or Treat? The Life & Times Of Joe Lieberman

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2009 by halmasonberg

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The Huffington Post culled a few instances of Sen Joe Lieberman’s actions over the past few years in addition to his recent announcement that he would support a filibuster of health care reform if it contained a public option. Though we all know most of these, it’s fun to see them stacked side  by side. Trick or treat, indeed.

On Election Day 2008, Lieberman told Glenn Beck he feared America as we know it would not survive if Democrats got a 60 seat majority in the Senate.

Back in 1993, Lieberman called Bill Clinton’s reform “too governmental, too regulatory and too costly.”

Lieberman condemned the 2005 bankruptcy bill as “seriously flawed” and touted his vote against it — but he voted to end a Democratic filibuster, which was when it mattered.

In 2005, Lieberman was part of the “Gang of 14″ that ended a Democratic filibuster of some of President Bush’s judicial nominees and promised that filibusters would end in “all but extraordinary circumstances.”

In 2005, Lieberman voted for Alberto Gonzales to become Attorney General andsaid when the disgraced official resigned that he “deserved our appreciation.”

During Bush’s Social Security privatization push, Lieberman refused to make his position clear. In 2008 he defended John McCain’s privatization plan.

When he lost the Democratic primary in 2006, Lieberman formed his own “Connecticut for Lieberman” party.

Lieberman repeatedly suggested that the U.S. might need to bomb Iran and claimed Iran was going to war with us.

In 2008, Lieberman backed the Republican candidate for president, John McCain.

During the 2008 election, Obama confronted Lieberman for issuing only half-hearted denials about rumors that the Democratic candidate was a Muslim.

Lieberman came to the defense of John Hagee, the pastor who said “Hitler was a hunter” sent by God to get “the Jewish people” to “come back to the land of Israel.”

In 2008, Lieberman refused to condemn waterboarding as torture and voted against banning it.

For years, Lieberman has championed the Iraq war and savagely attacked its critics.

During the 2008 campaign, Lieberman said it was “a good question” to ask whether Sen. Barack Obama was a “Marxist.”

On Election Day 2008, Lieberman told Glenn Beck he feared America as we know it would not survive if Democrats got a 60 seat majority in the Senate.

The Disgusting Joe Lieberman

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2009 by halmasonberg

Picture 3Few politicians have disgusted me as much as Joe Lieberman. As both a Democrat and a Jew, I have found myself consistently ashamed to have anything seemingly in common with this man. And though we may share a religious/cultural upbringing, I do not, in fact, subscribe to Lieberman’s religious beliefs as I do not follow any traditional belief system, nor do I believe in god in any traditional sense of the word. I also do not consider Lieberman to be a Democrat. Regardless of what he calls himself. Perhaps he is a Democrat in the pre-Roosevelt sense of the word, but in any contemporary definition, he is extremely conservative and much-aligned with the Republican Party. His actions during the last presidential election are proof enough, though the rest of his career, both previous and since, supports this claim.

And now the disgusting Joe Lieberman once again aligns himself with the party he claims NOT to be a member of. Lieberman stated today that he would join a GOP filibuster to prevent voting on Health Care if a Public Option were to be included. Once again, this man turns his back on both his party and all that it stands for. The public option is just that: an option. It is not a replacement of the current system of privatized insurance. But it would give the American people another choice of health care while keeping costs down across the board. So why do you think Mr. Lieberman is opposed to this notion? It shouldn’t take you long to figure it out. But while you’re thinking about it, let me just mention that the insurance industry is rather heavily concentrated in the Senator’s home state of Connecticut.

Lieberman has also stated that he would oppose Republican Senator Olympia Snowe’s suggested compromise of the public option to be slowly triggered into effect. Yes, kids, Lieberman may be the single individual who keeps the public option from coming to pass. His vote may be the one vote Democrats need.

Strangely enough, Mr. Lieberman has voted on three separate occasions to STOP filibusters on bills he opposed. So what has made him such a strong supporter of a filibuster on this particular bill?

Mr. Lieberman claims his reasons for attacking the Public Option are his fear that it would be costly to taxpayers, drive up insurance premiums, involve cost-shifting to private plans, create an entitlement, increase the national debt, and put more of a tax burden on taxpayers.

Oddly enough, the Congressional Budget Office concluded that the option would, in fact, SAVE money for the government upwards of $100 billion over 10 years. It would also cost taxpayers NOTHING as it is set up to be financed by individual premiums. So where does Mr. Lieberman derive his fears from? The same fears that should have been put to rest ages ago? No, there’s something else at work here. Wonder what it could be…

Did I mention that he is also opposed to the suggested notion of an opt-out version of the public option wherein individual states can decide to opt-out of offering the public option after one year if they don’t like where it’s going. Hmmm… That seems like a win-win for everyone, doesn’t it? If your fears come to pass, put a stop to it immediately. If they don’t, then all Americans get affordable, top-quality health care and insurance premiums go down and less people die.

But Mr. Lieberman’s not willing to even give it a try. And why would THAT be? Perhaps, it may be fear that the plan might actually work. And then who loses? The insurance companies insomuch as they don’t make quite as much money (though they would still make trillions) and Mr. Lieberman’s wallet may shrink somewhat in the process (though not enough to endanger his estate).

