Those whose arguments are empty of fact are usually full of shit. --David Porter
Get it out there. Call, write, talk, inform.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Dumb, Dumber, and Just Plain Assholes

This is one more piece of proof that Republicans are scum-sucking pieces of lying trash and that the people who believe talking points without doing their own research are moronic sheep.

Preying on Fear and Predicting the Final Solution
by Lou Dubose | September 1, 2009
The Dalles, Oregon

WHEN DEMOCRAT JEFF MERKLEY WAS THE UNDERDOG challenging Republican incumbent Gordon Smith in 2008, he promised that if elected he would hold one town hall meeting a year in every county in Oregon. Because they usually begin with a 3,000-mile flight from Washington, D.C., congressional town hall meetings in Oregon are a heavy lift. And there are thirty-six counties in the state. So Senator Merkley was meeting with constituents months before claques of red-faced white men kicked off their summer of hate.
The senator had scheduled four town hall meetings (across 610 highway miles) for August 2 and 3—on the weekend after the House Energy and Commerce Committee completed a 1,000-page health care reform bill. Merkley's August meetings occurred just as right-wing fanatics were preparing to hijack the national health care reform discussion.

I caught up with the senator at his first meeting on Saturday morning in Tillamook and proceeded up the coast for an afternoon meeting in Astoria. On the following day Merkley held meetings in The Dalles and Madras, two smaller towns east of the coastal range.

Ten minutes into the meeting at the Tillamook library, a man asked the question that would be asked at least twice, in one form or another, at each of the four meetings: "I hear if you're a certain age, you're going to have to go before a committee where they're going to try to convince you that it's not in the interest of the country for you to get the medical care that you need."

The senator explained that a provision in the House bill would require the government to pay private physicians for one voluntary counseling session regarding end-of-life decisions every five years. The questioner didn't buy it. It reminded him of Jack Kevorkian, the Michigan physician who served seven years in prison for assisting terminal patients to end their lives.

End-of-life counseling was the topic of the moment. That afternoon in Astoria a woman asked, "Why do we have to have mandatory end-of-life counseling?" The senator again explained the provision in the House bill: an optional consultation with your private physician paid for by the government. His explanation was followed by a variation on the same theme from yet another woman. "Would you be willing to let me counsel your parents without knowing what my belief system was and I encourage them to end their life?" she asked. "I think the government has no business making end-of-life decisions." She angrily refused to accept the senator's explanation that counseling would be provided by private physicians.

It was evident that these questions had little to do with the actual content of any health care bill. It was also evident that the most vocal opponents of reform were literally reading from the same script. In this case, a script that revealed the influence of Christian extremists, whose sloppiness in dealing with facts and programmatic deceit has been largely ignored by the media.

I spoke with one of the women who had asked about mandatory end-of-life counseling. She said she knew the counseling was mandatory because "it's in the bill." Yet she hadn't read the bill. She was reading from a memo posted on the website of the Liberty Counsel, a Christian law firm and advocacy group related to Jerry Falwell's Liberty University in Virginia.

Among the 112 talking points in the Liberty Counsel's ten-page electronic samizdat were the following:
Sec. 2511, Pg. 992 - Government will establish school-based "health" clinics. Your children will be indoctrinated and your grandchildren may be aborted!

Sec. 1233, Pg. 429, Lines 10-12 - "Advanced Care Consultation" may include an ORDER for end-of-life plans - from the government.

Sec. 1713, Pg. 768, Lines 3-5 - Nurse Home Visit Services – Service #1: "Improving maternal or child health and pregnancy outcomes or increasing birth intervals between pregnancies." Compulsory ABORTIONS?

Sec.1751, Pg. 800 - The government will decide which Health Care conditions will be paid. Say "RATION!"
None of these claims are true. Nor were they compiled by the Liberty Counsel's staff. They were provided by right-wing blogger Peter Fleckenstein and posted under the imprimatur of the Liberty Counsel.

HITLER, OBAMA, AND MALTHUS—Sunday meetings in The Dalles and Madras were more angry and volatile.There was a lot of concern about a nonexistent provision in the House bill that would provide free health care for illegal aliens. And the end-of-life questions continued.

In The Dalles, a seventy-four-year-old woman wearing a nasal oxygen tube held in place by a retaining headband asked about "this new House measure in the bill which says the government will determine when I stay and when I go." When I asked her about her sources, she handed me a printout of the Liberty Counsel talking points, which she said she "got from a pastor on the Internet." She also said that "getting rid of the old people was how Hitler got started."

