Cutting Through The Crap

Friday, March 30, 2012

Death Throes


You gotta wonder, don't you, who gets info from whom among the RWS™. Where do the lies start, what's their plan for dissemination? How is it that, first, a Justice of the Supreme Court affirms a falsehood, and then the lie is repeated on Fox "news?" Corollarally (is that a word?), you might also ask if Scalia was deliberately lying, or is he just ill-informed; i.e., stupid? Who put whom up to what? Because, in the end, it actually does matter.

I refer to the falsehoods about the so-called "Cornhusker kickback." He admits he hasn't read the bill; but he makes the claim. Yes, it did exist at one point, as a (pathetic) attempt to court Ben Nelson into voting for the ACA. Sadly, that's how politics works in this corner of the world, and it's only part of the story of why we got a gift to insurance companies instead of a rational solution to health care access in the US. Nevertheless, as was known within moments of the original proposition, the clause was removed from the legislation. And, by golly, it has stayed removed. It was gone when the law was passed, gone when Scalia brought it up, and it's still gone as Fox "news" continues to suggest to its sheep that it's the opposite of gone. As, in other words, Fox deliberately falsifies history.

Don't be surprised, though: it's their business plan. Their very successful business plan.

But there's the matter of a sitting Justice spreading the same bullshit. Maybe it got fed to him when he and Clarence politicked their way into a right-wing festivus of anti-healthers. Or maybe it was the other way around: maybe the tyrannical twosome brought the blueprint to the gathering. Whatever went on, and when, it's disturbing to witness the coordination of the spreading of a lie; a lie so easily falsified, a lie that's been pointed out over and over. A lie that Fox "news" has to know is a lie (I mean, you know, they're a news organization, right?), but which it deliberately keeps trumpeting.

However you spin it, it's corrupt. Not only is it a fundamental perversion of what little is left of our democracy; it speaks volumes about the low regard in which Fox holds its viewers. And why not? It never seems to matter how blatantly they lie: like spray from the sea, credulity abounds among their following.

Well, the fait is pretty much accompli. All that remains is the time it takes to hear a couple more death rattles, as the careful, patient, soulless efforts of the Murdochorovian plan have their final unfolding: pandering to the religiously vulnerable, the paranoid and the hate-filled; the taking over of media to spread continual falsehoods; corrupting education; spreading distrust of expertise and of knowledge itself; until there's a critical mass of uneducated, misinformed, terrified people, unwilling and, finally, no longer even able to see what's happening, only too happy to elect representatives who'll vote against their and their country's interest while claiming to do the opposite. Going to hell in a hannitybasket.

They have their nonstop propaganda network, the reins of (so far) one house of Congress, and the Supreme Court, and now it's only a matter of not much more time before the end is at hand. It could be as soon as November, 2012: only a month before the world is supposed to end, we will have done it to ourselves, blindly and blithely giving away our democracy to corporations and billionaires, blissfully turning the country over to those who'd suck it dry now, take what's left, live out their lives in luxury, and exit the ruins without a second thought.

Yeah, I'm having a bad day. But am I wrong?




Mike Check


You know, the Obama "open mike" brouhaha causes an inward look, makes me question my ability to view politics at all rationally. I tell myself that, notwithstanding the usual tone here, what I say about today's Rs and RWS™ and teabaggers is always fact-based. Which is not to say unbiased. The stuff about which I choose to write is important in that it's about the dangerous road down which Rs are trying to take us, overtly and unapologetically: a propagandized, misinformed, poorly educated, theocratized, science-denying, undemocratic, plutocracy. I say that, because it's true.

But I wonder what I'd have written, had George Bush been caught saying to a Russian leader what Barack Obama said. Because my reaction to it -- in addition, of course, to recognizing that the RWS™ would be in full outrage mode and that teabaggers would be instantly in line -- was, "well, duh..." Because what he said (flexibility!!!, OMG!!) was almost dully true. It's the sort of thing said by and about every president heading toward, or into, a second term. And, in the case of President Obama, who's faced a more single-mindedly intransigent opposition party than any president in recent (and, for all I know, all of) history, it's undeniable. If he's reelected, some things will change, no matter the makeup of Congress: Rs will have to find another motivation than the one clearly articulated by their congressional leaders; namely, making Obama a one-term president. Conceivably, they'd even turn, however briefly, toward establishing a record of accomplishing something good for the country.

