Better than Clearing Brush … Getting HELP from Kennedy?


The AP and Politico have competing stories up speculating that–along with clearing brush this week–Obama might pay Ted Kennedy a visit. The AP, relying entirely on speculation, suggests a visit could be a big boost for Obama’s efforts to pass health care reform, one of Kennedy’s lifelong goals. The Politico, relying on an email from a Kennedy aide, says Obama is not and never was scheduled to visit Kennedy.

But a Kennedy aide said in an e-mail Friday that an Obama-Kennedy visit is not going to happen and was never in the works.

Given Kennedy’s apparent health struggles of late, it may be that he’s not up to meeting with Obama in the first place, and particularly not if Obama comes with press corps in tow.

That said, for the next week, Obama will be one 10 to 15 mile chopper ride away from the man who perhaps unexpectedly bestowed on Obama the Kennedy mantle–and in doing so, had a significant role in getting Obama elected. Obama owes Kennedy, Obama is flailing with legislation Kennedy cares deeply about, and this may be the last time Kennedy can collect on Obama’s debts to him.

Therein may be the problem.

After all, the AP is correct that even reports of an Obama visit to Hyannisport would boost Obama’s fortunes and presumably those of health care legislation. A visit followed by a call to "Do it for Teddy!" might inspire Democrats (and possibly some of Kennedy’s close friends on the other side of the aisle) to pull together to get this done.

But for what bill?

Discussions I’ve seen on a potential visit all focus on Obama’s current trajectory, which appears to be an attempt to pass insurance company reform under the cover of public option kabuki. None of that discussion on a potential Kennedy visit focuses on the HELP bill–Kennedy’s bill, shepherded through by Chris Dodd. One that resembles those passed through the House, including a public option. 

If I were Kennedy, I wouldn’t let Obama set foot in my house unless he promised to ditch the Rahm/Messina plan to follow the Baucus plan. If I were Kennedy, I’d use this opportunity to kick Obama’s ass for embracing that fraudulent kabuki after all the things Kennedy has done to help Obama.

And if I were Obama, I might take that opportunity to pivot. To adopt Kennedy’s bill, to ride the rising anger of the Democratic base and Kennedy’s legacy to pass real health care reform.

Politico says it won’t happen (though there’s just enough flexibility of schedule and close press events built into Obama’s transit to pull it off). But if it were, it’d be Obama’s opportunity to come away fighting a fresh battle–the battle to pass Ted Kennedy’s healthcare reform bill, to pass the Ted Kennedy Healthcare Reform Bill, rather than the corporatist crap for which he’s currently flailing.

Update: Major Garrett tweets:

WH Spox Burton: "no plans" for Obama to visit ailing Sen. Kennedy. Plans can change, tho. Many expect they will.

95 replies
  1. JimWhite says:

    A strange source for inspiration, but why do I keep flashing on visions of a such a visit taking place with Ted Kennedy summoning strength in a way similar to what Ashcroft did in the hospital confrontation with Gonzo and Card? If Barry comes calling, I sure hope Teddy does have the strength to call out the Kabuki for what it is.

        • bmaz says:

          Aw those Gator heads are already exploding from the unprecedented (nearly unanimous) vote they got in the preseason poll. I regret to say, it is probably a deserved vote.

            • phred says:

              Did someone mention, “game”?

              How ’bout them Packers, eh? If JimWhite can get all carried away on account of a little pre-season college hopefulness, I can certainly chime-in with pro hopefulness… Speaking of which, I can’t wait until Friday night, how ’bout you bmaz?

              As for the subject of your post EW, this is NOT a game. And I sincerely hope Teddy kicks Obama’s ass all over the family compound in Hyannisport. The old Lion must be roaring over all the bad press PBO/Rahm/Messina have brought down on the Dems at a time when they should have still been sailing full steam ahead.

              Perhaps the reason there are “no plans” to meet is because PBO knows he’ll get his head handed to him. Hopefully it will inspire him to go back to DC and do the right thing (starting with firing Rahm and Messina).

              • emptywheel says:

                There’s a part of me that suspects Obama asked to me, and the Kennedys refused partly for health reasons but just as much to put Obama in his place. So he’ll spend all week groveling and–hopefully–making commitments that Kennedy or whoeever can enforce–and then he gets a visit.