In Madras, where the crowd was extremely vocal and angry, an elderly woman linked the House's proposed solution to the nation's health care crisis to the final solution. "In Germany when Hitler came in, he started out with the insane and mentally retarded," she said. "And nobody ever saw them again. Then he came for the senior citizens. Later word got out that they were all euthanized. Hitler said we'll have more food for the healthy people." (She neglected to mention six million Jews.)

The woman said she is Christian and believes in "the End Times," in which she fears Obama is playing a role. When I spoke to her, I found that she, too, was reading from the Liberty Counsel talking points, printed out from Rick Joyner's Web site.

Rick Joyner is "the pastor on the Internet" who somehow managed to inform much of the debate in Oregon. He is a South Carolina evangelical with a large church and an even larger Web-based ministry. He derives his spiritual authority from a claim to have been transported to Heaven for an extended conversation with Jesus. Joyner has done eight "National Health Scare Bulletin" Webcasts that are also available in transcript format. They all provide links to the Liberty Counsel memo, which he continues to promote.

Joyner insists that it is a Christian duty to speak out about Obama's health care reform plan. In his health care homilies, the pastor links reformers to Nazis in Hitler's Germany:

"They started with abortion. Then they started with all the retardeds; they gathered up all the retarded and said the state can do a better job taking care of the retarded than families: No one ever saw them again. Then they went on, to the elderly to the infirm…. Nobody knew what happened to them.

"You may have heard the one German who said when they came for the Jews I didn't complain, because I wasn't Jewish. When they came for the Catholics, I didn't complain because I wasn't Catholic. When they came for the union leaders I didn't complain because I wasn't in a union. When they came for the Protestants, I didn't care because I wasn't a Protestant. When they came for me, nobody complained because there was nobody left."

Joyner admits that there are errors in the Liberty Counsel memo and said that its executive director, Mat Staver, and Staver's staff are working on a revised copy. Two weeks after the Oregon hearings, I called to ask about the inaccuracies. Joyner's administrative assistant told me they would get back to me. I called the Liberty Counsel, where a woman in the press office told me she knew nothing about any revisions and that Mathew Staver would call me with a further explanation. As this issue went to press, neither Joyner nor Staver had returened calls. These are organizations that enjoy non-profit status under the IRS Code, are fully engaged in the health care debate, yet answer to no one.

In his Webcasts ( Joyner persists with his claims about Nazi Germany, a historical moment he claims to have studied extensively.

I found it odd that a pastor who is an authority on Nazi Germany would have missed Pastor Martin Niemöller, the "one German" quoted by Joyner. Joyner might be surprised to learn that Niemöller was in fact a Protestant, a Lutheran pastor and theologian.

Niemöller actually said:

"First they came for the communists, but I was not a communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the socialists and the trade unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me."

If you would like to read the Health Care Bill for yourself (instead of letting liars tell you what is in the bill, when it really isn't) go here to read the Bill.

BTW, the kicker about the Death Panels--- you're going to love this--the End of Life Counseling language was put in the Bill by Republican Olympia Snowe, and, and similar End of Life Counseling language in the 2003 law which created the Medicare prescription drug benefit was supported by and voted for by Republicans Senators Grassley, Lugar, and Collins, and Republican Reps. Patrick Tiberi of Ohio, Geoff Davis of Kentucky, and Charles Boustany, R-La.

In fact Rep. Charles Boustany, a heart surgeon and a co-sponsor of the counseling bill, says the legislation is aimed at promoting important discussions between doctors and their patients about critical end-of-life issues, such as having a living will. He says those discussions are a "good medical practice," and doctors who spend time counseling their patients about their wishes should be reimbursed through the Medicare system, as the legislation allows.

Dumb, Dumber, and Just Plain Assholes.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009


In South Carolina, an enraged constituent told Republican Rep. Bob Inglis to "keep your government hands off my Medicare!" Rep. Ingliss explained to the man that,"Actually, sir, your health care is being provided by the government,"but the man did not believe Ingliss, shouting "You're lying, you're lying".

A woman sent a letter to the White House furiously stating, "I don't want government-run health care, I don't want socialized medicine and don't touch my Medicare."

Republican pundit Arthur Laffer quipped, "If you like the post office and the Department of Motor Vehicles, and you think they're run well, just wait till you see Medicare, Medicaid and health care done by the government."

