Thursday, July 30, 2009

Healthcare, Beer, and Birthers

It’s Thursday, July 30, 2009. Here’s what we’re looking at:

If yesterday’s Blue Dog compromise on the House healthcare bill has done anything, it’s probably further confused members of Congress. Many say that neither they, nor most anyone else, can really understand the full scope of the reform package. Now, as the August recess looms for them, Democrats and Republicans are wondering how to frame their message on the bill to their constituents for a month back home.

Though it’s not too surprising, this year’s Democratic gubernatorial candidates - incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine of New Jersey and Virginia candidate Creigh Deeds - are taking very different approaches to how they use President Obama’s support. Corzine is invoking Obama in a central role to his campaign - headlining rallies and fundraisers - while Deeds is using Obama to encourage liberal supporters, but not to engage his more conservative general electorate.

In light of the recent Crowley-Gates controversy and the Sotomayor hearings, Rachel Maddow and Melissa Harris-Lacewell have an excellent discussion on the state of race relations.

Speaking of the Crowley-Gates controversy, it’s going to be “Red, Light, and Blue” today at the White House “Beer Summit” as President Obama hopes to help resolve their differences. Professor Gates will be drinking Red Stripe lager, Officer Crowley will be sipping on a Blue Moon, and President Obama will have a Bud Light.

As you might imagine, the high-profile event has sparked frenzy over what beer is provided. Yuengling tells Politico that they should be the beer of the event because "Yuengling is proud to be recognized as America's Oldest Brewery. Family owned and operated since 1829, we've been a part of conflict resolution for over 180 years!"

Meanwhile, Sierra Nevada argues “We believe that we are the perfect fit for the matter at hand, and a great choice to represent and facilitate the resilience and understanding of the American people. Sierra Nevada [can] reinforce the idea that whether black or white, rich or poor, we are all first and foremost Americans. American citizens should support American beer. Think global, drink local.”

Miller Coors LLC decided not to press for their products, simply saying “It's widely known that for ages people have sat down together over a beer to resolve differences and disputes. We're happy to know that beer continues to be a beverage that brings people together for fellowship and one of our beers may be considered. Regardless of the pick, it's good news for our industry that beer will be shared for this lighthearted moment.”

Next up is the gift that just wont stop giving to Democrats - the birther issue. While it’s largely seen as a fringe movement, a few citizen journalists have discovered just how reluctant GOP members of Congress are to refute them.

Finally, what’s the newest political sensation on the internet? It might be this bizarre new video series by The Gregory Brothers - a band that uses Auto-Tune (a piece of technology that keeps singers in key) to review the news. You have to see this…

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