Monday, August 31, 2009

Nobody could have predicted

First Republican musing - NOBODY could have anticipated this disaster.
Yet more proof is emerging of how the Bush Administration worked. At the time, however, those of us who dared to point out problems such as this were called traitors and unAmerican for not fully supporting the President.

Second Republican musing - how did a scumbag like David Vitter (married client of the DC madame) become a Senator and such a stalwart of the GOP superior morality patrol? With the full support of the national Republican party, of course. How did he secure that? As a Representative, he made sure this Republican jewel was put into law as part of No Child Left Behind:

High schools are required to give military recruiters the names and contact details of all juniors and seniors. Schools that fail to comply risk losing their NCLB funding.

This tiny regulation made sure that President George W. Bush's so-called education bill would really be the most aggressive military recruitment tool since the draft. Vitter did the GOP's dirtywork, Vitter gets the financial and logistical support to become a Senator, campaigning on "family values".

Third Republican musing - what, giving people options is now bad?

"Well, excuse me, but I don’t recall having the option of not paying for the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq, or the continuing occupation that was funneling hundreds of billions to Halliburton, Blackwater and other waste or fraud."

Fourth Republican musing - how Republicans fight terror

Guy gives money to Bush to help get him elected.

Guy's troop of mercenaries is hired by GOP to assassinate enemy leaders, illegally circumventing laws and oversight. As a bonus, this essentially tells the US Armed Forces that the conservatives don't think they're good enough to protect America.

Guy's mercenaries do a lot of bad things and kill a lot of people, but do not assassinate any enemy leaders.

Republicans declare that mercenaries are exempt from all laws and investigation (oh, and taxes), no matter what crimes they committed.

Guy is given vast sums of taxpayer money.

Won't be reported on US mainstream media, that's for sure

Friday, August 28, 2009


So, there's a 9/12 protest being planned to protest big government spending. It's a march on Washington, and it's being billed as an honest-to-goodness grassroots campaign. Since they're proclaiming themselves as grassroots, it's of, by and for everyday folk, right?

Not even close. Big money, big lobbying and big business interests are behind it, and they're suckering in lots of folk to do their dirty work - even though the primary motivations of the big money is against the best interests of the very "protesters" they hope to mobilize.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Why primary care doctors are fed up

Good point. This is another aspect of how things have decayed in this country since the advent of "trickle down" economics. With the current system of profit-before-care and pushing money to the tops of large corporations instead of doctors and other actual healthcare providers, we have been systematically pushing people away from such noble (yes, noble) professions.

Some people think that Obama simply inherited a horrible budget deficit and unsustainable debt from obligations such as the VA, Medicare, Medicaid and the healtcare of government workers. He most certainly has, and the problem was intentionally made worse over the last 8 years, instead of receiving improvement. However, it is the fundamental shift in American economics that began in 1981 that is at the root of a host of our most serious economic problems - including paying healthcare workers for providing what should be the highest quality care in the world.

Under the mnemonic of "the magic of the free market", a generation of Americans has seen their quality of life decline for the first time in American history. Before "voodoo economics", it was commonplace for a working-class family to flourish with one income. This allowed stronger families and economic freedom for things like starting a business or taking a chance on a small start-up. Now things are much more difficult, largely because of the massive wealth redistribution brought about by Reganomics, and massively accelerated by dubyanomics.

Overseas healthcare

Good episode of Fresh Air on NPR.

Journalist and author T.R. Reid set out on a global tour of hospitals and doctors' offices, all in the hopes of understanding how other industrialized nations provide affordable, effective universal health care. The result: his book The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care.

Know the actual facts, not political party talking points, telling you how horrible healthcare is outside of the United States.

There are conservative vs. progressive debates in countries with healthcare for all their citizens too. The difference is that elsewhere, the debate is how to best deliver healthcare to their citizens, not whether or not is should even happen.

It is so frustrating to have to look elsewhere in the world for leadership and better solutions. America used to be better than it is, but our spiral into "profits at all costs" is literally killing us.

How can it be that so obvious a social good as universal health insurance, so humane a solution to common vulnerability, is not sewn deep into the fabric of the United States? How can one of the biggest, richest and most advanced countries in the world tolerate a situation where, at any one time, one in six of the population has to pay for their treatment item by item, or resort to hospital casualty wards?

Of course, when Republicans talk about the importance of prayer and fasting as tools for making sure the President of their own country fails, it becomes difficult to reason with them.

McCain, Limbaugh and Cheney, oh my!

Angry right-wing crowd boos John McCain for stating that President Obama (a Constitutional law professor) ‘respects the Constitution of the United States.’

This, coming from the group that highly approved of George W. Bush's treatment of the Constitution. Not only did Bush violate the Constitution, but when challenged about violating the law so blatantly, he referred to the United States Constitution as "that god-damned piece of paper".

Keep in mind, the Oath of President contains the passage "uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States", not "follow the word of God as I hear it".

Stay classy, Republicans. Turn on your representatives any time they try to rise above the angry rhetoric and dare make a statement of truth.

Just HOW ridiculous are the right-wing lies. Here's a transcript snippit from none other than their media darling Rush Limbaugh "it is President Obama who wants mandated circumcision. We had that yesterday. That means if we need to save our penises from anybody, it’s Obama."

Yet one more example of what ludicrous things the conservatives will say to avoid debating real healthcare reform.

Dick Cheney in April 2009 said the CIA should declassify memos showing that torture got us great, lifesaving information. Those memos were just declassified and they show...not quite that

Ted Kennedy in 2004

If only the public had listened to him then, tragedy could have been avoided. But his voice sadly could not rise above the loud propaganda campaign of misinformation, amplified by the mainstream media.

