Public Option the True Test of President Obama’s Game


This has seemed like a bad week for healthcare reform.  Congressional Blue Dogs are doing their damnedest to kill the public option, and the White House seeming to backtrack on their support of it.  While expressing strong support for it, Gibbs has consistently refused to draw a line in the sand on the public option, and this week, inched back a little.

If this were any other politician, I’d be throwing my hands up in disgust, because this is how these backslides start.  The obvious interpretation is that the White House is innoculating itself from the public option’s defeat.

In Barack Obama’s case, though, this isn’t so obvious.  I’ve spoken before about his unique political MO, likening it to the “rope-a-dope.”  In this case, I hope, he’s being more of a chess player.  Since I’m more of a Gnip-Gnop player, I haven’t got it all figured out yet.

It is important to note that my confidence in the President, to this point, is based on past performance, not magical thinking.  He’s a progressive in triangulator’s clothing.  I’ve been sure he was blowing it before, only to be proven wrong.

This time may be different, however.  He was right to determine that momentum was key to passing strong reform.  Already, this week, one poll is being used deceptively to claim support for a public option is slipping.  The spineless sellout Blue Dogs think they’re in the driver’s seat.  Opponents of the public option continue to pound the public with lies.  Now, it seems like the White House is sounding the retreat.

If Barack Obama is the chess player I think he is, he’s got a plan to rescue the public option from the Blue Dogs.  If I’m right, it will involve Rahm Emanuel and some blunt conversations about mid-term elections.

I don’t think that Barack Obama is a bad enough politician to take the disastrous hit of no public option when he’s got airtight majorities in both houses of Congress.  On the other hand, he likes for it to look like the other guy’s idea.

Either way, I hope the President knows that defying his base, and 76% of Americans, is not an option.  Time to use that powder.


Updated Follow Friday Recommendations and How To Guide

When I first did this, I intended to add some commentary as I went along.  Being a columnist for 3 websites and a White House reporter AND a dad is actually pretty time-consuming, as it turns out, so I sometimes don’t get back to things.

I’m going to re-publish my list, and begin to make some comments.  Before I do, though, please understand that this is not a list of who I like, and why.  There are great follows whom I personally can’t stand.  So, don’t take it personally if you’re not on the list, or if I don’t put a comment there.  This list is about who is on my radar as a good follow, by the criteria I set out at Mediaite.  Also, the comments are a work in progress.

About my radar: It ain’t all that good.  If you’re not tweeting @TommyXtopher, then you’re leaving it up to chance that I’ll even see what you said.  I read all of my @tweets.

This is also an excellent way to get on my radar if you’re someone I don’t follow.  Lots of tweeps automatically follow-back, which is fine, but I don’t.  I have a hard enough time keeping track of the 190 or so people that I follow now.  I am easy enough to lobby, though.  Strike up a conversation, or just come out and demand the follow.  I’ll give it a shot.

Keep in mind, too, that some of my best friends aren’t on the list, mainly because they just don’t tweet enough.  Brian Simpson is an excellent example of this.
For Mediaite readers who followed my link here, these are my secret weapons, the Tweeps who help my Twitter experience be all it can be. There’s a good mixture here, people from both sides of the aisle, above, and below it, too. Continue reading

In other news…

….a double dog dare from Representative Weiner-D-NY:

Billie’s Quickies

bllieddoseGirls totally rocked this week!

Several years ago I had the pleasure of being a booker for fantastic band The Gun & Doll Show in San Francisco.  It was only for a short time, but while I worked with the terrific group, we had the opportunity to help promote the documentary “Girls Rock!” It was a blast, and the young girls took to that stage and played to that audience like Rock-n-Roll veterans.

So, after the weirdest news month I’ve seen since the primaries last year, I thought I’d end the week with a little inspiration, a shot of reality, and a whole lot of AWESOME from two girls who ROCKED this week – one played guitar, the other fed the hungry.

Birthers Endorse Chuck Norris For President


With all of the recent noise surrounding the “Birther” movement, I pitched a conspiracy theory roundup to my editors at Asylum.  As I was researching the article, I came across this hilarous Chuck Norris Fact:  The Birthers endorse Chuck for President.

There’s a link on the official Birther homepage to the Chuck Norris 2012 page, where you’ll find the answers to the obvious question:

Why Chuck Norris? Do you need to ask?

Actually, I would have said, “Chuck Norris for President? WTF?” I digress.

Our country needs leadership and Chuck is the one to give it to us! He has a strong moral and professional background and is a leader in everything he does. He will uphold the Constitution and protect all of our rights!

Unless you’re gay.

He is respected by our troops and has proven himself financially responsible.

He has already proven that he has a sence of humor!
If I am elected president – Chuck Norris (06/11/2007)
If I Am Elected Vice President – Chuck Norris (05/20/2008)
– And don’t forget Chuck Norris Facts

While you are at it, check out The Birthers, Dedicated to the rebirth of our Constitutional Republic.

The strange thing, though, is that the Birther-run Chuck Norris 2012 doesn’t feature any proof at all that Norris is a natural-born US citizen.  What gives?  What’s the difference between Chuck Norris and Barack Obama?  No, it couldn’t be that Norris is white and Obama isn’t.  Why is that the first thing you people always think of?

