Archive for March, 2010

How to shut down anybody acting like the mandate is the end of freedom.

Mar 30, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives

I propose a simple opt-out: A person may decline to be enrolled in a health insurance program if they choose to pay for their health care expenses out of pocket for the rest of their lives. That person is thus granted the freedom to escape government coercion, and the insurance industry is granted the freedom from fraudulent customers bowing out of paying for insurance if they feel healthy enough.

You can see the proposal shut down the opposition here. I’ve yet to hear a rebuttal, and that was the second thread killed by the opt-out suggestion. Any readers care to attempt one here? My blades grow rusty!

-hw

Ambush fail.

Mar 30, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives, Journamalism

Jason Mattera will surely be championed as a conservative hero for this:

Mattera does upset Franken. Franken tries repeatedly to get Mattera to stop talking and listen like an honest human being, but Mattera just keeps yammering away with his talking point.

Fortunately, Franken was right and Mattera was wrong. The bill does not allocate $7 billion for jungle gyms. Not that anything is wrong with jungle gyms, as they are excellent for child health and development. But it’s merely one item in a non-exclusive list about what schools can do to improve children’s health, including providing healthier menus, activity programs, etc. You can see the appropriate section of the bill here.

Media Matters details a more specific deconstruction of Mattera’s insinuations in this ambush video and another one featuring Mattera doing much the same thing to Alan Grayson (Grayson quickly IDs Mattera: “Oh God, are you a kook?” and says have a nice day)

Mattera finds some crazy rightwing talking point, and then comes after a public figure with a video camera and keeps repeating it over and over again without really responding to anything said to him in return. Check out this video, which Mattera promotes, of him being completely manhandled and judo-flipped by a supernaturally calm Robert Gibbs:

Personally, I would have gotten pissed much earlier. At least Old Me would have. Been working on New Me, who is much more into the Gibbs approach. Occasionally I lapse into Franken…

All of me, however must laugh at what happens when Mattera gets pinned down and asked a hard question:

Heh…that’s what a winger calls torture.

-hw

The New Catholic Reformation

Mar 26, 2010 in Politics

Well, can’t say for sure it’s happening, but it seems to me that if the Catholic Church wants to survive, it should lose some weight at the top.

My wife’s family belongs to a local Catholic Church, and those guys will be doing just fine without Ratzinger and the cabal of frocked freaks who issue arcane dictums from on high while still running cover for the largest organized sex crime ring in world history. Catholicism should be bigger than some jackasses in glamour robes. And it could easily turn into a huge crusader against pedophilia. But the friggin’ pope is as guilty as the rest. Time for the priests to realize they are only men and that “Benedict XVI” was a fluke, a mistake. Caused by Satan, or something. Say ten Hail Marys and pretend he never existed!

-hw

Sums them up nicely.

Mar 26, 2010 in Politics

21st century libertarianism:

But Vanderboegh really is a classic exemplar of scream-at-your-TV tea-partyish extremism. A radical libertarian, champion of getting big government off the people’s backs, his day job? Vanderboegh lives on government disability checks down outside of Birmingham, Alabama.

-mg

The Bitch Speaks again…

Mar 26, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives, Islam, Politics, Racism, Where's the outrage?!?!, whores

Ann Coulter on O’Reilly factor

“If all Muslims would boycott airlines we could dispense with airline security altogether”.

I write this post (raised in a muslim household….i don’t prescribe to any particular religion)…. hours before I board a flight to Pakistan.  Yes, I know Ann Coulter’s wet-dream.

Who still listens to this ignoramus?

Yes it takes a dog-bitch-mother-of-the-antichrist like Ann Coulter to get me off my ass and come out of the woodworks again, after a long hiatus….

Using here logic, I would like to retort:

If all White Americans would stop sending their children to school we could dispense with metal detectors and security in schools.  (All the shootings from Columbine onwards were by white kids)…

Here’s the video of Ann Coulter on O’Reilly factor.

-aa

Criticize the Republican “No” non-strategy, lose your health care!

