Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Democrats and Health Care Reform: A Tale of No Testicles.

Moments ago, Democratic Senators told reporters that the caucus yielded to Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I-CT) demands and dropped the Medicare buy-in provision from the Senate health care bill, leaving only a network of nonprofits to stand in for the public health insurance option. While Senators stressed that a final decision would be made tomorrow, after the Democratic caucus meets with President Obama, most agreed that the fate of the Medicare buy-in was all but certain.

“The general consensus was that we shouldn’t make the perfect the enemy of the good and if we’re going to get all the insurance reforms accomplished and a number of other things [and] dropping the Medicare expansion was necessary, well then that’s what should be done and it appeared that would be necessary to get the 60 votes,” Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) told the Hill. “At some point you have to switch from the sentiment, the emotion of the words, to the facts,” said Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). “And then you’ve got to decide if I didn’t get what I want, in the form that I wanted it, am I willing to cashier 31 million Americans? I want a bill.”

Brilliant!  If we can't get the bill that we need, let's just force 31 million Americans to turn their hard earned cash over to the Health Insurance Industry so that we can say that we've done something.
Even Howard Dean who had already given up on the public option couldn't take this.
“This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate. Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill.”

Kinzel added that Dean essentially said that if Democratic leaders cave into Joe Lieberman right now they’ll be left with a bill that’s not worth supporting.

Remember just about a year ago, when we had just gotten a full of fire new president and total control of Congress?  Oh, the changes we were going to make.  Sure, we knew it wouldn't be easy, that we'd be fighting the Right Wing Propaganda Machine and special intrests all the way, but who'd have thought that it would be Joe Lieberman and a few Corporate Democrats that would make our brave new Democratic government tuck its tail and roll over.
Winston Churchill said it about the Anzio landing and I've been thinking it for months now, "I had hoped that we were hurling a wild cat on to the shore, but all we got was a stranded whale.".
Let's cut our donkey some slack and adopt a bloated, beached whale with his spine and testicles removed until we can come up with a better strategy than "Just cave in".
OK, say the bill passes and Senator Rockefeller gets what he wants.  No one is going to be happy with this bill, other than the Health Insurance Industry.  The Right is going use this less than half measure on health care reform to show that the Democrats can't govern effectively.  Democrats from the President down are opening themselves up to being shown as the party that can be rolled over.  This is just a lose/lose situation for the Democrats and the American people.  If they get their bill they will look incredibly lame in the process.  And they will look incredibly lame in the 2010 elections.
The party of fantasy over facts, money above the people, willful ignorance, Fox News and Sarah Palin has maneuvered the Democrats into engineering their own downfall.
I was really hoping for more than Bush Lite.
There is one effort, more of a "furlorn hope", actually.  It's what should have been done in the first place and should be done every time Congress meets until we get it right.
Sen. Bernie Sanders says he is "not naive" and expects to lose, but the Senate on Wednesday will debate for the first time in American history a proposal to create a single-payer, Medicare-for-all health care system, according to statements from the Vermont independent's office.

His amendment would provide health care and dental coverage for every American, save money, and improve health care results, Sanders says. Sanders his attempt to amend the current comprehensive healthcare legislation before the Senate to adopt the single-payer model.

Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Roland Burris of Illinois are co-sponsors of the amendment.

It shouldn't be that difficult to do the right thing.  Let's let Bernie keep our donkey for us until we can earn it back.

So, what if Howard Dean is right and we kill the bill?  Well, for starters, everyday we can get in the media our apologies to those 45,000 people who will die because the Republicans wouldn't let us get them health care.  We can explain how our plan is cheaper and more efficient than the current system.  We can explain that paying more than anyone else in the world for the 38th ranked health care system in the world is just stupid and that the people who oppose us are too.  Every day, beat them over the head with it and then just follow my simple one year plan

It's about time that the Democrats started acting like they have some priniples and some guts.


Update:  Sometimes it's just plain damned embarrassing to be from Oklahoma.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday withdrew his single-payer healthcare amendment after Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) initiated a procedural maneuver to shipwreck the measure.

Coburn earlier in the day forced the Senate clerk to read aloud Sanders’s 767-page amendment to the Senate healthcare bill in an effort to halt the healthcare debate.

Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist,” spoke on the Senate floor to announce the withdrawal of the measure.

"The day will come, although I recognize it’s not today, when the U.S. Congress will have to vote to stand up to … all those who profit every single year off of human sickness,” Sanders said. "That day will come."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Great Right Hope: Ad Hominem, Non Compos Mentis and Just Plain Old Lying.

It's a good day.  When I get a comment like the one you'll see plus a right wing email that shows what I believe to be what passes for conservative humor, hell, I just got a blog post written for me.

Once again, thanks, goes to the right wingers.

If you haven't guessed already, the picture of the cute little girl on the left, is the right wing email.

Cute little girl with her best "I'm really serious" face backing it up with the universal gesture of disagreement.

I won't even go into why one so young would even know how to flip you off.  And it's no wonder that the Right would exploit it to try to make a political point, class act that they are.

But I will go into the text, which so many of your friends and neighbors actually believe to be gospel.

You've spent my lunch money, my allowance,...  Now I'm guessing that most right wingers don't really believe that Obama is spending this little girl's lunch money or allowance, although some of them probably really do.  I have to assume that the lunch money and allowance refer to the same thing, the deficit.  I don't claim to know the innermost workings of the right wing mind, these things may be code words for two different right wing paranoid fantasies.  I do know that the Right's not real big on subtlety and nuance, so let's run with the deficit.

In Right Wing Fantasy Land, there was not a federal deficit until Barack Obama was elected and created it in order to turn the United States into a socialist country.  BTW, in RWFL socialist is a bad word and it's interchangable with communist and fascist.  I blame our education system.  Anyway, from a real world standpoint, these tactics are working.  It's amazing how many people can't even firmly grasp the obvious.

Bush's tax cuts for the rich, Bush's accounting gimmicks, two wars, one to let Osama Bin Laden get away and one for absolutely no reason, Republican and Corporate Democrat deregulation of the financial industry has nothing to do with it, it's all Obama's.

Leonhardt crunches the numbers to track exactly how the Clinton-era predictions of surpluses gave way to prophecies of massive deficits. His analysis places 90 percent of the blame on the business cycle, Bush's policies, and policies from the Bush years that are scheduled to expire but that Obama hasn't tried to snuff out. That leaves Obama responsible for 10 percent of the projected deficits: 7 percent from the stimulus bill -- and only 3 percent Obama's agenda on health care, education, energy and other areas.

Nevertheless, Obama now has 100 percent of the responsibility for fixing this mess, and what is he doing about it? Leonhardt writes that his talk about cutting health care costs is not yet entirely convincing -- and that it's not enough, anyway.

Yeah, it's all Obama's now, but he didn't create the problems.  Here's a handy little deficit chart, but it only goes to 2004.  Please take note of the fiscally conservative Reagan years.

inheritance,...  Well Sweetie, unless your parents gamble everything away or give it to a religious cult or lose it all to pay medical bills, I'm pretty sure that theres nothing Obama can do to keep you from your inheritance.  Are you watching Glenn Beck with your parents?