So by any real measure -- and given the fact that Obama has always made his position on loose nukes and missile shields pretty clear -- there's nothing scandalous here.

But would I have written or felt the same in the Bush-said-it scenario? I wish I could honestly say yes, but I have no idea. Like some other liberals I know, I allowed myself to rationalize Kerry's loss by believing it possible Bush would move away from pandering to the worst instincts of his grievous party. He didn't, of course. But for a minute or two, based on the political truth of what Obama said to Medvedev, I had a little hope. (Medved, by the way, means "bear" in Russian. медведь)

The truly insane right-wing paranoia about Barack Obama, whether it be regarding a secret plan to confiscate all guns if reelected, or to sell us out to the Russians (our greatest geopolitical enemy, even more than al Queda evidently, according to Mitt "Yes, I'll Still Say Any Damn Thing To Get Elected" Romney), is strike-me-deaf-dumb-and-blind crazy. In their fevered minds, it's exactly because he's never done anything to suggest it that they're sure it's true. The lack of evidence is proof he's hiding the plan. So the mike thing fits right in, despite the fact that it's merely a truism of American politics.

Nevertheless, had it been George, who did more actual harm to this country politically, economically, militarily, educationally, infrastructurally, than the imaginary Obama of Fox "news" could do in his wildest Muslim dreams, I'm not sure I'd have been able to find my way to equanimity. So shame, probably, on me.




Thursday, March 29, 2012

You Read It Here Last


Found in Ronald Reagan's personal diary, and released by the Ronald Reagan Library, which sort of preempts what would otherwise be the Foxohannity attempts to suggest it's false:

Although at the time I felt I could more effectively get my ideas of a collective philosophy accomplished as a Republican more so than a Democrat, I realize now that the Republican Party was indeed the party of purely individual rights, not the Democrats. When I worked as the president of the Screen Actors Guild I understood the need for people to stick together for the greater good to get their goals accomplished. I admired other great presidents of the past such as Franklin Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower who knew that in order for the nation to thrive, we must all thrive. I am also saddened that the Republican party of today thinks I wanted God in the White House and to rule the nation. That is not true at all, after I was nearly assassinated I wanted God more in my own personal life. I acknowledged that I was to be here for a reason and serve him and my nation together, but they always stayed separate in my mind just as in the Constitution. The Republican party today merely just uses God as a means to get votes, and I don’t believe Jesus would want to be used as a marketing tool. I regret my decision to become Republican and if I had to do it all over again I would have remained in the Democratic party and ran on their ticket. They seem to instill the core values I believe in, such as a collective philosophy. I thought for a while the Democrats left me, because we used to agree on so much, it turns out that I did indeed leave them, and I would do anything to take it all back. Now as I sit here as an old man, I can only imagine, “what if…”


Had he ever said it openly, it might have changed my measure of him, a little. But Reaganomics was and is still a crock, and his love for the Constitution seems to have ended at a line somewhere between Iran and Nicaragua.

[Update: well, I was snookered, as a reader pointed out in the comments. It's satire; had I read through the bottom of the article, I'd have seen it myself. I did actually think, as I read it, that he seemed a lot more cogent than he'd been when he left office... Embarrassing.

Another reader had pointed out the article to me in another comment thread, and I bought it, hook, line, and sinker. Guess Frank is right about Alzheimer's.... mine.]


Ground Game


So let me be sure I understand. Under Florida's "stand your ground" law, you can shoot someone if you feel threatened. And having done so, you may not be subject to prosecution, or even arrest. Not just a legal defense: you may have immunity. Right? Forget about how "threatened" is defined: how is "feel" defined? Isn't that sort of critical?

Let's assume that, in the case of Trayvon Martin, the blame-the-victim side (appearing on Fox "news," as predictable as saliva on Dick Morris' toes, within moments of the shooting) is right: that in the end, Trayvon tried to fight his stalker. That Zimmerman was stalking him is not in doubt: the 911 tapes confirm he was chasing him, and was told not to. And a girl claims to have been talking to Trayvon on a cell phone as it was happening, during which call he said someone was chasing him. (I wonder if there are ways to retrieve that call: I assume it'd be critical evidence. Probably not possible, I'd guess.)

