Archive for August, 2009

Steve Burgmeier’s ethically challenged campaign contributors.

Aug 31, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Iowa, Politics

A complaint for campaign finance law violations was filed today against the Washington, DC-based National Organization for Marriage (NOM) who is financing Republican candidate Steve Burgmeier’s special election run in Iowa’s House District 90. New Jersey based NOM has pumped $86K so far into Burgmeier’s coffers. An extraordinary amount for an Iowa district campaign. Especially considering that the donors names have been kept secret.

-mg

Grassley removed from the death panel?

Aug 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

I never quite understood the wisdom in insisting on a bipartisan bill with someone who has admitted that they’ll oppose anything that is put in front of them regardless of its content. So hearing that Grassley might potentially be kicked to the curb is the best news I’ve heard yet during this arduously long and embarrassingly stupid month.

Honestly, could you imagine the Sunday talk shows in 2004 discussing the probability of a Republican bill passing based upon whether or not Chuck Schumer found it bipartisan enough?

-mg

The consumer wins!

Aug 27, 2009 in Uncategorized

One incidental benefit of online music distribution is the fact that artists are now forced to tour to make a buck. That’s terrific news if you enjoy traditionally studio oriented acts like the Pet Shop Boys. And unless the government steps in on behalf of private industry and devotes millions of dollars and man hours to enforcement the trend is unlikely to change.

Prick calls Kennedy a prick.

Aug 27, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

I have yet to see Andrew Breitbart say or write anything where he wasn’t not only being a massive asshole, but also a polished yet shallow whiner. His brilliant insight usually amounts to “Republicans would be hung from the rafters if they did what those Democrats do!” and sure enough, that’s his take on Teddy Kennedy, but without the polish. Instead we get, “prick,” “motherfucker,” “bastard,” “villain,” and a bunch of other stupid things that remind me of the sputtering, constantly wrong fool I saw appear once on Real Time with Bill Maher. Of course, he whined about it afterwards. For bonus points, he makes a crack at Georgetown Professor Eric Michael Dyson’s “poetic jargon only a linguistics student could decipher,” to match the barely veiled contempt toward Dyson he seethed with. Had Breitbart felt as uncensored (and he was) as he did to talk about Teddy Kennedy, I’m sure what we would have heard is, “What is all this black bullshit you’re talking?”

Andrew Breitbart will live to 100 and still never be a fraction of the man Teddy Kennedy was. He’s a dittohead who can write. The sentences flow, but the ideas still drop to the ground with the thud of a turd jammed full of feathers expected to fly. He only disgraces himself with this ridiculous outburst.

-jb

“Golfing buddies”.

Aug 27, 2009 in Uncategorized

Literally:

One of President Obama’s golfing buddies Monday was a top donor to his campaign and the president of a bank at the center of a U.S. investigation into illegal tax shelters.

Robert Wolf, the president of UBS Americas, a Swiss-based bank, joined Obama at the elite, and difficult, Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs. Deputy press secretary Bill Burton described the two men as “friends.”

Barf.

-mg

Right-wing blogging in a nutshell.

Aug 27, 2009 in Uncategorized

From Emily Geiger of The Iowa Republican:

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a group famous for putting millions of dollars into the campaign to overturn gay marriage by public referendum in California, has, according to Clayworth (so who knows if he’s actually done his research… particularly given than there haven’t been any disclosures lately), spent over $86,000 helping Stephen Burgmeier with his election efforts.

It should be noted that $86,000 would be a huge amount of money for a congressional candidate to spend on both radio and TV in the days before an election. Burgmeier is a lowly statehouse candidate who certainly doesn’t live in a high priced media market. Therefore, I highly doubt that this $86,000 figure is even accurate. Too bad our friend Jason didn’t dig a little deeper into the accuracy of this claim.

From the comments section:

There was a report filed: https://webapp.iecdb.iowa.gov/publicview/ind_exp/nom-08-19-09.pdf
It lists the amount of the expenditure as $86,080.

You’re the worst writer on this website.

A couple comments follow up with a predictable “oh yeah well librulz do it too!!!” defense (just like when torture is okay because al Qaeda does it) but the zeitgeist fizzles quickly.

-mg

First they came for the tea-baggers…

Aug 27, 2009 in Uncategorized

John McCain ordered his jack-booted thugs to silence a woman at his town hall meeting. Can you blame him, though? Everybody knows that such behavior is only acceptable when the town hall is organized by a Democrat.

-mg

NOM seeks to curtail civil liberties in Iowa.

Aug 26, 2009 in Uncategorized

The National Organization for Marriage, a New Jersey-based group with ties to the Mormon Church has begun funding a project called “Reclaim Iowa” on behalf of wealthy out-of-state extremists with the goal of influencing a special election in Iowa’s House District 90. Predictably, NOM is shielding their donors from outside scrutiny by refusing to release their names of those who are behind the financing. One Iowa has this to say:

The secretive New Jersey-based group, known for its multi-million dollar investment to pass California’s Proposition 8, reported making an $86,080 independent expenditure on behalf of candidate Steven Burgmeier, a vocal opponent of civil marriage equality. A special election is set for September 1 in Iowa’s House District 90…

…“The Mormon Church and NOM have invested millions of dollars to spread lies and fear in California and now they have their sights set on rural Iowa,” said Carolyn Jenison, Executive Director of One Iowa. “This raises the question: Has Burgmeier been bought and paid for by out of state religious extremists? If not, he should reject this divisive ad.”

