News Roundup for 8/31/09

Chuck Grassley
"Negotiating" healthcare reform to death

-Headline of the day-

Sen. Charles Grassley, the Republicans' point man on "bipartisan" healthcare reform negotiations has sent out a fundraising letter asking donors to help him defeat healthcare reform. Healthcare reform, according to Chuckles, will kill you. Mostly because it "would turn over control of your health care decisions to a federal bureaucrat... and take it way from you and your physician" and "would mean government rationing in the name of cost controls."

"I am working in the Senate to develop a viable alternative that is free-market based and rejects the pitfalls of government-run insurance," Chuck writes. You know, that really sounds like what we have now. That's about as detailed as he's apparently willing to be -- i.e., not at all. You don't even get the broadstrokes of his "alternative plan." I suppose there will be plenty of time for that after he finally pulls it out of his butt.

"The simple truth is that I am and always have been opposed to the Obama administration’s plan to nationalize health care," he tells us. As if everyone other than Max Baucus and Harry Reid didn't already know that.

In the meantime, Chuckie's afraid that "groups like MoveOn.org and ACORN will pour their resources into Iowa" to defeat him the next time around. So he needs like one or two hundred bucks. He also makes a big deal about the letter being an "Air Gram." That's an old fundraising trick to make the mailing seem more expensive; if people think it a campaign is pricey, they're more likely to help with the cost.

So send Chuck Grassley, lead GOP negotiator on healthcare reform, a few bucks to help him defeat healthcare reform. Because anything that might possibly be good for you, rather than corporations, is socialism. And, what are you, a commie?

To anyone out there still holding out hope for a bipartisan solution, I have a question: why did your mom let you eat lead paint chips as a child? Because you are really, really dumb. (Grassley fundraising letter [PDF], via Wonkette)

-Believing what you choose to believe-
Turns out that religious right icon Pat Robertson had himself a little surgery. Nothing major. Just what AP calls "10 hours of surgery to repair a heart disorder." Just a little tweak.

In a statement from his Christian Broadcasting Network, Pat gave the reason for his recovery. "Only the prayers of thousands of believing people kept me on this earth," Pat says. "As it is, I anticipate many more years of creative service in the ministry I founded (CBN), as well as Regent University and other endeavors devoted to the service of mankind. I cannot praise enough the dedication and professionalism of Dr. Andy Kiser and his staff who removed this growth from my continuously beating heart."

Yeah, but it wasn't the "professionalism of Dr. Andy Kiser and his staff" who saved you, it was "the prayers of thousands of believing people." The surgeons just shot microwaves into your chest for ten freakin' hours for shits and giggles. Gotta do something while you're waiting for all that prayer to kick in.

It makes you wonder why the old faith-healer even bothered with surgery... although, it's probably because it was his ass on the line this time. He's got important things to do, like selling miracle shakes that allow him to leg press 2,000 pounds.

There are a lot of chumps out there who are going unbilked and Jesus clearly wants Pat to suck them dry. (Right Wing Watch)

-Bonus HotD-
"Texas Secessionist To Health Care Reform Advocates: 'Go Back To The US Where You Belong.'"

The right is going fullblown whackadoodle as the teabaggers get even more vocal. At a rally in Austin this weekend, "tenthers" -- nutjobs who misunderstand the Tenth Amendment -- argued that the federal government was illegal. Or something like that. Seriously, who even knows?

Not only were heathcare reform supporters told to "go back to the US," but one speaker warned " that stepping off into secession may in fact be a bloody war."

You know what's the funniest about all this? These idiots call themselves "patriots." (Think Progress)

No Defense for Torture

Subject being waterboardedThe thing I find most disturbing about the debate over torture is that it's happening at all. There was a time when torture was unthinkable, when there wouldn't have been any debate -- or even a second thought -- about prosecuting people who resorted to torture. But the Bush administration's fearmongering blew the threat of terrorism out of all proportion. Yes, 9/11 was the worst terror attack in American history, but had the Bush administration been on the ball, it probably never would've happened. All the information that the White House and the president ignored was gained without torture -- or even illegal wiretaps -- and it would've been enough shut those nineteen hijackers down.

But the administration, in their zeal to draw attention away from their own incompetence, turned Al Qaeda -- a loose-knit handful of theocratic cultists -- into an even greater threat to the United States than the Soviet Union's entire nuclear arsenal. Al Qaeda, we were told, wanted to destroy America -- never mind that there was no way they possibly could -- and we had to stop at nothing, give up any rights the administration demanded, and throw any antiquated systems of morality or ethics out the window. If we didn't, we would all die. Guaranteed. It strikes me as a measure of the insanity of those remaining rightwingers that universal access to healthcare is tyranny, but torture and wiretaps and the abandonment of the right of habeas corpus are triumphs of freakin' liberty. I'm sorry, but if you're reading this and this describes you, you're an idiot. Hate to break it to you like this, but there's no easy way to tell someone they're stupid. You are astonishingly dumb.

Now would be a good time to segue into calling Dick Cheney dumb. But Cheney's foolishness isn't in believing any of this, because he doesn't. Cheney's stupidity is in believing that his own skin is worth more than the country he was once elected to serve. That and in thinking you can torture people and not have anyone call you on it -- ever. That's dumb. Or delusional. I suppose, in the end, the results are the same.

The news that Attorney General Eric Holder is ordering a limited investigation into CIA torture has brought Cheney out of the woodwork again. In a fawning interview with FOX News' Chris Wallace, Dick came out swinging against the whole idea. Torture is now a basic American value and, if you hate torture, you hate America. Oh, and you're going to die.

"I think it's a terrible decision [to investigate torture]," Dick told Wallace. "President Obama made the announcement some weeks ago that this would not happen, that his administration would not go back and look at or try to prosecute CIA personnel. And the effort now is based upon the inspector general's report that was sent to the Justice Department five years ago, was completely reviewed by the Justice Department in years past."

It was the very first question he was asked and he answered with a lie. "[I]n the past Obama has clearly stated he only opposed prosecutions of CIA interrogators who operated within the 'four corners' of the law, not ruling out probes of those who may have operated outside of those 'four corners,'" writes Greg Sargent. Those 'four corners' being the techniques the Bush administration had authorized. Cheney's arguing that the CIA should've been able to do anything, the law be damned. Which kind of makes you wonder why they even bothered to create a pretense of legality.