35 years of future paychecks,...  Stay in school, go to college, don't get pregnant, don't vote Republican or for a Corporate Democrat and your future will be fine.

and my retirement.  Make sure your government keeps a close eye on the crooks who will be overseeing your 401K and, by all means, don't let them privitize Social Security.

My latest comment was from some Rightie who managed to find their way here from Stumpburners, the local discussion board.  I've deleted it from the previous post and have taken out the name of a friend of mine who is currently recuperating in a nursing home.  But if you've ever wondered how a state could elect someone like James Inhofe or Tom Coburn, here's your answer.

MReed918 has left a new comment on your post "Health Care Reform, Give The Republicans Their Yea...":

Jim Hull, you are an IDIOT! Or maybe not. Maybe you are nothing more than another "erudite" socialist that seeks to destroy the United States.

Time will tell whether your ilk succeeds. Going to be an interesting couple of years isn't it?

Give **** ******'s ass a big kiss from me while you're there licking the ignorant excrement that emits from her behind.

Or, is it her licking YOUR behind?

Posted by MReed918 to Redneck Liberal at 6:26 PM, December 12, 2009

Check out the politics section at Stumpburners or even better join in.

Ad Hominem, Non Compos Mentis and Lies.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Health Care Reform, Give The Republicans Their Year And Then Do It Right.

Republicans, including those who call themselves Democrats, are wanting to put off health care reform in order to concentrate on whatever it is that we are trying to accomplish in Afghanistan.  Your guess is as good as mine what that is.

Coincidentally, the troop surge and health care reform cost around the same, 80-100 billion dollars.

I'm all for a MediCare for All type health care system and I believe that the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq should already be on their way home.

However, I could get behind this plan.

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) echoed similar sentiments during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” yesterday. He suggested to host John King that health care legislation should be delayed until next year to focus on Afghanistan, saying, “The war is terribly important. … So this may be an audacious suggestion, but I would suggest we put aside the health care debate until next year, the same way we put cap and trade and climate change away and talk now about the essentials, war and money.”

Let's say we spend the next year handing George W. Bush's ego wars over to the U.N. and have the troops home in a year.  Let's concentrate on creating jobs during the next year and make that our number one priority.  And let's up the taxes on those lucky few who have benefited while the rest of the country fell futher behind.

I know what you're saying, "Why you ignorant redneck, we need health care reform and we need it now!"  Yeah, I know.  As much as I hate it, we've got to be pragmatic.  It looks more and more like the health care reform bill that we're going to get looks less and less like the health care reform bill that we want.

Democrats control 60 seats in the Senate, precisely the number needed to trump a promised Republican filibuster. While Reid spent most of the day jousting with Republicans, his ability to steer the bill to passage will depend on finding ways to finesse controversial provisions within the measure. None is more important than calls for the government to sell insurance in competition with private firms. Liberals favor the plan; moderate and conservative Democrats oppose it. As drafted the bill establishes a so-called government option, although each state can block it.

I don't really like the appellation "moderate and conservative Democrats".  Let's be honest here, what the media refers to as "moderate and conservative Democrats" are people posing as Democrats who whore their votes out to the highest bidder.  Trust me, Dan Boren is my Congressman so I know a little about these things.

OK, so we spend the next year doing a study of universal health care in all the industrilized countries that have it, that would be all of them btw.  We pick and choose all the things that work well and discard the things that don't work so well.  You know, like we should have done in the first place.  We put it all together in a comprehensive health care reform bill, crunch the numbers, present it as MediCare for All, make sure that our recalcitrant "Blue Dogs" know that they will vote with the Democrats or find somebody else's yard to crap in and let the Right and the special interests whine all they want.

45,000 Americans will die during the next year without health care reform.  Probably about the same will die if we get a crap health care reform bill.  One thing's for sure, without a strong public option the only winners will be the "for profit" health care industry.

Our health care system is failing. It is expensive, bureaucratic, and denies care to many in need. Americans die younger, get less care, face greater restrictions, are less satisfied, and spend at least $1,500 more per person on health care than Canadians or Western Europeans - nations that have opted for non-profit national health insurance.

In the U.S., canons of commerce are displacing dictates of healing, trampling medicine's most sacred values. Market medicine treats patients as profit centers. The time doctors and nurses are allowed to spend with the sick shrinks under the pressure to increase throughput, as though we were dealing with industrial commodities rather than afflicted human beings in need of compassion and caring. Listening, learning, and caring give way to deal-making, managing, and marketing. The primacy of the patient yields to a perverse accountability - to investors, to bureaucrats, to insurers and to employers. And patients worry that their doctor's judgement and advice are guided by the corporate bottom line.

Here's what Physicians for a National Health Program has to say.

Single-payer national health insurance is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health financing, but delivery of care remains largely private.

Currently, the U.S. health care system is outrageously expensive, yet inadequate. Despite spending more than twice as much as the rest of the industrialized nations ($8,160 per capita), the United States performs poorly in comparison on major health indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality and immunization rates. Moreover, the other advanced nations provide comprehensive coverage to their entire populations, while the U.S. leaves 46.3 million completely uninsured and millions more inadequately covered.

The reason we spend more and get less than the rest of the world is because we have a patchwork system of for-profit payers. Private insurers necessarily waste health dollars on things that have nothing to do with care: overhead, underwriting, billing, sales and marketing departments as well as huge profits and exorbitant executive pay. Doctors and hospitals must maintain costly administrative staffs to deal with the bureaucracy. Combined, this needless administration consumes one-third (31 percent) of Americans’ health dollars.

Single-payer financing is the only way to recapture this wasted money. The potential savings on paperwork, more than $350 billion per year, are enough to provide comprehensive coverage to everyone without paying any more than we already do.

We've got to face facts, the Democrats never framed the issue of health care reform.  The Right, the insurance industry and the health care industry did.  There's just too much misinformation out there and too many gullible people who believe it.  So if we have to give the Republicans their year, fine.  As long as we use that year doing the things that need to be done and then finally get the real health care that this country deserves.
I sincerely hope that I'm dead wrong on the health care reform bill and that Congress gives us real reform with a strong public option.  I just as sincerely believe that a compromise health reform bill will be worse than no bill at all.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Family Research Monkey Council, Values Voter Monkey Summit, Monkey Expert Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bill O'Reilly Gets Monkey Courage Award & Prejean Primate.

And now for something completely different.

I'm going to take a not very well thought out, possibly racist statement by Congressman Roy Blunt (R-MO) and prove the truth of it.

At the Family Research Council Action's 2009 Values Voter Summit Roy Blunt speaking to a like minded audience of the self-righteous decided to tell an amusing anecdote.

Trying to be humorous is always a dangerous thing for a right winger to attempt. I mean, humor is not one of their strong suits.

A lot of folks on the left took Blunt's little story and figured that it must have racist overtones. Possible, but I doubt it. Like humor, nuance is something not really grasped by the Right.

Here's the story of Blunt's story. Thanks, Talk to Action.