Now, this isn't brain surgery. Listen carefully, people...MEDICARE IS RUN BY THE GOVERNMENT. That means that Medicare IS GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTHCARE. If you are on Medicare, then you use government-run healthcare already. If you like Medicare, then you like government run healthcare.

So stop whining about how government-run healthcare will use euthanasia or will make you sick or will deny life-saving treatment. Does Medicare do any of those things? No? Then pull your heads out of your asses and stop saying idiotic things like "Keep government out of Medicare". It cannot be done, kind of like Republicans cannot pull their heads out of their asses in order to think clearly and do their own research on healthcare issues.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Go Jesse, Go Jesse!

This interview occurred back in May, but it worth re-reading. Jesse made a lot of sense, and King just didn't get it.

On Larry King Live, Jesse Ventura takes on the Bush administration chickenhawks and Rush Limbaugh, and defends Colin Powell. After being waterboarded himself in the SERE program, Ventura makes no bones about it-- Waterboarding is torture. I'd like to see Hannity (who offered to be waterboarded to prove it was NOT torture)have Ventura on his show to debate the issue.

King's reaction to Ventura's straight talk on how terrible of a President W was is amusing. He's shocked...just shocked I tell you, that anyone would talk so badly about our former President.

KING: Joining us now, Jesse Ventura, former wrestler, former governor of Minnesota, former Navy SEAL, the author of "Don't Start The Revolution Without Me." That book is now out in paper back. Welcome to have you back, Jesse. There you see the cover of the book. How's Obama doing?

JESSE VENTURA, FMR. GOV. OF MINNESOTA: Too early to tell, Larry, really. In my opinion, George Bush is the worst president in my lifetime.

KING: Have an opinion, will you? (Does King sound like Yoda?)

VENTURA: I will. I will. And he's the worst president in my lifetime. So Barack Obama, President Obama inherited something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. You know? Two wars, an economy that's borderline depression. So it's far too early to judge him 100 days in. I think if you have me back about two years from now, I can give you a much better of how he's doing.

KING: He poked fun at himself at the White House correspondents' dinner Saturday night. Let's watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Finally, I believe that my next 100 days will be so successful I'll be able to complete them in 72 days. And on the 73rd day, I will rest. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: He's very likable.
VENTURA: Oh, yes.
KING: Right?
VENTURA: Very intelligent, which is a change from our previous president.
KING: All right already with Bush.
VENTURA: No, I live in Mexico now, Larry. So I do a lot of reading. I don't watch much TV. This year's reading, I covered Bush's life. I covered Guantanamo and a few other subjects. And I'm very disturbed about it.

I'm bothered over Guantanamo because it seems we have created our own Hanoi Hilton. We can live with that? I have a problem. I will criticize President Obama on this level; it's a good thing I'm not president because I would prosecute every person that was involved in that torture. I would prosecute the people that did it. I would prosecute the people that ordered it. Because torture is against the law. KING: You were a Navy SEAL.

VENTURA: That's right. I was waterboarded, so I know -- at SERE School, Survival Escape Resistance Evasion. It was a required school you had to go to prior to going into the combat zone, which in my era was Vietnam. All of us had to go there. We were all, in essence -- every one of us was waterboarded. It is torture.

KING: What was it like?
VENTURA: It's drowning. It gives you the complete sensation that you are drowning. It is no good, because you -- I'll put it to you this way, you give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.

KING: Even though you know it's not going to happen -- even though before it, you know you're not going to drown.
VENTURA: You don't know it. If it's -- if it's done wrong, you certainly could drown. You could swallow your tongue. You could do a whole bunch of stuff. If it's it done wrong or -- it's torture, Larry. It's torture.

KING: A lot of things to go into, Jesse. What do you make of the Cheney/Limbaugh --
VENTURA: I don't have a lot of respect for Dick Cheney. Here's a guy who got five deferments from the Vietnam War. Clearly, he's a coward. He wouldn't go when it was his time to go. And now he is a chickenhawk. Now he is this big tough guy who wants this hardcore policy. And he's the guy that sanctioned all this torture by calling it enhanced interrogation.

KING: Do you think Rush Limbaugh's a better Republican than Colin Powell?
VENTURA: No, not at all. In fact, if you compare the two, let's look at Colin Powell, who's a war hero, who strapped it on for his country, and didn't run and hide.