Where do you draw the line? In Cheney's world, there doesn't seem to be a line. Anything, absolutely anything, is allowable if there's a chance it'll keep people safe. It's not hard to imagine him arguing, "Did interrogators rape babies? Yes they did. But we must remember that raping babies worked." It's a cold, hard world out there. A world where people will kill us all -- unless realists rape infants. In our new moral code, if it works, it's automatically a good.

Joining into this argument is the Washington Post, with an article out this weekend justifying torture. In that piece, Khalid Sheik Mohammed is portrayed as a completely unbreakable suspect -- until he's tortured. Then he turns into a sort of visiting lecturer, teaching interrogators everything there is to know about Al Qaeda.

The debate over the effectiveness of subjecting detainees to psychological and physical pressure is in some ways irresolvable, because it is impossible to know whether less coercive methods would have achieved the same result. But for defenders of waterboarding, the evidence is clear: Mohammed cooperated, and to an extraordinary extent, only when his spirit was broken in the month after his capture March 1, 2003, as the inspector general's report and other documents released this week indicate.

Over a few weeks, he was subjected to an escalating series of coercive methods, culminating in 7 1/2 days of sleep deprivation, while diapered and shackled, and 183 instances of waterboarding. After the month-long torment, he was never waterboarded again.

"What do you think changed KSM's mind?" one former senior intelligence official said this week after being asked about the effect of waterboarding. "Of course it began with that."

Of course it did. After all, WaPo asked a "former senior intelligence official." Said senior intelligence official would have no reason to lie -- other than the Justice Department breathing down their neck. This story contradicts everything we've been told about Mohammed's interrogations. In their defense, the Post includes the fact that Mohammed says that the information he supplied was mostly lies, but the overall the impression is that torture works.

But we know from other stories that it failed. In 2007, retired FBI agent Daniel Coleman said that information gained from waterboarding terrorist suspect Abu Zubaida "was crap."

"I don't have confidence in anything he says, because once you go down that [torture] road, everything you say is tainted," Coleman said.

I'm not the only one seeing problems with the Post's story. "The article's headline is 'How a Detainee Became An Asset -- Sept. 11 Plotter Cooperated After Waterboarding' -- though an equally appropriate headline would be: 'The Joys and Virtues of Torture -- how Dick Cheney Kept Us Safe,'" writes Glenn Greenwald. "I defy anyone to identify a single way the article would be different if the Post had let Dick Cheney write it himself."

And that's the underlying theme in both Cheney's own defense and the Washington Post's defense of him: "torture" equals "safety." It's a coward's argument, which makes it less than surprising coming from Dick Cheney.

"[Torture] completely undermines the values that we’re fighting to defend," writes Justin Gardner. "America is not a TV show. Fighting terrorism doesn’t work like that. And if you don’t understand that having policies that allow us to kidnap and torture anybody we want makes us look like the big bullies they accuse us of being, makes it easier for more people to hate us and therefore makes us less safe, well, please think on this some more."

No, it's not surprising that the fearful Cheney would make us less safe in order to keep himself a little safer. Washington Post doesn't even have that excuse.


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I can’t wait to be dead. No, I’m serious. I’m not rushing to make it happen or anything, but death is like a get-out-of-jail-free card for all the dumb things you did while you were alive. After I die nobody will ever again mention my inability to parallel park, or how bad I was at math, or my occasional lack of people skills. If any of these things are mentioned it will be against the wistful backdrop of how awesome I was. My only regret is I’ll have to watch from the sidelines in heaven and not actively enjoy this royal treatment.

The departed Sen. Ted Kennedy has received this royal treatment in the four days since he passed away following a year-long battle with brain cancer. Everyone’s talked about what a great legislator he was, how he carried the weight of his family through its many tragedies, how bipartisan he was (though nobody has furnished any examples), etc. Some people have used Kennedy’s demise to continue his lifelong push for socialized medicine. However, what nobody has pointed out is that this last year of Kennedy’s life is actually the best argument against socialized medicine there is.

Kennedy spent his life—even while he was undergoing cancer treatment—advocating “universal healthcare” in America. However, I didn’t hear anything about him going to Canada or the UK to get his chemotherapy and radiation. Teddy stayed right here in the United States to get the best healthcare in the world. If he were an MP in Canada or England chances are they wouldn’t have been able to treat a 70+ man who abused his body all his life at all due to rationing.

Democrats may used Kennedy’s death as a sympathy appeal to get the “Public Option” through as a tribute to him, but what Republicans should do is point out that when Teddy Kennedy needed medical help the most, he never went anywhere near universal healthcare.


News Roundup for 8/28/09

Rammel campaign banner
Asshole elk-poker for Idaho Governor

-Headline of the day-
"Idaho GOP Gov. Hopeful jokes about buying 'tags' to hunt Obama."

Hahaha! Presidential assassinations are so funny! It's like extreme slapstick or something. However, some sourpusses don't see the humor in State funerals and weeping families. Because they don't have a sense of humor, I guess.

Anyway, Idaho gubernatorial candidate Rex Rammell -- an elk rancher -- was at a campaign event talking about wolf hunting tags. All of that is true, by the way; Rex Rammell, elk ranching, and Idaho wolf hunting tags are all real.

Some wisecracker in the audience shouted out something about "Obama tags" and Rex ran with it. "The Obama tags?" he said. "We'd buy some of those."

Then the killjoys got their noses bent out of shape and Rex was forced to put out a statement. According to the report, "Rammell told The Associated Press Thursday he was just being sarcastic and sees no reason to apologize for the comment."

Sarcasm! Liberals don't get sarcasm -- and conservatives like Rammell are just so freakin' brilliant.

Still, everyone wound up thinking that Rex Rammell, professional reindeer wrangler (something like that, anyway), was probably an asshole. So he went on Twitter, which no liberals or media ever use, and cracked another funny about it.

"Obama hunting tags was just a joke!" he tweetlepated. "Everyone knows Idaho has no jurisdiction to issue tags in Washington DC."

Hooboy! But this comedic genius is a laugh a minute -- which is totally what you want in a gubernator. Still, commie liberal terr'ist-lovers didn't get the joke and dived on his comments, smearing him as someone who's probably some kind of prick or jerk.

