Washington It’s not spring here, but finally there is a briskness in peoples’ step. Tomorrow there is a major rally for heath care reform called by Health Care for America Now (HCAN), and on Sunday, March 21st, the forces in favor of comprehensive immigration reform are rallying, praying, and marching on the Mall, hopefully with significant numbers. There are front page stories wondering how the Obama administration got so off message, and there’s a real race in Arkansas with Senator Blanche Lincoln dying in the middle of the road. Something good is bound to come of the reemergence of progressives from the lassitude of mindless hope and passivity. Hooray!
But…increasingly there seems to be blood in the water as the Administration becomes the gang that can’t shot straight. Evidence is piling up:
◦ Weatherization strategy for creating jobs and helping working families seems to be nowhere after more than a year. Energy Secretary frustrated, but how hard could this have been?
◦ Teachers all fired in Rhode Island to take the blame for god knows what, probably just to take the blame and the President of the United States weighs in with a gut punch. Why in the world is Obama in this picture?
◦ Big talk about increasing school hours to better education the kids, but school districts strapped for money are cutting down to 4 days per week. Mr. President?
◦ A year after a new administration, don’t ask me about post-Katrina recovery.
Why pile on? The list could go on and on. Maybe if people get their legs moving and voices louder it won’t breakthrough the Congressional logjam, but at least people will start remembering that we only win, when we fight.
New Orleans What’s a guy to do? Can’t make people happy for sure! My conservative comrades in the blogosphere are dividing sharply on the positions I have taken on James O’Keefe III and he and his rightwing dunderkind and their telephone bungle up at Senator Mary Landrieu’s office. I have pretty much come down on the side that argues the guy is a self-aggrandizing hustler (not a pimp) who believes that all means justify any ends that put him in the center of the camera and story. I’ve also sided with several of the august Senators, including Republicans from Nebraska and elsewhere in the heartland who have said his credibility is shot and maybe, heaven forbid, we should even take a look at what he had the chippie did on the ACORN sting.
O’Keefe’s employer, Andrew Brietbart and www.biggoverment.com had one of their fair haired boys, Kyle Olson, write a piece whose headline was “Sorry Wade, James O’Keefe’s Actions Don’t Excuse ACORN.” Olson probably feels he has the right to do a “Wade” shout out, because he and I are old comrades. He had been on Glenn Beck helping promote my book, Citizen Wealth, claiming he had an exclusive “interview” with me at the Octavia Book Store book signing. Dressed in short pants, he and a buddy claimed that they were health care bloggers from Michigan, and wanted to get some video from me for their blog about health care reform. The highlights of the “interview,” which consisted of Fox viewers watching me talk while signing Citizen Wealth last summer were there question about whether SEIU was working for healthcare reform and my “admission” that yes, by gum, they were (no, duh?!?) and them asking about ACORN and Health Care for America Now (HCAN), where I said I didn’t work for ACORN and asked Marie Hurt, the Louisiana director their question, and she answered in the background. Olson and O’Keefe come from the same “school” of “journalism,” Olson is just better looking. The rest of his piece was a rehash of whatever few remaining charges are still outstanding against ACORN back to the 2008 election and the highly documented partisan charges by the Republicans against the organization at that time.
Continue reading “O’Keefe Pro and Con”