KING: Twice.
VENTURA: And then you look at Dick Cheney who ran and hid. I have no respect for Dick Cheney. I have tremendous respect for General Powell.

Well said Jesse.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Deficits Don't Matter"

Cheney to Treasury: "Deficits don't matter"

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said he tried to warn Vice President Dick Cheney that growing budget deficits-expected to top $500 billion this fiscal year alone-posed a threat to the economy. Cheney cut him off. "You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter," he said, according to excerpts. Cheney continued: "We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due." A month later, Cheney told the Treasury secretary he was fired.
Source: [X-ref O'Neill] Adam Entous, Reuters, on AOL News Jan 11, 2004

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

And the Hits Just Keep Coming

At another angry townhall beating, I mean meeting, the angry mob of informed citizens screamed at Florida Dem. Rep. Allen Boyd that they were outraged that the proposed healthcare reforms would, wait for it.... "let the government access bank accounts".

Just as Barney Frank had done with his outraged, Obama-with-Hitler-moustache-weilding, hysterical nutjob, Allen responded in good form, Allen said, "That's not true. When someone sends you something on the Internet that sounds crazy, how about just checking it a little bit?"

Here is the story on

Rumors influencing health care debate

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A woman asked Rep. Allen Boyd at a town hall meeting the other day if health care reform proposals would force people to let the government access their bank accounts.

"That's not true," the Florida Democrat responded. "When someone sends you something on the Internet that sounds crazy, how about just checking it a little bit?"

The CNN Truth Squad, which fact-checks political claims, has debunked the bank-access rumor as false. Yet that claim, and others that have been disproved, keep coming up in the national debate on health care reform, inflaming an already emotional issue.

Heated protests have disrupted town hall meetings nationwide, with people shouting at legislators and venting anger at President Obama.

While the anger is genuine, some of it is based on misunderstandings of the actual proposals, said Kenneth Thorpe, a health policy expert at Emory University.

"People are freaked out because there's a lot of bad information and misinformation being ... put out there by opponents of health care reform," Thorpe told CNN.

Obama and the Democrats say misleading information sows fear and anger, particularly among senior citizens who are worried about how changes in health care could affect Medicare. The White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have set up Web campaigns to refute what they describe as provably false information.

"It is now evident that an ugly campaign is underway not merely to misrepresent the health insurance reform legislation, but to disrupt public meetings and prevent members of Congress and constituents from conducting a civil dialogue," Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer wrote in a recent commentary.

Republican opponents respond that the emotional reaction is due to Democratic efforts to rush through legislation that amounts to a government takeover of the health care system. They say the proposals eventually will lead to a system that rations treatment based on an individual's ability to contribute to society.

"We've actually started a national debate about exactly what is at stake here," Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Wednesday.

Speaking on MSNBC, Steele said the town hall meetings across the country are reflecting that debate. However, when asked directly about one of the most controversial statements by some Republicans -- that a House bill would create so-called "death panels" to decide who gets treatment -- Steele refused to acknowledge that such language was misinformation.

The CNN Truth Squad determined the "death panel" claim was false, along with others spread by conservative commentators and activist groups who say Democratic proposals would promote euthanizing elderly Americans and mandate free health insurance for illegal immigrants.

One of the most disputed provisions, contained in a House health care proposal, would pay doctors for consultations with patients on end-of-life issues, such as living wills. The proposal is similar to one originally written by Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia.

Opponents have implied or said outright that consultations would be required -- even though the proposal says they would be voluntary.

Some Republicans and Democrats have rejected the "death panel" language, but the issue keeps coming up. At a town hall meeting Tuesday night in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, powerful House Democrat Rep. Barney Frank called the notion that health care legislation required killing elderly people "the single stupidest thing I've heard."

Obama says the misinformation confuses people over an already complex issue that requires public understanding.

"The notion that somehow I ran for public office or members of Congress are in this so that they can go around pulling the plug on grandma ... when you start making arguments like that, it's simply dishonest," the president recently said.

Wendell Potter, a former insurance company communications executive, told CNN that the insurance industry deliberately spreads false information with the goal of disrupting the debate.

The insurance industry hires public relations firms that create front groups to try to "destroy health care reform by using terms like 'government takeover of the health care system' or we are heading down toward a 'slippery slope toward socialism' or 'we're going to kill your grandpa' because of these health care regulations," said Potter, now a senior fellow at the Center for Media and Democracy, which calls itself a nonpartisan watchdog group on public relations spin.