Mar 26, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives, Health Care, Politics

For David Frum, anyway. After being canned by AEI for sounding like a sane Republican…

…the American Enterprise Institute has put Frum’s family into precisely the health care hell that Obamacare seeks to remedy. What many people don’t realize about the think tank world is that the policy types who serve as modestly paid fellows do so in large part for the health coverage. In our antiquated employer-based system, middle-aged wonks simply have to be attached to a group to be insurable. If you and your spouse have reached your 40s and have had even modest health bumps along the way, you’ll never be able to get coverage in the pre-Obamacare individual market (as my wife and I discovered and documented in this New York Times Magazine piece a few years ago).

It’s probably hard to overestimate how much this system leads to groupthink. Now for the sweet irony:

Luckily for the Frums, big government is here to save them…One existing government program, COBRA, assures that the Frums can stay on AEI’s health plan for 18 months, though they’ll have to foot the bill now for the full family premium (without AEI picking up the typical employer’s 70 percent of the tab). But the better news is that once Obamacare’s new insurance exchanges are up and running in 2014, the Frums – and the other 300 million of us – will never have to worry about being shut out of insurance coverage because AEI doesn’t like what we say. Of course, if the Frums move to Massachusetts, they can get coverage from Mitt Romney’s health-care exchange right away – thanks to the pioneering 2005 reform that Romney, consumed by presidential ambition, keeps trying, inexplicably, to disavow.

Talk about a two-fer. In one stroke, David Frum has become not only the poster boy for the Republican party’s incoherent tantrums, but for the need for Obamacare itself! It doesn’t get more delicious than this.

I have consumed so much delicious news this week I’m going to defecate a pundit. That’s how they’re made, you know…

-hw

It’s almost like they’re utilizing the private market!

Mar 25, 2010 in Politics

Insurers are ready and set to get started on getting everybody enrolled, developing some innovative approaches to direct people who wouldn’t ordinarily have coverage towards the right resources.

It wasn’t their ideal, but they’re still determined to get those 30 million extra customers because they know it’s the route towards a better bottom line, now that we’ve ended the cruel era of pre-existing conditions and dropped coverage for those who dare fall ill.

It’s almost like this was a Republican-style plan to provide coverage for everybody…

-hw

p.s Quote of the day:

“Some of my libertarian friends balk at what looks like an individual mandate. But remember, someone has to pay for the health care that must, by law, be provided: Either the individual pays or the taxpayers pay. A free ride on government is not libertarian,” – Mitt Romney, April 11, 2006.

“Nothing succeeds like success.”

Mar 23, 2010 in Chomsky, Health Care

The public is positive. Any Democrat can turn our health care victory into a winning issue. Those who were afraid were always wrong.

While the press has tried a few, “Bad News for Democrats?” articles after this historic success, it’s not sticking well. For those of you unfamiliar with this inside joke, it’s conventional wisdom among the press that when Republicans win, it’s bad news for Democrats, and when Democrats win, it’s bad news for Democrats.

Well, this isn’t good news for Democrats…it’s fantastic news for Democrats. For those who doubted Democrats could ever live up to their promises in office, this is proof (although the public option shall not be forgotten, this bill made it more likely that we will have a public option one day, whereas failure would have sealed our fate for a generation). For those who felt that Democrats could never display any spine or organization, this bill could have passed no other way. For those who have ever uttered the familiar trope, “The Republicans and Democrats are just two wings of the same party!” the line in the sand is clearly drawn.

Moreso, the public can look at the behavior of Democrats and Republicans now and learn some instructive lessons. Shrill Republicans screeching at the top of their lungs about “totalitarian” tactics sound like sore loser idiots. Tea partiers yelling “Nigger” and “Faggot” at Congressmen reveal the level of pathological contempt boiling within. Those signing the Club for Growth petition to repeal the bill look like a cavalry of Don Quixotes preparing to joust a mountain. On the other hand, Democrats showed the country every last effort to compromise, to move towards the center, to negotiate, to debate, to put things out in the open for the public to see. Democrats fought bitterly for the public option but let it go in order to move forward. That is America. We strive, and fight, and we dream the grandest dreams. We dream of mansions, but if we find ourselves in a two bedroom house, we call it our home. And we get to work making it better so that it will be worth something to our children.