"Rex Rammell's comments are in very poor taste and should not have been said," said Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) in a statement. "Remarks like these should not even be made jokingly."

Another liberal Stiffy Stifferson decided he had to pile on, too. "It is absolutely irresponsible to say such inflammatory things, especially for someone who seeks to be a leader in Idaho," said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID). Even the local commie America-hater party chimed in; the Idaho Republican party says it "does not condone Rex Rammell's comments, whether in jest or not."

Freakin' commie lovin' terr'ists...

But Rex is standing his ground. It's all sarcasm and he ain't apologizin'. It's just sarcasm and Rex Rammell, Idaho potato wrestler, is totally not an amazingly clueless prick.

Teabags forever! w00t!(Raw Story, Think Progress)

-Cartoon time with Mark Fiore-
Hey kids, it's Dogboy and Mr. Dan. They're here to explain the Tree of Liberty!

Dogboy and Mr. Dan
Click for animation

Remember kids, stuff like healthcare and trains and bridges -- ok, not bridges -- are tyranny! (MarkFiore.com)

-Isn't it romantic?-
Maryland State Delegate Jon Cardin really knows what the ladies like. His super-romantic marriage proposal got him into hot water, however, as it got a little expensive for the city of Baltimore.

According to the report, "The marriage proposal took place Aug. 7 on a boat belonging to a Cardin friend. Neither police nor the lawmaker identified the owner. Marine unit officers boarded the boat and pretended to search it, finding the engagement ring. At that point, Cardin proposed, and his girlfriend, Megan Homer, accepted."

That's right, police boarded the boat -- complete with a helicopter hovering overhead -- and began to search it for contraband. There's nothing so romantic as giving your would-be fiancee the impression that you're smuggling crack or Mexicans or something. Pay attention guys!

When people found out about it, they were a little steamed. Cardin has promised to reimburse the city and has apologized to the mayor for the stunt.

I've often wondered how I'd pop the question if the time ever came. Now I know. I'll get my honey to believe I'm a serial killer with someone locked up in my basement. What woman could resist that? (Baltimore Sun)

Conservatives Direct Kennedy's Funeral

Finally, we cannot have a fair prosperity in isolation from a fair society. So I will continue to stand for a national health insurance. We must -- We must not surrender -- We must not surrender to the relentless medical inflation that can bankrupt almost anyone and that may soon break the budgets of government at every level. Let us insist on real controls over what doctors and hospitals can charge, and let us resolve that the state of a family's health shall never depend on the size of a family's wealth.

The President, the Vice President, the members of Congress have a medical plan that meets their needs in full, and whenever senators and representatives catch a little cold, the Capitol physician will see them immediately, treat them promptly, fill a prescription on the spot. We do not get a bill even if we ask for it, and when do you think was the last time a member of Congress asked for a bill from the Federal Government? And I say again, as I have before, if health insurance is good enough for the President, the Vice President, the Congress of the United States, then it's good enough for you and every family in America.

--Sen. Edward Kennedy, speech to the 1980 Democratic convention

Candlelight vigil for Ted KennedyAs I wrote yesterday, the death of Ted Kennedy can't help but affect the current debate on healthcare reform. A leader on many points, Kennedy made healthcare one of his signature issues. So it shouldn't surprise anyone that there are calls to name the final healthcare bill in his honor and, also in his honor, to make certain that final bill is worth the paper it's written on. It was practically inevitable.

Also inevitable was the Republican response to these calls. Never ones to resist their baser political instincts, the right has gone on a preemptive strike against Kennedy's memory. His death must not be politicized, they argue, because this would be... I don't know, it's not the best argument. The man dedicated his entire adult life to public service through politics, so how could his death be seen through any other lens?

Still, the preemptive counter attack has been mounted. The argument that Kennedy's death must not be politicized is, in itself, a political statement. In what other profession would anyone argue that the job must not be discussed at the funeral? If Kennedy had followed his football career and joined the Green Bay Packers, as he had the opportunity to do after leaving college, would anyone argue that it would just be wrong to remember him as a professional football player or to talk about the game after he was gone? Would that be considered unseemly or wrong?

I doubt anyone would make that argument. Yet the right is already working to plant that seed in people's minds. Ted Kennedy's death must not be political, because that would just be the worst thing ever. Don't ask why it'd be the worst thing, it just would. Now shut up and eat your status quo.


Key conservative voices have begun to charge in the day after Sen. Ted Kennedy’s death that Democrats are inappropriately politicizing the senator’s death, his memorial and his legacy.

Kennedy was that ultimate political creature, a “lion of the Senate,” and the last son of the archetypal American political family -- his passing is inevitably political. In his final days, he focused on a narrow political goal, pleading with state leaders to change state law to posthumously fill his Senate seat with an interim appointee who would be a vote in favor of the health care legislation he championed.

So his allies on the left have made no secret of their hopes that his legacy will serve to bolster the uncertain health reform plan, with Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) even suggesting the bill be named for Kennedy.

And that has some influential conservative voices sounding the alarm and calling foul.

"Placing [Kennedy’s] name on a health-care bill, in memoriam, or using his name as a sympathy ploy to advance a health care bill that would deny Americans the choices Sen. Kennedy had is an insult and is supreme hypocrisy," said Rush Limbaugh. "The senator's passing is going to give them the opportunity to use the sympathy play to get as much done in his name as possible... No government was a partner with God in Ted Kennedy's death. To put his name on this current health-care bill would be to insult what he stood for."

As if Rush Freakin' Limbaugh had any idea what Ted Kennedy stood for. Maybe we should ask the wolf how to honor the shepherd. It's Limbaugh who's politicizing the death here, not Kennedy's supporters. Rush Limbaugh, drug-addled talk radio blowhard, is trying to set the parameters for acceptable speech remembering the Lion of the Senate. I can't imagine anyone we should discount so much as Limbaugh on this point -- and I gave it a good try.

And conservatives are turning to another death they'd previously politicized this way -- that of Sen. Paul Wellstone in 2002. In his book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, Al Franken describes what happened with that memorial:

Paul died on October 25, 2002, when his plane went down in Northern Minnesota. Sheila; their daughter, Marcia; his driver, Will McLaughlin; two other close aides, Tom Lapic and Mary McEvoy; and two pilots died with him. Four days later, C-SPAN, along with almost every Minnesota TV and radio station, carried a hastily-put-together memorial service for Paul, Sheila, Marcia, Will, Tom, and Mary. I was there. It was a beautiful memorial, sometimes incredibly sad, sometimes funny, sometimes rowdy, and sometimes political. Some people watching on television were offended. Some people were moved. But the right saw an opening. They took moments out of context, lied about the rest, and used it as a political club to attack the Democrats. It won them the Senate election in Minnesota and probably in Missouri, which means it gave Republicans control of the Senate.