Congressman Blunt then went on to tell an anecdote which suggested that life in Washington, for GOP members today, is comparable to the lot of imperial British agents in India who had to contend with monkeys running amok on a golf course that the colonial occupiers had carved out of the verdant Indian jungle. There was a problem, the Missouri Representative explained; monkeys would come out of the jungle, grab golf balls, and throw them about. Amidst swelling laughter from his audience Roy Blunt narrated,

"I could go into great and long detail about how many things they did to try and eliminate the 'monkey problem.' But they never got it done, so finally this golf course and this golf course only, they passed a rule and the rule was - you have to play the ball where the monkey throws it. [audience laughter swells] And that is the rule in Washington all the time."

It seemed like a direct window into the psyche of the revanchist wing of the GOP; politics is a golf game and unruly Democrat "monkeys" have swarmed out of the jungle to disrupt the play. Since it is impractical to "eliminate" the monkeys, accommodations will have to be made. Republicans will now "play the ball where the monkey throws it."

If Congressman Blunt would have expanded on the story he could have made it something rare for a Republican or for the Family Research Council, a factual point. So I'll make ol' Roy's point for him.

Indeed, the monkeys do get in the way of efficient government. Take health care, we want it and the Brits have had it since 1948. You'd think that after all this time with universal health care Great Britain would have it's monkey problem handled.

They don't and look who the monkeys actually are.

The system suffered greatly under the "conservative" governments, to the point that is almost collapsed under its own weight back in the 1970s and 1980s, as these "conservatives" withheld funding, and ordered unrealistic changes in the system under the guise of "efficiency." During the Thatcher years, only about 6% of GDP was expended on health care, and resulted in an extremely high level of dissatisfaction with the system. Since then, subsequent governments have increased funding greatly, bringing spending levels up to 8.4% of GDP, which is just slightly below the 8.9% average of OECDs, and about 1% below the EU average, and you'd be hard pressed to find a poll in which the British express overwhelming dissatisfaction with NHS.

Yes, the monkeys on the golf course are little right wing, conservative monkeys. And they are more than just a nuisance, they are deadly. At least, for the 45,000 Americans who will die this year because they have no health care.

Also at the "Holier Than Thou Summit" Bill O'Reilly was awarded the “Media Courage Award.” It seems that to receive this award requires so much courage that none of the other media were even able to watch the acceptance speech.

It's hard to imagine the amount of courage that it must take to stand up and fight liberalism, night after night on Fox News where the audience is so well informed that it riots at even the hint of anything that's not "Fair and Balanced".

Bill has been courageous ever since he got out of high school when he showed it by courageously avoiding military service.

Way to go Bill. You deserve this award. You and the Family Research Council are made for each other.

Kinda like another one of their guests, Carrie Prejean, the former Miss California who believes that homosexuality is not natural, yet man-made hooters are.

So I'll leave you with this little slice of Americana. The folks who believe that they are mainstream America. The folks who believe that they are doing God's will by trying to tell the rest of us how to live. The folks who would be more than happy to put you down if you don't listen. The other end of the political spectrum.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

9/12 Teabagging Protesters Motivations and Explanations, Rep. Joe Wilson (Goober-SC), Extreme GOP, Religious Right & Charles Darwin.

Wow! Look at all those people.

This is supposed to be a shot of the 9/12 protesters last Saturday.

Since turning 60-70,000 people into a million would be a miracle of Biblical proportions a lot of folks on the Right will instinctively believe it.

And like a lot of things that they instinctively believe, it would be wrong.

There's another big problem with the photograph: it doesn't include the National Museum of the American Indian, a building located at the corner of Fourth St. and Independence Ave. that opened on Sept. 14, 2004. (Looking at the photograph, the building should be in the upper right hand corner of the National Mall, next to the Air and Space Museum.) That means the picture was taken before the museum opened exactly five years ago. So clearly the photo doesn't show the "tea party" crowd from the Sept. 12 protest.

Now that America's Ignorancefest 2009 is over, what conclusions can we draw from this spontaneous, grassroots, Fox News/Freedom Works/Health Insurance Industry sponsored and coordinated outpouring of white people's inability to grasp reality?

Well, the most obvious thing that they are wrong about is who they are. They believe that they are independent thinking defenders of the Constitution and the "American Way of Life". You gotta admit that sounds a lot better than corporate lackeys.

What's really happening with these protests is that the genuine rage and not unreasonable economic insecurity of these citizens is being stoked, exploited, distorted and manipulated by movement leaders for entirely different ends. The people who are leading them -- Rush Limbaugh, the Murdoch-owned Fox News, Glenn Beck, business-dominated organizations of the type led by Dick Armey -- are cultural warriors above everything else. They're all in a far different socioeconomic position than the "middle-income Americans" whose anger they're ostensibly representing. Their principal preoccupation is their cultural contempt for various groups (illegal immigrants, the "undeserving" poor, liberals) and their desire to preserve the status quo whereby the prime beneficiaries of government policies remain themselves: the super rich and the interests that control Washington. It's certainly true that many of these protesters are driven by the standard right-wing cultural issues which have long shaped that movement -- social issues, religious fears, cultural and racial divisions, and hatred for "liberals" as Communist-Muslim-Terrorist-lovers. For many, all of that is intensified by the humiliation of being completely thrown out of power, at the hands of the first black President. But much of it is fueled by the pillaging of the corporations and Wall St. interests which own their government.


70,000 dupes getting together to show the world just how little they know about the things that they are protesting against.

Congressman Joe Wilson, (Idiot-SC) is a microcosm of the 70,000 and the Right's approach to the health care debate. I could care less that Wilson shouted, "You lie!" to the President on the floor of Congress. That's just free speech. However, if you are going to do a major breach of decorum then you should at least be correct in your accusations. It's not a hard thing to do, ten seconds on Google would have saved Joe from showing the world just how big of a moron he really is. Now we all know.

The 70,000 Fox News induced protesters are just Joe Wilson gone Viral.

Neal Gabler, Boston Globe covers this phenomenon nicely in his article, The extreme Republican Party.

Let’s not mince words here: We now have an entire political party that is not only dedicated to the mediocre. It is dedicated to the nearly deranged.


Anyway, we kinda know what they are protesting against, which is more than they seem to do. So what are they for?

That's easy, just type into Google, Health Insurance Horror Stories.

"When Steve and Leslie Shaeffer's daughter, Selah, was diagnosed at age 4 with a potentially fatal tumor in her jaw, they figured their health insurance would cover the bulk of her treatment costs." But "shortly after Selah's medical bills hit $20,000, Blue Cross stopped covering them and eventually canceled her coverage retroactively."
So begins a recent report in The Los Angeles Times titled "Sick but Insured? Think Again," which offers a series of similar horror stories, and suggests that these stories represent a growing trend: more and more health insurers are finding ways to yank your insurance when you get sick.

Beats the hell out of me why they would want more of that. But there it is and that's what we'll be getting without the public option in the Health Care Reform Bill.

70,000 people getting together to show their support for health insurance company profits and taking a dump on their fellow citizens. I'll bet Glenn Beck is proud.