The Democratic Party has seen over forty years pass without a noteworthy display of strength against constant Republican warfare, beyond Clinton’s showdown against Newt Gingrich which earned a brief period of fiscal responsibility before the Republicans took power and squandered our wealth. With the ascent of Barack Obama, we have seen strength, cunning, flexibility and tenacity at work. I still look back and wonder why he couldn’t have been stronger at certain points, why he couldn’t have engaged in the full court press on the public option, if he mightn’t have helped Democrats along at one point or another. But then there is the trick of it all that I cannot deny. Today he signed a big fat piece of paper titled, “I Knew What I Was Doing All Along.” I may wish to cherish a bit longer the idea that it could have been handled a bit better, but the plain fact is that Obama had fooled me more than once, and I am humbled. He did what neither Roosevelt, nor Truman, nor Kennedy, nor Johnson, nor Carter, nor Clinton could do. Some of us may entertain the notion that a President Kucinich might have gotten us single payer health care, but it is a lazy fantasy shed of all responsibility or reality. And I say this as a person who fundamentally agrees with everything Noam Chomsky says here. Yes, I know the water is dirty, but I have come a long way through the desert, and now that I am stronger, I may set out once again.

-hw

One more time:

Mar 23, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives, Health Care

What everybody knows but the press can’t bear to say:

Obama is signing what was, until recently, a moderate Republican health care plan by every substantive comparison or definition. The unanimity of Republican opposition says more about Republicans than it does about the plan itself.

Republicans, determined to oppose the bill, have painted themselves into the corner of declaring that the government simply shouldn’t be “responsible” for helping everybody get health care. Their theory is that the threat of illness, injury or death works as an effective whip to keep the slovenly masses toiling away for minimum wage in the hope of becoming rich (reality check: 13 million middle class earners were uninsured in 2008, but don’t tell rightwingers…because they won’t listen anyway).

David Frum, on the other hand, is single-handedly trying to rescue the Republicans from their own shitstorm of stupidity, insisting the path forward for Republicans is to work to improve the bill through Republican-style ideas. Given that the bill is already an old school Republican bill, applying old school Republican ideas to it shouldn’t necessarily be that unpalatable to either party. He lists four ideas here. They’re debateable, which is more than could be said for the modern GOP’s STARTOVERWEPROMISETOWORKOUTADEALTHISTIMEYOUSOCIALISTFUCKINGCOMMIES!!! suggestion.

The bill is signed.

Mar 23, 2010 in Politics

And ironically, it’s going to help a lot of Red Staters the most.

The leads are weak? You’re weak!

Mar 22, 2010 in Politics

I’m here from downtown. I’m here from Mitch and Murray. And I’m here on a mission of mercy.

Apparently, the Chamber of Commerce smells a loser.  And as Blake says, a loser is a loser.

Wall Street reacts positively to the “end of America as we know it”.

Mar 22, 2010 in Politics

If business is terrified of the looming threat of socialism then the market certainly isn’t reflecting those fears.

“No” strategy no strategy.

Mar 21, 2010 in Politics

How’d that obstructionism work out for you, Republicans? Frum:

Those of us who said there was a deal to be done, that there are a lot of parts of this bill that look familiar, that look like Mitt Romney’s plan, that look like plans Republicans proposed in 1993 and 1994, they look like things that were drafted at the Heritage foundation in 1990 and 1991, we can work with this, there are things we don’t like, [but] President Obama will pay a lot maybe for 20 or 30 Republican votes, let’s deal — that was shut down, we went the radical way, looking for Waterloo, and it looks like we arrived at Waterloo.

It was a centrist bill that started out compromised and got even more so. Liberals really gave up some big dreams in order to get this far. Republicans wouldn’t even look past their illusions.

All along, President Obama has shown an uncanny ability to jiu-jitsu the hell out of Republicans. He just keeps doing the rope-a-dope and they keep getting crazier in response. At some point, they’re going to have to admit that the man didn’t get elected by the public to deliver eight more years of Bush policies. As for November, I say we take it to Republicans and clean their clocks. They’re simply not a responsible party, and there’s no obligation for the public to keep electing yahoos given marching orders by people like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sarah Palin. They’re gonna have to step up their game.