                That’s my hope, anyway. The BoGlo apparently reported that the Secret Service was chatting up the Kennedy compound, the Kennedy aide said no, Gibbs just said “no plans,” so that may well be the Kennedys exacting a price first.

                • joanneleon says:

                  I hate to ask this but, are we sure that Ted was in favor of a public plan? I don’t doubt his dedication to real reform, but Patrick Kennedy has not committed to voting against a bill without a public option.

                • joanneleon says:

                  Kennedy family sources tell ABC News that the Secret Service was at the family compound on Cape Cod earlier today and returned in the early evening, possibly preparing for a presidential visit with Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.

            • JimWhite says:

              Nah, I’m just hanging out with a very smug grin, waiting for the season to start. And the rumors are wrong, the line on the opener is only Gators by 63, not 73.

              To make bmaz feel a little better, I’m pulling for a BCS championship game against USC this year, so we can finally shut them up on the Rose Bowl “home” turf by a bigger margin than Vince Young did. I think those Big 12 schools will just beat up on each other this year, and none of them can play defense, anyway (sorry freep, I even hold out hope for my Jayhawks against the Sooners this year in Lawrence).

              • bmaz says:

                Oh, nice, you are willing to play USC after their quarterback goes pro. Can we just have a moratorium on Big Ten teams in the BCS Championship game though?

                • JimWhite says:

                  What, you never heard of recruiting? There will be plenty of action at QB this year for the Gators by John Brantley (classic drop-back) and “wildcat” formation with Joe Haden (who can pass, too). Look for a mix similar to when they brought Tebow along his freshman year behind Leak.

              • watercarrier4diogenes says:

                Number 1, you don’t have Vince Young and even HE had to do it alone in the closing moments.
                Number 2, you guys keep whinging about the Pac-10 when your Moms won’t let you stay up late enough to watch a game.
                Number 3… ah, what the heck, if USC can survive their 1st 5 or 6 games, you’ll get your wish. If you think warming up against the likes of Charleston Southern adds to your cred though, you’re sadly mistaken.

  2. CTMET says:

    I posted this earlier, but I think Obama (and anyone else who cares about seeing real reform passed) needs to appeal more to the gut and not just to the brain.

    Just as the “I want my America back” folks are doing it (for BS reasons) he needs to play more on the individual stories like this one.

    • Loo Hoo. says:

      So sad. Imagine the healthcare everyone could have if we spent the money that is going to war.

      Obama sure does owe Kennedy.

  3. BayStateLibrul says:

    My gut is that they will meet. I hope they do…
    (but my hunches are based on emotion and normally wrong).
    WTF? McCain wants to drop the public option. He lost the election, who gives a fuck about that arshole?
    Drop Lieberman from the Party…. he’s another dickhead…

    • druidity36 says:

      Does Joe still caucus with the Dems even?

      I really hope this is his last go around, he needs to be PUNTED down field.

      A mostly worthless human being. OK, i’m usually not that negative, but he gets my goat. Yes, that’s right, i’ve got a goat.

  4. Boston1775 says:

    I guarantee you that if Obama was good for his word, the Kennedy family would find a way.
    Bitter times.

    • BayStateLibrul says:

      Papi’s back in style…
      Could manage 100 RBI’s, according to Ryan, even with this very, very,
      disappointing season…
      Wakefield will replace Penny on next start… Tito has seen enough of
      Brad… he looked under the hood and saw Penny’s arm fall off..

      • phred says:

        BTW, don’t want to slight the local team — yesterday sure was a better day than Friday, eh? 14-1. Made up for a lot ; )

  5. bellesouth says:

    McCain wants to drop the public option. He lost the election, who gives a fuck about that arshole?
    Drop Lieberman from the Party…. he’s another dickhead

    True, true.

    • sadlyyes says:

      Speaking of the LOVERLY ,vomit inducing LIARMAN FAMILY

      Director of Policy, Planning, and Communications at Pfizer (1982-85), and as a Senior Program Officer at the National Research Council (1990-93).