To be honest, some of the protesters could care less about the insurance companies, Fox News, you, me or anything else. They are on a mission, they believe that they are doing the Lord's work. Like He would need any help from these cretins, right?

If you're not fortunate enough to live in the Bible Belt and can't really experience this first hand, then I would highly recommend reading the full article, Glenn Beck and The 9/12 Marchers: Subversives From Within. It's about a growing group of people who want to do away with the America that we know and replace it with a country based on some lame preacher's interpretation of the Bible.

Sounds far-fetched? Well, both of my U.S. Senators from Oklahoma belong to that C. Street cult known as "The Family".

The tactics that progressives develop for actually winning against the right have to involve far more than politics. They have to also involve ceaseless vigilance against an enemy that has now -- literally -- raised up an armed, paranoid and deluded alternative nation within our borders and created a fifth column to undermine the United States and our democracy. They need to be called out by the rest of us in no uncertain terms.
Long term the Religious Right subculture has to be understood, then exposed for what it is: an anti-democracy movement built on willful lies with potentially violent underpinnings in the thrall of an apocalyptic cult of revenge on everyone not like "us." It is also the useful tool of corporate lobbyists. Who use these shock troops of the proudly ignorant for non-ideological reasons.

This article was written by Frank Schaeffer, he knows because he was once a big dog in the Religious Right.

The BBC has just made a movie about the life of Charles Darwin. But it looks like it won't be shown here. Any guesses as to why?

"The film has no distributor in America. It has got a deal everywhere else in the world but in the US, and it's because of what the film is about. People have been saying this is the best film they've seen all year, yet nobody in the US has picked it up.
"It is unbelievable to us that this is still a really hot potato in America. There's still a great belief that He made the world in six days. It's quite difficult for we in the UK to imagine religion in America. We live in a country which is no longer so religious. But in the US, outside of New York and LA, religion rules.

In light of a recent survey, it looks like the health care reform protesters will have to stop seeing their doctors. Because they are communists! At least by their own reasoning.

A RWJF survey summarized in the September 14, 2009 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine shows that 62.9 percent of physicians nationwide support proposals to expand health care coverage that include both public and private insurance options—where people under the age of 65 would have the choice of enrolling in a new public health insurance plan (like Medicare) or in private plans.

If you think that things are crazy now, just wait until we tackle the most important issue: Climate Change.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stand Up for Single Payer/Public Option. Stand With Doctor Howard Dean.

Click on it and sign the petition.
If you care more for the American people than you do for the health insurance industry's profits, it's the right thing to do.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Right Wing E-Mail, Confusion, Evil Democrat Social Security, Obama's Ten Commandments & Right Wing Humor?.

I got this in my e-mail, it was titled, "Obama's Health Care Letter".
To the average right winger who is intended to be the recipient it's obvious that Obama wants to kill off all the elderly in this country.
Well, all the elderly white folks.
But if you actually go to the trouble of reading the cartoon, the letter is from the health care industry.
Which would make this cartoon a fairly accurate representation of what is really going on.
But for right wingers, accuracy doesn't enter into the equation. They tend to be more instinctive, rather than rational beings and their instincts are predicated on misperceptions and out and out lies put out by the Right Wing Propaganda Machine. "Gullibility r' Us". Not to mention their racial, sexual and religious hangups.
So once again we'll delve into Right Wing Fantasy Land by checking out the Right Wing Propaganda Machine's lowest tech, but nonetheless effective, method of spreading their version of the gospel.
Hopefully, this will be done over several posts because they pack a lot of crap into a single e-mail.
The first is about Social Security, it fits into their current campaign of Obama and the Democrats are turning this country into a socialist/communist/fascist nation. They use all three terms because most of them don't really know what they mean.
Just in case some of you young whippersnappers (& some older ones too)
Weren't taught or just didn't know this. Be sure and show it to your kids. They need a little history lesson on what's what.
And it doesn't matter whether you are Democrat of Republican.
Facts are facts!!!
Our Social Security
Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social Security (FICA) Program.
He promised:
1.) That participation in the program would be completely voluntary.
2.) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual incomes into the program,
3.) That the money the participants elected to put into the program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year,
4.) That the money the participants put into the independent 'Trust Fund' rather than into the General Operating Fund, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no otherGovernment program, and,
5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income.
Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are now receiving a Social Security check every month -- and then finding that we are getting taxed on 85% of the money we paid to the federal government to 'putaway, you may be interested in the following:
-------------------------------------------------- -----------
Q: Which political party took Social Security from the Independent 'Trust Fund' and put it in to the General Fund so that Congress could spend it? A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the Democratically-controlled House and Senate.
Q: Which political party eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding? A: The Democratic Party.
Q: Which political party started taxing Social Security annuities? A: The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the 'tie-breaking' deciding vote as President of the Senate, while he was Vice President of the U.S.
Q: Which political party decided to start giving annuity payments to immigrants?AND MY FAVORITE: A: That's right! Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party. Immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65, they began to receive Social Security payments! The Democratic Party gave these payments to them even though they never paid a dime into it!
Then, after violating the original contract (FICA), the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away! And the worst part about it is, uninformed citizens believe it!
If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe changes will evolve. Maybe not, some Democrats are awfullysure of what isn't so. But it's worth a try.
How many people canYOU send this to?Actions speak louder than bumper stickers.
A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.'-Thomas Jefferson
Yes, "Facts are facts!!!" and that's about the only fact in this. Fortunately, there are folks who save me a lot of trouble by checking into these facts.
So here's the first paragraph of's debunking of these "facts".
This elaborate collection of falsehoods is so detailed that we believe it must be an intentional and malicious effort at disinformation. It grafts some new whoppers on top of a list that we debunked in April 2004, in a special report we called "Lies in the E-mail, Part 2." The earlier version, we said, was "full of laughably inaccurate claims," and this one is worse.
Yet there are plenty of folks out there who believe this laughably inaccurate stuff and they vote and they are armed. Plus they see the rest of us as the enemy.
Here's an example.
© 2009 The Patriot Update. Feel free to circulate this article, but please give credit and link to The Patriot Update!Click here for the Online Version.
I certainly want to give credit where it's due.