So what happened, worst case, is that Zimmerman saw Trayvon looking suspiciously black, candied and hoodied, and began to follow him, chase him. At which point, maybe, Trayvon decided to stand his ground, and fight the guy. According to Zimmerman, the kid broke his nose and beat his head on the ground. Of note, the police video when Zimmerman arrived at the station shows no blood, no evidence of injury at all. But okay. Far be it from me to suggest the police were complicit ex post facto, or that Zimmerman, who didn't seek medical attention till the next day, managed to acquire the injuries later. Who cares?

Here's a variation: For entertainment purposes, I pick out somebody and start following him, closer and closer, calling him names maybe, run after him if he runs. The person suddenly stops, turns around, and raises a fist at me, tells me to get the fuck out of his space, maybe takes a swing. I back away, but he keeps coming. So I shoot the sonuvabitch. He swung at me, which is without doubt threatening. Cool, right? Free and clear. I think I'll do it again.

Nice laws you got there, Florida. (And they're applying for statehood, ferchrissakes!) Or am I wrong about something? Because here is what the law says:

776.041 Use of force by aggressor. —The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:

(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or

(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:

(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
(b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Scalia Is A Horse's Ass


I mean no offense to horses or their prodigious excretory abilities. But "horse's ass" is the nicest description up which with I could come in describing that darling of conservatives, Antonin Scalia. And if he is indeed a horse's ass (indeed, he is), I don't know what to call those who love him so much, but it's probably prohibited by most sacred and civil law. Kentucky, possibly, excepted.

As RWS™ holler nonstop about liberal judges legislating from the bench, letting personal politics affect their decisions (ie ruling in ways they don't like), there is none so prone to doing it as Mister Justice Scalia. Here's what he said today about the Affordable Care Act:

In the morning session -- in which the court weighed how much of the law should stand if the mandate is ruled unconstitutional -- Scalia cited the horsetrading required to pass the bill -- including the politically embarrassing, and failed, Cornhusker Kickback. He also admitted that he'd like to see the whole law fall if the mandate is ruled out of bounds.

In the afternoon, he took pains to remind the court of the unpopularity of the individual mandate.

The exchange occurred when Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. rejected a hypothetical that relied on the notion of Congress passing a massive new tax. This, he argued, would have to overcome massive political constraints.

At that point Scalia chimed in: He would've thought the individual mandate would also be too much of a political liability to ever pass Congress.


Now I'm hardly a constitutional scholar, and I have no idea how the court will eventually rule, except to predict that, with Kennedy as the wild card, it'll likely follow the usual predictable split along party lines; and to point out how pathetic it is that it's nearly always possible to predict how our most supreme jurists will individually decide cases. (And I'll say once again that I've never liked the fact that the plan relies on private insurance, which is what makes the "individual mandate" necessary -- as Mitt Romney acknowledged again, just last night.)

But it doesn't take much more than a Palinesque mind to recognize that nothing Scalia said is relevant to the question of constitutionality of the Act, nor should have any role at all in deciding the case. In fact, in those cases I've taken time to read about, Big Tony nearly always seems to have extra-legal justifications for his decisions. In this case, it was right-wing talking points.

Seems to me Hizzoner is the Platonic ideal of a judge who lets his prejudices, his religion, his politics guide his judicial decisions; the exact opposite, in other words, of the sort of judge conservatives claim they want in courtrooms.

It's almost as if they're hypocrites or something...


The Clock Is Ticking



Who knows what the Supreme Court will say about the ACA. Strange, isn't it, how something so far from politics as health care will break along predictable political lines in the court, with one swing vote, as usual, being decisive. Whatever they decide, our health care system will remain astoundingly dysfunctional.

While politicians politicate, Medicare is testing new approaches to paying hospitals and docs; namely by paying lump sums for the management of a particular diagnosis/operation. Some say it's working.

If a hospital delivered care for less than the bundled rate, while hitting certain quality metrics, it would keep the difference as profit. But if costs were high and quality was too low, Baptist would lose money. For the first time in their careers, the doctors’ paychecks depended on the quality of the care they provided.

Four surgeons quit in protest.