“NOM has a history of funneling money from the Mormon Church into anti-gay measures, while refusing to disclose the source of their funds. NOM should release the list of those contributing to the ads airing in Iowa,” said Jenison.

Burgmeier’s website is unbelievably uninformative regarding policy positions beyond typical boilerplate Republican slogans about high taxes and “crippling” regulations. Notably absent is any mention of his ties with well-heeled, anti-gay Mormon extremists. No doubt because of the shameful nature of his association with such reactionaries and because it would be obvious to potential voters that initiatives involving the state of Iowa should be left to Iowans and not out of state interest groups.

Here’s an ad from One Iowa:

You can help here.

-mg

Baby, I’m back.

Aug 25, 2009 in Uncategorized

My recent dearth in posting can be blamed on my fishing expedition to Puget Sound and trip to finally meet my new nephew.

Dash Point.

That’s low tide off Dash Point. People were having some luck casting hot pink Buzz Bombs but I didn’t have the patience to wait in line for a place to cast. Thanks to my considerate brother-in-law we were able to rent a fishing boat from the Point Defiance Marina. Turns out Puget Sound is a pretty big body of water when all you’ve got is a ten horse outboard motor strapped to the back of a fiberglass boat.

-mg

Finally Saw the Rest of the Barney Frank Town Hall

Aug 20, 2009 in Uncategorized

Wow, did he make you loons look stupid or what? If you felt half as stupid as you looked, I feel bad for you!
-TT

How Not to Do The Whole Activism Thing

Aug 20, 2009 in Uncategorized

A new study by SurveyUSA puts support for a public option at a robust 77 percent, one percentage point higher than where it stood in June.

Can we invite the tea party tinfoil-tri-cornered-hat people to every liberal function? People take one look at the news and say “whatever I am, I know I’m not a Republican.” Thank you, Flying Spaghetti Monster, for the unhinged right, really showing the unhinged left a thing or two about how to take a hammer to the hinges and get rid of them once and for all!
-TT

Old school.

Aug 20, 2009 in Music, Straight-up madness, We'll post whatever we goddamned want to

Son of Bazerk and Bomb Squad created a rap symphony in three and a half minutes.

[youtube ZmDdUUVhnfk]

Hell, they don’t even make videos like that anymore. I wonder if Spike Jonze saw that back in the day and gleamed some inspiration.

-jb

Congrats, Republicans.

Aug 20, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Disappointing Dems, Health Care

You’ve done a good job at getting people to believe things that are demonstrably untrue.

That being what you guys have spent all your energy on, this is a great success for you.

Now let’s see if further examples of journalism persist, wherein journalists continue to describe lies as untrue, or whether you guys can keep playing the “He said/She said” model of corporate non-journalism to your advantage.

Whenever Republicans merely need plant a seed of doubt, they do well because they are terribly expert and proficient at being incredibly frightened.

For the rest of us, who learned that the dark isn’t full of monsters and that stepping on a crack will indeed not break your mother’s back, or that fibbing is bad, the struggle to have a debate that at least centers on facts shall continue.

For the GOP, the persistent effort to tackle all of America’s serious issues like bawling children shall likewise continue.

Who shall win?

-jb

UPDATE: Good news here…when asked if people support the choice of a public option, 77% said yes. Eliminate the word “choice” and the numbers go much lower, but there will be a choice. What surprised me is that the numbers when “choice” is included haven’t changed much. The support has always been there.

I might be wrong on this one.

Aug 19, 2009 in Health Care

This line is getting some fiscal conservatives going a-flutter:

This typical person paid around $64,971 in Medicare payroll taxes over his lifetime. Likewise, after netting out Medicare premiums, he’ll receive around $173,886 in lifetime Medicare benefits. The net? He can expect to receive around $108,915 more in benefits than he paid in taxes over his lifetime.

Please, somebody tell me I’m crazy…did this guy just forget about inflation? That first dollar he paid was worth much more than the first dollar he received. There will probably still be a disparity, but I’d like to see what the numbers are after each year’s contributions are adjusted for inflation.

Regardless, somebody needs to remember that Medicare and the concept of a public option exist because some people simply aren’t profitable to keep healthy. That’s why private insurers won’t cover them.

-jb

People got the power.

Aug 18, 2009 in Health Care, Politics

Gauging today’s news, I’d say the Obama White House and some in Congress have heard the left’s outrage on the public option.

Some of you don’t quite understand a certain idea, and I say this to those people: The system is designed to beat Barack Obama. Dude thought he could change? Other guys thought that shit too. The system has seen it all before.

Barack Obama can be beaten by a gang of Fox News viewers their celebrities, comprised of a rogue’s gallery of despised or laughed at figures. They can lie, and they know they don’t have to be thought of as “factual” in order to have an effect. If nobody on the left fights back, the corporate media gives deference to the rightwinger disciples it has cultivated as free market drones willing to recite top-down propaganda verbatim. And then when things fail, they will turn to Obama and decry his massive health care failure for an easy narrative.

Obama said during the campaign that people would have to make him do some things. His premise was based a continuation of the grassroots movement that put him in office. It was a movement that was able to beat the rightwing noise machine at full steam. If the same people Obama beat in November come back with more of the same, only stupider, how can we grant them a victory?

IF we can keep kicking like mules, Obama can arm himself against the media and outmaneuver the rather clumsy machinations on the right. If we keep on top of our congressmen, who we happen to have significantly more of, we can overpower them (which is how they wanna play it, so they deserve it). And since we have dramatically sounder arguments, the more we are heard over the din the better.