After observing Obama on the campaign trail and during his first six months in office, we have concluded that our President lives and governs according to his own set of "Ten Commandments." They're certainly NOT the Ten Commandments you learned in Sunday School. In fact, many are the direct opposite! To prove that our conclusions are correct, you will find a link to source documentation for each commandment on the Patriot Update web site.
Source documentation, that's a damned funny way to describe NewsMax.
I. Thou shalt have no God in America , except for me. For we are no longer a Christian nation and, after all, I am the chosen One. (And like God, I do not have a birth certificate.) SOURCE

II. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, unless it is my face carved on Mt. Rushmore . SOURCE

III. Thou shalt not utter my middle name in vain (or in public). Only I can say Barack Hussein Obama. SOURCE

IV. Remember tax day, April 15th, to keep it holy. SOURCE

V. Honour thy father and thy mother until they are too old and sick to care for. They will cost our public-funded health-care system too much money. SOURCE

VI. Thou shalt not kill, unless you have an unwanted, unborn baby. For it would be an abomination to punish your daughter with a baby. SOURCE

VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery if you are conservative or a Republican. Liberals and Democrats are hereby forgiven for all of their infidelity and immorality, but the careers of conservatives will be forever destroyed. SOURCE

VIII. Thou shalt not steal, until you've been elected to public office. Only then is it acceptable to take money from hard-working, successful citizens and give it to those who do not work, illegal immigrants, or those who do not have the motivation to better their own lives. SOURCE

IX. Thou shalt not discriminate against thy neighbor unless they are conservative, Caucasian, or Christian. SOURCE

X. Thou shalt not covet because it is simply unnecessary. I will place such a heavy tax burden on those that have achieved the American Dream that, by the end of my term as President, nobody will have any wealth or material goods left for you to covet. SOURCE
Don't you just pity the white, conservative Christians. They're just so persecuted. Well, they think they are! And they'll look you right in the eye and tell you it's not paranoia if it's really happening to you. If you happen to mention it during a conversation. Which I do. Well hell, I live right here in the big middle of them and I like to have a little fun. And it's a lot of fun to mess with people who actually think that Fox News is "Fair and Balanced". It's my hobby.
I'll leave you with a little of what passes for humor on the right.

Drinking with a Redneck Girl
A Mexican, an Arab, and a redneck girl are in the same bar. When the Mexican finishes his beer, he throws his glass in the air, pulls out his pistol, and shoots the glass to pieces. He says, 'In Mexico , our glasses are so cheap we don't need to drink with the same one twice.'
The Arab, obviously impressed by this, drinks his beer, throws it into the air, pulls out his AK-47, and shoots the glass to pieces... He says, 'In the Arab World, we have so much sand to make glasses that we don't need to drink with the same one twice either...'
The redneck girl, cool as a cucumber, picks up her beer, downs it in one gulp, throws the glass into the air, whips out her 45, and shoots the Mexican and the Arab. Catching her glass, setting it on the bar, and calling for a refill, she says, 'In America we have so many illegal aliens that we don't have to drink with the same ones twice.'

' God Bless America
Naw, they're not racist, xenophobic, homophobic, neurotic or paranoid, right wingers are what made this country great. Don't believe me, just ask one.
Acually I have done quite a bit of drinking with redneck girls in the past. And those stories are no doubt more interesting than the ones I post now.
And since today's my 26th wedding anniversary I'll say no more about it.
Thanks for putting up with me all these years, Boo-Boo.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blue Dog Democrat: A Right Wing Nut by Any Other Name is Still..., Health Care Reform, Dan Boren and Maxine Waters.

OK, just who are the Blue Dog "Democrats"?
Well that's easy, considering that these people are actually proud of their efforts to destroy the Democratic Party and what it stands for.
Blue Dog Leadership Team

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD), Blue Dog Co-Chair for AdministrationRep. Baron Hill (IN-09), Blue Dog Co-Chair for PolicyRep. Charlie Melancon (LA-03), Blue Dog Co-Chair for CommunicationsRep. Heath Shuler (NC-11), Blue Dog Whip
Blue Dog Members

Altmire, Jason (PA-04) Arcuri, Mike (NY-24)Baca, Joe (CA-43)Barrow, John (GA-12)Berry, Marion (AR-01)Bishop, Sanford (GA-02)Boren, Dan (OK-02)Boswell, Leonard (IA-03) Boyd, Allen (FL-02)Bright, Bobby (AL-02)Cardoza, Dennis (CA-18)Carney, Christopher (PA-10)Chandler, Ben (KY-06)Childers, Travis (MS-01)Cooper, Jim (TN-05)Costa, Jim (CA-20)Cuellar, Henry (TX-28)Dahlkemper, Kathy (PA-03)Davis, Lincoln (TN-04)Donnelly, Joe (IN-02)Ellsworth, Brad (IN-08)Giffords, Gabrielle (AZ-08)Gordon, Bart (TN-06)Griffith, Parker (AL-05) Harman, Jane (CA-36)Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie (SD)Hill, Baron (IN-09)Holden, Tim (PA-17)Kratovil, Jr., Frank (MD-01)McIntyre, Mike (NC-07)Marshall, Jim (GA-03)Matheson, Jim (UT-02)Melancon, Charlie (LA-03)Michaud, Mike (ME-02)Minnick, Walt (ID-01)Mitchell, Harry (AZ-05)Moore, Dennis (KS-03)Murphy, Patrick (PA-08)Nye, Glenn (VA-02) Peterson, Collin (MN-07)Pomeroy, Earl (ND)Ross, Mike (AR-04)Salazar, John (CO-03)Sanchez, Loretta (CA-47)Schiff, Adam (CA-29)Scott, David (GA-13)Shuler, Heath (NC-11)Space, Zack (OH-18)Tanner, John (TN-08)Taylor, Gene (MS-04)Thompson, Mike (CA-01)Wilson, Charles (OH-06)
What purpose do these Blue Dog "Democrats" serve?
According to their website,
The fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition was formed in 1995 with the goal of representing the center of the House of Representatives and appealing to the mainstream values of the American public. The Blue Dogs are dedicated to a core set of beliefs that transcend partisan politics, including a deep commitment to the financial stability and national security of the United States. Currently there are 51 members of the Blue Dog Coalition.
"Center"? Better make that "Way Right". "Mainstream values of the American public", how about "Twisted values of the American Right". "A core set of beliefs that transend partisan politics", apparently their "core set of beliefs" is that the Republicans are right and "transend partisan politics" is just obvious BS. Maybe they can fool the blissfully ignorant with that transending partisan politics line. They should really hire someone who knows something about fantasy writing to do this stuff. And they do have a commitment to the financial stability and national security of this country. That is, if you remove the code words and replace them with what they actually mean. "Financial stability", that means "Status Quo", in other words, keep things like they are now, the rich getting richer and the rest of us getting crapped on. No tax hikes for the wealthy or Big Business, we can cut services instead. "National Security" is code for throwing taxpayer dollars at military contractors while doing virtually nothing for the troops.
There probably are 51 members, but since this is from their website, who can be sure?
The Blue Dogs were called the Bush Dogs by discerning observers. Wonder why?
A tightly-knit group of self-styled moderate and conservative Democrats in the House of Representatives known as the Blue Dog Coalition supported controversial legislation granting the Bush administration expanded powers to spy on Americans.
The Blue Dogs have apparently informed the Democratic leadership in the House that they support the ongoing occupation of Iraq.
The Blue Dogs have provided key votes on controversial bills backed by the Bush administration. In September of 2006, 31 Democratic representatives voted with the Republican majority in the House to pass The Military Commissions Act. The controversial act empowered Bush to designate individuals as "enemy combatants," and deny them certain legal rights.
"The FISA bill is an absolute embarrassment. The idea that Congress would pass legislation, in this day and age, that would allow the government to spy on Americans with out any independent review from the courts or Congress is unbelievable."
You even have to pass an ideological purity test to Join the Blue Dogs.
According to Mahoney, he faced a thorough vetting process before being accepted into the group. "You have to be interviewed and accepted by the group. You have to be able to demonstrate that you're ideologically supportive of being fiscally conservative. You show them speeches and statements you've made in the past," Mahoney told the Charlotte Sun, a local paper from his district.
Wow. I'd be happy to show them some of my statements.
Let's recap, the Blue Dogs claim to be fiscally responsible, yet they backed Bush's trillion dollar war for no reason.
So, what are the Blue Dogs doing for us now? Quite a bit actually, if you're an insurance company. Squat, if your uninsured or underinsured.
The support for Blue Dogs from health care professionals is even more evident. Health pros are among the top 20 industry donors to 38 Blue Dogs since 1989 and are the No. 1 donor for five of them. Health pros have also given the typical Blue Dog $47,550 more than the typical non-Blue Dog Democrat in the House. This month the American Medical Association, which lobbies on behalf of doctors, also came out against a public health insurance plan. The AMA is among the top 20 contributors to 10 Blue Dogs since 1989.
Insurance and pharmaceutical companies fear that a public health option would allow the government to control costs and steal business. And with the Blue Dogs leading the charge against the government-funded plan, the industries might just get their way. Without any support from the GOP, two-thirds of the coalition's members, who mostly represent Southern and Midwestern states, would have to get behind the House legislation, according to Kaiser Health News.
The Blue Dogs by working hand in hand with their ideological soulmates, the GOP and the Mainstream Media, are going to blow the smartest thing that this country has been trying to do in a long time.
But be forewarned, the rot from within the Republican Party doesn’t mean Republicans can’t still win elections. They know how to drive up the “negatives” of their opponents. In a rare display of candor, North Carolina Representative Patrick McHenry said: “Our goal is to bring down the approval numbers for [Speaker] Pelosi and for House Democrats. That will take repetition. This is a marathon, not a sprint.” He boasted about the GOP’s “strategy” going forward: “We will lose on legislation. But we will win the message war every day, and every week, until November 2010.” This Republican “communications” operation is already in full swing with the corporate media playing the usual enabler role.
The Blue Dogs provide an opening for the Republicans to “triangulate” against the progressives inside the Democratic Party. They’re calling for “belt tightening” at a time of severe under-consumption and high employment. Republican leaders in the Senate will try to use the Evan Bayhs and Blanche Lincolns of the Blue Dog faction as a wedge to defeat vital parts of President Barack Obama’s legislative agenda.
Blue Dogs, willing dupes of the Right.
But there are still some real Democrats who have the cojones to stand up and say what needs to be said.
WATERS: Well that may be difficult for Rahm Emanuel, because don't forget -- he recruited most of them. As when he was over in the Congress, in the leadership, Rahm Emanuel recruited more conservative members and based on some of the information I'm getting, they told them that they could vote the way they wanted to vote, that they would not interfere with what was considered their philosophy about some of these things. So, now the chickens have come home to roost.
But many of these Blue Dogs represent districts that have strong pockets of poverty and minorities and they're not representing them with this approach that they're taking. And so I don't know whether or not there will be people running against them. Certainly we're not organized to run anybody against anybody, that's not normally what's done. But there may be people out there listening and observing all of this who may get motivated based on what they're seeing, and throw their hat into the ring.
The folks over a Open Left have been on top of this for a while. You should really check them out, excellent stuff.
Without challenging these members, we will never be able to get progressive legislation through Congress. Or, to put it another way, we think expanded warrantless wiretapping authority is awful for any President to have because we don't want to be spied on. We think the Iraq war is really bad and that troops should be withdrawn. We don't agree with Bush Dog Democrats on the substance of their policy ideas, nor do we think it's a good thing that they are helping George W. Bush govern in an effective working conservative majority.
That was from 2007, they're now fighting the Bush Dogs on health care. The principle's the same.
My personal "Dog" went on MSNBC to lie about health care.
One of the most recalcitrant Democrats in the health care debate said on Wednesday that his skepticism about a public health insurance option was driven by concern for the health of private insurers.

Appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Meeting," Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma said that he generally agreed that a government-run insurance program could effectively lower costs for consumers.

"The problem," he argued, "is in a state like Oklahoma, where we have a lot of private insurers, you have a public option come in and it drives everything else out and the only thing left is the public option and then you have rationed care."
This is what Boren and the Blue Dogs and the Republicans are backing.
Rescission (also known as "post-claims underwriting") is the process whereby health insurers avoid paying out benefits to treat cancer and other serious illnesses by seeking and often finding chickenshit errors in the policyholder's paperwork that can justify canceling the policy. In one job evaluation, the health insurer WellPoint actually scored a director of group underwriting on a scale of 1 to 5 based on the dollar amount she had managed to deny through rescission. (The director had saved the company nearly $10 million, earning a score of 3. WellPoint's president, Brian A. Sassi, insists this is not routine company practice.) Rescission's victims tend typically to be less-educated people who are more likely to make an error in filling out their insurance forms and lack the means to challenge a rescission in court—a path in which success is, at any rate, not guaranteed, because under state law the practice is perfectly legal if done within the allowable time frame (typically up to two years after a policy is issued).

The health crisis doesn't get more gothic than this. Robin Beaton, a retired nurse in Texas, was rescinded last year by Blue Cross and Blue Shield after she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Blue Cross said this was because she had neglected to state on her forms that she had been treated previously … for acne. Beaton eventually persuaded her congressman, Rep. Joe Barton, to twist Blue Cross' arm, but the delay meant it was five months before she could receive her operation. Otto Raddatz, a restaurant owner in Illinois, was rescinded in 2004 by Fortis Insurance Co. after he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Fortis said this was because Raddatz had failed to disclose that a CT scan four years earlier had revealed that he had an aneurism and gall stones. Raddatz replied—and his doctor confirmed—that he had never been told about these conditions (the doctor said they were "very minor" and didn't require treatment), but Fortis nonetheless refused a payout until the state attorney general intervened. The delay in treatment eliminated Raddatz's chances of recovery, and he died.
The bottom line is this, we have to have a single payer (government) option. This is the one thing that Big Biz and their minions are fighting the most. Without it we would have the same thing that we have now. What we have now is paying the highest price in the world for the 37th ranked health care.
What single payer means is the country would expand Medicare i.e. to cover all its citizens. If they wanted it. And who wouldn't.
Or you could look at it as everyone receiving Veterans Administration health care. That's what I have and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
So don't believe the scare tactics and lies that the Right is putting out. It's just a part of their evil plan to regain power and it's not in your own best self interest.
Even the nutcases on the Religious Right are getting into the act.
Perkins explains: "In a world of health care rationing, the elderly, the handicapped and the frail are the most likely to lose their lives because care was delayed or denied. Under the government-run plans in England and Canada, the countries' sick and elderly aren't getting the care they need. As a result, their system isn't improving lives but prematurely taking them. Here in the United States, President Obama's rationing would mean that you and I could be denied basic care while our tax dollars are used to underwrite a mother choosing to end the life of her unborn child."
Scare tactics and lies. I guess some of us are just as stupid as the politicians think we are.

Monday, May 04, 2009

National Council for a New America Wants You, Roy Blunt, Louis Gomert, American Energy Alliance, Robert J. Samuelson and the Texas State Board of Ed.

