Friday, September 25, 2009

Today's healthcare thoughts

Senator Jay Rockefeller calling out Senator John Cornyn for the insurance industry sellout he is. We need more of this, and more people to understand this.

What No One Is Telling You: 100,000,000 Americans Already Use Government Health Care

And again, the status quo that the right is fighting so hard to protect

Checking in on the right again

Republican operative caught having to face reality, instead of just having free reign to repeat the same talking points over and over.

Conservative values hero:

Standard GOP tactic - just make stuff up, and pass it off as truth

Maternity issues shouldn't be covered by healthcare, because males don't need it.

Conservative payback for a job well done. So, Palin quit as governor to reap the benefits of a speaking tour, sponsored by the Republican movers and shakers. In a nutshell, they're giving her big money to rip on Obama, and how he's been unable to solve the nation's long-brewing problems in his first 200 days. Somehow, I think if a Democrat was being paid a lot of money to criticize a Republican President, they'd loudly decry that as treason and unAmerican. Oh wait, we don't have to speculate - that's exactly what they did.

In her new role as buck-raker extraordinaire, the darling of wingnut conservatives is pocketing a fat wad of cash from a China-based financial brokerage owned by a French banking conglomerate.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Checking in on the right

Romanian Girl Owns Kirk Cameron.

When your arguments are so flimsy, it's easy to come off looking like a complete idiot. Good job, Kirk.

Another example of the status quo that the right is fighting so hard to protect

Why you can't give Republicans power beyond the Constitution, even if it's meant to fight terrorism: Only three of the 763 "sneak-and-peek" requests in fiscal year 2008
involved terrorism cases, according to a July 2009 report from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Sixty-five percent were drug cases.

Bizarre Republican talking point, makes no sense: the US Census will be used to send Americans to internment camps, so they urge people not to trust or give information to census workers. Courtesy of Rep Michelle Bachmann.

Well, a census worker was just found hung and the word FED written across his chest. Ah, I see the point now. I just don't understand why anyone would want this to happen...

Standard GOP tactics

Yea, good idea. display your patriotism by desecrating the American flag.

Perspective - the GOP wants ACORN defunded because it costs too much. The reality is that the amount of money that ACORN has received in the past 20 years altogether is roughly equal to what the taxpayer paid to Halliburton each day during the war in Iraq.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Black market nuclear weapons

Liberals vs Conservatives on keeping nuclear weapon material off of the black market.

Conservatives: End working program preventing North Korea from enriching uranium and provoke them until they develop nuclear weapons. Expose CIA operation (and agents) to get nuclear weapon material off of the black market to show everyone how serious you are about demanding personal loyalty above the country's future. Repeat N.Korea strategy with Iran.

Liberals: Get nuclear weapons material off of the black market and safeguard it in the US

Guess the "magic of the free market" doesn't quite work in situations like this.

and they hope to achieve...

So, why is it the conservatives are pushing hate-speak so much, instead of proposing alternate solutions and (gasp) compromising? What is their current end-game? Their real objectives?

Bill Moyers
on Conservative Radicals and the Politics of Vengeance

By the way, what's up with Texas?

Present a simple statement of fact about how many Texans are uninsured. Responses in the comments section are quite predictable - blame Obama for problems building since deregulation in 1981, blame illegal immigrants and want more from the federal government. Sigh...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Different approach to fighting terrorism

During 8 years of Bush, missiles were launched at long range. Al Qaeda leaders weren't killed, but civilians were, further turning the world against the US.

Just a couple of hundred days of Obama, and tactics change to actually going in with commandos to kill al Qaeda leaders, and this works. Seems that providing leadership is more effective than launching a war to destroy an oil-rich country that didn't have anything to do with the attack against the US.

Teabagger rally

This is just how nuts the anti-anything-Obama-does crowd is. And they don't even know how off the deep end they are.

Hilarious when they're actually presented with actual facts, to explain their talk-show talking points, or to present a better solution.

The myriad of nazi/communist/fascist/socialist commentary was just sad, though. Perhaps the statement that "he's already destroyed half of the country" was the best. I don't know which states Obama has launched nuclear weapons against, but so far Wisconsin has not been destroyed, nor felt any nuclear fallout from neighboring states, so I think the midwest has been spared so far.