-jb

Water is wet, sky is blue…

Aug 18, 2009 in Politics, Straight-up madness

These are things you know to be true.

Ernest Hancock, the online radio host who staged an interview with an assault rifle-wielding cohort at the Obama event in Arizona yesterday — and was himself armed with a 9 millimeter pistol — was a vocal supporter and friend of right-wing anti-government militia members who were convicted of conspiracy and weapons charges in the 90s.

Details on that:

The federal government initially accused the Arizona Viper Militia of plotting to blow up federal buildings, which the twelve-member group cased on videotape.

In July 1996, after a grand jury indicted the suspects, federal agents “seized about 90 high-powered rifles and hundreds of pounds of a bomb-making compound from the shabby bungalow of a man whom officials identified as the ordnance specialist of a local paramilitary group,” the New York Times reported at the time.

It’s okay, these are the good terrorists, because they’re white.

Can you imagine a dozen armed Muslims standing near the scene of a Bush rally? Or anywhere, for that matter?

-jb

I can’t wait until Barack Obama tries to end the drug war.

Aug 17, 2009 in Barack Obama, Drugs

The public is ready, and as should be a surprise to no one, cops are calling for an end too. Peter Suderman hat tip here.

But just wait until the Birthers/Deathers get a hold of that cause. “Barack Hussein Soetero is a pot-smoking coke-snorting Negro trying to get in your daughter’s pants!” will be the general vibe. And the Drug War will rage on.

-jb

Slow down thar, boy!

Aug 17, 2009 in Uncategorized

Kent Conrad has been doing some mouthing off about the public option without knowing what he’s talking about.

In short: No Democrat in their right mind with any hope for surviving a primary would filibuster the public option, and Conrad sure as hell can’t claim there aren’t at least 50 Democrats who will vote for the bill if it has a public option.

So what the hell does he think he’s doing, besides earning some HMO campaign donations? Is he scared of being called teh Nazi for expanding Medicare?

-jb

Dream ticket!!!!

Aug 17, 2009 in Uncategorized

Palin/Bachmann 2012!

-mg

Brits wondering WTF Republicans are talking about.

Aug 17, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Health Care

A lot of rightwing rhetoric about health care depends on people in countries with socialized medicine to not be listening or able to have their defense heard over here in the states. Mostly content to sit and stare at America’s insanity with bemusement, some Brits are finally starting to hit back at misinformation campaigns.

Every Briton is registered with his or her own family doctor, whom they can see when they need — without paying a fee. These doctors are independent contractors to the health service and are recognized and rewarded for quality in their compensation — so they can focus on what works, not just what pays. Expanding on the facilities that are already in place, by next year every community in England will have a physician’s office open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day of the year, and you can simply walk in and see a doctor, for free, regardless of whether you are registered.

In the unfortunate instance that a patient is diagnosed with a dire disease, such as cancer, it often takes only a week or two for a patient to be seen by all the right specialists, complete all the required diagnostic tests and be ready for surgery or other interventions. This rivals the best care in the United States or anywhere else in the world.

Under our NHS constitution, patients have a legal right to choice of provider. That means any provider — public, private or not-for-profit.

Furthermore:

Standing in defense of Britain’s health service does not mean that we believe it is the right prescription for the United States. It is not for us to propose the solution for America, but we hope that correcting the record on some of the facts about our NHS will help Americans evaluate the real strengths and challenges of our system, instead of focusing on the misinformation spread by fear-mongers. Indeed, none of the proposals for reform — from President Obama or anyone else — would create a system that resembles that in Britain.

If people want to debate, then we must ask precisely that of them: Real debate, where facts are checked and bullshit is laid out in the open. A real debate, where you get caught lying and you have to stop (good example here). A real debate, where the truth will determine what happens next.

-jb

Health care reform is most vehemently opposed among people who think Bush was a pussy for not taking it to Iran and Syria.

Aug 17, 2009 in Barack Obama, Clueless Conservatives, Health Care

If only Obama had proposed a new war instead. The media could salivate over the prospects like they did before Iraq, when Wolf Blitzer excitedly unveiled our new weapons of war.

-jb

Reality vs. fantasy

Aug 16, 2009 in Health Care

People’s lives are absolutely at stake.

My father´s obesity related illnesses and time spent on disability have cost taxpayers an incredible amount of money. All of this could have been avoided if my father´s insurer 10 years ago would have been required to provide him the care he needed. But private insurers realize that the average patient only stays with them for 2-3 years, so they aren´t interested in reducing long-term healthcare costs because it´s the next company that sees the benefits. Hopefully, we can pass real healthcare reform that puts reducing healthcare costs above maximizing insurance company profits.

It’s important to remember that these real people matter more and deserve more than this horrendous “debate.” They deserve better than “death panels!” and “socialism is bad cuz i said so!” Or Reaganites telling us, “How could you possibly expect private markets to compete with a public option!?!?”

-jb

Barack Obama signaling weakness at the worst time.

Aug 16, 2009 in Barack Obama, Health Care

The good thing about Democratic politicians is their timing. They wait until the perfect moment, where the opposition is in the wrong and public opinion is leaving several wide open advantages, to give up.

Kathleen Sebelius hopefully made a misstatement when she said the public option isn’t essential.

Whatever the political calculations of the cowardly Democrats who are trembling BECAUSE THERE ARE DEATH PANELLS AND THEY WILL KILL YOUR GRANDMA, AND THEN YOUR BABY BECAUSE ITS A CONSERVATIVE “BIRTH DEFECT!!!”-

-I’m sorry. Whatever the political math, when it comes to actually solving the problem, public care as an option is essential. It is the only way we will get quality care to every American.