“I’d describe the reception as lukewarm at best,” Zucker says. “There was a lot of: ‘How could you do this?’ and ‘I’m not going to participate.’ ”

The program launched in June 2009 with a checklist of quality metrics. To earn a bonus, surgeons would, among other things, need to ensure that antibiotics were administered an hour before surgery and halted 24 hours after, reducing the chances of costly complications.

Only three doctors hit the metrics that first month, but their bonuses caught the attention of others. “There was a lot of, ‘Why are those doctors getting more, and I’m not?” Zucker says. Eight doctors got bonus payments in July; two dozen got them in August. Compliance with certain quality metrics steadily climbed from 89 percent to 98 percent in three months.

Two-and-a-half years later, Baptists’ surgeons have earned more than $950,000 in bonuses. Medicare, meanwhile, has netted savings: Its bundled rate is about 5 percent lower than all the fees it used to pay out for the same services.

When I was in training, we were told that pre-op antibiotics had to be given at least an hour before the operation started; the opposite, in other words, of now. The idea was that it took that long to establish effective tissue levels, as opposed to blood levels, of the drug. Whatever. I'm certainly in favor of testing old theories and establishing new procedures based on new data. But that's not my point. The point is that tracking the timing of antibiotic delivery is as easy as it is arbitrary. Fifty-nine minutes: good. Sixty one: fail.

I've seen borderline panic when, for any of several trivial reasons, it looks like knife might not be laid to flesh within the one-hour window. A minute too long, you get dinged. It's pretty stupid, ask me. Does a minute or two make any measurable difference in surgical outcomes? Take a wild guess.

But it's a parameter. And it's simple, binary, yea or nay. Ding or dong. Because it's easy, there it is. It's a hell of a lot harder to compare, say, two patients who had the same part of their colon removed for the same reason: one whose operation takes an hour and who goes home in a couple of days; the other who was in the OR for four hours and went home in over a week. Is it because the second surgeon screwed up? Did s/he take too long because s/he wasn't well-enough trained; did the patient languish because of preventable problems, poor (or, in the case of laparoscopic colon resection, unnecessarily expensive) technique, out-of-date post op management?

Because I knew how to carry out an operation efficiently, because of ways I managed their post op care, my patients were in the OR an hour or two less than other's, went home a couple of days sooner than average, happy. Total costs when I did a colon resection were thousands of dollars less than nearly every other surgeon in the state (it was actually tracked at one time, until other surgeons hollered.) Had there been in place, back then, a system of rewards for such superior care (yeah, go ahead, say it...), not only would I have made out like a ... surgeon who provided superior care, but there'd have been pressure on my colleagues to figure out what I was doing (they could just ask!), and do it, too. A win-win for patients, docs, and hospitals.

But there are factors in every case that are nearly impossible to quantify and compare: the patient's body habitus, the effects of meds they might be on, the amount of inflammation in the area operated, tumor size (if that's what it was about), adherence, circulatory issues, and a lot more. Anesthesiologists categorize patients into five risk groups (six, if you include brain-dead organ donors): the higher, the more they charge. So far there's not a reliable system for doing the same for operative difficulty and postop risk. (There's a code or two for higher degree of difficulty, which theoretically increases the surgeon's reimbursement; but not a hell of a lot. And, far as I know, it doesn't affect "package pricing." I could be wrong about that.)

So what happens when package pricing is in effect? What happens when things are a little tough in the operation? Would some surgeons look for shortcuts so as not to have extra surgical charges on their record? Would patients be pressured to go home a little too soon?

Neither, in my experience, is too likely; and I'm certainly not the first to raise the question. But despite what you might have heard, surgeons are human. And when there's money on the line, when records are kept about individual docs in the form of "economic credentialing," things change. Might surgeons and hospitals tend not to accept patients whose care looked like it'd be too costly? And what would that do to referral hospitals? Would they and their surgeons lose even more money than they are now? How long would it take -- or would it be possible at all -- to get their package price upped to reflect the level of care they're providing?

I greatly admire the Democrats' attempts to make economic sense of it, however flawed; and I absolutely reject the typical R dodge that letting "market forces" take care of it will, in fact, take care of it. It's what's been in play for decades: how's it going?

