Friday, October 30, 2009

Scary Health Care Insurers…Just in Time for Halloween

Here’s an ad from Health Care for America Now painting the health care insurance industry as monsters.  Who could blame them?

Jon Stewart Breaks Down White House v. Fox News

Leave it to the Daily Show to be the only news organization to accurately analyze the White House’s war with Fox News.  If you know your ass from a hole in the ground, then you know that Fox News is the broadcast mouthpiece of the conservative movement.  People that love it vote conservative.  People that hate it don’t.  That said, there have been a lot of journalists coming forward to defend Fox, arguing that they are…ahem…fair and balanced.  Sure they are. 

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

If John McCain and his Telecom Financiers Have Their Way, The Internet will Have Tiered Plans, Just Like Cable

Start paying attention to Net Neutrality.  Wikipedia defines Network Neutrality as:

 Network neutrality (also net neutrality, Internet neutrality) is a principle proposed for residential broadband networks and potentially for all networks. A neutral broadband network is one that is free of restrictions on content, sites, or platforms, on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and on the modes of communication allowed, as well as one where communication is not unreasonably degraded by other communication streams.

Man, that definition just screams freedom.  Free of restrictions!  Any site with any content on any platform using any equipment!  MOTHER FREE-FUCKING-DOM!!!

Imagine this didn’t exist.  You just called to hook up a new ISP, and they sent this menu:


Based on this menu, accessing this blog would cost me $5 per month.  News research would cost me another $5 a month.  Finding video clips to post would cost me $10 per month.  The above example is a worst case scenario.  That said, this is exactly what the telecom companies want.  My internet bill will be $20 more a month than it already is.  Yes, the “ching” sound you just heard was the ISP’s eyes changing to dollar signs.

In order to achieve this, a law must be passed.  Hmmm, who could the telecom lobby hire to take up their fight.  Yes!  Of course!  John McCain!  The inventor of the Blackberry!  The self proclaimed computer illiterate is going to tell America how the internet is going to be with the “Internet Freedom Act”!  Fighting for business interests over your internet freedom, That’s John McCain.  Country First (by “Country”, he means, highest bidder, of course)!

To shed some more light on the issue, please give a warm welcome to Rachel Maddow:

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Pelosi’s Introduction of the House Health Care Bill

Teabaggin’ 09 – Flash Mob Fails to Materialize, "If this is organized, we suck."

Last night, members of the Tea Party Patriots received an email saying that if they were in driving distance of DC, then they should meet at the steps of the Capitol Building to protest the House health care bill, which was unveiled earlier this morning.

Say, how was that turnout?

It certainly wasn't the "flash mob" organizers were hoping for, but a small but determined group of Tea Party Patriots gathered on the Capitol Lawn this morning to protest the announcement of a final House health care reform bill.

TPMDC counted about 10 Tea Partiers holding signs denouncing a "government takeover" of health care and looking with disdain as House Democrats gathered on the Capitol Steps. They stood in a larger group of protesters from other groups, mostly focused on abortion rights.

Joann Abbott, a grandmother from Northern Virginia, made the drive to the protest this morning after seeing the email sent by Tea Party leaders last night. When asked if she was part of the "flash mob," she laughed. "I'm here on my own," she said, looking around at the scattered protesters around her. "If this is organized, we suck."

I’m happy to hear that Ms. Abbott has finally realized the truth.

Michael Steele Would Have Me Believe that Rolling Back the Bush Tax Cuts is an Assault on My Wallet

Leave it to Michael Steele to start your day off on a happy note…not.

This morning, I open my inbox to find another Liberal attack on my wallet.  Mr. Steele asks me “Since when is a tax hike not a tax hike? Apparently when Nancy Pelosi uses political doublespeak to mislead the American people.”  They then share this clip of Speaker Pelosi talking to Maria Bartiromo:

Ok, Pelosi’s answer is slippery.  I’ll concede that we’re seeing a politician giving an lousy political answer to a fair question.  Truth is, no politician ever wants to say they’re raising taxes.  And yes, letting the Bush tax cuts expire would essentially raise taxes…FOR 1% OF AMERICANS! 