Asked to respond to Potter's accusation, the president of America's Health Insurance Plans, Robert Zirkelbach, acknowledged in an e-mail Wednesday that the group opposes some aspects of Democratic health care proposals.

"We have been very clear and up front since day one about our opposition to a government-run insurance plan that would dismantle employer coverage, bankrupt hospitals, and increase the federal deficit," Zirkelbach's e-mail said. He denied that employees of his group, which is the national association of health insurers, were "responsible for disruptive and inappropriate tactics at health care town hall meetings."

However, some of the language cited by Potter is used by politicians, including Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, who told the NBC program "Meet the Press" on Sunday that "the Democrats want a government plan, where the government will take over health care."

Democratic proposals call for creating a government-funded health insurance plan for people who otherwise lack coverage. That is the so-called public option, which they say would compete with private insurers.

Hatch and other Republicans argue the public option would create a subsidized competitor that would drive private insurers out of business, leading to the government taking over the health care system.

Though Democrats deny that Republican assertion, it touches on broader fears among conservatives.

Many conservatives consider the proposed health care overhaul an irresponsible and dangerous expansion of the federal government. They liken it to socialist-style control over private issues, at a cost of nearly $1 trillion over 10 years.

At the same time, Americans facing an economic recession and costly government responses -- such as the $787 billion economic stimulus package and billions more paid to bail out the financial services and auto industries -- are fearful of further change and additional federal debt. Such concerns come up repeatedly at the town hall meetings held by Democrats and Republicans.

The deficit recently topped $1 trillion for the first time; Obama has said he hopes to cut it in half by the end of his first term.

"When the economy is hurting, people are more inclined, I think, to be skeptical, nervous," Frank said.

The misinformation, while refuted, has brought changes in the debate.

Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh exulted Monday when Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa said that Senate negotiators dropped the end-of-life consultation provision from their proposal because Grassley said he worried it "could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly."

Limbaugh said on his radio show that no matter what the health care proposals say, they will result in less money available for health care.

"It will forever transform the relationship between Americans," he said. "We will instantly become rivals. We're going to become competitors vying against each other for precious health care dollars."

Grassley, who is one of three Republicans negotiating a possible bipartisan health care agreement, has used controversial language himself. He told a town hall meeting last week he couldn't support a provision that would "pull the plug on grandma."

Former Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle called such comments part of the problem.

"It's hyperbolic, it's fear-mongering, it's actually politics at its worst," Daschle said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "That's the kind of thing that generates the kind of anger and fear and anxiety that people have today."

Can I get an A-MEN!

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Democracy in America is Officially Dead

"We know from survey results that two-thirds of people in the United States cannot even name all three branches of the national government"--Supreme Court Justice David Souter

A wise man once noted that a Democracy can survive only if the voting population is well informed of the facts and issues. Well, I am sorry to say, Democracy in America is Officially Dead.

According to the Web site ThinkProgress, a New poll finds that a sickening 39 percent of Americans want government to ‘stay out of Medicare.’

The rest of the article paints an even bleaker picture of the sad state of the ability of Americans to participate in their own political system.

As ThinkProgress has noted before, conservatives have frequently obscured the fact that Medicare is a government-run single-payer program. Constituents appearing at health care town halls have even demanded that their members of Congress keep their “government hands off of Medicare.” Now, a new Public Policy Polling poll finds that millions of Americans do not realize that the federal government runs Medicare:

One poll question indicative of how difficult it is to gain public understanding on a complicated issue asked if respondents thought the government should ‘stay out of Medicare,’ something inherently impossible. 39% said yes.

The poll also shows that an additional 15% of respondents were “not sure” if the government should be involved in Medicare. Only 46% of respondents disagreed with the proposition that the government should stay out of the government-run program.

Update The poll also finds that only 62 percent of respondents believe that President Obama was born in America. Of the 38 percent who either don't believe or are unsure, some think he was born in Indonesia, Kenya, the Philippines, or France. Six percent of the total poll respondents also don't think Hawaii is a U.S. state.

If you don't know that Medicare IS a government run program, I am sorry, but you should not be allowed to express an opinion because your opinion is based on a faulty brain. I say a faulty brain because any person, if they are not sure, can do 30 seconds of research and determine that Medicare IS a government run program.

With poll results like those above, it is obvious to me that we are witnessing the decline of the American Empire. Next stop, The United States of Idiots.

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