News Roundup for 9/16/09

Image from insane asylum
Typical New Jersey residents

-Headline of the day-
"New Jersey Poll: Birthers, Truthers, And The Anti-Christ -- Oh, My!"

According to the report, a new Public Policy Polling survey shows "one out of every three New Jersey conservatives think that Obama could be the anti-Christ." More accurately, 17% think he could be and 18% know it for sure. On a separate question, 33% believe he's not a citizen and 19% can't say for sure.

Dems don't get off easy on this one, as there are "32% of Jersey Democrats who say that George W. Bush had advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks. In addition, another 19% of Jersey Dems are Truther-Curious, in the undecided column."

Of course, it's sort of a false equivalency to think that 9/11-trutherism, birtherism, and Obama-is-the-antichristerism are all just as loony. After all, Bush famously dismissed a briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Within the United States." If you weren't paying a lot of attention, you might think that Bush knew beforehand that Bin Laden was determined to strike within the United States.

But he didn't read it, so he didn't know.

On the other hand, birtherism requires a belief without any evidence at all and antichristerism probably requires stopping your meds. Still, the final score is 68% of Garden State GOPers aren't antichristers, 48% of them aren't birthers, and 49% of dems are in no way truthers. So say the pollsters.

This is all making me a boozer... (Talking Points Memo)

-Not quick on the uptake-
After chasing around Republican votes for months, Sen. Mak Baucus has finally introduced a healthcare reform bill. Saying he had to "try to get the most broad-based bill possible," Max said he "worked very hard to try to get that bipartisan support."

He didn't get any. No Republican will vote on his final bill. And it's an awful pile of legislative crap. Former insurance exec turned whistelblower Wendell Potter calls it an "absolute gift" to the insurance industry. Potter says the Baucus bill "would not provide affordable coverage... gives the industry too much latitude to charge higher premiums based on age and geographic location, fails to mandate employer coverage, and pushes consumers into plans with limited benefits." In other words, he basically wrote a Republican bill.

Still, this isn't the final Senate bill. This will have to be reconciled with Ted Kennedy's HELP Committee bill in markup, so a lot of crap is going to be trimmed out. Then that bill will have to be reconciled with a house bill in conference committee, where we can only hope the rest of Max's bad ideas will be euthanized.

In the end, Baucus held up the process in order to get Republican votes, wrote a legislative dog that Republicans should love, and still can't get a single Republican to vote for it -- mostly because they think it's bad politics for any reform to come out of a Democrat-controlled congress. The shorter version of this is "Max Baucus is an idiot."

That's all the bad news. Here's the good news; we're done with Max Baucus now. He's out of the picture. No longer a powerplayer in healthcare reform. He can go away now.

Thanks for nothing, Max. Don't ever let anyone tell you you're good at this governance stuff. (Think Progress, with video)

-Bad news for 35% of NJ Republicans-
Birther queen Orly Taitz has had yet another lawsuit thrown out of court. I wanted to write "laughed out of court," but the judge wasn't in a humorous mood. US District Court Judge Clay Land warned Taitz that she could face sanctions if she kept wasting courts' time with pointless lawsuits and basically told her to shut up, go away, and don't ever come back.

"First, Plaintiff's challenge to her deployment order is frivolous," Land wrote. "She has presented no credible evidence and has made no reliable factual allegations to support her unsubstantiated, conclusory allegations and conjecture that President Obama is ineligible to serve as President of the United States. Instead, she uses her Complaint as a platform for spouting political rhetoric, such as her claims that the President is 'an illegal usurper, an unlawful pretender, [and] an unqualified imposter.'"

Turns out you can't do that. If you're going to file a lawsuit, you've kind of got to make some sort of an argument for your case. The justice system is screwy that way.

"Unlike in Alice in Wonderland, simply saying something is so does not make it so," he wrote. Saying she has burden of proof bass-ackward, Land wrote that Taitz "seeks to use the power of the judiciary to compel a citizen, albeit the President of the United States, to 'prove his innocence' to 'charges' that are based upon conjecture and speculation. Any middle school civics student would readily recognize the irony of abandoning fundamental principles upon which our Country was founded in order to purportedly 'protect and preserve' those very principles."

Unfortunately, Taitz isn't a middle school civics student. She a dentist and a real estate agent and a lawyer and, I think, a false-eyelashes manufacturer. She's also responsible for 9/11. I'm sure of it and it's up to her to prove she's not.

I await her evidence -- that is, if she has any. (Talking Points Memo)

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