As for Lieberman’s other concerns… According to Next Hurrah, Daily Kos, and Huffington Post blogger  Marcy Wheeler:

63Now, there’s the possibility that if the public option was set at Medicare +5, there might be cost shifting, if you ignored challenges to that claim, if you ignored the way insurance companies will game the system to push high cost people into the public option, and if you ignored the many other ways the insurance companies will be cost shifting themselves once this system is set up.

But everything else Lieberman said is horse puckey. He is either completely ignorant about health care works (unlikely, for a Senator from Connecticut). Or, he’s lying his ass off as to his rationale.

I’m leaning toward the latter…

My First Halloween Show: Berkeley ’84…

Posted in Grateful Dead, Music with tags , , , , on October 26, 2009 by halmasonberg

Grateful Dead Live at Berkeley Community Theater on October 31, 1984. Click to listen…

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Robert Reich’s New Video On The Public Option

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , on October 26, 2009 by halmasonberg

From Reich himself:

Picture 2We’re closer than ever to winning a historic victory on health care.

I should know: I served as Secretary of Labor under President Clinton during the last health care fight. And I’m sure that this time around we’re within reach of passing a real health care reform bill—one that includes a public health insurance option.

Unfortunately, some conservatives in the Senate are still pushing a “trigger” plan that would kill the public option through indefinite delay. And they may even be finding support within the White House.

So now’s the time to redouble our efforts. I’ve recorded a new video explaining why I think this is an absolutely pivotal moment, and what we all can do to win.

Reps & Dems Tear Down Cheney

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2009 by halmasonberg

Will_George_EMAILConservative columnist George Will turned on Dick Cheney today when he responded to Cheney’s comment that Obama is “dithering” on making a decision in Afghanistan, thereby putting troops in danger. Will responded:

“A bit of dithering might have been in order before we went into Iraq in pursuit of non-existent weapons of mass destruction

“A bit of dithering might have been in order before we went into Iraq in pursuit of non-existent weapons of mass destruction. For a representative of the Bush administration to accuse someone of taking too much time is missing the point. We have much more to fear in this town from hasty than from slow government action.”

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) also responded on CNN’s “State of the Union” to Cheney’s comments:

sherrodbrown150.300wide.388high“To listen to Dick Cheney, who was the mastermind of the most failed decade of foreign policy that this country’s had at least in my political lifetime, perhaps my whole lifetime, perhaps my parents’ lifetime too, to listen to him when they talk about dithering… when their mistake was to attack Iraq and lose sight of Afghanistan… eight years of failure of [Hamid] Karzai, implicitly is eight years of failure and dithering by that administration.”

As for the White House’s official response? Press secretary Robert Gibbs ripped into Cheney with:

“What Vice President Cheney calls ‘dithering,’ President Obama calls his solemn responsibility to the men and women in uniform and to the American public. I think we’ve all seen what happens when somebody doesn’t take that responsibility seriously.”

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Shame on you, Dick

And is it me, or is there not a single existing photograph of this man where he doesn’t look anything but sinister?

Grateful Dead Rock WEREWOLVES OF LONDON

Posted in Grateful Dead, Music with tags , , , , on October 25, 2009 by halmasonberg

Happy Halloween week, y’all! Here’s a nice little audio track of the Dead rocking Warren Zevon’s WEREWOLVES OF LONDON at Red Rocks 1978.

Enjoy!

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An Eagle Crow Owl Halloween Treat!

Posted in Film with tags , , , on October 23, 2009 by halmasonberg

Caren McCaleb and her little Olive are at it again! ANI3Dghost

Happy Birthday, Brent Mydland!

Posted in Grateful Dead, Music with tags , , , , on October 21, 2009 by halmasonberg

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PLAGUE Journey Receives Youtube Review

Posted in Film, THE PLAGUE with tags , , , , on October 21, 2009 by halmasonberg

Picture 2This is pretty fascinating. I was recently contacted by a gentleman named Michael King who had watched the official release of THE PLAGUE for the purposes of review on his ongoing Youtube program. In doing his research for the film, King stumbled on the back story which, as many of you know, I have been working diligently to make sure is out there and accessible to anyone with even the slightest interest. This is the purpose and power of a grassroots campaign. From the pages of MovieMaker magazine to Mr. King’s home. The word is spreading. All of this helps makes it common knowledge that the film currently available with my name on it does not represent me in any way, shape or form. Nor does it represent the work contributed by the film’s cast and crew.

In his three part series on THE PLAGUE, King discusses some of the background horrors of the film. For anyone interested in taking a gander (and I recommend you do), know that the clips and trailer shown in King’s review are from the studio cut and not the Writers & Director’s Cut. The film they suggest feels nothing like the film we made. It is a very pure example of how a film can be misrepresented in tone and spirit and how powerful and potentially destructive the process of editing can be in the hands of people who are not filmmakers.

Thanks to King and others like him who are helping spread the word about this. Every little bit counts.

For more info on THE PLAGUE, please visit http://www.spreadingtheplague.com or join our Facebook page.

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