This is why I think "effectiveness research" is so important, and why it's literally obscene that congressional Rs just voted to eliminate that part of the ACA; the vote is the culmination of stupid, demagogic politicization of something too important to be left to teabaggRs and their imaginary "death panels." Bullshit, codified.

Inefficiencies abound in American health care: systemic ones, economic ones (in the form of allowing health insurers to pocket as profit so much of the money intended for care), and ones related to doctors using various treatment options that have or can or would be shown to be less efficient and less effective than others. Assuming such research were allowed, and assuming the results could be trusted, it'd bring a level of rationality to care that currently exists only sporadically. (My former clinic has received national recognition for being a place where it exists, matter of fact.)

And it would give "cover" to people like me who tried, not always successfully, to convince a patient or family that something they were demanding didn't make sense.



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One Term President



Yep, when Hannity gets ahold of this, it's over.


Role Reversal


All you have to do is listen to any random right-winger, and you'll learn that they think the country is going to hell. On that, it happens, we totally agree. Just a matter of which direction it's taking to get there, and whose version of hell is its destination.

To teabaggRs, the destruction they see comes in the form of allowing certain people to have rights that everyone else has; it comes in the form of maintaining the tradition of separation of church and state; it comes in the form of allowing non-white people into this country, in the form of making quality and affordable health care accessible to all citizens of the richest country on earth. It comes in the form of taxes at a level that would allow the continuation of public education, the building and repairing of infrastructure, and in the form of believing in science, of protecting the planet, while also reducing deficits.

And, finally, it comes in the form of being asked to give an actual, MEANINGFUL -- as opposed to a flag-waving and empty -- shit.

In other words, what teabaggRs hate, and are doing their unlevel best to destroy, are the very things that have, until recently, made America great: addressing injustice, valuing diversity, funding education, respecting science and invention, advancing the right to vote. Promoting the general welfare, you might call it. Constitutiony sorts of things. Founding fatherish sorts of stuff.

So what we see rising in states controlled by such people are laws that allow the shooting of innocents, free from fear of prosecution. We see biblical literalism forced into schools, and we see religious views wrapped around sonogram wands and forced into vaginas. We see democracy actively diminished by voter suppression laws and by unwinding the regulation of political donations, replacing the wreckage of democracy with unbridled plutocracy; constitutional government replaced with theocracy. We see bogus budgets put forth that will devastate the country. Now that they have control of the House and think they'll grab the Senate and the White House, they're barely trying to hide it any more.

If it were the case that the remnants of the Republican party placed any value at all on truth, they'd just up and acknowledge that they've had it with democracy, with the constitution, with equal rights for all Americans. They'd openly state that their words are empty as Sarah Palin's knowledge of the world when they claim they worry about future generations: they'd admit that they want what they can get, now, that the future is only a word, a tool they use to pry open the vault. They'd concede that what they want isn't a return to anything; because the country toward which they're dragging us all has never existed on U.S. soil. Parts of it, singly, one at a time, maybe. But not all of it, ever, not even most of it, all at the same time.

If you want a look at the ideal of the current Republicans and teabaggers, look to Iran, to Saudi Arabia, where religion is supreme, votes are rigged and suppressed, women are second-class citizens, opposition is quashed with deadly force, diversity is non-existent; and from where no significant scientific advancements have come in centuries.

The only difference between that and what teabaggRs want is which holy book they hold dear, and the fact that Iran and Saudi Arabia have already made it happen. But we're working on getting there, sure as hell.


Monday, March 26, 2012

When Memes Are True...

SSDD


I really hope that, come the general election campaign, the issue of Republicans' constant lying is made front and center. I'm not naive enough to think that it would change much, because the pattern of receptive ignorance has been set in concrete like Jimmy Hoffa's feet (a historical presumption). But until and unless (a long time, and unlikely) R voters demand better from their leaders, showing themselves to be interested in facts, willing to make an election about actual issues and choices among approaches thereto (and, by inference, believing enough in their own ideas to have them fairly tested), why would their candidates abandon a winning strategy? Lies are easy, and, obviously, they work.

