So much for the Obama citizenship conspiracy nuts.

Throwing out the lunatic conservative fringes' lawsuit, U.S. District Judge James Robertson is going to decide how to penalize them for wasting everyone's time:
Robertson ordered plaintiff's attorney John Hemenway of Colorado Springs, Colo., to show why he hasn't violated court rules barring frivolous and harassing cases and shouldn't have to pay Obama's attorney, Bob Bauer, for his time arguing that the case should be thrown out.

If justice had any sense of humor with a serious twist of irony the judge would sentence these idiots to jail time in Kenya or, maybe, just take away all of their citizenships.

Interesting healthcare links

Mike's Blog Roundup at C&L has an interesting trio of heatlhcare diaries put together today.

"David Sirota: If private insurance is so awesome, why would it lose a competition with government health care?"

I like it. I could've told them that even if I had nothin' to do wit' dat one. :) He also has a bunch of other interesting things to link out to, as per usual.

DINO Extinction

Not really. But they are becoming less and less relevant to the political equation in what is clearly a center-left America:

The Democratic Leadership Council — a group of centrists that dominated politics during the Clinton presidency but is laboring to remain relevant in the Obama era — is on the brink of a major shake-up.

Al From, the DLC’s founder and leader since its creation 24 years ago this month, said he plans to step down within the next couple of months, handing the chief executive reins to his longtime protégé, Bruce Reed.

At the same time, the Progressive Policy Institute, an influential think tank closely affiliated with the DLC, will soon part ways with the council. Will Marshall, who heads the think tank, said the recent Democratic electoral gains and a massive new agenda being pushed by the Obama administration “require us to think anew.”


CNN: 72% Want More Governmental Involvement With Health Care

Hot off the front page of the burnt orange...

More proof we are a center-right nation from CNN:

Seventy-two percent of those questioned in recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey say they favor increasing the federal government's influence over the country's health care system in an attempt to lower costs and provide health care coverage to more Americans, with 27 percent opposing such a move. Other recent polls show six in 10 think the government should provide health insurance or take responsibility for providing health care to all Americans.

Is it me or is it getting hot in here? Even the media is ratcheting it up a notch.

Republicans are Failing their Constituents

Given that 30 out of the top 50 (60%) districts in trouble with foreclosures (34 out of the top 56 listed - 60.7%) are in Republican controlled turf, you might think Republicans would be working harder to save these homes in their own districts.

Republicans failing to fight for saving these homes are failing their constituents. Minority districts or not, and for the most part they are not, every home that goes under affects everyone living in that district.

Never mind the fact that Republicans are, in large part, responsible for this problem in the first place because of their "L'aissez faire" free-market-run-amok policies.

The Center for Responsible Lending, whose work I cited the other day in looking at the number of projected home foreclosures in 2009 by Congressional District, has come out with a revised set of numbers.

And those revisions are... substantial. Both in terms of the numbers of foreclosures predicted, and in terms of where those foreclosures fall. It really changes the picture on both counts.

The REVISED top 56

Yet again, Republicans seem more interested in obstructing any and all remedies proposed by the majority than, you know, actually doing something. Instead, what do we hear from the right wingnut idiot factor?
Republicans on Capitol Hill are on the warpath about a bill that would allow bankruptcy judges change mortgages to help homeowners stay in their houses.

The Democratic-controlled House is scheduled to vote today on the measure, which would let judges reduce the principal owed, cut the interest rate, or extend the length of the loan.

House GOP leader John Boehner's office calls the legislation a "textbook example" of why Americans are increasingly fed up by the series of bailouts and rescues coming out of Washington.

Americans are fed up with you, Boehner. Yes, we hate the bailouts that you and the GOP are largely responsible for necessitating. There are so many reasons why Americans think more of communist China than Republicans right now:
USA Today/Gallup Poll. Feb. 20-22, 2009. N=1,013 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

"Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Republicans in Congress are handling their job?"

Approve 36%--56% Disapprove

Gallup Poll. Feb. 9-12, 2009. N=1,022 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

"Next, I'd like your overall opinion of some foreign countries. Is your overall opinion of [see below] very favorable, mostly favorable, mostly unfavorable, or very unfavorable?"

China: Favorable 41%--51% Unfavorable

Tell Boehner that what we want right now is for republicans to, you know, do something other than just obstruct and bloviate the nation into more failure. And they can shut up about "Socialist Obama policies" since Americans clearly prefer communists over the GOP.

Single Payer is NOT Socialism

Single-payer isn't socialism - March 5, 2009
B. Jason MacLurg, M.D. | Letter to the Editor | Seattle Post-Intelligencer
As a long-time Seattle physician, I was pleased that the P-I supports health care reform toward a single-payer system (Opinion, Wednesday). Most Americans now fully understand that our health care delivery system is too expensive, too complex, too fragmented and overwhelmingly frustrating. Although some still believe that America has the best health care in the world, the truth is that our reimbursement system is killing us.
To be honest... I would support socialism in health care - it is the only issue that I am in the left on big time. Well? That and the socialist military and police which we already have in the USA.