This chapter is a case study of how the right lies and viciously distorts. It is the story of how the right-wing media repeats its fabrications until they echo into the mainstream press. It is a story of pure cynicism in pursuit of power. It is the story of how the lying liars took the death of my friends and invented a myth that changed the 2002 elections.

It should be pointed out that Wellstone died during a re-election campaign. And Wellstone, like Kennedy, had made it his life's work to be a crusader. But when mourners mentioned that crusade or talked about the campaign they were all engaged in just days before, they found that speech was verboten. People who'd never met him and many who literally hated him jumped in and declared the memorial beneath the dignity of this fine public servant. How dare these people who actually knew him use his death to talk about him and his work?

"Remember Paul Wellstone's death? You know, 'Let's do everything for Paul.' And we're now being implored to get behind Obamacare because it's what Ted Kennedy would have wanted," warns Sean Hannity -- a man who didn't know Kennedy, hates his causes, and probably did a little dance when he heard the news of his death. All of a sudden, Sean Hannity is concerned about Kennedy's memory. I guess because he had so much respect for him.

Don't believe it for a second.

Unlike Wellstone's funeral, Kennedy's will be private. If mourners want to make it all about politics, why should Limbaugh or Hannity care? What right do these people think they have to crash a funeral and start declaring this or that the wrong sort of memorial? What right do they have to decide how those who knew him and actually loved him remember him?

I can answer that; it's a right they give themselves. For them, nothing is off limits. Want to attack someone's family? Hey, knock yourself out. Want to attack someone for their infirmities? Do a little chair dance. Hell, politicizing someone after their death is the Republican way. During the 2008 Republican primary, they all came within inches of climbing into the coffin with Ronald Reagan and putting on his shoes. People thought that was a little ridiculous, but I don't remember anyone declaring it an insult to the Gipper's memory.

It's Republicans who are politicizing Kennedy's memory here, by preemptively declare certain memorials off-limits. "It was the Republicans that tried to cheapen Paul Wellstone's life by dishonoring his death," wrote Franken. "It was the right-wing media, not the friends and family who spoke at the memorial or the people who came to it, that seized an opportunity to use a tragedy for political gain."

And they'll do it again. Because they're shameless. Ignore the wagging fingers, they never liked Ted Kennedy anyway. His political enemies have no business directing his funeral for those who loved him.


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News Roundup for 8/27/09

Gary Bauer
Either Gary Bauer or the Nibelung dwarf Alberich from that Wagner opera

-Headline of the day-
"Bauer: It's Not Torture, It's a Frat Party!"

Weird little right wing goblin Gary Bauer thinks that the Obama administration is getting out of hand in its definition of torture. "Even things like depriving a prisoner of sleep or playing loud music would no longer be allowed. Depriving people of sleep and playing loud music -- that's a fraternity party!" says Bauer at right wing news site OneNewsNow. "This administration is now so defining torture down that we're now including things that are absolutely absurd."

Ha ha! Yes! The White House is getting crazy about what they call torture. Let's all laugh at them! Hahaha!

Of course, this does beg the question -- what the hell are we doing throwing big parties for terr'ists, Gary? Do you really believe they deserve that? Apparently, you do. Because I'm not seeing anything that suggests you want these parties to stop.

So why does Gary Bauer want to throw parties for terr'ists? Does he hate America? I can only assume so. Never trust a wingnut who looks like a cross between Peter Lorre and Gollum.

Actually, just never trust a wingnut. (Right Wing Watch)

-Making up new ways to die-
Death panels are so five minutes ago. All the cool kids are making up new imaginary ways to die at the hands of a godless communist government. People receiving the Republican National Committee's "2009 Future of American Health Survey" have something else to freak out about -- Democrats will use healthcare reform to kill Republicans.

A question in the survey asks, "It has been suggested that the government could use voter registration to determine a person's political affiliation, prompting fears that GOP voters might be discriminated against for medical treatment in a Democrat-imposed health care rationing system. Does this concern you?"

Of course, this is just something someone in the RNC's propaganda shop pulled out of their ass. Surveys like this are called "push polling" and are meant to suggest that something's common knowledge or, at least, true. Generally, they show up around election time, in the form of a phone call asking, "And knowing that ____ eats live babies, how much would you say this affects your vote?"

So the GOP is trying to start a new rumor about a new way that healthcare reform might kill you. This is another story that begs a question:

Knowing that Republicans are fearmongering jerks, would you say you trust them only as far as you could throw one, trust them only so far as you could throw them collectively, or do you just want to grab one and throw them?

Take your time. There are no wrong answers. (Washington Independent)

-That's not what you said before-
According to the Express-Star, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) isn't going to read the final healthcare bill. "I don't have to read it, or know what's in it," Inhofe said. "I'm going to oppose it anyways."

Always nice to have an open mind, huh?

The problem is that way back in June, Inhofe was one of two senators -- the other was Jim DeMint (R-SC) -- who pledged to the organization Let Freedom Ring that they'd absolutely, positively read the bill.

Of course, LFR is against healthcare reform and the idea was that, at over 1,000 pages, the bill would be too massive for anyone to ever read. And that would kill the bill. In wingnut arithmetic, 1000=infinity -- they'd never finish, so there'd never be a vote. It'd be a clever plan if it didn't hinge on being mathematically illiterate.

So it's super-important to read the whole thing if you're planning to vote for it, but if you're going to vote against it, then ignorance is bliss. No one ever accused Republicans of being consistent in their reasoning. Or of reasoning. Of course, this would make James Inhofe a liar, but we're not supposed to keep track of the stuff these guys actually say. Then we'd expect them to keep their promises.

Want to take bets on how many wingnut town hall shriekers will stand outside Inhofe's office and yell, "READ THE BILL! READ THE BILL!"?