Won't see this on fox "news"

Jon Stewart

A picture is worth 1000 words

the leader (no, not Dick Armey providing the big corporate money or fox providing the propaganda outlet and advertising, the other leader)

the puppetmasters

the common thread

simple graph of the plan. note the lack of "destroy America" in the plan, as touted by the 9/12 teabaggers.

10 lessons for teabaggers

teabaggers self-describing

nice poster

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Reality of trickle-down

Warren Buffett said he paid a 16.5% tax rate on all his income because the tax rate on investment dividends and long-term capital gains is only 15%. By contrast, a single employee at Buffet’s firm, Berkshire Hathaway, who earns between $33,000 and $83,000 must pay a 25% federal income tax rate.

That's trickle-down / voodoo / supply side / Reganomics / dubyanomics (whatever you want to call it) at work. The working class will pay MORE in taxes - in this simple illustration, 40% more of their take home pay percentage - than the very rich.

This is what happens when you put Republicans in charge of the nation's tax code. "Tax breaks for all" sounds good, but when the reality is "tax breaks for the wealthiest people and largest corporations, with tax increases for the middle/low class and small businesses", then the reality of their policies doesn't sound so good.

Facts about healthcare quality and cost

Don't accept visceral talking points. Learn the facts about healthcare reform costs.

How is this possible? Look at the facts instead of listening to pundits.

The US Government pays, per capita, approximately as much for the healhcare of its citizens than other industrialized nations. US citizens pay, per capita, approximately as much for the healhcare of its citizens than other industrialized nations.

That means we're really paying approximately DOUBLE what other industrialized countries are paying. Yet the US is the only such country that does not have 100% (or near 100%) coverage, and those that need care the most can be dropped by their private insurance carriers, or be denied (on the spot or retro-actively) coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

The US is 37th in the world for overall quality of healthcare for its citizens.

So, we're currently paying double for partial coverage that is worse than other countries. Eliminate just half of this disparity and inefficiency and we can provide better healthcare for all at less cost.

Unless, of course, you believe that the US simply cannot approach the levels of healthcare provided by other industrialized nations.

But we can still blame waiting lists in some countries or malpractice abuses here for the current disparity, right? Nope.

Robert Reich Explains The Public Option In 70 Seconds

If the GOPpers are so unanimously dead set against healthcare for all, how come they have ALWAYS wanted to give it to Iraqis?

Why is it that Republicans are fighting so hard to INCREASE this number? Shouldn't we fundamentally want this to go down?

Poll: Doctors Among Public Option's Biggest Fans

Republican economics

$2.3 Trillion. That's over $8,000 for every man, woman and child in America. That's the amount that the Bush Administration COULD NOT ACCOUNT FOR in their defense spending - before 9/11. After 9/11, of course, they started lavishly spending as never before, completely forgetting about the missing $2.3 trillion, hoping we'd all forget about it.

Republicans will allow trillions of dollars to simply disappear, and then put $2-4 trillion onto future administrations' budgets to wage war against Iraq (instead of against the people who attacked us). Yet when faced with a proposal to improve healthcare for Americans that would not increase the deficit, they scream that Democrats are wild spenders and we cannot afford to improve healthcare.

There's an old adage - if you find a wallet with $100 and no identification, it's up to your morality to find the owner. If you find $1M, you don't have to do anything - the owner will find you. A million dollars doesn't just simply disappear. Even more so, the unaccounted trillions spent by Bush and the Republicans didn't just disappear, as they say. They know very, very well who the beneficiaries of their corruption are. And the American taxpayers are the losers.

This is what happens when you put Republicans in charge of the country's finances:

Then, when their excesses finally come to light, they complain that a newly elected Democratic President wasn't able to instantly clean up their mess.

Now they want to stop healthcare reform, in favor of the highly profitable status quo. They claim it costs too much. Study: Bush Tax Cuts Cost More Than Twice As Much As Health-Care for Nearly All Americans

The GOP vs Fiscal Conservatism


This plan will not cover illegal aliens.

"HR 3200 SEC. 246. NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS: Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States."

Republican response:
Scream "you lie" at the President, on the floor of the House, during a joint session of Congress. Rep Wilson, this is not one of those town hall stunts where you try to stifle discussion by screaming. Have some integrity. Have some dignity. Rise above the low bar your party now follows.

Amongst other screw-ups, Wilson accused Rep Bob Filner of hating America, and said he was "viscerally anti-American" for (correctly) stating that the US worked with Saddam Hussein in getting Iraq chemical weapons.

This time he yelled at the President for lying - even though the President made a factual statement, and Wilson was fully aware of it.