Meet the new Republican party, the new Republican party that now empathizes with those it used to scorn.
The new Republican party is looking forward to taking on new tough challanges. They want to be loved by the GLBT community, they want to be loved by the working class, they want to be loved by someone other than the angry, closed-minded, white folks that have filled their dance cards for the last 100 years.
They are rebranding their image. No longer wanting to be known as the "Party of No", they are now officially the "National Council for a New America" or unofficially "We'll change, we'll do anything if you'll just take us back, just give us one more chance. Please!" council.
Yeah, the GOP knows that it's about as popular as dog vomit right now and they are desperately wanting to convince the American people that their policies really wasn't the reasons that led this nation to near ruin over the 30 years. They want to do this and keep their extreme base happy at the same time. The same extreme base that actually liked those policies and want more of the same.
Prepare to be bamboozled.
Some Republican leaders today launched what they are calling a "conversation with America."
It was the first of several events planned as part of a new movement they're calling The National Council for a New America. The event drew some of the biggest names in the GOP, including former presidential candidate Mitt Romney and former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
Their effort is drawing a lot of attention, the venue was packed.
Audience members packed into a small pizza joint in Arlington to listen and to be heard.
Even with the success of drawing enough semi-openminded supporters and sycophants
...which included reporters, Republican aides and their friends,...
to fill a small pizza place they still have a tiny problem.
But it's a complex task -- going back to roots of fiscal conservatism, without marginalzing a social conservative base -- all the while reaching out to moderates and independents who have left the party in droves.
And just how is all this love working out with that base?
...a group of conservative activists who were protesting in the parking lot complained that they were not allowed through the doors.
“We’re demonstrating against the fact that this organization set up by RINOs [Republicans in Name Only] have taken immigration off the agenda,” said Michael McLaughlin, a member of the American Council for Immigration Reform, a group seeking to stem the flow of immigrants into the country.
The activists grumbled that Republican organizers did not widely advertise the event. Several wearing shirts declaring themselves “Republicans Against Maverick McCain” craned their necks for a glimpse of the senior lawmaker, who did not show up.
Hey, the GOP crawled through the crap on their bellies to court the extremists, they got 'em and now they can't function without them. Cosmic justice? Yeah, if cosmic justice has a sense of humor. I know I'm getting one hell of a kick out of this.
Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) has kind of an unique take on the situation. It sort of defies logic, but then logic is not really necessary when you have faith in the infallibility of your party's ideology.
“Just because we’re in a situation now where we vote no doesn’t mean we are the ‘party of no’ or have no ideas,” said former House Republican Whip Roy Blunt , who is running for Senate in Missouri and signed the letter. “This adds another way of getting those ideas out there.”
That's right folks, if it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it ain't no duck. It's actually a clever plan to make sure that the Republican's fresh new ideas, which they're not talking about because they're the same ideas that got us into this mess in the first place, get out to the American people.
They make this so easy.
Outside of the National Council for a New America, it looks pretty much like the SOS.
MIT economist John Reilly has come out and criticized Republicans for distorting his research on clean energy policy. GOP officials have been repeatedly misusing his work to claim that a cap-and-trade system would cost American families $3,100 in extra energy taxes each year. (In fact, the study actually says that any tax burden would be about one-fortieth of what Republicans claim.) Instead of responding to Reilly with facts, Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) is now bashing the economist with ad hominem attacks in CNS News:
You're gonna love this.
Anyone who thinks you can pay $3,100 to the federal government and thinks you can get that money back completely in services — like I said — he may go to M-I-T but he is an N-U-T.
This has been the Right's strategy for the last 30 years. If you repeat something enough it becomes common knowledge thereby the truth. And it has worked great. It doesn't say much for the intellect of the American people though.
In the American people's defense, the Right has some pretty sophisticated help in perpetuating these myths. Take for instance,
The largest U.S. energy companies increased lobbyist spending by 30% in 2008 to influence energy and climate change legislation. Some of those funds are now going towards the creation of the American Energy Alliance, a new off-shoot of Institute for Energy Research.

The American Energy Alliance is headed by an oil industry lobbyist named Thomas J. Pyle. Before joining AEA, Pyle was a policy adviser to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX). Pyle’s former employer was among the top recipients of oil industry campaign contributions from 1998 to 2004, raking in $498,375 according to the Center for Public Integrity. Pyle then went to work for the oil-giant, Koch Industries.
The American Energy Alliance is airing radio ads in the home districts of moderate Democrats in order to press legislators to vote against the Waxman-Markey clean energy bill.
The ad repeats the debunked $3,100 lie that energy companies and their conservative allies have been pushing for weeks.
And Robert J. Samuelson of The Washington Post is doing his part to help the cause too. According to him, Obama hates the Oil companies to the detriment of all Americans.
Considering the brutal recession, you'd expect the Obama administration to be obsessed with creating jobs. And so it is, say the president and his supporters. The trouble is that there's one glaring exception to their claims: the oil and natural gas industries. The administration is biased against them -- a bias that makes no sense on either economic or energy grounds. Almost everyone loves to hate the world's Exxons, but promoting domestic drilling is simply common sense.
Improved production techniques (example: drilling in deeper waters) have increased America's recoverable oil and natural gas. The resistance to tapping these resources is mostly political. To many environmentalists, expanding fossil fuel production is a cardinal sin. The Obama administration often echoes this reflexive hostility. The resulting policies aim more to satisfy popular prejudice -- through photo ops and sound bites -- than national needs.
I think Samuelson is just a shill for Big Oil.
Here's what other folks had to say about him.
Before we get all warm and fuzzy about real journalists at The Washington Post like Dana Milbank�or whores like Jonathan Weisman who sometimes act like real journalists�it�s important to remember that paper is still firmly captured, ensnared by corporate greed and a nauseating self-righteousness.

Robert J. Samuelson fits that profile perfectly today in his incredibly dishonest and condescending piece The Phony Job Debate. �Electing a president based on job creation makes as much sense as selecting a doctor based on palm reading.�
His Establishment bias goes way beyond health. No agonizing for Samuelson on the growing income gap between the very rich and everybody else – shades of the 1920s! Nor on the export of American jobs or low investment in public goods (like crumbling bridges). He has inveighed against swollen Wall Street salaries, but on the deregulation now jeopardizing us, he’s been confused, as if the problem was bad people on Wall Street rather than the system. Thus, in April, as the subprime scandal unfolded, Samuelson wrote that greed, shortsightedness and herd behavior compromise modern finance. “But regulation cannot cure this dilemma, because regulators can’t anticipate all the problems and hazards, either.”

That’s wrong, mostly. Regulation did deter but corporate America had it removed.
If you have two functioning brain cells to rub together, you know that regulation worked. We can thank Bill Clinton and some of the other Democrats for caving on that one.
But the more the Right feigns change, the more things stay the same.
"In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards."

Mark Twain wrote that in 1897, and Americans still quote it, with feeling. It comes to mind for many observers of a current battle over science education in Texas.