-hw

Well, that explains it…

Mar 21, 2010 in Health Care

It’s really Democrats’ fault that tea partiers were shouting “nigger” and “faggot”.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) came to the defense of the racists and bigots who shouted slurs at members of Congress Saturday. The Tea Party protesters shouted the ‘n’ word at African American members of Congress the ‘f’ word at an openly gay member.

Rather than condemn the anachronistic behavior, Nunes blamed the Democrats, saying that they make people do and say crazy things with their tyrannical behavior.

“When you use a totalitarian tactics, people, you know, begin to act crazy,” Nunes told C-SPAN’s Steve Scully Sunday morning when asked about the slurs. “I think that people have every right to say what they want. If they want to smear someone they can do it. It’s not appropriate–I think I would stop short of characterizing the 20,000 people protesting, that all of them were doing that.”

Yeah, totalitarian tactics like running on health care reform, getting elected, and then voting on it in Congress with a majority required to pass.

How is it Republicans lost this debate? It’s so weird because their arguments are so rational and sensible…

-hw

The first of the “How Obama did it” articles.

Mar 20, 2010 in Politics

Niiiiiice.

I dunno, I’ve not said much about this as the momentum has shifted from probable failure to inevitable success. Fear of the jinx, no doubt. Cautious assessment, to be sure. After this bipolar year, the road has swerved so many times that I can do little but brace myself.

The year has been a clinic on what’s wrong with Washington. The Democrats were divided, cowardly, and compromised by insurance campaign dollars. The Republicans were obstinate, ignorant, deceitful, disingenuous and- worst of all- steadfastly united in their despicability. The Senate tried to neuter the best parts of reform, and in the case of the public option, succeeded. The House, filibuster-free, still couldn’t capitalize on a huge majority over a fictional objection that abortions would be federally funded.

It was a clinic on what’s wrong with our press. Republicans freely spun whatever tales they wished, and the press rarely bothered to contradict them. Death panels, health care for illegals, and OHMYGOD DEEM AND PASS IS TEH END OF THE COUNTRY!!! all generated free ink over more fiction. We kept hearing how Obama was supposed to have waited on health care, that he made a terrible miscalculation in trying this at the same time the economy was tanking, that Republicans are going to clean up in November because of it all, etc. We didn’t hear much about the broken system we have and how costs were spiraling out of control, how the economy was robbing more Americans of health care every day, and how the HCR bill implements new reforms that will potentially grow to rescue us from long term bankruptcy.

It was a clinic on what’s wrong with our public. Saddled with a system everybody knows is broken, people still trembled that HCR might add a percent to their premium while private insurers were adding several percent a year. Saddled by an economy broken by Republican policies, voters turned into all-purpose anti-incumbents and gleefully voted in smiling idiot Republicans who had zero ideas and absolutely no apologies for the way things were run before. After eight years of credit card spending by George W., voters suddenly took on Tea Party dementia over the deficit and worried about the HCR bill when it earned better marks from the CBO than anything Republicans had ever mustered. After a Herculean effort to make sure the bill didn’t just pay for itself but actually reduced the deficit, voter trust of Republicans on the deficit rose steadily.

But in the end, the merits of health care reform kept defeating the noise. People knew the system had to change. The press couldn’t make anything out of consistently great CBO projections that kept getting better ($1.3 trillion over twenty years? So much for that “What about the second decade?” talking point from Republicans). Republicans kept trying new tacks and failing to do anything more than capitalize on general anxieties rather than specific objections (hint, guys: screaming about Communism when we already have a heavily socialized system didn’t really merit traction). And outraged Democratic grassroots groups kept sticking their representatives in the ass, going apeshit enough over the loss of the public option that other numerous victories in the bill seemed uncontroversial and safe.

