Wednesday, August 05, 2009

When The Crank And The Violent Serve The Partisan And They All Do The Bidding Of The Big Money Elites


Yes, this is what passes for right-wing wit

One of the most enjoyable books I read this summer was the new one by Charles Pierce, Idiot America. He certainly wrote it when Bush was still president but it sounds as though he wrote it this morning.
There is still hope for any country that remains as easy to love as this one, in no small part because this is still the best country ever in which to be a public crank. The United States is an easy country to love because you can take it on faith that, at some point in every waking hour of the day, there is among your fellow citizens a vast exaltation of opinions that test the outer boundaries of the Crazoid. [And he wrote this long before anyone started manufacturing birth certificates proving that Obama was born in Kenya, Indonesia and Mexico and long before Mike Pence and Michele Bachmann came up with the idea of telling senior citizens that Obama's health care reform was actually a plan to kill them.]

Americans can awaken on a fine and sparkling spring morning happy in the knowledge that hundreds-- nay, thousands-- of their fellow citizens believe that space aliens landed in New Mexico, that Lyndon Johnson had John Kennedy killed from ambush, that the Knights Templar meet for coffee twice a month in the basement of the United Nations building, and that the Bavarian Illuminati control everything from the price of oil to the outcome of the fourth race at Louisiana Downs. Let us be clear. This is still the best country ever in which to peddle complete public lunacy.

If you've been following the discussion of public events in the blogosphere lately, you probably have the impression that Congress adjourned in the midst of the debate over health care so that congressmembers could rush home to hold town hall meetings with their constituents. Republicans are busy distorting the scope and intent of the legislation and lying to the voters in their districts. And there's a big brouhaha about right-wing fanatics disrupting Democrats' meetings-- there's even a manual for them to follow and some of the disruptions have been pretty violent. Do you know what astro-turf is?
Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, the operation that’s running a national campaign against a public health care option, is now publicly taking credit for helping gin up the sometimes-rowdy outbursts targeting House Dems at town hall meetings around the country, raising questions about their spontaneity.

Some teabagger operations have published lists of townhall meetings around the country they want their troops to show up at and shout down the congressmembers.

Although some of the real GOP dopes, like Long Island Congressman Peter King (R-NY) are insisting that there is no health care crisis and that Americans don't even consider it an important issue, others think they're better off avoiding the whole topic. King, as usual, is wrong but when you have nothing to add to the debate but name calling and obstructionism, you just make things up. According to a poll by Time Magazine in late July around 70% of those surveyed said it was important that Congress and the President pass a major health care reform bill in the next few months. But if King is making an idiot out of himself on MSNBC, many anti-health care Republicans have just fled the country-- and the hell with townhalls or their constituents. The Hill's Molly Hooper reported on all the conservative, anti-reform fanatics going on overseas trips instead of going back to their districts to engage in the public discourse about health care they've been using as an excuse to slow down the passage of the reform legislation.
Midway through the last series of floor votes before members left town for recess on Friday, a pair of young staffers navigating a pulley cart carrying two steamer trunks branded “CODEL BOEHNER” caught the attention of reporters and lawmakers taking care of business in the corridors outside the chamber.

The scene was a visual reminder that House members intend to spend time outside the country on [so-called] fact-finding trips over recess, despite the debate over the president’s domestic agenda dominating Congress.

Citing security concerns, aides close to House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) would not disclose which countries the top-ranking Republican was visiting but noted that the congressional delegation trip, or codel, is “dealing with issues surrounding the global economic crisis and national
security.” [Boehner is said to be taking his golf clubs, of course.]

...Boehner’s second-in-command, House GOP Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (Va.), left town on Saturday with more than two dozen GOP lawmakers on a weeklong trip to Israel and the West Bank.

Cantor is the senior lawmaker on the delegation, which is sponsored by the nonprofit charitable organization American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF). House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) will serve in the same capacity the following week when AIEF sponsors a 31-member House Democratic delegation to go to Israel.

Under the new House rules, congressional trips can be sponsored by non-lobbyist organizations such as AIEF as long as those organizations have met the requirements for permissible travel. Members are required to obtain prior approval from the House ethics committee.

According to Cantor aides, the delegation will consist of freshmen and other members who have yet to visit Israel for the first time since being elected to the House.

Cantor has taken $1,410,724 in thinly-disguised bribes from the Medical-Industrial Complex and Boehner has gobbled up $1,206,472 from the same sources. Cantor has taken an additional $706,674 from Big Insurance and Boehner was rewarded by the insurance CEOs and their lobbyists to the tune of $904,156. They decided long ago that debate is useless and all that matters is the cash and the good old Republican racism and divisiveness. But watch this anyway; it's only 30 seconds.

UPDATE: Above, it turns out, is the ad corporate media giant CNN refuses to run

The DNC pushed back against Republican mob violence-- which has even been denounced by John McCain as a disgrace-- today. First, here's a screen shot of McCain's latest tweet against his party's proto-fascist and very un-American tactics:

And here's what the DNC sent out to Democrats around the country:
There's been a lot of media coverage about organized mobs intimidating lawmakers, disrupting town halls, and silencing real discussion about the need for real health insurance reform.

The truth is, it's a sham. These "grassroots protests" are being organized and largely paid for by Washington special interests and insurance companies who are desperate to block reform. They're trying to use lies and fear to break the President and his agenda for change.

Health insurance reform is about our lives, our jobs, and our families -- we can't let distortions and intimidation get in the way. We need to expose these outrageous tactics, and we're counting on you to help. Can you read these "5 facts about the anti-reform mobs," then pass them along to your friends and family? 