Steele goes on to write, “They support confiscating more of your money through higher taxes to fund their reckless spending and debt….”  No, they’re not confiscating more of my money because I don’t make enough to be affected.  I’m willing to bet that you, fine reader, don’t either, because 1% of the population is a pretty small number.  If you do happen to be in that stratified air of wealth, then hooray for you.  Now, pony up.  You can afford it.

The Bush tax cuts will have cost this country $3.9 trillion.  Imagine what we could have done with that money.  That would have, at least, paid for health care and those precious wars that haven’t seemed to stabilize the region, or protect our interests, or give us cheaper gas.  Take out the wars, and this country would be in a lot better shape than it currently is.  But what really sets my hair on fire is that we’re talking about rolling the cuts back to when Clinton was in office, and frankly, you don’t hear people bitching about how awful their financial situation was in the 90s.

So, Michael Steele, take your outrage and stick it up your ass.  Rolling back those disastrous tax cuts may affect you, and your running crew, but it doesn’t affect me and my running crew, which, by the way, just so happens to be 99% of America.  Oh, and for those of you that want to argue in favor of the Bush tax cuts, or how great pool at the top…um…I mean…trickle down economics is, choke on this:

(The period) during the economic cycle that began in March 2001 and ended in December of 2007—which almost exactly coincides with the Bush presidency and the implementation of the Bush tax cuts…registered the weakest jobs and income growth in the post-war period. Overall monthly job growth was the worst of any cycle since at least February 1945, and household income growth was negative for the first cycle since tracking began in 1967. Women reversed employment gains of previous cycles. And for African Americans, the worst job growth on record was matched by an unprecedented increase in poverty.

Yes, please, roll back those tax cuts.  I assure you, this country will be just fine.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tea Party?

We interrupt the regularly scheduled program. How small can the tea party get? At what point do the nazi's look in the mirror? Who is zoomin' who? We have seen McCarthy. We have seen fear. We have seen propaganda and adjectives. This is a shot out to this site's author, and his madre y padre who lived the revolution....front line style in Madison. And the comforting thought that people are paying attention..., and continue to do so

Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Gregg Harper Joins Congressional Asshole Caucus

Gregg Harper (R-MS) is a freshman representative and an asshole.  How do I know?  Dig this quote from Politico where the interviewer asks him about the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus:

What in the world does the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus do?

We hunt liberal, tree-hugging Democrats, although it does seem like a waste of good ammunition.

Ha ha ha ha ha!  Hilarious!  Waste of good ammunition!  Too much!  With this quote it seems that Harper has cemented his membership in the Congressional Asshole Caucus as well, which, truth be told, is not all that hard to join.

Yeah, Harper, I know…it was a joke.  You’re still an asshole, Asshole.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wall Street Bonuses - Michael Moore Vents All Over Matt Lauer’s Fine Suit

Dylan Ratigan and Michael Moore were on the Today Show this morning discussing the record bonuses being dolled out at the same banks that were bailed out last year.  Yesterday, the Dow broke the 10,000 mark, which would be good if regular folks weren’t still hurting.

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With regards to Michael Moore, I love this man.  Most of the negative things that have been said about him have been concocted by the enemies of regular people, whose venom has managed to corrupt the the public’s opinion of him.  The truth is, this man has spent his entire career fighting for people like you and me.  I would be interested to hear any tea bagger who’s marched against the bailouts attempt to find fault with his statements above.  He’s on our side and always has been.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Rep. Grayson – Obama Would Have a BLT and Republicans Would Try to Ban Bacon!

Remember Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL)?  He’s the one who succinctly described the Republican health care plan on the House floor:

1.  Don’t Get Sick

2.  If you do get sick, DIE QUICKLY!

Well, he’s back with some frank words for both his fellow Democrats, as well as his friends across the aisle.  It’s better than the last time we saw him.  Take a moment to watch this utterly awesome verbal smackdown!

Alan Grayson is my new hero!  I hope the people living in Orlando, Eustis, and Ocala recognize that this man is fighting for them tooth & nail because we need more people in Congress like him.

GOP & Taliban Both Agree that Obama Doesn’t Deserve Nobel Prize

It seems that the right is all bent about President Obama winning the Nobel Prize.  Lowlights, anybody?

For Obama's critics, however, the Nobel Prize has touched a far more bitter nerve -- affirming their firmly-held beliefs that the president is more symbolism than substance and that he's accomplished little of note on the international stage except to serve as an emblem of U.S. repentance for the Bush years.