Who on earth truly believes that every American can be insured fully by private companies? Most people who are insured now have monstrous deductibles. They’re only protected from a smattering of catastrophic injuries. They aren’t healthy. They aren’t getting better. Their premium is still rising…

It’s going to take a lot more than nationwide competition (which will lead to a few giants who undercut everybody else) to get every American into a doctor’s office. That’s merely one step. You let the private market compete with the public just like with postal service, or like…our current healthcare system.

Obama is just now starting to get traction with his arguments. People are just now getting to have debates without being shouted down. People are starting to listen. They’re realizing the plan is already extremely compromised to preserve most private interests. That it will help small businesses. That it will help people move between jobs. And that private companies will have to expand their coverage in order to compete. The system will streamline.

Perhaps private insurers will one day again offer the best work for the best price. If that happens, then indeed, a public option would be used less. You’d get health care insurance with Geico that’s cheaper than the public plan.

The downside is?

Republicans calling us Nazis?

-jb

Cornered Republican.

Aug 16, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Health Care

[youtube tDNw4EFUy4Q]

Here in the comments thread at Iowa Liberal, we see this stuff all the time. Hell, this guy is exactly who Brian Pickrell wants to be when he grows up.

The thing is, it doesn’t matter if you get them dead to rights. The guy only screams because O’Donnell has him caught red-handed. But the GOP diehards just don’t stop. They keep blathering until time runs out, then they skedaddle so they can talk big to their friends. This guy whines about being interrupted when he gives long-winded spin instead of answering questions. He couldn’t challenge O’Donnell on the fact that we already employ socialized health care in America. He couldn’t say he’d vote against Social Security or Medicare. None of them can do so and expect to ever hold the mainstream. But it also means none of their fear-mongering about “teh socialization” is honest.

The truth is we’re talking about an incremental evolution of the government health care we already have for the sickest. The promise is for the rest of us: you will be able to rest assured that an ambulance trip won’t put you in debt for years. You’ll be able to see a doctor, instead of staying at home. You’ll have affordable meds. You’ll get that operation. You’ll be able to quit your job and start a business.

This is all about more coverage, not less.

This is another bill that no politician will dare speak out against twenty years from now. Private insurance companies will still round out health care packages and provide coverage for the premium care. The thought of going back to the system we have now, where we deliberately choose to cut off the poor and send people into bankruptcy, will sound like insanity.

-jb

Decency.

Aug 16, 2009 in Barack Obama, Clueless Conservatives, Health Care

Supposedly, Barack Hussein Obama had a grandma.

At a town hall meeting in Colorado yesterday, Obama recalled his grandmother’s death as he struck back at allegations that his proposals would create “death panels” to withdraw life-saving treatments from elderly patients.

“We can have an honest disagreement,” Obama said in Grand Junction, Colorado. “What you can’t do — or you can, but you shouldn’t do — is start saying things like, we want to set up death panels to pull the plug on grandma.”

Obama’s maternal grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, who helped raise him, died last November on the eve of her grandson’s election victory.

“I know what it’s like to watch somebody you love, who is aging, deteriorate and have to struggle with that,” Obama said. “We’ve got enough stuff to deal with without having these kinds of arguments.”

All the “Kill grandma!” talk is that classic blend of ignorant/crazy/dishonest, for which we really need a new word besides “Republican” to describe. There simply is nothing in the bill that can be construed that way. It is convenient paranoia at best, but for Senators to pass it off as a reasonable bone of contention with the health care bill is pure old-fashioned lying.

-jb

Flailing intellectual Republicans, vol. 908273

Aug 16, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

Ross Douthat tried being the sensible, polite, upright stick in the mud on Bill Maher last night. He’s just an honest, down-to-earth intellectual conservative.

About twenty five minutes in, he responds to Ashton Kutcher saying “You should get a tax break if you go to the gym,” with THAT IS WHAT THE DEATH PANEL PEOPLE FEAR.

This simply is not true. There is no comparison there. Whatsoever. A tax credit, a bonus for good healthy behavior, does not translate into, “Gotta kill Grandma cuz socialism is bad!”

I appreciate that you’re a nice fellow, Douthat. But intellectual honesty requires more thank a wink and a smile.

-jb

If your argument is too successful…

Aug 15, 2009 in Barack Obama, Clueless Conservatives, Health Care

…it shouldn’t be a reason to hold you to fault.

The rational assumption to make from this article is that President Obama is actually quite eager to deal with serious criticism of his health care plan. This should be seen as a strength for him, and the burden of proof should be on those who can make a coherent point at these town meetings without yelling about Hitler. Huffington Post declaring this a “problem” for Obama seems particularly sensationalistic. Hasn’t the liberal movement simply asked for more grounded, intelligent journalism? Yet this marks the second time recently that HuffPo has tried to craft some Democrat Drama where none exists.

Obama is putting the ball back in the public’s hands. The serious dialogue has begun. Will Republicans and conflicted Democrats please provide the counter-arguments?

-jb

Brian Pickrell, dethroned.

Aug 14, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

Iowa has some new village idiots.

Key argument over at the Coralville Courier: “You stupid liberals need to learn about reason and stop spewing your dishonest crap!”

Now if you said to yourself, “Whoa, hardcore rightwingers there…what are the chances they are irrational and dishonest in their arguments?” then you’d be on the right trail. Mike and I try pointing out, as is per usual with hardcore rightwingers, some basic elementary facts that completely annihilate their claims. We are essentially called poopyheads in return, and treated to repetition of the same thing over and over again, instead of coherent responses. Naturally, we are informed that WE aren’t listening.

