15 May, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

I didn't have any caffeine for roughly 16 hours. Those of you who know me will probably need to have your hearts shocked back into sinus rhythm upon learning this. Never fear, I haven't gone on some weird health kick - I just ran out of soda. This situation has now been happily remedied, and I'm ready to take my freshly-caffeinated self into the battle against stupidity.

I'm going to need more caffeine.

Just like Rep. Kim Hendren shall need a bigger shovel:
Arkansas' Kim Hendren ran into a little trouble this week when he said he believes in "traditional values," unlike "that Jew," Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). He later apologized, adding, "I shouldn't have gotten into this Jewish business because it distracts from the issue."

Schumer accepted his apology, and Hendren no doubt hopes to redirect his attention by to his Republican campaign for the U.S. Senate, but before we move on, Hendren has one more clarification.

Defending himself again to the Arkansas News, Hendren went further, saying he didn't know why the words "that Jew" came out of his mouth. He added that there is a Jewish person in history he admires -- Jesus. He's also partial to Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman.

Oh my.

I know Cons aren't in the habit of listening to liberals, but here goes: Kim. Just shut the fuck up. Every time you open your mouth, it gets a little worse.

Speaking of things getting worse every time someone opens their mouth, Dick Cheney's found it impossible to shut up lately. Anonymous Cons want him to stop yakking before the incredible shrinking Republican party's damaged beyond recovery. William Kristol, however, thinks they should all stop whining and start singing Cheney's praises:
While many Republicans are trying to ditch the legacy of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, one pundit is still clinging to the previous administration. In a column today titled “Don’t Wince. Fight!,” Bill Kristol offers a full-throated defense of Cheney, writing that Republicans cringing at the re-emergence of the former vice president have a “juvenile understanding of political dynamics.” Kristol then prescribes that to regain power, the GOP needs to embrace Bush’s policies and listen to Cheney:
The real question any Republican strategist should ask himself is this: What will Republican chances be in 2012 if voters don’t remember the Bush administration–however problematic in other areas–as successful in defending the country after 9/11? To give this issue away would be to accept a post-Herbert-Hoover-like-fate for today’s GOP. That’s why Republicans should listen carefully when Cheney gives a speech this week in which he’ll lay out the case for the surveillance, detention, and interrogation policies of the Bush administration in the war against terror.
Here's a question for you: what's the difference between your friendly neighborhood psychic's crystal ball and Bill's Kristol Ball? Answer: nothing. They both suck at predicting the future. And if you trust their advice, you're life'll get fucked six ways from Tuesday.

So, Cons, by all means, listen to Bill. He totally knows what he's talking about. Embrace Bush! Celebrate Cheney! Show your pride!

Meanwhile, on the healthcare reform front, enemies of reform resort to - what else? bald-faced lies:
Rick Scott and his Conservatives for Patients Rights, the leading opponents of health-care reform, sent an email to its membership this morning, alerting them to "an important development." From the letter:

As you may know, the liberal group Health Care for America Now recently started running a mudslinging TV ad against me personally. After reviewing HCAN's ad, Comcast has determined that it is misleading and has been pulled off the air. By attacking me, HCAN proved that they were desperate to change the subject and not debate the substance of what we believe -- choice, competition, accountability and personal responsibility -- versus what they want which is government-run health care. But they were taught a lesson. You can try to change the subject, but you can't lie to change the subject.... That's why I need your help....

The irony is rich. Scott is falsely accusing HCAN of running a deceptive ad (the ad was truthful), it's arguing that Comcast pulled HCAN's ad (Comcast did nothing of the sort), all the while insisting that "you can't lie to change the subject."

This from a group that's already run wildly misleading television ads.

Comcast, when contacted, said "WTF?"

The letter came as a surprise to Health Care For America Now, who told me they had purchased a week of ads from May 6 to May 13 and assumed that their ad buy had just expired. The group contacted Comcast, who issued the following clarification: “Comcast has not pulled any ads produced by HCAN off our systems. The media buy for the ad in question expired on May 13.” HCAN has bought more airtime and the ad will soon return to the airwaves,” Jason Rosenbaum of HCAN told me.