My money's on zero. (Political Wire, Politico)

Ode to the Tea Baggers (Click Here) - 'Nuff Said

The Cause of Our Lives

Sen. Edward KennedyYesterday, in a statement on his death, President Barack Obama called Sen. Ted Kennedy "not only one of the greatest senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy." Vice President Joe Biden said Kennedy "had so many of his... foes embracing him, because they know he made them bigger, he made them more graceful by the way in which he conducted himself." The Lion of the Senate was gone.

It was no surprise. Kennedy was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer early this year. More recently, we were reminded of his illness when he wrote a letter to the Governor and Legislature of Massachusetts regarding his quick replacement. He knew he didn't have long.

But I've always believed that the world we live in is an ongoing project. As a result, we'll all leave something unfinished. It's human nature to build and to progress and one person's contributions to that project are part of the work of us all. If the task is necessary, it won't go unfinished for long -- you don't leave a house half-built because the carpenter died. Kennedy's necessary work will go on, it won't remain incomplete.

Along those lines, Sen. Robert Byrd is now calling for Kennedy's own work -- unfinished but still underway -- to become his memorial.

[The Hill:]

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), the only senator to have served longer than the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), mourned his friend Wednesday, saying his "heart and soul weeps."

Byrd said he hoped healthcare reform legislation in the Senate would be renamed in memoriam of Kennedy.

"I had hoped and prayed that this day would never come," Byrd said in a statement. "My heart and soul weeps at the lost of my best friend in the Senate, my beloved friend, Ted Kennedy."

Byrd's wistful statement focused on the work accomplished with Kennedy during decades together in the Senate, and called on the healthcare bill before Congress to be renamed in honor of Kennedy.

"In his honor and as a tribute to his commitment to his ideals, let us stop the shouting and name calling and have a civilized debate on health care reform which I hope, when legislation has been signed into law, will bear his name for his commitment to insuring the health of every American," he said.

A good idea. In fact, a damned good idea. Kennedy once called fixing our broken system of healthcare delivery "the cause of my life." The word "memorial" refers to remembrance of the lost, not to the mourning of that loss. His life's cause should be his remembrance. If he'd wanted a big statue, he'd have bought one.

Over at Huffington Post, political writer Bob Cesca echoes Sen. Byrd's call -- healthcare reform in Kennedy's memory. But he adds one important caveat:

If they're going to name the final healthcare reform bill after Senator Kennedy, we ought to be demanding with voices as powerful and booming as the late senator's...

The bill must not suck.

Now there's an idea. Not just a bill, but a good bill. The Sen. Edward Kennedy Memorial Bandaid would be an insult. We need a good bill, with universal coverage, and a strong public option.

And those goals are nowhere near as controversial as shrieking town hall nuts would have you believe. The loudest voice doesn't always represent the majority, but the most strident minority. A new poll from Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates shows that 86% believe that everyone should have access to health insurance, regardless of their health history (i.e., no one turned down for "pre-existing conditions") and 79% believe that people should be able to buy into a "federal government health insurance option."

The problem is that about a quarter of the population is poorly informed. "[A]bout one-fourth of those polled believe the 'public option' is a national health care system, similar to the one in Great Britain," reports the Denver Post. And that bad information is the result of a deliberate campaign to misinform the public, says one of those behind the poll.

"These two words [public option] have become radioactive, they have been swift-boated," said William Mann, senior vice president of Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates. "There is a real misunderstanding."

"There is so much more educating that needs to be done across the board on various health care reform options," agrees Morie Smile of the AARP. "Nobody seems to have a firm grasp on the vocabulary. It's either a sacred cow or a punching bag."

So the work, still unfinished, begins in educating the public and countering the lies. The people want this -- even if they're not exactly clear on the nomenclature. The cry of "No reform, ever!" is a minority position, as loud as that cry is. And many of those rallying to that cry really mean "Not this reform" -- when they completely misunderstand what this reform is.

The question isn't whether we should do this, it's not even whether we can do this. The question is how we do this, because it's necessary that we do. Too many people understand the problem, too many people suffer under our present system, and too many people pay too much for too little.

This is too important to allow a handful of angry stooges and corporate puppets to derail. The cause of Ted Kennedy's life should become the cause of our own. In one sense, it already is, because so many of our lives would be improved or even saved by it. But the work isn't finished. The work is never finished.


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News Roundup for 8/26/09

Sarah Palin
You can measure a person by her 'friends'

-Headline of the day-
"Sarah Palin's Facebook 'Friends' Celebrate Ted Kennedy's Death: 'One Less Socialist,' 'Good Riddens.'"

At least they didn't spell Socialist "soshulest."

Sarah herself posted just a short note on the passing of Ted Kennedy; "I would like to extend our sympathies to the Kennedy family as we hear word about the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy. He believed in our country and fought passionately for his convictions."

This drew out the following responses from Paliniacs:

"thank you for maintaining my belief in you as a real american, however this country is now much better off, one less socialist, anti freedom senator."

"Now if we could just talk God into taking Arlin Spector, Harry Reid,and Nancy Pelosi America would be Eutopia!"

"good riddens"

"If he makes it into Heaven (& I doubt he will with his stance on abortion) I hope that God makes him babysit all the aborted children for eternity. God have mercy on his soul."

"Ted Kennedy dying has made my day...."

"He cannot fillibuster God. Good ridencance to a sorry person."

"It's about time, we can only hope Pelosi and Ried will be joining him very soon. All 3 of them should be buried in Moscow for whom they work so tirelessly."

There are going on 2,000 of these things at Palin's note. Of course, not all of them are so psychopathic.

So what have we learned about Palin fans? They're mean as hell and are dumbshit idiots who can't spell. In other words, real Americans.

Teabags forever! w00t! (Alternet)

-The birth of a wingnut conspiracy meme-
Forget "death panels" and "death books," Barack Obama is coming to your house with a rusty hedgeclippers and he's going to cut your dick off. It's true. Don't laugh. This is serious. Rush Limbaugh says so.

It's sort of a convoluted story, but rapper Jay-Z got a little pissed off a Limbaugh for being Rush Limbaugh and wrote a song for his new CD with the lyrics, "This ain’t black vs. white, my nigga, we off that. Please tell Bill O’Reilly to fall back. Tell Rush Limbaugh to get off my balls. It’s 2010, not 1864. We come so far... How’s that for a mix? Got a black president, got green presidents."