      Hadassah has also worked for the lobbying company, APCO Associates, that had many pharmaceutical and healthcare corporations among its clients, as well as four major drug companies such as Pfizer. In March 2005, Hadassah was hired by Hill & Knowlton as “senior counselor” in the firm’s “health care and pharmaceuticals practice.” Hadassah’s close relationship with pharmaceutical and healthcare corporations while her husband introduced legislation benefiting these exact companies has raised questions about improprieties and conflict of interest.<1>

  6. Boston1775 says:

    More tough news:
    WASHINGTON — Millions of older people face shrinking Social Security checks next year, the first time in a generation that payments would not rise.

    The trustees who oversee Social Security are projecting there won’t be a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for the next two years. That hasn’t happened since automatic increases were adopted in 1975.
    Advocates say older people still face higher prices because they spend a disproportionate amount of their income on health care, where costs rise faster than inflation. Many also have suffered from declining home values and shrinking stock portfolios just as they are relying on those assets for income.
    Listen to the compassion:

    “Seniors may perceive that they are being hurt because there is no COLA, but they are in fact not getting hurt,” said Andrew G. Biggs, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank. “Congress has to be able to tell people they are not getting everything they want.”…..66404.html

    • Spotts1701 says:

      Expect by Monday for the Fixed Noise machine to go on and on about how the evil Obama is gonna make grandma live on cat food until the death panel declares her unworthy of medical help.

    • solerso says:

      “Congress has to be able to tell people they are not getting everything they want.”

      was that the tagline? did we need 3 prargraphs to get the tagline from the {{cough}}} “american enterpise institue” ??

      • james says:

        What are they gonna say when it’s announced that Congress is getting a raise? Or that those poor underpaid SCOTUS m-fers are going to get more money so Johnnie Roberts will stop whining?

        They think people can live on what social security pays now? And the COLA that they use to adjust the payments is the fixed on set up by Andrea Mitchell’s husband, the one that under-reports inflation.

    • solerso says:

      Are you any relation to “boston1776″ that was on marcy wheelers blog the other day with some bullshit about some phony bullshit “Ca. nurses” organization, bitching about the evil SEIU??

  7. Boston1775 says:

    And this is not only Ted, it’s Caroline.
    Bitter, bitter times.
    I want to rant, and I’m not going to.

  8. Mauimom says:

    If I were Kennedy, I wouldn’t let Obama set foot in my house unless he promised to ditch the Rahm/Messina plan to follow the Baucus plan. If I were Kennedy, I’d use this opportunity to kick Obama’s ass for embracing that fraudulent kabuki after all the things Kennedy has done to help Obama.

    I hope to hell someone in Kennedy circles reads this and follows through.

    From an earlier EPU:

    One of Obama’s big problems is that he [and Rahm] went off to craft “solutions” [in secret] before spending time with the public defining the problems.

    If Obama had spent a few good months at the beginning developing a list of the biggest problems with our current system, from cost, to pre-existing conditions, to lose-it-when-you-lose-your-job and so on, THEN he would have created a framework against which to measure all the “solutions.”

    But no. Supersmart [self-identified] Rahm thought it would be SO much better to hole up behind closed doors with the Big Donors [and Big Problem-creators], the drug and insurance industries, and fashion a “solution” that didn’t infringe on their goodies. I.e., no solution at all.

    Thus we’ve got this mushy “well, health care sucks and there are problems” coupled with a “I dunno exactly what our solution will be, but you Dems should get out there and support it [and the President]” kabuki.

    This is no way to run a country.

    And Bring It On: I want USC vs. FL [or whoever] in the BCS this year. LA is just a “short ride” away.

    • bobschacht says:

      From an earlier EPU:

      One of Obama’s big problems is that he [and Rahm] went off to craft “solutions” [in secret] before spending time with the public defining the problems.

      Isn’t this just exactly what Hillary did back in 1994? Aren’t we supposed to learn from mistakes?

      Bob in HI-oops-AZ

    • lllphd says:

      – hope to hell someone in Kennedy circles reads this and follows through.

      I hope to hell someone in OBAMA’s circles reads this and follows through!

  9. esaud says:

    I think Ted should drop in on Obama. Read him the riot act. Slap him around a bit. Then remind him that he would not be president unless Ted and the rest of the fam supported him early on.

  10. whenwego says:

    And part of the pivot, I would stop calling this a “public option” and start calling it a “lifeline for the 50 million uninsured Americans”.