This will get you somewhat far in Palin-land, but come on, guys. There are standards of reason. You can’t just make it up as you go along.

-jb

Palin, Limbaugh, Newt: Big proponents of DEATH PANELS

Aug 14, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Health Care

Or, rather, living wills, i.e. advance directives on end-of-life treatment.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Of course. People like these never actually believe what they’re talking about. They’re political hacks. “HAVE YOU READ THE BILL!?!?! No? Good, then we will make shit up continuously.”

-jb

And the polite Republicans try doing their part.

Aug 13, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Health Care

Kathleen Parker tries to ginny up a nightmare scenario that might lend the “death panel” crowd some legitimacy.

While there are undoubtedly some kernels of truth in criticisms of the massive and complex bill, speaking in a calm voice doesn’t guarantee plausibility:

But we can also imagine a scenario when, feeble and ill, we might be subtly urged to forgo further life-sustaining treatment out of consideration for others. Given that “actionable medical orders” can be formulated from advance care consultations, the danger is that life-sustaining care would be precluded based on a check-mark on a document you signed five years earlier.

Please. People are already subtly hinting that my death would make things easier on their pocketbook. Love you, Honey!

That nightmare scenario aside (which already takes place in our current system), Parker suggests a fateful day where you’ve created a living will in order to keep yourself from rotting as a vegetable in a nursing home with your brain turned to mush, you will be cognizant and loving life when they inform you, “Sorry, Mr. Johnson, but five years ago you said you didn’t want this liver transplant (after, of course, you were subtly urged to decline it). We cannot go forward with this procedure!”

This is, of course, fantasy. Remember what we’re talking about here: coverage of voluntary end of life counseling sessions, and the creation of living wills.

Living wills?

Yes, folks, that’s it. Living wills. Got one? If you’re married, you should have one (as soon as you can afford the lawyer).

Yes, Kathleen, “actionable medical orders” can be formulated from advance care consultations. This is called the practice of medicine. You describe how you want to be treated. As long as you have your senses, you can alter your living will. You will not be murdered by your past self, ala some freaky time-bending thriller (starring Nicolas Cage).

But Parker kinda admits overall that she’s got nothin’. Sarah Palin’s Terrordrome prophecies simply aren’t true. We are looking at nothing more than allowing all people into hospitals for regular, quality care. It’s true there won’t be money for everything, but that’s already the case. This is exactly how the system works. And no private insurer is lining up to cover the utterly unprofitable elderly. The government has already been taking care of the old in good fashion, and will continue to do so. We all know where our ailing elderly are: in nursing homes, the tax dollars flowing as they are looked after every day, consuming expensive medicines. Families will make decisions for them, but they will be given the opportunity to decide for themselves regardless of their condition.

This power, of you declaring that you do not want to be kept artificially alive, indefinitely, long after your mind has descended into dementia or catatonia…this is your fundamental right as a human being, the author of your own life.

It’s time for Democrats and every lefty to stop and drop the shame. You’ve won the argument. You’ve got the power. There is really nothing to be afraid of. Keep pushing forward. And if it gets pushed a little later, keep rolling with it. The forces against reform were never going to be an easy fight. They’ve hit us their hardest, and it was like a crazy wet noodle. It’s time for America to start looking after its own health, and by god some day it might mean a tax on your paycheck. I don’t know about some people, but that’s the easiest bill I’ve ever paid. It’s gone before I know it. Most jobs deduct a chunk from your paycheck for health care anyway. I don’t see why I can’t have that money converted into a tax, with the promise that I’ll get the kind of guaranteed treatment people in all other Western civilizations enjoy.

There is not much to fear, and many fears that would dissipate upon passage of this bill. Right now our “death panels” are those insurance companies who decided you’re not going to have a treatment covered because you didn’t tell them about your acne. The elderly are rejected outright. The poor are told “Get a good job!” Got heart disease? “Come back when you can afford the deductible.”

Such things are evil, just like Sarah Palin says. And that’s why the Democrats are trying to pass this bill. While rightwingers babble about imaginary dead babies and grandmas, we can point to real dead babies and grandmas who private insurers left behind. We own the moral high ground.

-jb

Supreme Eternal Queen of the Teabaggers.

Aug 13, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin:

You are horribly wrong again.

If facts don’t work on you, why should I care what would?

-jb

The Web’s Dirtiest Site (that is…if you don’t get out at all)

Aug 13, 2009 in Uncategorized

Douglas Rushkoff writes how nefarious 4chan.org is. For instance:

Back in the day—like, last year and before—the 4Chan’s “/b/rothers”, as they call themselves, got famous for their hacking, and also inventing and spreading some of the Net’s most loved and hated visual memes, including Lolcats (those pictures of cats engaging in human activities with clever captions) and Rickrolling (a user clicks on a link they hope is bringing them to some controversial footage, like Michelle Obama saying “whitey,” but actually goes to a music video for 1987 Rick Astley song “Never Gonna Give You Up”).

So now you know what Lolcats and Rickrolling are all about! Nutty, huh? Oh, and child porn is the new punk!

I’m sure 4chan enjoys Rushkoff using explicitly banned material as an example of their edginess. I understand he gets paid for such valuable insights.

-mg

PS… I’m done with classes this semester so I’ll be able to devote a little more time to my beloved hobbies; gardening, spending time with Mia, fishing, taking on home improvement projects, and destroying the moral fabric of Eastern Iowa by spreading insidious Communist propaganda. March on, comrades!