Texas's school board, the State Board of Education (BOE), has been fighting about standards for science textbooks the state buys. Since March, clamorous attention has focused on a proposal to require that texts discuss the "strengths and weaknesses" of evolutionary theory. Everyone knew this was a ploy to get creationist ideas into the classroom. The scientific community was relieved when the BOE finally voted not to include that language – and dismayed when it then voted for amendments that mandate the same thing. The BOE's exuberant chair says he's not afraid to "stand up to the experts."
What's expert opinion worth when compared to a right winger's intuition?
I'll leave you with what passes for humor in Right Wing Fantasy Land. Yeah, another e-mail.
Sick puppies.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Congressional Democrats Taking Bids on Their Votes, Estate Tax, Farm Subsidies, Health Care, Bankruptcy Law, Ben Nelson and Richard Lugar.

This post would have been out a lot earlier, at least 24 hours, if it weren't for my electric going out, the cloud cover zapped my internet connection and my poor old kerosine powered computer wanting to take a break.

In the 2008 elections it was pretty obvious that the country wanted change. We knew that we could expect plenty of opposition from the Republicans. We're getting plenty of that.

What's surprising is the amount of opposition that we are getting from those who are supposedly on our side.

This is from 2006:

With the 2006 midterm elections nearing and the Republicans receiving record-low approval ratings from the American public, companies and business groups are reaching out to opposition leaders in anticipation of a possible Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives, or even a Democratic sweep of Congress for the first time in 14 years.

The good news for the business as usual folks is that it's working. It looks like a lot of Democrats have no problem whoring for the lobbyists.

The House and Senate approved a $3.5-trillion federal budget outline Wednesday that embraces, in general terms, Obama's top priorities in healthcare, energy and education. But lawmakers have turned a cold shoulder to many of the president's proposals to shift wealth and federal subsidies from the rich to the less affluent.

That's right, too many congressional Democrats are spreading their legs for Big Business and the rich while giving the finger to the working class.

What I find as the most egregious breach of trust by some Democrats is:

Some Democrats even defected from Obama when it came to taxing the wealthiest Americans through the estate tax.

You've heard of the estate tax, the Right calls it the "Death Tax" and says it's the evil government's attempt to tax a person for dying. Like most things the Right claims, this is just pure BS.

The estate tax actually only applies to .025% of us, I guess "of them" would be more accurate. That's .025% of the wealthiest in this country. In fact, 18 of the richest families in the country have been financing the lobbying to do away with the estate tax.

Eighteen families, including the owners of Nordstrom Inc., The Seattle Times Co., Mars Inc., Koch Industries Inc. and Wal-Mart Inc., that stand to save $71.6 billion in taxes are financing lobbying efforts to repeal the estate tax, according to a study by two groups.

Public Citizen and United for a Fair Economy, which want to see estate tax rates increased to as high as 60 percent, said the families perpetrated a fraud on ordinary Americans by saying the levy constitutes an unfair "death tax." Only about 0.25 percent of Americans who die this year will leave an estate large enough to be taxed, the groups said.

That's quite a cause that these Democrats are rallying to.

Some Dems tucked their tails between their shaky legs on farm subsidies too.

The congressional budget did not incorporate Obama's proposal to cut off subsidies to farms with sales exceeding $500,000 a year, a move that bowed to the agriculture lobby and influential rural lawmakers, including the Senate Budget Committee's Conrad.

A lot of my relatives around here were farmers and trust me, the money does not go to family farms. It's not often that I agree with the Heritage Foundation. I guess it's true that if you dig through enough crap you might finally find that pony. It's from 2002, but things haven't changed.

These subsidy programs tax working Americans to award millions to millionaires and provide profitable corporate farms with money that has been used to buy out family farms. The current farm bills1 would provide even greater subsidies for large farmers, costing the average household $4,400 over the next 10 years, while facilitating increased consolidation and buyouts in the agricultural industry.2

It's kinda funny that using taxpayer money to do anything to help the working class is such a bad thing while giving this same money to Big Business and the Rich is a noble cause. But then, they can afford to give some of it back to the same politicians who voted to give it to them.

Here's another example of just how dumb some Democrats are:

Meanwhile, middle-class voters face the prospect of losing Obama's "Making Work Pay" tax credit -- of as much as $400 for individuals and $800 for couples -- after 2010.The budget resolution did not make room for a longer extension of the tax break.

Democrats said they had to impose that limit, at least for now, in deference to the worsening budget outlook.

Who do they think is electing them?

Most of us understand that all civilized countries have universal health care, that it works and it's less expensive than the mess that we call health care in this country. The president wants to partly fund it in this country by lowering the deduction for charitable donations to 28% from 33%. Only the rich get the 33% deduction, the rest of us just get the 28% anyway.

Needless to say, the lobbyists are having a fit over this.

Obama has defended the proposal as a matter of equity: Under current law, tax deductions are worth less to middle-class taxpayers than they are to wealthier people. For example, a middle-class bus driver gets only a 28% write-off for a $100 donation; someone in the upper income brackets gets 33% or more for the same donation.

Nonetheless, Obama's proposal is destined to fail, said Roberton Williams, a fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. "It sets up two groups to be the fall guys, and that mobilizes two fairly strong lobbies," he said.

Even the good guys in Congress can't compete with the Lobby Whores.

Today, a proposal to change bankruptcy law and allow bankruptcy judges to cram-down mortgage payments for troubled homeowners failed in the Senate by a vote of 45-51. The provision, which was introduced as an amendment by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), required 60 votes to pass. In recent weeks, support for the measure evaporated in the face of furious lobbying by the banking and mortgage industries. Prior to the vote, Durbin — who this week said that bankers “are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill” — took to the floor to decry the banking industry’s influence in the cram-down debate:

On the same subject:

The U.S. Senate could have stepped up to the plate yesterday and passed an amendment to help bankruptcy judges help homeowners. Instead, twelve Democrats joined all the Republicans in the Senate--including those two supposed 'moderates' from Maine that we hear so much about--to defeat the amendment.

Just so you know that Democrat Lobby Whores are not just a figment of my overactive imagination:

Sen. Ben Nelson said Thursday that he will oppose the creation of a government-run health insurance plan as part of a health care overhaul, contrary to the position held by many of his fellow Democrats.

The company Nelson finds himself in is laid out clearly: business, the insurance industry, and Republicans. Of course, this isn’t surprising, considering his campaign donation history. Open Secrets says Nelson received $608,709 from the insurance industry in 2007-2008, making the insurance industry his biggest donor group, more than lawyers and even lobbyists.

And our newest Democrat doesn't seem to understand what the hell is going on. If you want to call yourself a Democrat then you ought to at least try to act like one.

Specter (Pa.) on Thursday voted against a controversial bill that would have rewritten bankruptcy laws — a bill cherished by Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) — just a day after voting against the Democratic-written budget.

It's funny how anything designed to help the working class is termed controversial. Anyway, Democratic leaders are somewhat less than livid. "Aw shucks, he's just being independent".

Democratic leaders said Specter's "no" votes simply confirm his independence.

I think we need new leaders.

To quote a great American, "We have met the enemy and he is us." Pogo Possum 1971