President Obama hasn’t always made the year easier either. His long game is simply infuriating at times, and seems to involve deliberate disappointments strategically timed to soften up his opponents for sudden thrusts forward. How many times did we think Obama was all pussied out, before he came back swinging…before he pussied out again, ad infinitum? I’ve felt completely deflated over and over again, only to have President Obama redefine how the game is played.

Just think how Republicans are going to feel if he pulls this off tomorrow. My suspicion is that they’re utterly gassed. Have you really heard much from them lately? Oh, they’re trying to sound ominous and threatening, letting us know Democrats are making a terrible mistake, that they’re really going to stop us this time, etc. But it all sounds a bit resigned. The prospect of trying to run against this bill in November suddenly doesn’t sound so easy anymore. Nor will it become easier.

But enough. Tomorrow beckons…

-hw

Mainstream media: Neverending fail.

Mar 19, 2010 in Politics

A Sullivan reader notes:

Compare the MSM’s coverage of the allegations against Bill Clinton for his misbehavior with their coverage of the allegations against the Pope for his misbehavior. The Beltway pundits have wrung their hands about Obama’s choice of Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff more than they ever did about McCain’s choice of Palin as Vice Presidential nominee. The modern GOP is more outraged about Democratic parliamentary tactics than about the fact that many Americans will die this year due to lack of health care — and the MSM just follows right along.

They’re giving you the news you want. That’s what they keep telling us anyway. News about the Pope being neck deep in pedophlia cover-ups is such a downer, and there’s no way to turn it into Bad News For Democrats.

BTW, the health care vote is on Sunday. I’m pinching myself to believe it’s real, but nevertheless, it too shall be Bad News For Democrats.

-hw

Liz Cheney on some bizarre quest to out-evil her father.

Mar 17, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives

Liz Cheney’s group: Obama administration doesn’t know he’s fighting a war!

Just reported: Al-Queda crippled by relentless attacks.

Being stupid and dishonest is some kind of badge of honor among rightwingers nowadays, so calling Liz Cheney and her stooges stupid and dishonest, while accurate, isn’t really going to accomplish much. What just strikes me as peculiar is how uninspired they sound. They really can’t handle the fact that Obama’s fighting a smarter war against Al Queda than idiot George W. and evil incompetent Dick Cheney. So they have to pretend we’re going to broadcast our deepest secrets to Al Queda in some civilian court, AND THEN THEY WILL KILL US ALL!!!

What this is about is a gang of preening ivory tower fools and a nepotistic charmless no-talent, all of whom gather their ideas about fighting terrorism from watching 24. A gang left out in the cold, trying to run in place to keep from freezing.

Obama could kill Osama bin Laden tomorrow and they wouldn’t change their tune. I’m sorry, but who among you out there can tolerate such hacks?

-hw

Okay, I promise to post something soon.

Mar 17, 2010 in Politics

Just got my iPhone yesterday, from which I’m typing this. Who can pay attention to anything else? It’s not like we’re coming up on a vote for health care anytime soon.

Doh!

-hw

Hand in hand.

Mar 14, 2010 in Disappointing Dems, Health Care

It really isn’t that surprising that Bart Stupak being disingenuous about HCR funding abortions is shortly followed by news of Bart Stupak getting himself in ethical hot water, being another tenant in the Biblically subsidized C-street pad where mostly Christianist types of politicians have shacked up. Who pays the rent? Stupak won’t say. Rachel Maddow drives the nail in on the substance of the issue and the scandal of the man:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

It’s already settled that the Senate bill and the reconciliation package will not fund abortions. However, as usual with critiques that are ideologically rightwing, as Stupak’s is, par is that facts simply don’t matter. The right was happy to try pretending we’d be giving illegals health care too, even though the bill has explicitly stated the opposite. Even if Stupak tends to vote Democratic, on abortion he’s just over the edge of reason, so there’s little surprise he’s found some comradeship among the evangelical crowd. “If the facts are at variance with your claims, believe them harder,” is their credo, and one can only waste so much time talking to them. Your open hand won’t be returned.

Stupak’s ethical problems? More bonus, and symptomatic. Let’s move on…

-hw

There are not infinite yous.