Eat your heart out, Emily Dickinson.

Anyway, Rush decided that he had to set the artist straight. "I would remind the rapper Jay-Z, Mr. Z, it is President Obama who wants mandated circumcision," Rush said on his show. "We had that yesterday. That means if we need to save our penises from anybody, it’s Obama."

It's at this point that serious observers wondered what the hell he was talking about -- was Rusty on the drugs again? Turns out that it starts with a piece in the New York Times about the Centers for Disease Control considering promoting male circumcision as a way to fight HIV/AIDS -- keyword: "considering" and "promoting."

This got picked up by FOX News, where it inexplicably became "universal circumcision." Those words weren't used by the CDC or the NYT. No matter. Sounds bad. Like you gotta do it or jackbooted stormtroopers'll bust in your door. FOX likes.

Limbaugh, not content to leave it at FOX's distortion, ran with it and made it "BARACK OBAMA'S GOING TO CUT YOUR WIENER OFF WITH AN EMERY BOARD!" And thus was a new paranoid, right wing conspiracy theory born.

I know what you're thinking; "This is stupid." You're right. It's stupid. That's the wingnutosphere for you. Stupid is what they do. (Mediaite, via reddit)

-Just in case you didn't think he was freakin' insane before-
Anti-abortion nut and founder of Operation Rescue Randall Terry doesn't like the idea of healthcare reform much. See, he thinks it'll kill everybody.

At a town hall event in Virginia, Terry was thrown out for being a lunatic. Here's The Hill on what got him tossed:

The [Rep. James Moran (D-VA)] town hall was the last stop on a 10-city tour for Randall Terry, the anti-abortion activist known for his extreme tactics.

Terry's colleagues put on a skit with a man in an Obama mask pretending to whip a bloodied woman, who kept saying, "Massa, don’t hit me no more. I got the money to kill the babies."

Terry himself dressed in a doctor's lab coat and pretended to stab a woman in a gray wig.

"There’s no way to pay for this thing without killing granny," Terry explained.

Yeah, the "kill grandma" thing wasn't stupid enough, he had to get a little racism in there too. The report doesn't say how far he was thrown or on which part of his body he landed, but you really hope it was at least five yards and on his face. (Think Progress)

Why Does the Media Keep Forgetting Cheney's a Liar?

Dick CheneyDick Cheney is a liar. That anyone would find this a controversial statement is beyond me. He lied about outing Valerie Plame, he lied about WMD, he lied about Iraqi ties to al Qaeda. If the birthers want to see anyone's birth certificate, make it Dick Cheney's -- I want to see that name on one before I'll believe it's really his. He is a well-known liar.

If you want to say something nice about Cheney, about the best you could say is that he's a very good liar. He has a talent for it and, if it weren't for the tens of thousands of lives those lies have ended, you might admire him for his grasp of plausible fiction. The question isn't whether or not Dick's a liar, the question is why the media treat him as if he were anything other than one. Whenever a story involving Cheney crops up, the press is right there, asking him questions and treating his answers as if there were any reason in the world to believe him.

The credulity of the national media was demonstrated once again, when Cheney spoke out about an upcoming probe into CIA torture of terrorist suspects. Cheney's a good liar because Cheney's a horrible coward. And the more danger Dick's in, the better the lies get. The Justice Department probe is reportedly of "limited scope," but students of history will remember that the crimes of Richard Nixon were exposed by a similar limited investigation, thanks to a few minutes of missing audio tape. The trail of evidence -- made obvious by the missing evidence -- led directly to the White House. Clearly, the lesson to be learned here -- for the deceptive, at least -- is that any crime even remotely connected to yourself must never, ever be investigated. The law of unintended consequences can come around and smack anyone. Even the world's finest fabricator.

So Cheney looked at the investigation into what any honest observer would describe as either war crimes, human rights abuses, or both and saw danger. That trail of evidence leads to the White House and directly into the Vice President's office. This investigation will not be stopped, that much is clear, but it can be crippled. If public opinion is whipped up against it, it may just be possible to make sure that "limited scope" remains limited. It may be possible to make people hate the truth or see it as the enemy of the nation.

So Dick got right to work. In a statement sent to the extremely friendly neocon publication The Weekly Standard, Dick fired his well-crafted shot. "The documents released Monday clearly demonstrate that the individuals subjected to Enhanced Interrogation Techniques provided the bulk of intelligence we gained about al Qaeda," he said.

Arguably true, but they don't show that those inexplicably capitalized "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" resulted in that information. Not surprisingly, they don't show that at all.

[Talking Points Memo:]

During the debate over torture this spring, Cheney claimed that CIA memos, which he had asked to be declassified, would prove that torture proved effective in obtaining actionable intelligence.

Well, yesterday, those memos were released, along with the CIA inspector general's report. And, surprise surprise, they don't begin to show what Cheney said they did.

The memos, from 2004 and 2005, do say that some detainees, particularly Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, gave up useful information during debriefing sessions. But nowhere do they suggest that that information was gleaned through torture.

In fact, Washington Independent's Spencer Ackerman did the hard work of digging through the documents to check Cheney's claim -- a long-abandoned media practice once known as "journalism" -- and found that they show the opposite of what Cheney claimed. "Cheney's public account of these documents have conflated the difference between information acquired from detainees, which the documents present, and information acquired from detainees through the enhanced interrogation program, which they don't," Ackerman writes. The truth is that the bulk of the intelligence came from traditional interrogation techniques, not from torture. Cheney's claiming credit where credit is not due.

But hey, what difference does it make? You've got to remember that we're dealing with the American media here. They don't do all that fact-checking stuff, they just put a byline above Cheney's statement and call it done. In a separate Talking Points Memo piece, Justin Elliot reports that media outlets are taking Cheney's claims at face value. A man who history shows should never be given the benefit of the doubt gets it by default.

And where these people tortured in order to protect the nation? Please, this is Dick Cheney we're talking about. If he says it, it's probably not true. In fact, we already know this isn't true and the media is either forgetting that fact or just ignoring it.

[Marjorie Cohn, truthout, April 2009:]

...It turns out that high Bush officials put heavy pressure on Pentagon interrogators to get Mohammed and Zubaydah to reveal a link between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 hijackers, in order to justify Bush's illegal and unnecessary invasion of Iraq in 2003. That link was never established.