The response from his core Republican constituents? Embarrassment at his inappropriate behavior? Rebuke for yelling "you lie" at the President when he makes a truthful statement? Disbelief that Wilson still continues to try to explain how a true statement is a lie?

Nope, they want to give him a big "yee, ha". That is how brainwashed some of his constituents are when it comes to the actual facts over the possibility of healthcare reform - that would actually benefit them.

But at least Wilson made it clear that he's always been opposed to healthcare for illegals. Whoops...he voted to cover illegal immigrants in 2003.

To give $10 to Rob Miller, an Iraq vet and Wilson's 2010 opponent:

Olbermann on Wilson, and his long history of decrying truthtellers as liars


Saturday, September 12, 2009

The year 2000 called...

...and it would like acknowledgment of being completely right

Gore said his Republican opponents would lead the country back to the policies of the 1980s, adding, "What they caused last time were record deficits, repeat recessions, high unemployment."

He said that if elected, his No. 1 priority would be to "keep balancing the budget every year and paying down the (national) debt to demonstrate our fiscal responsibility, to keep interest rates low and to keep creating new jobs."

Instead, we got massive government spending increases, massive debt for future generations to be hit with, another massive banking bailout (remember HW's?), major threat to economic stability, a mortgage crisis, a recession big enough that it could become a depression, and high unemployment.

Al, all but the most delusional dubya voters are remorseful.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Protect kids from - the President?

It's one thing to disagree with the President. Although you were labeled as unAmerican between 9/11/01-1/19/09 for disagreeing with things like tax cuts for the wealthy, warrantless domestic spying, massive bank bailouts with no repayment expectation, torture to extract false confessions, and insulting long-standing allies, those days are behind us. It is once again OK to say that you do not agree with the President of the United States. That's basically a pillar of liberalism - defending the right of someone to say something that you disagree with.

However, it is an altogether different mindset to disagree regardless of content. We've heard the political goal of doing anything and everything to insure that the President fails, in order to achieve political points. But would conservatives really willingly harm America to achieve their goal of failure?

Here it is. President Obama wants to tell kids to stay in school to get a good education, following in the footsteps of George H.W. Bush who did the exact same thing. The astounding knee-jerk reaction from the right is to oppose this - actually pull kids out of school to protest the "you should stay in school" message. Once you strip away the ludicrous "he's brainwashing our children" rhetoric, how can this action possibly make sense?

Or could it be that these right-wing parents are not afraid that Obama is somehow going to indoctrinate their kids, but they're afraid that his rational and common sense address will shatter the false image of Obama that they're trying to portray?

Sadly, it's not just the propagandists and wingnut fringe spreading this drivel. It's the Republican Party itself

One of their arguments is that no US President has ever addressed schoolchildren before. Really, that's what they're saying. Apparently, they've forgotten what George W. Bush was doing when terrorists were attacking America.

Have we really reached a point in our society that just because the other guy wins, we throw a tantrum and demand that our kids not be "indoctrinated" by his evil message of "work hard and stay in school"?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Roosevelt: The Great Divider

Hear, hear!

When Roosevelt asked Congress to establish the Tennessee Valley Authority to provide cheap electric power for the impoverished South, he did not consult with utility giants like Commonwealth and Southern. When he asked for the creation of a Securities and Exchange Commission to curb the excesses of Wall Street, he did not request the cooperation of those about to be regulated. When Congress passed the Glass-Steagall Act divesting investment houses of their commercial banking functions, the Democrats did not need the approval of J. P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs or Lehman Brothers.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Words or deeds?

One of the current, untrue talking points coming from the right is that Obama wants to gut Medicare, and Republicans are fighting to preserve Medicare.

Let's look at the actual actions the Republicans have taken, rather than just listening to the rhetoric:

The Bush Administration, with full Republican Congressional support, passed Medicare "Part D" as a way to raise medication costs to Medicare recipients while transferring massive wealth from the taxpayers to drug companies by overpaying for medications. Now they hold this up as an example of how government should not be involved in healthcare.

On April 2nd, nearly four-fifths of House Republicans tried to ABOLISH Medicare completely. They voted to converted Medicare into a voucher system, providing future retirees with a fixed amount of money to buy private insurance plans. Those plans could then raise premiums without bounds, deny any coverage on the grounds of pre-existing conditions, and deny benefits to those that are not profitable enough.

Follow the money, not the talking points.