No, there’s no other conclusion to be drawn.  The entire “Birther” movement was created as a smokescreen to cover up Norris” own Kenyan birth.  Chuckers, unite!  Demand proof that this isn’t true!

Billie’s Quickies?

bllieddoseWell, after two days of no quickies because of unforeseen circumstances, I was quite excited to post some today.

However, today’s quickies will be replaced with:  annoyance that the “majority (using this term lightly)” are acting like doormats or fully being jackasses re healthcare/health insurance reform, and indignation that the last two news cycles have been dominated by conspiracy theorists with regard to Obama’s citizenship and allegations that the President is racist.  May as well bring back Speidi if the news is gonna be this stupid.  Think of it this way, ENews banned Heidi and Spencer Pratt for God’s sake…..ENEWS!

Porn Star Senate Hopeful Arrested, Political Adviser’s Car Explodes

stormy2As longtime followers of adult film actress Stormy Daniels’ burgeoning quest to unseat Louisiana Senator David Vitter, we were disappointed to learn that her bid hit a pair of rather large bumps this week.  First, there was her arrest on domestic abuse charges:

Daniels was charged with battery after she allegedly hit her husband, Michael Mosny, over the head with her hands. According to the police report, she was angry about a bill Mosny hadn’t paid and about the way his father had done the laundry. She broke a flower pot and a few glass candle holders, threw their wedding album on the floor and allegedly hit her husband while struggling to get the car keys from him. She denied hitting him intentionally.

According to TPM, the arrest didn’t deter her plans to go at it with Vitter.

Neither, apparently, did the explosion of Daniels political adviser Brian Welsh’s car.  Adding to the surreality of the situation, Welsh has posted surveillance video of the incident on his YouTube page.

Here’s the “before” video, which shows someone tampering with the car:

And here, as Welsh says, is his car “blowing up in a pretty serious way.”

Police are looking for a suspect they describe as “blurry.”

While many view Daniels’ candidacy as a publicity stunt, she certainly appears to be unsinkable.  In any case, these appear to be 2 exceptions to the adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

Best Blue Dogs Headline Evah!



That’s HuffPo, making the distinction that should’ve been made long ago.

Will the White House Disclose UFO Secrets?

While media interest in UFOs has recently been confined to mockery of Dennis Kucinich, the time is right for a light to be shone on this issue.  We are approaching the time of year when the media has little to report on, and stories about Chupacabras, Montauk Monsters, and shark attacks dominate.  If interest in UFOs died with “The X-Files,” perhaps it can be revived in the Age of Obama.

Let me say, first, that almost all flying objects are unidentified to some degree.  Most people can’t raise a moistened finger, sniff the air, and say, “Oh, sure, that’s a MiG-25.  Run for your lives, Wolverines!”

That’s not what I’m talking about here.  I’m talking about visitors from another planet joyriding our skies, and performing the occasional stealth medical procedure.  When White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about the possible release of UFO secrets on Friday, I was skeptical about the existence of alien craft:

Still, as the day wore on, the seriousness with which Gibbs answered got me thinking.  I remembered the UFO that showed up during the President’s inauguration, and decided there would be no harm in asking Gibbs about it: (via yes-we-can-believeemail)


I caught that UFO question on C-Span.  Have you, or will you, actually circle back with the President on that?

His response chilled me to the bone:

Probably wont bring that up with the President

We are through the looking glass here, people.  I’ve never been entirely sure what that means (aside from being really bad news for the looking glass), but it seems appropriate here.

Look at the facts, people.  Remember, in the 70’s, there was a TV show called “Project UFO,” all about investigating UFOs?  Why isn’t it on anymore?  Were they getting too close to the truth?

Then, there’s the Apollo astronaut that the caller cites, Edgar Mitchell.  Tell me this doesn’t convince you:

“On the way home from the moon, looking out at the heavens, this insight – which I now call a transcendent experience – happened. I realized that the molecules of my body had been created or prototyped in an ancient generation of stars – along with the molecules of the spacecraft and my partners and everything else we could see including the Earth out in front of us. Suddenly, it was all very personal. Those were my molecules.

This also sheds new light on the withdrawal of Bill Richardson as Commerce Secretary. That’s New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, as in Roswell, New Mexico!

Now, Gibbs is stonewalling? I don’t know about you, but I am stocking up on Reynolds Wrap.

Tex-Mex Company to Convert Plant to Run on Farts


Well, recovered methane, but basically, the same thing.  Park that bad boy next to a Taco Bell, and you’ve got a perpetual motion machine:

Bruce Foods, a manufacturer of Tex-Mex food and hot sauces is converting a plant to run on recovered methane.

The Wilson plant, one of four owned by the Tex-Mex specialist, produces canned yams, potatoes and gravies, which results in huge mounds of food waste and consequently a prodigious output of methane. Previously, the plant simply vented the methane but purchased natural gas to run its equipment. After the expansion is complete, the plant will run mainly on recovered methane.

Of course, here in New Jersey, we call that “Passaic.”