They were tortured for the same reason that Cheney now lies; because Dick Cheney was afraid of the consequences of his actions. Not only didn't the torture result in intelligence that kept Americans safe, it wasn't meant to result in intelligence that would keep Americans safe. Detainees were tortured to cover George W. Bush's and Dick Cheney's asses. The media already knows that, they just aren't reporting it.

Dick Cheney may be a world-class liar, but he'd be a lot less successful liar if the news media didn't forget he wasn't trustworthy every, single time they reported on him. I'll say it again, Dick Cheney doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt.

And the media will start serving us better when they stop giving it to him.


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RIP Ted Kennedy

I don't know that I've ever written a news item post before a Griper Blade post before. But this days seems to call for it.

[New York Times:]

Ted KennedySenator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, a son of one of the most storied families in American politics, a man who knew triumph and tragedy in near-equal measure and who will be remembered as one of the most effective lawmakers in the history of the Senate, died late Tuesday night. He was 77.

The death of Mr. Kennedy, who had been battling brain cancer, was announced Wednesday morning in a statement by the Kennedy family, which was already mourning the death of the senator’s sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver two weeks earlier.

“Edward M. Kennedy – the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply – died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port,” the statement said. “We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever.”

President Obama issued a statement acknowledging Mr. Kennedy’s accomplishments. “An important chapter in our history has come to an end,” the statement said. “Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States senator of our time.”

NYT has a good, long write-up by John Broder that's definitely worth the read. Kennedy once called fixing our broken healthcare system "the cause of my life" and now he's gone without seeing it happen.

Ted Kennedy was a man of consequence. He was the product of tragedy and scandal. But throughout his long career of public service, there's much more to celebrate than to condemn. In the end, I guess that's probably the definition of a successful life.

RIP Senator Edward Kennedy, brother of John and Robert, dead of brain cancer at the age of 77.


News Roundup for 8/25/09

Hannity photoshopped into a Nazi
"Hannity '12" campaign poster

-Headline of the day-
"Hannity Waits for God's Call Too."

God help us. Professional liar Sean Hannity is considering a run for public office -- specifically, president -- and he's just waiting for the Almighty to give him a jingle. According to WingNutDaily, "Egged on by radio colleague Bill Cunningham, Hannity said he would consider entering the front lines of the political fray if God directs him."

"I've never made a decision in my life without -- whatever destiny God has you've got to fulfill it," he said. "I'm not sure that's my destiny." Yeah, me neither. I think your destiny might be in making victims of crippling head trauma look smart by comparison.

Still, WND says he'd be a freakin' awesome candidate, because everyone who works for the website is a certified mental patient. "Hannity would make a formidable candidate, with the likability of Reagan, good looks and strong convictions," WND reports. "He's also a polished communicator and knows the issues inside out." He knows them inside and out because he turns them inside out -- on every single issue, Hannity is not only reliably rightwing, but provably wrong. He's got all the ethical and moral clarity of Richard Nixon, the intellectual depth and ego of George W. Bush, and shares an inability to go five minutes without lying with Sarah Palin.

"Can you even imagine the fun the Democrats would have with a Sean Hannity campaign?" asks Ed Brayton. "They've got thousands and thousands of hours of TV and radio shows to go through for idiotic and inflammatory statements. It would be a gold mine."

They can start here.

Give us a week and Sean would become as wildly popular as Fred Thompson or Sam Brownback were in '08. (Dispatches from the Culture Wars)

-Deja vu-
At a town hall event in Arizona, Sen. John McCain got booed for countering wingnut claims about Barack Obama. At the event, a questioner asked McCain whether President Obama knows "that we still live under a Constitution." McCain, knowing that Obama is a constitutional lawyer, said that the president was probably aware of that.

According to the report, "He then added that Obama 'respects the Constitution of the United States,' at which point the crowd broke out in loud boos. But McCain stood firm, explaining that there's just a 'fundamental difference in philosophy and about the role of government.' 'I am convinced the president is absolutely sincere in his beliefs,' he said, again eliciting boos and jeers from the crowd."

Of course, McCain's really on his home turf here -- in more ways than one. Not only is Arizona his home state, but insane wingnuts were his '08 base:

Later, another supporter told McCain, "I don't trust Obama... He's an Arab."

McCain stood shaking his head as she spoke, then quickly took the microphone from her.

"No, ma'am," he said. "He's a decent, family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with."

They didn't like that, either. And not because it was a slap in the face of Arab-Americans.

No matter what you think of Obama these days, remember that this was the alternative. All those town hall nuts with their guns, their ignorance, and their gullibility could've been running the show right now.

Compared to that, you've got it easy. (Think Progress, with video)

-Bonus HotD-
"Coburn tells weeping victim of broken health care system that government isn't the solution."

At his own town hall event, Republican Senator Tom Coburn took a question from a crying woman who, according to the report, told him "that her husband's health insurer refuses to cover his treatment for a traumatic brain injury." Seriously, she's just as beat as someone can be, at the end of her rope, and just in complete despair.

Coburn, moved by her plight, told the woman to contact his office, so he could "try to assist her individually." Then he told her that "the idea that the government is the solution to our problems is an inaccurate, a very inaccurate statement."

OK, so you told her to look to Senator Tom Coburn's office for help, then you tell her that she shouldn't look to government for help. Seriously Tom, WTF is it that you think you do for a living? Do you think "Oklahoma Senator" is just some bullshit honorific like "Kentucky Colonel," "Miss America," or "Mayor McCheese?"

Dude, you are the government! (Think Progress, with not-so-funny video)

You're Not Crazy, They Are

One of the main Democratic stumbling blocks to health care reform hasn't always been one of the main Democratic stumbling blocks to health care reform. At least, in theory. Steve Benen has dug up a letter [PDF] from Sens. Kennedy and Baucus to President Obama written in April.

That letter urges the new president to get to work on healthcare reform right pronto, saying, "We must act swiftly, because the cost of inaction is too high for individuals, families, businesses, state and federal governments" and that Baucus and Kennedy are ready to work with congress and the White House "to achieve these long-overdue reforms without delay." Ted Kennedy was the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions [HELP] Committee, while Max Baucus -- our main Democratic stumbling block to health care reform -- chairs the Senate Finance Committee. Ted and Max wrote that they would write to bills to pass each respective committee, then get right on the ball, making sure the two pieces of legislation would be "quickly merged into a single bill for consideration on the Senate floor."