• 5 facts about the anti-reform mobs

• 1. These disruptions are being funded and organized by out-of-district special-interest groups and insurance companies who fear that health insurance reform could help Americans, but hurt their bottom line. A group run by the same folks who made the "Swiftboat" ads against John Kerry is compiling a list of congressional events in August to disrupt. An insurance company coalition has stationed employees in 30 states to track where local lawmakers hold town-hall meetings.

• 2. People are scared because they are being fed frightening lies. These crowds are being riled up by anti-reform lies being spread by industry front groups that invent smears to tarnish the President's plan and scare voters. But as the President has repeatedly said, health insurance reform will create more health care choices for the American people, not reduce them. If you like your insurance or your doctor, you can keep them, and there is no "government takeover" in any part of any plan supported by the President or Congress.

• 3. Their actions are getting more extreme. Texas protesters brought signs displaying a tombstone for Rep. Lloyd Doggett and using the "SS" symbol to compare President Obama's policies to Nazism. Maryland Rep. Frank Kratovil was hanged in effigy outside his district office. Rep. Tim Bishop of New York had to be escorted to his car by police after an angry few disrupted his town hall meeting -- and more examples like this come in every day. And they have gone beyond just trying to derail the President's health insurance reform plans, they are trying to "break" the President himself and ruin his Presidency.

• 4. Their goal is to disrupt and shut down legitimate conversation. Protesters have routinely shouted down representatives trying to engage in constructive dialogue with voters, and done everything they can to intimidate and silence regular people who just want more information. One attack group has even published a manual instructing protesters to "stand up and shout" and try to "rattle" lawmakers to prevent them from talking peacefully with their constituents.

• 5. Republican leadership is irresponsibly cheering on the thuggish crowds. Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner issued a statement applauding and promoting a video of the disruptions and looking forward to "a long, hot August for Democrats in Congress."

It's time to expose this charade, before it gets more dangerous. Please send these facts to everyone you know. You can also post them on your website, blog, or Facebook page.

Now, more than ever, we need to stand strong together and defend the truth.

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At 7:02 AM, Blogger Matt said...

As a non-republican, non-democrat, here is what I want to know:

Every time I hear Obama on the health reform issue, he is about as vague as humanly possible. "We've got to save", "Cut costs, uh..", "Eliminate waste, umm.."

1. Ok, fine, what exactly does that mean? HOW? How am I supposed to support a plan that no one has been able to articulate?

2. Eliminate waste, really? When was the last time the government cut costs/eliminated waste to a substantial degree on ANYTHING? ANYTHING! I can't think of one damn thing!

3. Ok, fine, you want to go ahead with your single payer or other reform, fine. Here's what I want to know: how can we judge whether it was successful or a failure? If it is a failure, can be it gotten rid of? Because whether it comes to war or social security, the government never seems to admit mistakes. Ten years from now we'd have Dems going "we can't cut and run" or "don't change in midstream" some BS crap like that.

4. Can anyone mention FACTUALLY why health care costs are going up? It is almost as if they are blaming it on "profits", as if up until the past twenty years no one saw fit to jack up the prices but now they just all decided at once to be greedy? I want to hear non-ideological explanations.

5. If government wants to take our freedom in the area of health care couldn't they give some back in exchange? Trade one freedom for another? I'll take an end to the drug war, disbanding the standing army, right to be arms, any of those cool things.

6. One of the things that has always puzzled me about the "liberals" (no offense) is that while they rightfully worry about monopoly, they don't seem to mind when the government has monopolies. I don't get that.. both seem really bad.

At 7:05 AM, Blogger Matt said...

Haha, I meant "right to BEAR arms" OOPS. Also while we're at it I'd be glad to get the 4th amendment back instead or the 9th or 10th. Basically any rights you want to give back would be cool. Thanks. Maybe the Dems could even keep their promise FOR ONCE and repeal PATRIOT like they were supposed to. I wish... :(

At 7:38 AM, Blogger Bob In Pacifica said...

I always get concerned when people, while commenting on the lunatic fringe in America, find the need to lump in all "conspiracy theories" together because, quite simply, not all conspiracies are equally wacky.

In 1992, in arguing why some files could not be declassified under the new laws, then-CIA Director Robert Gates argued that a file describing how someone was impersonating Oswald in Mexico City at the Soviet embassy and Cuban consulate six weeks before the assassination could not be released because it would somehow reveal the government's means of collecting information.

Of course, the most important piece of information wasn't how they photographed this guy but that there was this guy in Mexico City pretending to be Oswald, tying Oswald to the USSR and Cuba a month and a half before the assassination. On the same day there was an Oswald visiting an anti-Castro figure in the Dallas area and a third Oswald with his wife in New Orleans.

Okay, everybody count on their hand. Three Oswalds. If Oswald was a lone nut he was three lone nuts. Gates' admission proves that there was some sort of conspiracy in place prior to the assassination to pin the murder on Oswald.

As far as LBJ, there was a news story about old friend Allen Dulles visiting him on his ranch in Texas a few weeks before the assassination. That was a little story by which LBJ could be blackmailed after-the-fact.

Considering that the CIA was deposing and/or murdering so many national leaders around the world in the fifties, sixties and thereafter it's not wacky to wonder if they weren't somehow involved in offing JFK. They certainly had the motive, and the rewards were there for them.

That is, when connecting "birthers" with "assassination buffs" you are doing a disservice to serious researchers of history.

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Mariner said...

Matt, with billions in profits - millions daily - the majority going to multi-million dollar bonuses to a few people in the insurance industry - while people in need of help are refused it by doctors hired by the insurance companies to deny claims in any way possible - my question is...

Don't you consider THAT waste? Money that could be better spent to help people who need it.

Or do we prefer all of the money that could be used to help sick people get better, better used in paying out bonuses to just a few people in the country?

At 11:12 PM, Anonymous Cool Springs said...

Be afraid, be very afraid.


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