But the choice is as stark as it's ever been, and can be condensed to this: do we prefer our governing principle to be "every man for himself" (and, yes, excluding "women" is deliberate), or do we prefer a government that provides more than just a military? Do we consider maintaining historically low tax rates as the prime directive, or do we have regard for such things as education, access to health care, and the occasional dam or highway? And what does the future likely look like with each choice? By any measure, that's what this election is about. Which undoubtedly explains the lying by Rs: to get people to vote for their take-the-money-and-run vision, they must hide the truth, bury it under distortions and distractions. And that they do, brilliantly and shamelessly, every day. Here's one day's worth of news:

On Obama's environmental record, which has pissed off liberals for the reality of it, and conservatives for the lying about it:

The leading Republican presidential hopefuls have cast Obama as environmental extremist whose policies have put him out of touch with the needs of ordinary Americans. It's a characterization that may resonate with GOP primary voters, but it has surprised environmental activists, many of whom say they are let down by Obama's record on their issues.
[...]
"The environmental movement has been at odds with Barack Obama for much of his three years in the White House," said Bill McKibben, founder of the environmental group 350.org. "The president is very much in the center — far too much in the center for many environmentalists."



Then there's this:

Among Republicans, a punchy Rick Santorum declared that President Barack Obama's health care law makes the life of every single American dependent on the government.

Seriously?

However far-reaching, the law is neither life-giving, nor health-destroying, and most Americans probably won't feel a thing. (Which, clearly, is absolutely true: got health insurance you like? Keep it!)

Mitt Romney, for his part, continued to blame Obama for banning old-fashioned light bulbs even after it was pointed out thatRepublican George W. Bush was the president who made the decision crowding those energy-wasters from the market.


In fairness, the above article also contains this tidbit:
BIDEN on the bin Laden raid: "You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan. Never knowing for certain. We never had more than a 48 percent probability that he was there."

But there's a huge difference between overheated hyperbole and deliberate lying. What Biden said might have been dumb -- the article lists a bunch of military endeavors that deserve higher ranking, D-day being but one -- but, as opposed to blatant lying, it's a matter of opinion. If I say Edgar Martinez is the greatest DH of all time, it's not a lie, even if you think the honor goes to Frank Thomas. R characterizations of Obama's policies are on another plane altogether, deliberate falsehoods, and facts demonstrate it easily.

Claims that Obama is a socialist, like dingleberries with cheap toilet paper, are everywhere, and, for their stupidity, hardly worth mentioning. Paul Volker did, though, saying what needs to be said. But who'd pay attention to Ronald Reagan's Fed Chairman, right? Let the lies keep coming.

Speaking of which, there's Mitt Romney's claims about President Obama's energy policy, on which even his own advisors won't even back him up:

After Romney insisted that more drilling in Mexico and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge could bring down the cost of gas, The Huffington Post contacted members of Romney's economic team -- two revolving-door lobbyists and two former chairmen of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush -- to ask if they would vouch for the claim.

"I will pass. Sorry," prominent macroeconomist Gregory Mankiw, a Romney advisor, replied when contacted by HuffPost about an interview. Other queries were similarly denied or unreturned.

[...]

Other economists haven't been shy about debunking the claim, explaining that U.S. energy policy has very little effect either on oil prices or on overall U.S. employment. Recent studies have backed them up. The Associated Press' statistical analysis of 36 years of monthly, inflation-adjusted gasoline prices and U.S. domestic oil production found no statistical correlation between gas prices and how much oil comes out of U.S. wells.


We already know that since Obama took office, drilling operations have quadrupled from what they were under G.W. Bush, and now we also know this (excluding Foxophiles and teabaggRs, who clearly don't want to know):
Taken together, the increasing production and declining consumption have unexpectedly brought the United States markedly closer to a goal that has tantalized presidents since Richard Nixon: independence from foreign energy sources, a milestone that could reconfigure American foreign policy, the economy and more.


If ever there were a time when voters deserve, and ought to demand, an election that focuses on a true reckoning of what's at stake, of what actually is going on and what is not, of what the opposing plans of candidates represent, it's now. If ever voters should demand of all parties and partisans that they focus on what they want to do rather than lying about what the other has or hasn't done, it's now.