    • perris says:

      that’s a great point, “the public option” has taken on some baggage

      I wonder if obama has the balls to ask “everyone who doesn’t think the government should run health care could demonstrate they believe what they are saying by burning their medicare cards and buying private health insurance instead”

      I wonder how that would play

  11. perris says:

    speaking of games, who’s taking bets on boston/yankees in the rubber match at fenway?

    I’m a yankee fan but it’s hard to be boston on their turf when they have a point to make

  12. TarheelDem says:

    I imagine that there is a department at both Politico and AP devoted to thinking up rumors to publish and then go asking about.

    And I guess, these guys never use stuff like telephones or email or…

    I am sure the Lion is as effective in email is face-to-face when he holds a “Come to Jesus” session

  13. JimWhite says:

    Jason Leopold has just put up a great piece with interviews with three retired interrogators. They are calling for a wide-ranging investigation of torture:

    But Kleinman, Cloonan, and Alexander said that’s a mistake. In their letter, they wrote that the path the U.S. chose to take, specifically related to interrogations, “came with heavy costs.”

    “Key allies, in some instances, refused to share needed intelligence, terrorists attacks increased world wide, and al Qaeda and like-minded groups recruited a new generation of Jihadists,” they wrote.

    “A nonpartisan, independent commission with subpoena power should assess the deeply flawed policy making framework behind the decision to permit torture and cruelty. Our system of checks and balances is designed to produce sound policy decisions which advance our strategic interests and are in accordance with our core values of due process.

    “Many important decisions that were made during the Bush administration were done so without the consent and the advice of key Congressional leaders, Department of Justice officials, and other officials with the expertise to provide informed thinking and critical analysis. An independent commission can present recommendations for fixing this process going forward. Reviewing our policies and actions concerning detention and treatment of detainees after 9/11 will strengthen our system of checks and balances so that when faced with the next challenge, we get it right.”

    Great work, Jason–and with perfect timing.

    h/t Retired Military Patriot in Glenn’s threads for the heads up.

      • DWBartoo says:


        Your piece is superb.

        I wondered how genuine intelligence officers felt.

        This confirms my suspicions, that those who are truly professional were disgusted at the shear waste, of time and opportunity, and the stumbling stupidity of the amateurs and thugs.

        Cloonan, Kleinman, and Alexander cannot easily be dismissed or successfully ignored.


    • DWBartoo says:

      Thank you for the link, Jim.

      Seconding your comment to Jason as well!!

      Truly excellent work and superb timing.

      Hope everyone reads Jason’s post.


  14. MrWhy says:

    Not that John Edwards has any cachet at the moment, but when he dropped out of the primaries, there were rumours that he’d extracted some commitment to health care. Any idea what the commitment was?

    • lllphd says:

      no idea, but my suspicion is that he lost all power to cash in when the truth came out.

      what an utter disappointment, that.

  15. billybugs says:

    Maybe the Whitehouse would have better chance of getting health reform passed if it became known as the Kennedy bill

    • daemon says:

      I dunno.

      The R/Con folks have been running against LIBERAL Ted Kennedy for decades. I wonder if tying Kennedy’s name would backfire. “Mary Jo never got to a hospital even if she had had insurance.” That kind of thing.

      For the record, I was in the streets as a young boy the night Ted won his seat in Nov ‘62. A memorable night with thousands celebrating in the streets. Of course, that was in MA.

      Oh, and Beckett will dominate tonight.

      • RevBev says:

        I actually shook his hands once when he came on campus to participate in a speaker series…cannot even face how long ago that was. But very special

        • lllphd says:

          bev, i had the same privilege — twice!! (caught him unexpectedly as he was leaving) — only about 9 years ago, and a small MA town celebration for a couple of very old dems who’d helped out his early campaigns.

          what a treasure.

  16. joanneleon says:

    Now that’s something that inspires hope, EW, at a time when we really need it.

    Obama has got to get his head on straight and, as you say, pivot. I loathe to think about what the next three years will be like if he doesn’t.

    The Ted Kennedy Health Care Reform Bill is a perfect plan. If Ted can somehow pull through this, it would make it all the more perfect.