Mar 14, 2010 in Science

Often it has been said of multiple universes marching toward infinity that by definition everything that is happening in this universe had happened before in another universe. Also, almost everything that has happened in this universe has happened in another, except in that alternate universe you had coffee instead of orange juice. And in another alternate universe, you slipped and drowned in the bathtub. Don’t think so? It’s infinity! Mathematically, all these juggling balls will come up in a similar configuration an infinite number of times!

I read this way too often in scientific literature, but somebody finally broke the loop for me:

The problem is, it’s provably mathematically false. In mathematics all sorts of things go to infinity without ever repeating.

Well, that kind of settles it. Follow the link to see some more deconstructions of the too-cute notion. On your twin popping up somewhere:

To argue that variety is insufficient to allow for “reincarnation” at one generation, but sufficient to allow for it in a 187th cousin 500 years ago is to misunderstand genetics as simple statistics (and to misunderstand statistics, for that matter).

Nevertheless, even were there a digital copy of yourself persevering after your death, you would remain dead, while another entity continued the task of being you (more of a task for some people than others, mind you). You never live again, but it really never was you, and so you end up with the only authentic experience.

-hw

The Cove and Joe Morgenstern.

Mar 14, 2010 in Politics

I think it’s a pretty good principle that if you’re going to accuse somebody of not getting their facts straight, you should probably have your facts straight. The WSJ’s Joe Morgenstern mucks it up trying to slag The Cove. While the documentary is one of the finest I’ve seen and entirely worthy of its Oscar, Morgenstern’s review earned it a rare Rotten Tomato because, according to him, it lacked sufficient factual basis. This is his sole citation of this supposed problem:

To an extent that “The Cove” never makes clear, the Taiji kill is a byproduct of efforts to catch dolphins that may be sold to such parks for as much as $150,000 per animal.

Actually, having just watched the film, it was abundantly clear that dolphin trainers were partially responsible for funding the dolphin slaughterers. It’s explicitly stated and the finger is pointed firmly. However, describing the 23,000 dolphins slaughtered every year by the Japanese as a “byproduct” of capturing dolphins for amusement parks is simply wrong. As the film makes very clear, profit remains to be made in the slaughter of dolphins at $600 a head, with dolphin meat sold throughout Japan labeled “whale,” and at one point introduced into school meals (this has been stopped). There isn’t the slightest ambiguity in the film about this matter, and the film places blame in perfect proportions.

And so Morgenstern, in trying to be smarter, ends up completely blowing it, and does so condemning an important and shockingly suspenseful film (getting past the Japanese fishermen to film the dolphin slaughter is a high-tech operation to rival any film heist or spy flick).

-hw

Caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

Mar 13, 2010 in Israel

Every day another scale falls from Andrew Sullivan’s eyes. I don’t know if he just learned this stuff, but he seems to have a new understanding of Israeli/Palestinian history:

He seems to think that Netenyahu is escalating the land grab moreso than before, but I really don’t see anything different from historical trends.

I mean, if Israel really does plan on going all the way, I wish they’d just get to the point and deport all Palestinians out of the West Bank and Gaza and just get it over with. Of course, that would be sloppy and likely very bloody, so they do it this way instead.

Look, if you want to make a state have a particular religious and ethnic identity, Western-style democracy and rights has its limits. To remain a Jewish state, Israel must act in ways that are theocratic and racist.

Perhaps the Gaza and West Bank will be all condos and parks in fifty years time, but in the meantime, if Israel is going down this road, we have to get the fuck out of the car. Discontinue all aid and military subsidization, try to maintain a non-hostile and relatively friendly face towards them, and wash our hands of this slow burn. Evidently Israel feels it can handle this shit without our input anymore, so to hell with it. We can’t stop them, but we can stop taking part in it all.

I don’t think Andrew Sullivan is saying any more than that. Of course it isn’t anti-Semitic, and he’s done a good job of challenging this old trope of shutting down debate by throwing out that accusation like confetti. It worked for a long time, but these are new times. Israel isn’t really doing anything different, but the steady rate of progression keeps adding grains to the scale. And now it has tipped.