You'd think lying fuckwits would learn to lie about things that are harder to debunk. I wonder how donors suckered in by this letter will feel when they turn their teevees on in a few weeks and see that "misleading" ad that was "pulled off the air" running full-volume?

Speaking of lies easy to debunk, the healthcare industry's now trying to claim it didn't promise what it promised last Monday:

Here's a shocker.

Just four days after standing next to President Obama and declaring their commitment to control health care costs to the tune of $2 trillion over 10 years, the insurance industry, drug and medical device makers, and hospital groups are backing off their promise

From the NYTimes:

After meeting with six major health care organizations, Mr. Obama hailed their cost-cutting promise as historic.

"These groups are voluntarily coming together to make an unprecedented commitment," Mr. Obama said. "Over the next 10 years, from 2010 to 2019, they are pledging to cut the rate of growth of national health care spending by 1.5 percentage points each year — an amount that’s equal to over $2 trillion."

Health care leaders who attended the meeting have a different interpretation. They say they agreed to slow health spending in a more gradual way and did not pledge specific year-by-year cuts.

I just happen to have a copy of the letter [pdf] that these organizations released on Monday, and it pretty clearly exactly says:

To achieve all of these goals, we have joined together in an unprecedented effort, as private sector stakeholders—physicians, hospitals, other health care workers, payors, suppliers, manufacturers, and organized labor—to offer concrete initiatives that will transform the health care system. As restructuring takes hold and the population's health improves over the coming decade, we will do our part to achieve your Administration’s goal of decreasing by 1.5 percentage points the annual health care spending growth rate—saving $2 trillion or more. This represents more than a 20% reduction in the projected rate of growth. We believe this approach can be highly successful and can help the nation to achieve the reform goals we all share.

Now, the Hospital Association's executive vice president, Richard J. Pollack is saying: "The groups did not support reducing the rate of health spending by 1.5 percentage points annually." I'm not entirely sure how he interprets "1.5 percent points in the annual health care spending growth rate" but it pretty much reads to me like Richard J. Pollack is full of shit and a reneger.

Sounds about right. Should you want to do some shouting, there's contact information at the link above. Let them know what right ruddy bastards they are.

In paranoid-piece-of-shit news, Michael Steele's abandoned his sensible stance on assault weapons and embraced insane wingnut talking points with both lips:
Today, RNC Chairman Michael Steele spoke at the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) “Celebration of American Values” Leadership Forum. During his speech today, Steele criticized Barack Obama’s potential Supreme Court nominee, saying the President is “looking to put Doctor Phil on the Court.”

Steele also played to his NRA audience by fear-mongering that Democrats may take away Americans’ guns. He claimed that those guns are more necessary than ever since Guantanamo detainees may soon be in the United States and the public will have to defend itself:

It is ironic, to say the least, that at the same time Democrats in Congress are threatening to deny Americans their second amendment right to own a firearm and defend their families and homes, they are considering bringing terrorists like 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and other Al Qaeda detainees to our communities once the President follows through on his campaign promise to close Guantanamo Bay.

Yes, because those Supermax prisons are notorious for letting their inmates wander around city streets unsupervised.

When are these fucktards going to realize that no one's talking about releasing terrorists into American communities except for them? And when are their leaders going to stop playing to their paranoia and assuming some responsibility as leaders?

Perhaps when everybody's figured out which Con's actually leading the Cons:

A new Rasmussen poll finds that only 37% of Republican voters think the party has no clear leader, a definite improvement from a 68% figure two months ago. But there's a catch: There's no agreement on who the party's clear leader actually is.

John McCain comes in first place among possible leaders at 18%, followed by Michael Steele with 14%, Sarah Palin on 10%, Mitt Romney at 8%, Rush Limbaugh with 6%, and Dick Cheney at 4%.

The polling memo reiterates a recent point by Scott Rasmussen: "To be relevant in politics, you need either formal power or a lot of people willing to follow your lead. The governing Republicans in the nation's capital have lost both on their continuing path to irrelevance."

I'm sorry, did he say "governing" Republicans? Can we really call anything those dumbfucks are doing governing?


Didn't think so.

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