As I said yesterday, Mr. Obama plans to speak at length about cutting the deficit, during which he'll purportedly take a "look at Medicare and Medicaid" and start a "discussion" about Social Security. Here's the "discussion" we're going to have with Barack Obama: no cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security, period. And for that he'll call us "sanctimonious purists" (you thought I'd forgotten that?), but we're right and he's wrong. Try jacking up taxes on rich folks, Mr. Obama, or letting Medicare friggin' negotiate with drug corporations for better prices, before suggesting that the poor have to bear yet more of the burden of the economy the rich have so wantonly destroyed. But don't let your Reps off the hook, either, because they're going to vote on Mr. Ryan's "courageous" budget this week, the one that destroys Medicare and dumps health care costs on the backs of seniors, the one that gives away so much in tax cuts to the rich and to corporations that it doesn't actually reduce the deficit very much. In case you were wondering, our leaders disgust me. You can use the Capitol Switchboard's number, 1.888.245.0215, or you can use the tools in the upper left-hand corner of this page to find contact info for your Rep. Also, RESULTS can help you write a letter to the editor.
Meanwhile, Bush's Third Term continues apace, as alleged Wikileaks whistleblower Pfc. Bradley Manning now cannot even receive visits from high government officials. This is on top of all the ridiculous treatment he's already received -- 9 months of solitary confinement, a frivolous "Prevention of Injury" order, no exercise other than walking around his cell, being forced to strip nude at night -- and, as with all that, the military's breaking its own rules by refusing visits from personages like Rep. Kucinich of the House Oversight Committee or the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, since those rules pointedly define "official government business" as being "either on behalf of the prisoner or in the interest of justice," and not, you may notice, as "running errands for the Executive branch." I mean, last I looked, the U.S. government's official business is working on behalf of its owners, the people. So firedoglake's action page helps you tell Pentagon leadership to permit Mr. Manning to have visitors. I would think a strong, vibrant democracy can handle the truth without having to detain and torture folks. I'm not going to play a game of "find the false premise" in that sentence just yet.