Slaves to their own base.

Aug 13, 2009 in Uncategorized

Some teabaggers.

And I’m sure these fine gentlemen have eschewed Medicare in favor of their own far superior private health insurance plans.

One thing is for certain: the Republicans have the aged and angry, white male voter demographic locked up which was great news twenty or thirty years ago. Not now. What was accepted as fact by David Broder and Co. just one year ago, that young people, blacks and Hispanics are apathetic and can’t be relied upon to show up at the polls, can no longer be held as conventional wisdom. And regardless of whatever dingy Rasmussen poll shows Obama doing poorly on a day to day, the Democratic party as a whole still fairs much better in segments of the population that show any type of growth than do the Republicans. What Republicans are increasingly left with is pandering to a base that is at this point so reactionary that they wont accept the slightest deviation from their tribal beliefs. Republican candidate John McCain being met with hostility for suggesting that candidate Obama was not a Muslim is a high profile example. Now that Republicans actually need those African American or Hispanic votes they can’t publicly appeal to them because the types of guys featured in the above picture would go ballistic. Literally and metaphorically.

-mg

So long ago…

Aug 13, 2009 in Uncategorized

Remember when Obama was responsible for the stock market?

-mg

63% of Americans approve of Obama’s first six months.

Aug 12, 2009 in Barack Obama, Politics

Gallup says.

Should deflate some of the premature triumphalism that Republicans engaged in over Obama’s numbers daring to hit as low as 50.

I will suggest that Obama’s numbers veer from 50-60% approval for the remainder of his term in office, with some statistical deviations. Republicans hoping for Bush-level polling for Obama would be wise to not bet money on it, no matter how many times they try repeating Jimmy Carter’s name.

-jb

Still not about race!

Aug 12, 2009 in Uncategorized

Chris Matthews touches greatness.

Aug 12, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Media, Politics, Sophistry

[youtube Jz5ho75qnX4]

Definitely a highlight reel moment for him. Matthews’ bullshit detector has been getting better over the years. Then again, the GOP base is drunk on its own fumes, so outrageously detached from reality that people are forced out of their “six of one, half dozen of the other!” comfort zones.

I say this now: The health care reform movement needs to simply not give up in order to win. If “Death panels” hasn’t convinced you that Republicans are clean out of arguments, then nothing will. The rage is the impotence of Grandpa not being able to figure out the DVD player. The world asked their opinion, and then moved on.

But then one day we will have health care reform, and we’ll be able to quantify the improvements in health. And Republicans will be lining up for their health care benefits right next to Democrats. This noisome racket will be long forgotten.

-jb

Your liberal media.

Aug 12, 2009 in Uncategorized

Via TPM:

Yesterday, Tea Party Patriots national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin sent an email, obtained by TPMmuckraker, to a Tea Party google group. Martin told the group: “We have a media request for an event this week that will have lots of energy and lots of anger. This is for CNBC.”

She then asked: “So, where are the big events this week and where can TPP best be represented on the news?”

Later that day, a Tea Bagger named Pat Wayman responded with a suggestion, also obtained by TPMmuckraker: “This one should be a riot! literally….” he wrote.

-mg

WOLVERINES!!!!

Aug 12, 2009 in Uncategorized

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Militia groups on the rise: Here we go again.

Aug 12, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Straight-up madness

They formed in opposition to Bill Clinton, a Southern bubba who oversaw a period of relative peace and prosperity. No degree of recovery will ever stop these people from going absolutely bonkers while Barack HUSSEINZOMGTEHTERRORISTNAZI Obama is in office.

Militia groups with gripes against the government are regrouping across the country and could grow rapidly, according to an organization that tracks such trends.

The stress of a poor economy and a liberal administration led by a black president are among the causes for the recent rise, the report from the Southern Poverty Law Center says. Conspiracy theories about a secret Mexican plan to reclaim the Southwest are also growing amid the public debate about illegal immigration.

Bart McEntire, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told SPLC researchers that this is the most growth he’s seen in more than a decade.

“All it’s lacking is a spark,” McEntire said in the report.

It’s reminiscent of what was seen in the 1990s – right-wing militias, people ideologically against paying taxes and so-called “sovereign citizens” are popping up in large numbers, according to the report to be released Wednesday. The SPLC is a nonprofit civil rights group that, among other activities, investigates hate groups.

Last October, someone from the Ohio Militia posted a recruiting video on YouTube, billed as a “wake-up call” for America. It’s been viewed more than 60,000 times.

“Things are bad, things are real bad, and it’s going to be a lot worse,” said the man on the video, who did not give his name. “Our country is in peril.”

The man is holding an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, and he encourages viewers to buy one.

Yep, things are bad, and it’s going to be a lot worse…because of you Ohio militia assholes and others of your kind. The worst thing is that they were quiet during the worst of the Bush administration’s shredding of the Constitution, but now they’re up and pissed at the prospect of the government insuring the poor. There is nothing going on in their brains more complex than simple partisanship. As long as their guy is in office, they’re fine with whatever he wants. But if the country elects somebody else and rejects their world view, they’ll start arming up and fomenting violence in the name of “democracy.”