"This fully exposes the illusion that is Barack Obama," conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh told Politico via e-mail. "And with this 'award' the elites of the world are urging Obama, THE MAN OF PEACE, to not do the surge in Afghanistan, not take action against Iran and its nuclear program and to basically continue his intentions to emasculate the United States... They love a weakened, neutered U.S and this is their way of promoting that concept. I think God has a great sense of humor, too."

"I did not realize the Nobel Peace Prize had an affirmative action quota," wrote Erick Erickson, of the site, "but that is the only thing I can think of for this news."

"Obama isn't the first American president to win the Nobel Peace Prize, but he's the first to win it without having accomplished anything," wrote John Miller, of the National Review. "Obama's award is simply the projection of wishful thinking."

"The prize seems not just premature but embarrassing," wrote Mark Krikorian, also on The National Review, "this just reinforces the Saturday Night Live meme that Obama has done nothing. This really might be his Carter whacking-the-bunny-rabbit moment."

Indeed, an online petition was started just hours after the announcement was made, objecting to the "absurd decision to award B. Obama Nobel Peace Prize."

Oh, yeah, they’re mad about it.  You know who else is mad about it?  The Taliban:

The Taliban Friday condemned Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize, saying rather than bring peace to Afghanistan he had boosted troop numbers and continued the aggressive policies of his predecessor.

"We have seen no change in his strategy for peace. He has done nothing for peace in Afghanistan," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP.

"We condemn the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for Obama," he said by telephone from an undisclosed location.

Quick to pounce, the DNC issued this statement:

The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists -- the Taliban and Hamas this morning -- in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize," wrote DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse. "Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the President of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace prize -- an award he did not seek but that is nonetheless an honor in which every American can take great pride -- unless of course you are the Republican Party. The 2009 version of the Republican Party has no boundaries, has no shame and has proved that they will put politics above patriotism at every turn. It's no wonder only 20 percent of Americans admit to being Republicans anymore - it's an embarrassing label to claim.

Folks, this isn’t about whether he did anything to earn it or not.  This is about the international community handing the president a sail.  They see the winds of peace at his back and they want him to go forward with his plans.  They like what he’s doing on the international stage and they’re excited to see the U.S. lead again.  I for one think we should be proud, both for our President and for our country.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Christ, Oklahoma, Why Don’t You Just Mark Them With A Scarlet “A” and Place Them In the Public Stockade?

Frankly, I don’t even know how to kick this one off, so I’ll let the story handle it:

A new Oklahoma law requires physicians to disclose detailed information on women's abortions to the State's Department Of Health, which will then post the collected data on a public website. The controversial measure comes into effect on November 1 and will cost $281,285 to implement, $256,285 each subsequent year to maintain.

Oklahoma women undergoing abortion procedures will be legally forced to reveal:

1) Date of abortion
2) Country in which abortion is performed
3) Age of mother
4) Marital status of mother
5) Race of mother
6) Years of education of mother
7) State or foreign country of residence of mother
8) Total number of previous pregnancies of the mother

Proponents of the legislation claim that women should not be concerned over their privacy since no names or "personal information" will be reported. This defense is questionable. Feminists For Choice argues, "In reviewing the actual text of the law, the first 8 questions that will be asked and reported could easily be used to identify any member of a smaller community."

For all of the right’s false claims of losing liberties, they seem to have no problem taking away liberties from others, especially when it suits their agenda.  I am also glad that the price tag was mentioned.  Half a million a year to operate a shame site instead of paying for education, counseling, or any number of other positive things that could ultimately reduce abortions.  No, instead they’re going to scare women who, I am sure, are quite scared enough.

Olbermann – When it Comes to the Health Care Debate, We’re Really Talking About Life and Death

This is a great Special Comment.  Actually, this kicked off the show, which was entirely on health care.  Olbermann doesn’t do his regular thing here.  He calmly walks a fine line as he shows empathy for all sides while criticizing all sides when necessary.  It’s a powerful statement and sums up what we’ve been talking about, whether we are conscious of it or not, this whole time.  Please, take the time to watch this clip.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

NASA to Bomb Moon…to Search for Water, of Course

This story comes thanks to the Huffington Post:

NASA is launching a dramatic mission to bomb the moon.