  17. JimWhite says:

    Aaarrrgghhh! McCain just about made my blood pressure shoot into stroke range:

    Kennedy, one of the major proponents of health care reform, has missed most of the recent debate because of cancer. Both Hatch and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Kennedy’s absence has taken a toll on the process.

    “He had a unique way of sitting down with the parties at a table and making the right concessions, which really are the essence of successful negotiations,” McCain said.

    What a crock of shit! But it is just so telling about what the Republicans see as how “negotiations” are supposed to be carried out: they consist entirely of Democrats making concessions.

    As if that’s not enough, the article linked is mostly about Short Ride telling us we can’t possibly do a complete overhaul of health care during a recession.


    • phred says:

      I heard that earlier and I just started to laugh. McCain is so full of shit. The Rethugs will say absolutely anything if they think it gives them even the tiniest advantage. Dishonest, shameless, lying thugs. And while I am it, it’s particularly disrespectful to slur a person too ill to defend himself.

    • lllphd says:

      is this not the most disgusting display of craven opportunism?? mccain is exploiting ted’s inability to defend himself now, when in fact ted’s power of negotiation lies in his ability to shame folks into recognizing the decent thing to do.

      what a slime bucket mccain is. crikey.

  18. Valley Girl says:

    EW- thanks so much for addressing this.

    Sadly I don’t think what’s in the HELP part of the bill (reading the latest not terribly easy to find mark/ mark up) even comes close to what Kennedy was aiming for in the first place.

    The Senate HELP Committee “public option” will be multiple “options,” and these will be run by insurance companies

    I have the greatest respect for Kennedy. Obama really deserves to get his *ss kicked on his so-called health reform.

    • RevBev says:

      I do hope the Pres. recalls the enormous help from the Kennedy family, including the Sen. being at the Inauguration, obviously at big costs on a cold, long day. This gives O. the fresh opportunity to take a strong stand, line up his cards, and be direct and truthful and get into his campaign mojo….surely he will not let this opportunity for a full fight, claiming the will of the people, get away.

  19. mardam says:

    Obama has fucked himself in the ass on this one. He knows it. His opportunity to change the game in Washington hangs by a thread. I, and many other progressives, who got him and other Democrats elected since 2006 will run screaming from the room if he continues on this tack. His further agenda will flounder, and he’ll still be a one termer.

    He has one chance. Let’s see if he has the balls to take it.

  20. orionATL says:

    ew sez:

    “And if I were Obama, I might take that opportunity to pivot.”

    excellent advice.

    but i am acquiring a feeling about the young (in days in power) obama admin similar to that i began to acquire about the young bush admin in 2001-

    they talked one thing to get elected, seemed hell-bent on some other objective once in power, and demonstrated no interest, ever, in “pivoting”.

    i do not know what the hidden agenda for the obama admin might be, but the sense i am getting of a similarly inflexible admin is getting stronger by the day.

    let’s hope not.

    “pivot to public option”

    and then

    get with it,

    educating our extraordinarily ignorant public about the need for health insurance reform.

    one part of a president’s job is to inform and educate – it’s a critical part of presidential leadership.

    how long has it been since we’ve had a prez that displayed “leadership”?

    since jan, 2001 –

    and counting.

    • lllphd says:

      sharing your concerns, but don’t think it’s a hidden agenda in the normal suspicious sense. i just think he has really believed he could lead by getting out of the way, encouraging the people to speak as loudly as they did in this past election, the congress to respond honestly, and the courts to do their job ethically.

      in other words, he’s a bigger optimist than we’d imagined. which makes him a patsy in the face of the repugs.

      do we all remember after the whole stim package when the repugs forced all those compromises and then still didn’t vote for it? obama said something like i may be idealistic but i’m not a patsy. did he learn nothing from that nightmare??

  21. fatster says:

    Judge allows lawyers to question 9/11 suspect in writing only

Published: August 23, 2009 
Updated 1 hour ago
    Lawyers can question 9/11 suspect in writing
    Federal judge rules detainee’s lawyers can question 9/11 mastermind Mohammed _ in writi
AP News
    Aug 23, 2009 05:22 EST

    “Lawyers for a Guantanamo Bay detainee will be allowed to question — in writing — accused Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a federal judge has ruled. The decision is a setback for government lawyers who had sought to limit the scope of detainee lawyers’ challenges to the detention and prosecution of terror suspects.”