Republican misinformation campaign

Best? Unfortunately, just another made up talking point. Remember, just because the right-wing politicians and their surrogates say it over and over, that doesn't make it true. I wish it were, and think we should work towards making it true, but that doesn't change our current reality.

The RNC - mind you, not some random crazy person disrupting public discussions, the actual political party itself - is trying to convince their base of the ridiculous notion that the government will discriminate against Republicans, and deny them healthcare.

That is the Republican version of "political leadership". No shame and no conscience. Plus, what does it say about the level of respect they have for their own "base", to feed them garbage like this?

Chronology of the "death panel" lie being pushed by the Republicans

And they're not stopping there. The actual leader of the Republican Party is now trying to convince people that Obama wants veterans of the US Armed Forces to kill themselves.

They are so committed to maintaining the profit margins of the status quo that they'll tell these ludicrous lies directly to the public. These people have absolutely no shame left.

Of course, Fox "news", who sued to have the right to brand misinformation as news, is reporting flat-out lies as fact.

A few examples of disingenuous Congressional Republicans (no that's not an oxymoron - be fair)

Fortunately, America's seniors are not buying the lies, no matter how loudly they're shouted over and over.

Remember, "right to life" is their code for "war for oil", "pro-death penalty" and "oppose healthcare for all", "states' rights" is code for heavy laws at the federal level usurping State control, and "sanctity of marriage" is their code for "adultery and divorce are perfectly normal".

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Healthcare tidbits

10 awesome things that would happen if health care reform passes

So a lot of ordinary folk are very happy with the status quo of the state of healthcare in America. Some of them are extremely vocal. And a whole lot of them are simply being paid to do it, instead of actually believing in what they're lobbying for.

Ronald Reagan, GOP Hero: Medicare is socialized medicine and must be destroyed.
GOP 2009, to seniors: Oh, no! Obama's going to cut your Medicare!
Wall Street Journal

Palin (heh, I can already hear you laughing) issued a Proclamation encouraging advance directive planning in April 2008 - the very thing she now refers to as 'Death Panel'

"The party also vowed to oppose any Democratic effort to ration care or to insert the government between seniors and their doctors."
Sounds nice and all, but the actual truth is that they fully support the continuation of current efforts to ration care by CEOs and actuaries of the biggest insurance companies who put profit first.

One of the Republican talking points. Don't just lie about what healthcare reform entails, attack Obama for taking a vacation. That's right, it's OK for Bush to spend 40% of his presidency on vacation, but Obama is not allowed to take a single one.
(how many lies and misrepresentations can YOU find in this propaganda ad?)

The GOPpers have no shame...

Monday, August 24, 2009

All the President's zombies

Excellent op-ed by Paul Krugman

As for the current healthcare debate, there is still a ton of misinformation being circulated about. Be aware of reality, and don't buy the political propaganda from anyone. Learn from reliable sources.

Healthcare myths



Be wary of empty talking points meant to scare

And follow past deeds and the money trail. Who stands to benefit from the status quo of double-digit rate increases while wages stagnate, insurance being canceled when it's needed, and CEOs deciding what procedures are medically necessary for you? Who might actually work for the good of the citizenry, and does not change their story with the shifting political winds?

Up until this week, Republicans have been claiming that government healthcare is "not a right". This week, however, they have come out with a healthcare "bill of Rights" for seniors protecting Medicare - a program that they have crippled during the Bush years and have stated their intent to kill.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Healthcare debate from an alternate universe

When in need of a sensational example to push your political agenda - JUST MAKE STUFF UP. They're so single-minded on stopping any progress on healthcare in America, that they're willing to flat-out lie to the public.

What a piece of work the Republican party has become. The new voice of conservative values and morality.

While just 36% believe Obama’s efforts to reform the health system are a good idea, that number increases to 53% when respondents were read a paragraph describing Obama’s plans.

Where does all the misinformation come from? How does the American public get so separated from reality?
It should come as no surprise that Fox News viewers are overwhelmingly misinformed about health care reform proposals.

Here's another example of the effect of relying on infotainment and propaganda as a source of news.

Again, not surprisingly, those that feast upon fox "news" propaganda have the most misconceptions about the actual facts.

For example, find a good, honest person who always votes Republican. Ask them about the reality of today's healthcare system by matching private insurance companies and socialized medicine (i.e. Medicare) with the following two statements:

1) Ration care by deciding what is covered and what is not. Limit which doctor and hospital you can use. Deny medical treatment for 'preexisting conditions'. Willingly deny critical medical treatment if a minor clerical error is discovered within a mountain of paperwork.
2) More choice, less exclusion, less bureaucracy, significantly greater efficiency.

I'll bet they erroneously match private insurance with 2.

Moral leadership

Ooooooh, I see. When a Republican cheats on his wife, it's not actually illegal, so there's no harm done.

So, just mix in some revisionist history, and a Republican can say, with a straight face, that a Democrat having an affair is guilty of the worst possible crime and should be forcibly removed from office, but it's OK for Republicans to have affairs because it's not a crime for them. Glad Ensign could enlighten us as to the wise ways of his infinitely superior morality.

Nobody should be surprised

Remember the 2004 Presidential election? Remember how every time Bush started slipping in the polls to Kerry, the homeland security alert level would go up? Bush and company would have a media blitz to say how al Qaeda was about to attack again, and the only way to prevent it was to "stay the course". Anyone suggesting changes (i.e. electing a new President) was labeled as unAmerican and wanted the terrorists to win.

The right-wing media never talked about the amazing correlation between the terror alert level and political pollinb, and those that did were - you guessed it, called unAmerican terrorist-supporters.

To anyone who was paying attention to the big picture, it will come as no surprise that the Republicans were indeed raising the terror alert level based on political polling, not actual terror threats. Republican leadership at work, the new conservatism in action...