The LCROSS (Lunar CRater Observing and Sensing Satellite) mission will send a missile traveling at twice the speed of a bullet to blast a hole in the lunar surface near the moon's South pole.

Scientists expect the impact of the Centaur rocket to be powerful enough to eject a huge plume of debris from the moon. The moon dust should even be large enough to be seen from earth through telescopes 10-to-12 inches and larger, says NASA.

So what's our beef with the moon?

The bombing isn't an act of hostility: it's all part of our search for water in space.

The missile will impact the lunar surface at crater Cabeus A (see photo below). The crater is located on the moon's South pole, an area in which scientists estimate there may be billions of tons of trapped ice.

Of course, this is eerily similar to a Mr. Show sketch that is simply hilarious!

Bachmann – “government can’t compete with private industry.”

One of the opposition’s most consistent arguments against health care reform has been that private industry can’t compete with the United States Government.

RNC Chairman Michael Steele

"The president claims that more government involvement in health care will promote competition. However, creating such a government-run entity would result in a massive government health care monopoly. Private insurers would soon be put out of business, unable to compete with the subsidized government-run plan the president and liberals want."

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)

"A new government-run plan would stack the deck against any would-be competitors. The private sector has to pay taxes; the government collects taxes. The private sector has to account for its employees and benefits, while maintaining minimum reserve requirements; the government does not. The private sector pays whatever rates it negotiates with providers; the government dictates payments."

Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA)

"Businesses will, in effect, be forced to send employees into the Democrats' government-run health care. It's really not something to argue about, it is a fact. A private health insurance system, otherwise known as what we have today, will not be able to compete with a taxpayer-subsidized government plan, and businesses faced with growing health care costs will opt to either lay off more workers or send employees into the government plan."

Forget the fact that competition is the foundation upon which capitalism sits.  No, they’re too busy fighting socialism as well as working to keep insurance bureauocracy, enormous profits, and CEO salaries to recognize that they are fighting to stop fair competition, a/k/a capitalism.

Fortunately, we have Michele Bachmann.  She recognizes capitalism when she sees it!  It is her opinion that in a head to head, Government doesn’t stand a chance against private industry:

And as far as liberals go, they want the government literally to control every aspect of our lives.  We saw that with student loans.  They put in a quotes [sic] public option for student loans, government couldn't take the competition because the private sector was outperforming by far, so they shut out any private student loans.  Today all student loans have to be public or government run.  They'll do the same thing in health care, government can't compete with private industry - they're not as innovative, they're not as quick on their feet, they're not as cheap, they're not as high quality.  And so this is what they want - ultimately, this is the goal of socialism, to have government take over every aspect of the private sector.

Alright!  This is what I’m talking about!  Rep. Bachmann, if you’re so sure a private plan will fail miserably, then why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and make it a reality.  If a private plan can’t compete, then nobody will take it, and you can do your “I told you so” dance right into another term.  I’m willing to bet you’re wrong.  Let’s find out, shall we?

h/t to Steve Benen.

Friday, October 2, 2009

New Poll Reveals Majority of Americans Want Public Option, in Spite of Bipartisanship

It’s time for that Democratic Supermajority to roll on this thing!  Per Greg Sargent:

I’ve never seen the question framed this way, and this finding, from the nonpartisan Research 2000 poll for DailyKos, really challenges the conventional wisdom that the public is adamantly opposed to Democrats passing their own health care bill without any GOP support:

Which of the following scenarios do you prefer/ do you prefer?

Getting a health care bill with the choice of a strong public health insurance option to compete with private insurance plans that’s supported only by Democrats in Congress, OR Getting a health care bill with no public option that has the support of Democrats and a handful of Republicans?

Public option: 52%
No public option: 39%

A majority prefers getting a Dem-only bill with a public option rather than a bill without one that has the support of a few Republicans. And more independents, too, favor the partisan public-option bill, 47%-42%.

It’s true that other polls have found that majorities prefer that the final bill be bipartisan. But here’s the rub: The previous polls asked the question in isolation — do you want a bipartisan bill, or a partisan one — without explaining to respondents that winning over Republicans could result in actual policy consequences that they might not like. The above is a more accurate framing of the choice the public — and lawmakers– face right now.