  22. SparklestheIguana says:

    I hope Kennedy makes Obama sign a pledge in his own blood that any legislation will contain a robust public option. I’m sick of the bullshit. People are dying all over the country because they have no healthcare or not enough. Half of the country doesn’t care, because they’ve got theirs and they’re afeared of it changing and to hell with everyone else. That go-it-alone all-American frontier spirit: fuck y’all!

  23. Petrocelli says:

    More O/T … but sure to make some of us smile … Harry Reid polling significantly behind Repub contenders – rawstory

    Jeez Spineless Reid, didja forget what happened to Daschle after he cowtowed to the Repugs ?

    Since the BlueDogs make a 60 seat majority insignificant, I wonder how many anti- Reid Dems will help the other side campaign against him, to teach the BlueDogs a lesson.

  24. fatster says:

    Hope this is not a dupe. (Also, hope it is true.)

    Justice Dept. Report Advises Pursuing C.I.A. Abuse Cases
    Published: August 24, 2009

    WASHINGTON — “The Justice Department’s ethics office has recommended reversing the Bush administration and reopening nearly a dozen prisoner-abuse cases, potentially exposing Central Intelligence Agency employees and contractors to prosecution for brutal treatment of terrorism suspects, according to a person officially briefed on the matter.”


      • fatster says:

        It’s Sunday night here, Bob, so all I can recommend is that you turn on some sweet Hawaiian music, have a nice, soothing drink of your choice and think kind thoughts for all of us. You deserve it and so do we. G’night.

        • fatster says:

          And here’s this before I hit that pillow.

          New Unit to Question Key Terror Suspects
          Move Shifts Interrogation Oversight From the CIA to the White House

          By Anne E. Kornblut
          Washington Post Staff Writer
          Monday, August 24, 2009

          “President Obama has approved the creation of an elite team of interrogators to question key terrorism suspects, part of a broader effort to revamp U.S. policy on detention and interrogation, senior administration officials said Sunday.”


  25. bobschacht says:

    This just in:
    August 24, 2009
    Justice Dept. Report Advises Pursuing C.I.A. Abuse Cases

    The Justice Department’s report, the most important since Mr. Holder took office, was submitted by Mary Patrice Brown, a veteran Washington federal prosecutor picked by Mr. Holder to lead the Office of Professional Responsibility earlier this year after its longtime chief, H. Marshall Jarrett, moved to another job in the Justice Department.

    At last! Something out of DOJ that is not the same old same old!

    Bob in HI–>AZ

  26. Patri says:

    I have lost all faith in Obama. He is the biggest political disappointment in all my 66 years on this planet. I strongly doubt he will visit with Kennedy. Obama would betray ANYONE for his own political ambitions. Witness:
    THE ECONOMY: He is throwing billions at the banks in his own version of corporate welfare. Geithner and Summers are his front men–Obama is the consummate capitalist.
    BUSH’S WARS, TORTURE, HOMELAND SPYING, and THE EVER POPULAR CIA. Obama’s mantra here is “we need to look forward not back.” Yes, move forward with more wars, continue rendition a la Clinton/Bush,turn you head when torture rears its ugly head, don’t investigate any spying that has occurred or will occur, and do not investigate the CIA and its crimes.
    HEALTH CARE REFORM. Remove single payer immediately, be two-faced and misleading about a public option a la Rahm/Messina, make back room deals with PhRMA and insurance companies, play footsies with Grassley, Baucus and the gang of six.
    I could go on, but this is enough to convince ME that my support for Obama has turned to HOPE(less) and CHANGE(less). He is a shameful capitalist who doesn’t give a fig about the people who put him in office. His BFFs are the corporate, PhRMA, and Insurance moguls who don’t pittances like $3,000. Who needs those cheap donors. Obama was the millions he gets from the Wall Street power brokers.
    No, Obama will not visit with Kennedy. Kennedy is useless to him now. Obama will find other impressive figures to pal around with. When he accepted Kennedy’s support, Obama had no idea Kennedy will become ill. But now that Kennedy cannot give Obama all the things he wants, Teddy doesn’t count anymore. Despicable, disgraceful, but no longer surprising. That’s our Obama, Obama, Obama–remember that? For me, in 2012, it will be Nobama!!!!!

