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Hmmm ... So is

Hmmm ... So is USANext, aka United Seniors Association, aka Americans Lobbying Against Rationing of Medical Care, USA, really just a Republican party front operation operating at the behest of Karl Rove?

Well, let's see.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a rating and reporting bureau for public charities and nonprofits, notes that one of United Seniors Association's (USA) "affiliates" is O'Neill Marketing Company (OMC).

Apparently, it's a very tight affiliation since both are located at 3900 Jermantown Road, Suite 450. (USA lists Suite 450; OMC lists 450A).

Despite my now living in New York I sometimes still feel the need to translate from Beltwayese into standard English. So in this case, in DC-speak we would say that United Seniors Association is 'colocated' with O'Neill Marketing Company whereas in standard English we would say that United Seniors Association 'is' O'Neill Marketing Company.

O'Neill's front page lists its first selling point as: "We are a 'marketing' department for our clients, as if we were right down the hall."

And I guess they're really not kidding about that one.

OMC's other clients include ...

National Republican Congressional Committee Republican National Committee Republican Governors Association Empower America/Citizens for Sound Economy

(ed.note: Special thanks to TPM Reader DMK.)

The Concord Monitor charts

The Concord Monitor charts the flips and flops of former Conscience Caucus member Rep. Jeb Bradley (R) of New Hampshire.

Along those lines we've been wondering if there might be a need for a whole new grouping in the Social Security debate to handle those members of the House Republican caucus who are neither for the president's proposal or show clear signs of opposing it but rather have a strategy of spinning around like a whirling dervish with endless 'privatization' playbook linguistic flimflam in the hope that by the time they finally collapse into a sweaty exhaustion everyone will have gotten tired of trying to figure out what they're saying and simply have left.

It would help us find a place for the likes of Rep. Bradley and a few others we're watching.

We figure either 'switch-hitters' or 'invertebrates'. But we're still considering other options.

Business economists show liberal

Business economists show liberal bias: "Fewer than one in four top U.S. economists think the Bush administration will succeed in pushing through an overhaul of the Social Security retirement system this year a survey released Tuesday showed. 'Only 24 percent expect the partial privatization of Social Security to be passed by Congress this year,' a panel of 37 forecasters, who are members of the National Association for Business Economics, concluded."

Are you a registered

Are you a registered Democrat?

Are you currently employed as a United States Senator?

Are you thinking of cutting a deal with Sen. Lindsey Graham?

If you can answer 'yes' to these three questions, read this.

Strong in supportNorth Carolinas

Strong in support?

North Carolina's junior senator, Richard Burr (R) at a Reagan Day dinner on Monday: "I take the president at his word, as I think the American people should. Ages 55 and over, they don't have anything to worry about. It won't change. So given that, what's wrong with a national debate about whether we change it for everybody else or at least allow them the option of choice?"

Can't we all just get along?

Rep. Kevin Brady R

Rep. Kevin Brady (R) of Texas gets an earful in the district: "His two trips in Montgomery County Tuesday encountered many people who aren't in favor of significantly altering the program, especially when it comes to diverting a portion of the current payroll taxes into private accounts."

To his credit, Brady is one of the ones who's actually holding public meetings on Social Security this week. Here's where they're being held.

Says Brady, at the end of the article: "I think there will have to be some sort of compromise. That's why I'm traveling around listening to everyone's plan. Sometimes you have to do what's right even if it's not popular ... I want to hear the president's plan, I want to hear the AARP plan, I want to hear the Democrats' plan. We'll probably all have to get off the cable TV stations for five minutes and talk to each other to work it out."

Can't we all just get along?

AP U.S. stocks sank

AP: "U.S. stocks sank on Tuesday as oil prices jumped above $51 a barrel and the dollar slid on concerns that other central banks would follow South Korea's lead in diversifying reserves out of U.S. assets."

Someone tell me this isn't as worrisome as it looks.

Silly me ... Recently

Silly me ...

Recently, I've been referring to James Dobson again as a notorious SpongeBob-basher. But it's now been brought to my attention that there is a subculture of SpongeBob-Dobson-smackdown enthusiasts who are keen on the point that Dobson never directly accused Spongebob of being a homosexual but rather accused him of promoting the gay lifestyle.

I went back through the TPM search engine and found that in my initial post on Dobson's SpongeBob fetish that I did perhaps erroneously claim that Dobson had accused SpongeBob of engaging in homosexual acts.

However, as near as I can tell, we don't know the totality of Dobson's accusations against Spongebob at the black-tie Focus on the Family dinner in Washington last month, the one subsequently reported on by The New York Times.

I would also note that at Spongebob's subsequent meeting with the Rev. John H. Thomas, the general minister and president of the United Church of Christ, Thomas extended "an unequivocal welcome to SpongeBob" noting that "Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we."

Given the context of the meeting, this would suggest that Spongebob may in fact be gay. And thus even if Dobson didn't level the accusation directly, he may have been trying to bash SpongeBob through indirect accusations. And I for one am not going to stand by while the likes of James Dobson bashes SpongeBob and then hides behind the claim that he was only criticizing him for standing up for gay rights.

In any case, before speculating on this matter further we'll wait to receive a full transcript of Dobson's remarks at said black tie dinner.

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