But I would truly be happy with a compromise between the liberal and conservative ideas and getting Single Payer for health care because it would be vastly superior to any of the for-profit insurance scams killing well over 18,000 Americans every year.

Texas Telephone Tag is Torture

With permission and by jmadlc55
- Other toons by jmadlc55 here.


Party in Pittsburgh this August

Okay! They may get some work done at the Netroots Nation too..

Taking place Aug. 13-16 in Pittsburgh. You can start by submitting your ideas on what to work on. And if you want to register to attend go here. Here are the rising registration costs below:

Registration is quick and easy! To begin, simply enter your e-mail address and select a registration level.

With your generosity and the support of our sponsors and donors, we are able to offer subsidized registrations on a first-come, first-served basis. Our $175 and $225 introductory prices are sold out. We currently have a limited number of registrations offered at $275; when those are gone, the price for standard registrations will increase to $325.

The Benefactor Registration represents the full unsubsidized cost to attend Netroots Nation. Registration fees cover only 40 percent of our conference costs. With your generosity and the support of our sponsors and donors, we can continue to offer reduced rates so activists of every age, background, and economic bracket are able to join us in Pittsburgh. If you're interested in fully supporting Netroots Nation and allowing us to offer lower rates to others, we encourage you to register at this level.

Moving Forward on Health Care

From my email inbox to you - and a job to be had in D.C., if you are interested:

Last week President Obama spoke to the nation and said he wants healthcare reform within a year! We do too. But we want it done the best way, the simple way, the economical way, the humane way - the HR 676 single-payer way!

We've got our work cut out for us. President Obama's health advisors have all been exposed as big insurance and big PhRMA types. And we continually hear that single-payer isn't politically feasible.

But it is feasible. We know it. The polls and experience around the world show it. Most doctors, nurses, and patients say it. It's the only way to cover every U.S. resident without increasing our national spending on healthcare. Healthcare-NOW!'s network of activists amplifies this messages every day.

Our efforts helped forge a strong and united national single-payer coalition that can claim 20 million constituents. Because of thousands of phone calls and visits our activists have made, HR 676 now has 60 co-sponsors since it was introduced in the 111th Congress.

We organized a briefing in the Rayburn House Office Building last week that brought in experts to expose the Massachusetts mixed public/private insurance plan for the failed mess that it is. Our activists personally delivered an invitation and package of materials about the MA plan to every House office.

Our work over the past five years helped generate new CBS News/NY Times polling data showing that 59% of Americans believe the government should provide national health insurance, vs. 40% who believed that in 1979. Our work helped win HR 676 endorsements from the US Conference of Mayors, and big cities such as Philadelphia, Seattle, Baltimore, and Boston.

We need your help to keep Healthcare-NOW! running at full speed. We do lots, but we could do more. We need a part-time staff member in Washington. We need to bolster our communications with tens of thousands of people in our networks all over America. We need to strengthen local coalitions in key Congressional districts around the country.

This year is crunch time for our movement time to deliver the pressure necessary to make the Obama administration and Congress do the right thing. We hope you can help us.

You can donate via our web site. You can designate how your funds will be used for lobbying, which is critical now or for tax-exempt educational purposes.

Thanks for helping to keep us running at full speed. The times demand it.

Thanks for all that you do,

Marilyn Clement

Healthcare-NOW! National Coordinator

Pink Porpoises On Parade

Via Bob perkypants Morris at Politics in the Zeros, The Telegraph reports on an albino dolphin spotted in Louisiana, USA:
Pinky the rare albino dolphin has been spotted in
Lake Calcasieu in Louisiana, USA -Photo: CATERS NEWS

Captain Rue: "It was absolutely stunningly pink.

"I had never seen anything like it. It's the same color throughout the whole body and it looks like it just came out of a paint booth.

"The dolphin appears to be healthy and normal other than its coloration, which is quite beautiful and stunningly pink.

"The mammal is entirely pink from tip to tail and has reddish eyes indicating it's albinism. The skin appears smooth, glossy pink and without flaws.

"I have personally spotted the pink dolphin 40 to 50 times in the time since the original sighting as it has apparently taken up residence with its family in the Calcasieu ship channel.

Nature at its finest... And yes! I know a porpoise is really different from a dolphin. But I like the title, damnit! lol

Diebold and PES Sued for Stealing...

... Code?
A California software company has filed a lawsuit against Diebold and its subsidiary, Premier Election Solutions, claiming that PES' electronic voting machines violate its copyrights.

Artifex Software, of San Rafael, Calif., claims that PES systems infringe on its copyrighted Ghostscript PDF interpretation and printing software. Artifex claims PES is using Ghostscript in its electronic election systems even though Diebold and PES "have not been granted a license to modify, copy, or distribute any of Artifex's copyrighted works," Artifex claims in court papers filed late last month in U.S. District Court for Northern California.