Democrats, it’s time to nut up and give the people what they want!

Why do Those That Hate Bailouts Fight to Bailout an Insurance Industry that Doesn’t Need a Bailout?

Here’s a great ad from the folks at Health Care for America Now.  The ad highlights the enormous salaries paid to insurance CEOs while regular folks are loosing their homes because they cant afford to pay their medical bills.  According to the ad, 62% of personal bankruptcies are caused by medically related debts.

I would love for somebody on the other side of this issue to explain how they can, on the one hand, be anti-public health care, and on the other hand, be anti-bailout of banks*. 

No public option means hundreds of billions of dollars will go directly to the insurance industry, as will millions of uninsured individuals who will be forced to buy health insurance from those same companies.  It’s a giant bailout of an industry that doesn’t need a bailout.  Are those fighting reform so blinded fighting government intervention that they can’t see the consequences of killing meaningful reform?  Um, yes.

*Understand, I’m not pro bailout, but I see it as a necessary evil.  Without a bailout, we’ll have new, Technicolor footage of the same black and white soup line footage from the 30s.  I know it’s been mismanaged, and that banks are no more stable today than when they collapsed last year.  Having said that, at this point in time, things could have been a lot worse.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Daily Show – Stewart Eviscerates the Democratic Super Majority

It had been foreshadowed for months that the Senate Finance Committee would offer a suck balls health care bill, and they didn’t disappoint, shooting down two public options.  While I remain optimistic that we will get a meaningful health care bill, eventually, I do find it insulting that Democrats can’t seem to a) do what they were elected to do and b) give the people what they want. 

Enter Jon Stewart who is kind enough, through pictures and sound, to vocalize what I’m thinking.

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McConnell Says Republican Will Oppose Health Care Reform…Even if Their Demands Are Met

For those of you that have ever accused Republicans of not caring, you’re wrong.  See, they do care.  They care about killing everything that is potentially good.  They care about stopping every proposal that comes from the White House. They care about getting back in power, regardless of how they do it.  Finally, they care about their corporate masters and their profits.  I can safely say, they do not care about you or me. 

Hogwash you say?  Ryan Grim delivers proof!

The Senate Republican leader made clear on Wednesday that his party, despite all its griping over the public health insurance option, abortion-funding or health care for illegal immigrants, is simply and flatly opposed to the "core" of the Democratic health care reform proposal.

Satisfying every Republican demand short of scrapping the entire project, said Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), would still not capture GOP support.

"Senator Kyl and some of the others have talked about some of the things that are happening in committee," McConnell told reporters, referring to Senate Finance Committee Republican Jon Kyl of Arizona.

"But the core point is this: At the end of the day, if the government plan is either in the bill or out of the bill, whether they will be able to argue successfully or not whether tax funds are gonna be provided for abortion, whether or not they will be able to argue at the end that dollars for health care for illegals is in or out, what we do know is what the core of the bill is going to look like. We know that for sure," he said.

And the bottom line, said McConnell, is that Republicans don't like the bill at all.

See, it doesn’t matter what’s in it.  They don’t want it.  Any of it.  Why wouldn’t they want a healthy America?  Why wouldn’t they want lower costs?  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it’s because Republicans like their campaign contributions fat like their constituents.  I have a vision of a conversation between Republicans and insurance execs that goes something like this:

Aetna:  Yo!  McConnell!  We got a fat sack of cash with your name on it!  You want it?

McConnell:  Hells yeah! 

Aetna:  Well, look…I called my bitches and we have that room that you like…you know, the one with the bed…

McConnell:  Fuck yes!  I know the room with the bed!

Aetna:  We know you do!  What do you say we dump that fat sack of cash on that bed you like so much and you and the bitches roll around in it for a couple of hours?

McConnell:  I’ll be right over!

Aetna:  Oh, and Mitch, make sure you kill reform, ok?

McConnell:  Oh, please!  And sell out my homies?  Come on!  We’re tight!  What-fuckin-ever!

Aetna:  Just makin’ sure.

It’s time to ignore these obstructionists and get down to business.  Bipartisanship requires honest negotiations on both sides.  It’s obvious that they’re not going to play fair.  The truth is, they no longer matter.