-hw

Stossel fail.

Mar 12, 2010 in Politics

If only more libertarians could actually be a little more, oh, let’s say, libertarian instead of reactionary dimwits. John Stossel thinks he’s defending the free market by defending sprawl, but guess what? Urban sprawl is planned by government zoning laws. Don’t mess with James Howard Kunstler, people!

-hw

Four-fifths less racist!

Mar 12, 2010 in Politics

Good ole’ Republicans making sure blacks don’t get off too easy. The disparity in sentencing between crack and cocaine goes down to 20 to 1 instead of 100 to 1.

-hw

Is the show always this terrible? It seems almost like Public Access at times.

Mar 10, 2010 in Politics

Poor Beck. I can’t believe he got conned into letting that shiester on his show. I’m guessing Massa promised to divulge all sorts of unseemly details about Team Obama on the show so Beck could get the scoop but all he delivered was a George Costanza style blathering about nothing. It’s definitely worth a watch.

-mg

Cake, meet cherry.

Mar 09, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives

Limbaugh swears he’ll leave the US if health care passes. Where will he go, considering the rest of the modern world already has socialized medicine? He tries to suggest Costa Rica, but, naturally, he’s wrong. They’ve got socialized care too.

Oh, by the way, Rush, the U.S. today already has a heavily socialized medical system, so get the hell out already, whydon’tcha? I’m sure Somalia or somebody has a free market paradise waiting for you.

Isn’t it already pathetic enough that this mega-millionaire thinks that a) health care reform would affect him and b) that whatever happens to him (again, nothing) has anything to do with working class people?

-hw

Reverse racism!!

Mar 07, 2010 in Politics

You know what’s more offensive than comparing the FLOTUS to a chimpanzee? Pointing out that this guy is a bigot!

Here come the liberal thought-police, trying to make us feel bad for calling black people apes.

-mg

Scientology sinking?

Mar 07, 2010 in Religion, Sophistry

This good NYT piece on Scientology, a cult of shysters that openly fleeces its members for everything they have, reveals that the membership in the US has dropped by fifty percent since 2001, down from 55,000 to 25,000.

And hey, it’s America…you can get 25,000 people to believe anything. Proof? Scientology has 25,000 members! These guys make Mormons look normal. Their “religion” was concocted by a bad science fiction author (Hubbard’s Wikipedia page has a lot on his shocking criminality) who started it bragging to other sci-fi authors that it was a get-rich-quick scheme, their mythology sounds like bad science fiction, and being a member is like going to a college where the tuition is however much you got, except at the end instead of a certificate in honor of your intelligence and hard work, you receive a head full of patently absurd shite. Oh, plus there’s no end! You just keep paying.

Sadly, they’re even worse than that. The article, which focuses on defectors, gives us another look at the controlling tactics, beatings, and shunnings that are part of life for Scientologists. Not to mention the pressure placed on some members to have abortions…

Scientology seems to have some basic self-help foundation that incorporates a lot of strategies for successful living, much like what you’d get from a Tony Robbins book (or thousands of other books clogging the bookstore). Some of the defectors profiled have actually continued some of the practices of the church independently.

Of course, when asked for comment, the Scientologist asshole crooks themselves say that you can’t be a Scientologist if you don’t belong to the church, because obviously they aren’t getting your money if you’re out there on your own. Virtually every quote from the Scientology reps sounds like Newspeak, Rovian-style big lies that are too absurd to be believed…except by 25,000 people.

-hw

Like I was saying…

Mar 06, 2010 in Health Care

NYT:

Reconciliation was intended to be a narrow procedure to bring revenues and spending into conformity with the levels set in the annual budget resolution. But it quickly became much more. The 22 reconciliation bills so far passed by Congress (three of which were vetoed by President Bill Clinton) have included all manner of budgetary and policy measures: deficit reductions and increases; social policy bills like welfare reform; major changes in Medicare and Medicaid; large tax cuts; and small adjustments in existing law. Neither party has been shy about using this process to avoid dilatory tactics in the Senate; Republicans have in fact been more willing to do so than Democrats.