These are just pissed Republicans, nothing more. All the same, start crossing your fingers. This strain of American madness runs long and deep:

“The America which Europe fears is the America of the Reaganites. The America once of the Scopes trial; the America of prohibition; the America of ignorant isolationism. The America then of ‘‘better dead than red’’; the America of McCarthyism; the America of the last fundamentalists of the 1950s. The America now of the new evangelicals; the America of the Moral Majority; the America of a now ignorant interventionism; the America which can see homosexuals as a conspiracy; feminists as a conspiracy; perhaps even women as a conspiracy.

The America of fear. For it is in fear that the ungoverned and the unfree are doomed to live. And there was this America in control at Detroit. It is time that we reminded ourselves, and said aloud and more often, that it is from these people that nastiness comes. It is time that we pointed out to the neo-conservatives that democracy has never been subverted from the left but always from the right.

No democracy has fallen to communism, without an army; many democracies have fallen to fascism, from within.

A reader of Andrew Sullivan’s contributes to the theme, going back further in our history:

They have always been with us, the people who believed in manifest destiny, who delighted in the slaughter of this land’s original inhabitants, who cheered a nation into a civil war to support an economic system of slavery that didn’t even benefit them. They are the people who bashed the unions and cheered on the anti-sedition laws, who joined the Pinkertons and the No Nothing Party, who beat up Catholic immigrants and occasionally torched the black part of town. They rode through the Southern pine forests at night, they banned non-European immigration, they burned John Rockefeller Jr. in effigy for proposing the Grand Tetons National Park.

These are the folks who drove Teddy Roosevelt out of the Republican Party and called his cousin Franklin a communist, shut their town’s borders to the Okies and played the protectionist card right up til Pearl Harbor, when they suddenly had a new foreign enemy to hate. They are with us, the John Birchers, the anti-flouride and black helicopter nuts, the squirrly commie-hating hysterics who always loved the loyalty oath, the forced confession, the auto-de-fe. Those who await with baited breath the race war, the nuclear holocaust, the cultural jihad, the second coming, they make up much more of America then you would care to think.

So much fantasy and flotsam…it is our cancerous tribalism at work.

My question is, why is it so hard for this tribalism to manifest as a directive to see all members of our country receive proper health care?

-jb

The angry right.

Aug 11, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Health Care

Make sure you watch through to the retrospective on how rightwingers talked about lefty war protesters:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Healther Skelter
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Spinal Tap Performance

The invocation of the First Amendment is, of course, pure chicanery. Nobody is trying to infringe upon or impugn the right of free speech that every citizen enjoys.

Well, except for those people who show up at town meetings and shout down what other people are saying.

The stupidity of their bovine cries of irrational, Limbaugh/Hannity-stoked fear is a secondary point. It’s the reason they have to shout and drown out the opposition, because their views dissipate at the slightest application of scrutiny, like cobwebs versus a flamethrower. It’s reason enough for us to laugh at them, and deride their shitty arguments. But health care proponents are the ones being drowned out. Fox News is merely serving back-up, venting further insane whining about “free speech.”

When you argue with the crazy, they just keep throwing more crazy at you until somebody has to leave or get arrested.

-jb

Sarah Palin: Stupidest politician ever?

Aug 10, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Health Care

That’s a mighty bold claim.

…Palin is sort of right on one point — there are people who weigh whether children like Trig are worthy of insurance. They’re called insurance companies, and they have decided that these children are not in fact worthy of coverage. That’s because Down Syndrome is a “pre-existing condition.”

She’s a contendah!

UPDATE: Competition is fierce (Although this isn’t from a politician, it is very stupid…)! The health care debate has propelled Republican insanity beyond instrument detection. On the rumor that Stephen Hawking would be targeted for euthenasia by the NHS-

…alas, it seems as though the writer is unaware that Professor Hawking is, um, British. Now it’s possible that Hawking has private medical insurance, but as recently as April this year he was admitted to Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge. Which is, I believe, an NHS hospital. And last time I checked, Hawking hasn’t been bumped off by some heartless NHS bureaucrat. At least, not yet.

You see, in other countries there are people who tell you there’s not enough money for a particular operation, or for a speedy one. They just leave you to die if your treatment can’t be afforded. And they incur unbearable costs on people and small businesses.

You might know one of these countries: the U.S. Here we just euthenize the poor though.

-jb

Classic rightwing.

Aug 10, 2009 in Uncategorized

“‘Keep the guvmint (sic) out of my medicare,'” our friendly narrator observes. “Not so sure about that one.”

-mg

Ice-T does Mac tech support.

Aug 09, 2009 in Uncategorized

-mg

You can’t tell the players without a scorecard!

Aug 09, 2009 in Uncategorized

It’s time once again for “Wingnut Playbook.” When tens of thousands (that’s the conservative estimate) show up to protest a war of aggression, those people are dangerous wackos. But when pharmaceutical companies send hired representatives to act like Springer show guests at town hall meetings, that’s dissent, not transparently scared-of-the-actual-voice-of-the-people cynicism.

Poor sad wingnuts trying to pretend they understand what protest is. It’s like Pat Boone doing Ozzy. Technically, yeah, that’s “Crazy Train,” but it’s not what people liked about “Crazy Train.” Let everybody know when you’re capable to protesting something using any technique other than “shout real loud.” I’ll be over here with a century’s worth of effective leftist protest experience, laughing at how stupid you’re making yourselves look & rubbing my hands together at what the mid-term elections will tell you about your tactics.
-TT

I know what I don’t like!

Aug 08, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Health Care

The rightwinger crusade against healthcare reform doesn’t get much deeper. We are mostly dealing with people who can’t seem to understand that they lost an election (two, counting 2006) and that their model of perfect leadership, George W. Bush, soured America on the GOP for some time to come.