Why is this important?
Obtaining GNU Ghostscript

GNU Ghostscript is a copyrighted work; it is distributed under the GNU General Public License. You can get the current version of GNU Ghostscript by Internet FTP from ftp.gnu.org/gnu/ghostscript from any of the GNU distribution sites; likely, alpha versions may be available on alpha.gnu.org/gnu/ghostscript.
As (h/t) lambert at Corrente pointed out, under GNU General Public Licensing, if Diebold and PES used Ghostscript to create their product they may be legally bound to make their product's code open for our inspection, as well.

The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is a widely used free software license, originally written by Richard Stallman for the GNU project. The GPL is the most popular and well-known example of the type of strong copyleft license that requires derived works to be available under the same copyleft. Under this philosophy, the GPL grants the recipients of a computer program the rights of the free software definition and uses copyleft to ensure the freedoms are preserved, even when the work is changed or added to. This is in distinction to permissive free software licences, of which the BSD licences are the standard examples.
Heck! We may be legally able take and modify Diebold code if it is true.

Ghostscript is a copyrighted work whose copyright is owned by Artifex Software, Inc. Some versions of Ghostscript are distributed freely under the name GPL Ghostscript or (for older versions) GNU Ghostscript; these versions are distributed with a license called the GNU General Public License (also known as the "GNU License", the "GPL", or "copyleft"), which allows gratis and commercial distribution under certain conditions, most particularly, source complete source disclosure.

Versions of Ghostscript between version 4.03 and 8.54 were also distributed under a more restrictive license disallowing commercial redistribution entirely. These versions were labelled "AFPL Ghostsript" or just "Ghostscript", and were governed by the Aladdin Free Public License.

The full GPL is included under the name COPYING in the GPL Ghostscript fileset, and can also be obtained directly from the Free Software Foundation:

Free Software Foundation, Inc. (FSF)
59 Temple Place, Suite 330
Boston, MA 02111-1307 U.S.A.
+1-617-542-5942 telephone
+1-617-542-2652 fax (including Japan):

The GPL gotten directly from the FSF or the contents of the COPYING file are authoritative, but for those unfamiliar with the GPL, we now summarize its provisions.

Read More on Artifex Software, Inc. licensing of Ghostscript. What licensing rules apply may depend on the version that Diebold and PES allegedly stole.


Dear President Obama

On Single payer health care

As a candidate you have promised to treat issues in a truly bipartisan manner. On most issues this has clearly been the case.

Single payer is the one single issue that transcends all politics of the American people and they are almost all (65%) clearly in agreement with.

We all want single payer health care.

In the last couple of years I have seen fundraisers for 4 local people in order to pay for their health care because either their insurance refused to cover legitimate costs or they had absolutely zero coverage.

We, as a country, are bound by United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, a treaty initiated and signed by the US government, under article 25 to provide health care to every citizen of the USA as a basic human right:

"Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control."

Treating this basic human right as vehicle for profit is irrational and unconscionable. None of the for-profit answers will ever address all of the issues we are duty bound to resolve. I refuse to watch any politician subsidize insurance companies' profits so that they can continue to provide their death insurance.

Only single payer health care will eliminate the immoral and distinctly unequal practice of rationing for profit.

At the very minimum, medicare - the most cost efficient program in the USA - should be opened up to all Americans that wish to participate and let it compete openly on the free market with the life threatening privatized options.

Everyone voted for real change in the last elections, and we voted for an honest reflection of what bipartisan answers should be. Bipartisan answers from politicians need to reflect the true wishes of the American people if they are ever going to be truly transformational. Not the faux bipartisan wish lists of politicians and their special interest lobbyists. 

Any attempts to "Stay the Course!" with the failed private death insurance for profit systems will be viewed as complete and utter failure on the Obama administrations part to fulfill their campaign promises of a responsive and accountable government to the citizens of the United States of America. And it will prove there is truly no bipartisan hand being outstretched to all. Just to the political elite that have sold out to lobbyists and their unethical corporate interests.


(Just a letter I sent to President Obama because nyceve is at it again over at dkos)


If it were really socialism..

Red State's Trike Force would be calling it communism. They never were the brightest bulbs in the bunch when it came to defining the opposition.

Just a liberal here - pretty darned moderate too - and damned proud of the fact that it has (almost) always put me on the moral high ground and the correct side of the political arguments.

Anyways and again for the slow learners on the wingnutty side of GOP/wrong:

Welcome to liberal America.

Whiny-assed right wing trike riders are welcome to take their brain farts to the all you can eat Cheetos buffet in the basement. But, for a change, please clean up your own damned messes when you leave?

Red State Trike Force

The Red State Trike Force has lost their way and is desperately recruiting more people to push the GOP's continued descent into obscurity...

Eric Cantor and Michael Steele are doomed to kill off any support from the remaining base in their already splintered party if they try to win new voters over by repudiating the radicals on the right, and doomed to remain in the minority and even more likely to make the GOP a third party in the political pecking order if they continue to appease the batshit loopy base they have to work with now.

Damned if they do, damned if they don't... And just too damned funny to not watch!