Really, can anyone believe anymore that the Republican Party would let itself be restrained by the truth?

-hw

Rightwingers rarely believe what they say.

Mar 06, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives

Just a friendly reminder for those who frequently hear from the right that the health care reform is being rammed/jammed/forced down our throats…

…that is not true.

The Senate bill was passed by a 60 vote filibuster-breaker, and the reconciliation package that will be passed must get 51 votes. The congressmen and president responsible represent a majority of voters, and they openly ran for election on health care reform as an issue. Reconciliation is also the precise method the Bush administration used to get their precious tax cuts for the rich.

So it’s not even remotely possible that Republicans could believe a single thing they’re saying. With them it’s always about trying to figure out some message that will “work” and then saying it over and over again. As the recent RNC fundraising memo made entirely clear, they really do have a low opinion of people, especially those who vote Republican, and they’ve devoted decades to the art of honing their pitches and soundbites to manipulate the masses as crassly and effectively as possible.

That’s why rightwingers don’t like getting stuck in a comment war at Iowa Liberal, because soundbites only get you so far. The essential and integral dishonesty with which these guys operate simply cannot survive the gauntlet of honest debate.

Disagree? Bring it on, bitches!

-hw

Bart Stupak, you f***ed it up!

Mar 05, 2010 in Disappointing Dems

If you’re going to threaten to be the leader of the Democrats who would kill health care reform over the abortion issue, would it be too much to ask that you get your basic facts straight?

-hw

The new (old) gay rule.

Mar 04, 2010 in teh gay

I’m just going to go ahead and assume from now on that all vehemently anti-gay representatives are themselves closeted homosexuals.

Ray Ashburn is exactly what Republicans expect of homosexuals; closeted, in denial and self-hating

-mg

Big tent!

Mar 03, 2010 in Politics

An RNC PowerPoint presentation explains how potential Republican donors are susceptible to fear and flattery:

The Republican National Committee plans to raise money this election cycle through an aggressive campaign capitalizing on “fear” of President Barack Obama and a promise to “save the country from trending toward socialism.”

The strategy was detailed in a confidential party fundraising presentation, obtained by POLITICO, which also outlines how “ego-driven” wealthy donors can be tapped with offers of access and “tchochkes.”

This reminds me of the time when the then head of president Bush’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives David Kuo stated that evangelical groups were exploited by the RNC for political gain:

In his book, Kuo wrote that White House staffers would roll their eyes at evangelicals, calling them “nuts” and “goofy.”

Asked if that was really the attitude, Kuo tells Stahl, “Oh, absolutely. You name the important Christian leader and I have heard them mocked by serious people in serious places.”

Specifically, Kuo says people in the White House political affairs office referred to Pat Robertson as “insane,” Jerry Falwell as “ridiculous,” and that James Dobson “had to be controlled.”

I’d recommend looking at the presentation for yourselves. It leaves little doubt as to what buttons Republicans push in order to drum up support. It’s hardly anything new, though, as anti-government paranoia and Red Scare hysteria are always on the RNC play list when confronted by a strong opposition. But as Iowa Liberal has wondered out loud before; how effective can Cold War propaganda be in 2010? And will evangelicals believe John Boehner when he tells them that Obama is coming to take their bibles away? Or will these same, cartoony caricatures of “liberals” keep getting sillier as they get older?

-mg

This is what teabaggers want, right?

Mar 02, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives

200,000 people will lose their unemployment benefits this week because Republican Jim Bunning is using his power as a Senator to uphold the entire legislation temporarily extending benefits.

Why? Well, it would add $10 billion to the deficit. And according to Republican theology, that creates less incentive to work. In the race to replace Bunning, who was considered by many to be borderline senile when last elected, the Democratic candidate is passing around a petition against Bunning while the Republicans, including Rand Paul, support the block.

Now, Republican politicians actually in office are scrambling to stop Bunning, because this gaffe is all too revealing of actual Republican attitudes towards unemployment benefits and any other form of stimulus that helps working class people. If this serves to remind people of what Republicans actually stand for, then November just became a lot less inviting for the GOP.

-hw