Because as long as they don't (how about stepping up, teabaggers!), what they'll get -- raining down nearly exclusively from the right -- is same shit, different day.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Irony


Here's a way to save taxpayers some money: limit heart transplants to people less than 70 years old. And let's not forget, were it not for Medicare, a certain former veep, the contents of whose chest have long been in question (and not just in terms of coronary circulation), would never have had a transplant paid for, since he'd have lost his private insurance when he had his first heart attack over thirty years ago.

Thankfully, depending on one's view of extraordinary measures, a person who has a heart attack nowadays -- assuming the Rs don't succeed in ending the ACA -- would retain coverage for future heart ailments.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Fox "news" Fans Respond


Here's a partial list of comments, on the Fox "news" website, regarding the killing of Trayvon Martin:

What a shame—a tragedy, really— because the dead lil’ gangsta could’ve used “‘A-FIRM-TIV AK-SHUN” to go to kollige an play footballz and make lotsa cash munny!”

[…]

Fast and Furious didn’t work to pass new gun control so now Eric Holder will try the race card.

[…]

No matter how crime figures are massaged by those who want to acknowledge or dispute the existence of a Dirty War, there is nothing ambiguous about what the official statistics portray: for the past 45 years a large segment of bIack America has waged a war of v i o l e n t retribution against white America.

[…]

Zimmerman was attacked by the man and defended himself with a gun. Zimmerman’s wounds were verified by police.

[…]

17 = child. LOL!!!!!!

Let the LIB word games begin.

[…]

Yet the “justice department” refuses to prosecute any voter intimidation that involves a blac k as the intimidator.

[…]

Why should anyone care about this kid? Because he is of color? People don’t value kids period. They are property. BTW, I am a conservative that cares a great deal about kids. We follow hundreds of cases each year, many white babies and children, none of them get attention. But he does??

[…]

Zimmerman felt threatened by Martin’s gang’s actions…this could have possibly lead to these terrible circumstances. Gang violence MUST BE STOPPED OBAMA!

[…]

Blacks can do no wrong, period! That is the DOJ’s excuse for becoming involved. 50+ years of being told they are special and entitled and the gov’t’s only focus is to make it so!!

[…]

In any event, it appears to be a case of one sc u m bag Cuban-type (Zimmerman) offing some scummy b l a ck kid (Trayyy-Vonnnn)…in some trash neighborhood….

but now, because the dead kid’s a kneegrow, we have:

the BIG BAD FBI on this “important” case…and

the usual BLACK-RADICAL-PROTESTERS who can’t mind their own business!

[…]

Gated communities exist because people are afraid….& negros thrive on crime…Look at our prisons.

[…]

Need that too….But Negr0s only have their welfare checks….and in any event can’t follow rules

[…]

What time do the riots start? Gotta get my popcorn and munchies ready for the “hood” burning!

[…]

Funny you never see them rally against the drug dealing murderers that control their neighborhoods. LOL!!!

[…]

How does anyone know what this 17 yr old said, Most likely he threw the race card out ” you stop me because I*M B L ACK” and then became threatning. The media alway plants the seed of doubt when when a B l ac k is sh ot by a caucasian

[…]

maybe his gang brothers incited violence too?

[…]

How’d the kid get into the “gated” community in the first place?

[…]

Them monkeys can jump!

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This is going to be a tough case. gang violence is hard to prosecute. martin’s gang may even want to retaliate. this is scary

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Let’s find out why the “po’ baby” was REALLY there!

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The little thug ghetto monkey should have been home doing his homework, not out gang bangin.

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I’m just glad Zimmerman didnt miss and hit an innocent bystander.

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THIS IS PURE RACIST!! When do you ever see the DOJ investigate the death of a white child??

[…]

This is pure B.S I want to see the kids police record even if something is expounged also why was he removed from facebook it says account terminated.Why because his parents are trying to cover his tracks just like if you hit a bus they see Dollar signs.People have dragged data about Zimmerman out where is the kids past.Don’t say he was a good boy prove it.Ask yourself what is more likely to happen any 17 year old kid when you ask a question.A smartass reply I have never and I mean never seen a teenager run unless he did something wrong.I guess no crinimal has ever cased a place when they went to a store.It takes me aback the way all these facts are quoted by people who read one story on a issue.

[…]

Who says his gang wasn’t hiding near by?