Oh, I know, on January 20th we were suddenly welcomed by a new Republican party of fiscal conservatives, people who were suddenly very, very, very at odds with Dick “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter” Cheney. Now, even when continuing Bush spending policies, Obama is the avatar of Death, the harbinger of inescapable debt (while Republicans steadfastly oppose any means of paying via taxes).

Now the face the GOP has chosen to present us with this vision is that of goons waving signs of Obama as Hitler, screaming the Pledge of Allegiance, blubbering with fear that gubmint death squads will come for grandma and retarded babies. Because of that, Obama is likely to succeed, as most Americans experience more than two minutes of lucidity a day, thus placing them leagues ahead of these gibbering idiots and the depraved ringmasters goading them.

However, the “intelligentsia” of the Republican Party is trying to provide some structure that the mouth-breathers can adhere to. Unfortunately, Peggy Noonan tries, and the result is that it doesn’t matter: when you start from intellectual incoherence, you cannot reach a suitable end. Andrew Sullivan deconstructs her:

Where is there an entitlement? There is an effort to subsidize private insurance for the working poor who now increase healthcare costs with emergency room care. The cost of all this is around $1 trillion over ten years and the struggle is finding ways to pay for it. The reason for the price-tag and its future is that healthcare costs keep sky-rocketing – something that is killing US companies as well who have to compete with international rivals who have to pay for no healthcare for their employees. Noonan makes no reference to this, as if the most pressing issue of future fiscal sanity is something we should put off … because of fiscal conservatism. Excuse me? Now recall the Republicans’ last major initiative on healthcare – the prescription drug benefit. That cost $32 trillion over the long run, and there was not even a gesture toward actually financing it. Much of the right was silent – as they were over all the other fiscally reckless policies of the past eight years.

But only now is Peggy “terrified”.

She is not terrified by massively escalating healthcare costs, which are bankrupting the government and the private sector. She doesn’t mention these once in her know-nothing column. She just channels the “feelings” of others and wants that to guide public policy. She does not mention the crises on many people’s lives because of our current healthcare system. In fact, there is not a scintilla of a constructive proposal in the column – just an amorphous sense that anything that costs money shouldn’t happen now…

And so it goes. People are terrified that the government will tell them an operation can’t be paid for, and terrified that the government might increase taxes to pay for that operation. But if they go bankrupt paying for one operation, and then a bean-counter at Kaiser Permanente tells them they can’t have the second and they die anyway, that’s the glory of the private market, which is just perfectly fine and dandy.

And if their small business goes out of business or just stops providing health care for its employees, and a Republican voter is left with nothing but the emergency room (and the crushing bills they send to your home) for health care, this is the wisdom of the invisible hand.

The more I watch this “debate,” the more I see this pattern hold. Obama is essentially proposing a centrist, relatively modest plan that makes (far too many) concessions to Republicans out of the gates, and they simply have no idea what to do except oppose it. The intellectuals are incoherent to begin with, and the (tiny) masses can only offer a very weird rage that has almost nothing to do with the actual bill (I’m thinking that “Have you read the bill?!!?!?” slogan is already starting to fail as people realize the protesters haven’t read the bill).

We have one party committed to approaching our health care seriously, but why does our country as a whole have such trouble being serious?

-jb

Rick Scott: Tea-bagger Commissar and unrepentant criminal

Aug 06, 2009 in Uncategorized

Watch and listen. He doesn’t even bother denying that he defrauded the government out of billions:

-mg

Republicans fear “Cash for Clunkers.”

Aug 06, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

Well, when it comes from Democrats and it’s actually sensible. A Sullivan reader reminds us:

Here is the Cash for Clunkers program that was in place during the Bush Administration. The bonus depreciation provisions put in place after 9/11 provided a 50% immediate tax deduction for the purchase of Large SUV’s. So when my boss purchased a $100,000 Range Rover he wrote off $50,000 on his taxes. Assuming a 35% federal tax bracket – this resulted in an immediate tax refund of $17,500 on the purchase of the Range Rover (even though the down payment may have been $10,000). $17,500 cash for the purchase of a 12 mpg Range Rover.

Now that’s “Cash for Clunkers” we can believe in.

Something to remember should Republicans turn up the volume on their protests. As it is, they’re trying to stay out of the way of blowback for opposing this hugely popular program. Even my Republican neighbor is trying to turn in his Ford Explorer so he can get a hybrid Escape.

And we should remember this story anyway, to remind us what clusterfucks the Republicans were in office, and that we should be presented with especially compelling evidence before we bother listening to anything they say until they purge their party of the current crop of goons.

-jb

Don’t Look Down

Aug 06, 2009 in Uncategorized

Oh no! Obama’s popularity rating is down to 50% If this keeps up for another twenty-seven downward-moving percentage points, he might beat Bush’s record! Of course, it’s important to remember that when a Republican is in office, polls are meaningless constructions of the liberal media, and besides, it would be wrong to govern by poll. The only time when polls are to be considered valid and meaningful is when they reflect poorly on the opposition. In those circumstances, a poll is to be considered an accurate barometer of the public sentiment, which sentiment should be treated with respect and reverence, unless & until it reflects badly on Republicans, at which point we are to again reverse our opinions about polling & the public generally. Everybody clear? Good!
-TT

Stay classy, tea-baggers.

Aug 05, 2009 in Uncategorized

Some tea-baggers mock Chris Dodd’s cancer:

“take painkillers and wash it down with Ted Kennedy’s whiskey”

ZZZZZING!

-mg