  27. researcher says:

    america is in for another 4 years of carter type administration

    the jr senator does not have the courage to be leader and the senate still treats him as a jr senator

    he has both against him

    to top that off the demos have not been known for courage for a very long time

    time for demos to change voter reg to independents.

    as a life long demo it felt so good years ago to switch to independent

    demos lack courage ok the better term for them is spineless.

    obama is living up to the spineless part

    the repubs may be war mongers and lack anything that looks like compassion but they got guts.

    ok I know they also lie and they are owned by corp america but hey cant have everything in a politican.

    at least in a capitalist society they know how to make money from the corps give them that

    and look how many americans follow them down that road to national destruction.

    the decline has begun actually it began during the reagan years with the trickle down that trickled up.

    • prostratedragon says:

      Something from the above on the rendition flights [my emphases]:

      According to the informant, some of the flights were provided by two other companies Prince owned, Presidential Airways and Aviation Worldwide, which were given special clearance in 2003 by the US Defense Department to conduct such flights. Source B even knew the tail numbers of the aircraft that were allegedly involved: N962BW, N964BW and N968BW.

      The flights also involved Satelles Solutions, another Prince subsidiary, which operates a training and recruitment camp in the Philippines designed to accommodate about 1,000 soldiers.

      • JimWhite says:

        That article didn’t break nearly as much new ground as their preview suggested. Besides those tail numbers, I don’t really see anything that wasn’t in the preview or previously known…

  28. MadDog says:

    OT – As we all know too well here, the mostly supine “journalists” in our TradMed still don’t quite “get it”. From the mostly vacuous David Johnston at the NYT:

    …All civilian employees of the government, including those at the C.I.A., were required to comply with guidelines for interrogations detailed in a series of legal opinions written by the Justice Department. Those opinions, since abandoned by the Obama administration, were the central focus of the Justice Department’s internal inquiry…

    It’s apparent from that paragraph, Davy is inherently unable to connect any dots. Even those right in front of his eyes.

    Davy fails to understand that all those “civilian employees of the government” that he writes about who were “were required to comply with guidelines for interrogations” never even saw those highly classified and close-held “legal opinions written by the Justice Department”, but good old Davy insists it was their duty to unknowingly obey.

    I could understand it if Davy wrote that “good sense” or even a normal moral compass would demand that “civilian employees of the government” not torture, but Davy, in his readily apparent ignorance, states as fact that they should obey what they’ve never seen.

    A remarkable feat of journalism, and his editors deserve their due as well. The Old Gray Lady is still fookin’ clueless and damn proud of it!

  29. LabDancer says:

    It appears just about nothing could ‘off topic’ in a thread like this, what with foo’ball spreads & blatant fauxconcern trolls. So is this a good time to suggest fearless leader could use an esprit de corps motto that rolls off the tongue as well as the phrase the national debt management office adopted from the old wooden-toothed wordsmith hisownself, Geo. Washington [’93–that is, 1793]:

    “No pecuniary consideration is more urgent than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt.”…..=1&hp

    Get Gonsalo Rubalcaba to set those words to a snappy melody & maybe we can spare the membership of the One-Hit Pop Crooners’ Union some embarrassment & at the same time finally kiss off GR’s forebear’s effort [in Jose, Can You See?].

  30. Leen says:

    oh yeah ew kicks some ass

    “If I were Kennedy, I wouldn’t let Obama set foot in my house unless he promised to ditch the Rahm/Messina plan to follow the Baucus plan. If I were Kennedy, I’d use this opportunity to kick Obama’s ass for embracing that fraudulent kabuki after all the things Kennedy has done to help Obama.

    And if I were Obama, I might take that opportunity to pivot. To adopt Kennedy’s bill, to ride the rising anger of the Democratic base and Kennedy’s legacy to pass real health care reform.”

    On your bus which means the people’s bus

  31. klynn says:

    And if I were Obama, I might take that opportunity to pivot. To adopt Kennedy’s bill, to ride the rising anger of the Democratic base and Kennedy’s legacy to pass real health care reform.

    Nicely done EW. Thank you.

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