[…]

he could be a good kid, but being in a gang doesn’t help his case

[…]

An unfortunate death, but when will DOJ investigate the death of a Caucsasian?

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Here we go again— a LOCAL law enforcement matter (no federal issues) is being hijacked by the FEDS because the alleged “victim” is bl a c k! We all KNOW this kid was up to no good and now he’s feedin’ worms. Too bad-ha ha ha!

[…]

Last night on CNN Anderson Cooper kept referring to zimmerman as white when he knew he was Hispanic I wonder why

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maybe then the kid was not bIack maybe Hawaiian like tiger woods then we can say s p i c s h o o t s Hawaiian

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This has Bl ack racist Holder and his all bl ack racist “DOJ Civil Rights Div” written all over it.

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Crack Skittles the new disguise

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Skittles actually has a couple slang meanings. Could be referring to recreational usage of Coricidin. Also refers to a male getting lipstick marks from young ladies on the member. Taste the rainbow..

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You think the DOJ or main stream will report zimmerman was Hispanic not White

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That is all it was — just another n i qq er. No loss

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He was slinging crack.

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Is tea and skittles slang for guns and crack.

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Skittles is actually slang for recreational usage of Coricidin.

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This is what happens when you join a gang. kids need to learn from Martin’s mistakes

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They should have a hunting season in Florida for these drug crazed gang members.

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This could have had a tragic outcome. His gun could have jammed. Whew!

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At least he didn’t chain him to the back of his truck?!?!?

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How long will it take to get all of those little blk curly nappys out of the White House bedding so that the next POTUS can sleep without that Creepy Crawly feeling .

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The picture is of an innocent choir boy designed to evoke sympathy for the “victum” and justify the skewed actions of a corrupt department of justice.

[…]

the b!ack community has created a sense of fear with the excessive amounts of cr!me and v!olence and the glamorizing and glorification of cr!mes and v!olence through c rap music (term used lightly) and most are rude, crude, nasty and give others the tough guy BS attitude.You people (term also used lightly) made your beds and now have to lie in them………don’t be angry with us or blame us you did this all on your own.

[…]

Hunting, maybe thinning the herd…

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It is obvious the un-civilized B!ACKS who dwell in the greatist nation on earth have never wanted to be part of the TEAM, they CRY and P!SS and MOAN at every given oportunity about fairness and equality, While lining up for the free ride at welfare.
The United States is cursed with these baboons, Who will never gain the ability to stand up and make it on their own without our help.
They are the eternal retarded stepchild , needfull and helpless until the end of time.

[…]

Now the family of the kid has lost there way out of the ghetto.

[…]

ANOTHER TOOKY WILLIAMS, ABORTED.
GOOD SHOT ZIMMY. lol


Liar, Liar, Liar, Liar, LIAR, LIAR, LIAR,


Rachel Maddow is so much better at this than I am, which might explain why she has an audience and I don't. The above video says what I've been saying about our potential next president for a very long time: that his campaign is based on lies, that he lies like he breathes, that he does so shamelessly, repeatedly, and unrepentantly. The video ought to be watched, beginning to end (okay, people could skip the details about the manufacturing history of Etch-A-Sketch, although it's interesting in its own right) by everyone, left, right, center. Because Rachel is scathing in her clarity. While, as usual, completely factual.

And she's dead on about this: whereas lying is a well-honed part of American politics (it's not illegal to lie in campaign ads), Romney's lying is something far beyond precedent. It's pathological. That a man will repeat things, over and over, that are patently false, lie about doing so, and continue with new lies every day -- whose first instinct when confronted seems to be lying -- is deeply troubling. It'd be so in your kid, your friend, your co-worker. If you cared about them you'd seek ways to get them help. Maybe you'd feel the need to turn them in; or, at minimum, just avoid them.

But you sure as hell wouldn't vote for them to be president of the United States, would you?

This guy is defective in some as-yet undefined but obvious way, a way that probably has its own DSM-IV code. And whatever else it is, whatever you might call it, it ought to be categorically disqualifying for higher office. Categorically. Absolutely.

That Mitt Romney, a blatant, continuous, and transcendent liar, will be the R nominee, will undoubtedly win some states, and might even win the whole thing says much more about who we've become as a country than about him.

But it still says a hell of a lot about him.