"With your continued leadership and commitment, and working together, we remain certain that our goal of enacting comprehensive health care reform can be accomplished with the urgency that the American people rightly demand," the senators wrote. They got that whole "fierce urgency of now" thing. Americans were going to have healthcare reform and yesterday wasn't soon enough. Then, as Benen explains, it all went to hell:

[W]hile Baucus agreed in April that lawmakers must "act swiftly," "without delay," and "with swift action," Baucus now believes that his own Sept. 15 deadline for his committee -- already three months past the original target date he set for himself -- should be ignored.

Worse, in November, Baucus talked in some detail about the kind of reform bill he wanted to see. His vision included a Health Insurance Exchange, universal coverage, an individual mandate, a public option, and subsidies up to 400% of the poverty line. And he was prepared to deliver it -- after all, as he noted in his letter, he'd been working on it with Kennedy for a year. Baucus, at the time, supported the same kind of reform progressive Democrats now want, but which Baucus' committee won't support due to opposition from the Republican minority.

So, what happened? Kennedy, obviously, fell ill and was unable to complete his work, but Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) capably picked up the slack and delivered an excellent bill, right on time. Baucus, meanwhile, proceeded to take a far different direction in order to work on finding a "bipartisan" solution with conservative members of the discredited minority that doesn't support health care reform.

In other words, somewhere along the line, Baucus lost his goddam mind. He decided that everyone had to be happy with the final bill, including those who'd decided at the outset that they hated the whole idea. Not surprisingly, he hasn't gotten very far. The Republicans on his committee -- mostly in the form of Sen. Charles Grassley -- seem to be playing Baucus for a chump, using the his misplaced devotion to pie-in-the-sky bipartisanship to undermine and slow progress every step of the way. It's gotten so bad that he practically had to swear on a stack of Bibles that he wants a public option -- which, of course, doesn't mean a damned thing. He may want a pony too, but it's not going to be in the final draft of his committee's bill. The Magic 8-Ball says the chances for his committee's bill are not good; bipartisanship was murdered in its bed during a bitterly partisan August recess. No one has any appetite for it anymore and the Finance Committee's bill isn't strictly required. Baucus may be busy herding cats for no reason.

But if bipartisanship has become crazy, some people's partisanship has become crazier. While Baucus and company entertain dreams of dogs and cats living together, the house has devolved into complete, babbling lunacy.

[Minnesota Independent:]

On Wednesday Rep. Michele Bachmann was part of a star-studded “teletownhall” meeting to discuss health-care reform. The event, billed “Keeping Faith with the Unborn,” was sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion advocacy group. The organization’s president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, claimed that there were some 350,000 listeners on the line.

Bachmann was joined by North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx, most famous for calling Matthew Shepard’s murder was a “hoax,” and former Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, who made national headlines by refusing to concede after losing her re-election contest November. But even with such veteran political pugilists sharing the phone line, Bachmann managed to distinguish herself during the 90-minute phone call.

Bachmann, Foxx, and Musgrave managed to repeat nearly every lie told about healthcare reform. All doctors would be required to perform abortions (I guess even anesthesiologists and ear, nose, and throat specialists), for example. The "death panels" were 100% real -- "Thank God that Sarah Palin said that," Bachmann said. "These are true."

Luckily for pro-reformers, Bachmann's plan to stop this dreaded healthcare reform (that she and her fellow wingnuts seem to have made up) is to do nothing. Or, at least, mostly nothing. "That’s really where this battle will be won -- on our knees in prayer and fasting," she said. "Remember: faith without works is dead. So we’re asking you to do all of it: pray, fast, believe, trust the Lord, but also act."

If you want my advice, just stick to the praying and fasting. That's how we built the interstate highway system, won WWII, and got to the moon. We fasted and prayed these things into existence. The wizard knows her stuff.

Looking at Baucus and Bachmann, you might come to the conclusion that the healthcare reform debate is bad for your head. Max Baucus has been taken over by an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" version of himself and Shelly Bachmann's counseling sorcery -- if that fails, she'll probably move on to human sacrifice. Clearly, if you think about this stuff for too long, you're going to snap.

One group seems immune to whatever crazy-making radiation healthcare reform emits. One demographic isn't demented by thinking about this too much. And that demographic most likely includes you. Pollster Ruy Teixeira takes a look at the public and finds us pretty much unchanged from where we were before everyone else started losing their minds.

In the last month, the public’s view of Congress’ health care reform efforts has certainly darkened. But it’s striking how little change there has been in the public’s view of the basic elements of health care reform as articulated by President Barack Obama and progressives. These essentials of health care reform remain not just popular, but very popular. Consider these data from the just-released August edition of the Kaiser Health Care Tracking poll.

In the poll, 68 percent favor “requiring all Americans to have health insurance, either from their employer or from another source, with financial help for those who can’t afford it.” One month ago, the figure in the Kaiser tracking poll was an identical 68 percent. Similarly, 70 percent favor “offering tax credits to help people buy private health insurance,” which is actually up a point from July’s 69 percent. And 68 percent favor “requiring employers to offer health insurance to their workers or pay money into a government fund that will pay to cover those without insurance,” up 4 points from July’s 64 percent.

And, on the public option, 59% supported before and 59% support it now. Crazy people with signs equating Obama to Hitler to the contrary, we're pretty level-headed about this whole thing and all the histrionics haven't made much of a dent. All in all, 63% believe we need reform.

We aren't crazy. We've managed to keep it together throughout this whole thing. It's the people in Washington who've gone goofy. You're fine.

Unfortunately, you're not driving this bus. The crazies are. I think now would be an excellent time to try a little backseat driving.


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Cash for Clunkers Headed for the Junkyard

If you haven’t traded in your gas-guzzling SUV for one of those motorized roller skates under Obama’s Cash for Clunkers program, you have a little more than 3 hours left to do so. As of 8:00 tonight, the program will go bankrupt after just a few short months.

Cash for Clunkers went bankrupt in one summer. And Obama expects us to believe he can implement a health care system that will cover every human being in the country, womb to tomb, cost a heck of a lot more than Cash for Clunkers, and it won’t run out of money?

I don’t know which is worse—that Obama believes it or he thinks we’re dumb enough to believe it.