Monday, March 29, 2010

The apology

Please click on cartoon to enlarge.

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rachel Maddow - Republicans Frivolous Lawsuits: They Loved the Mandate Before Calling it Unconstitutional

From Crooks and Liars:

As we have already pointed out there are a number of Attorneys General threatening to sue to challenge the individual mandate in the health care bill. Rachel points out the other problem the Republican Party has if they take this stance. They loved the mandate before they decided they were against the mandate. Republican hypocrisy never seems to run in short supply.

I'm no expert on this but I have heard a few people kick around the idea that if by some chance the courts did rule against the mandate that would be a good thing because it would force them to switch to a Medicare buy in or some other type of public option instead to increase the size of the pool which sure as hell would not break my heart. It really doesn't sound like these suits are going to prevail in court though.

As Rachel notes, Mitt Romney now has a big problem because back in the day he was arguing about how the mandate was a wonderful thing, as long as it was only enacted on a state level. Matthew Yglesias reported on how Lee Fang tried to get Mittens to weigh in on the individual mandate and didn't have much luck.

Mitt Romney Won’t Say if the Foundation of Romneycare is Unconstitutional:

Barack Obama’s health insurance reform plan involves an individual mandate. So does the plan that Mitt Romney signed as Governor of Massachusetts. At the time Romney signed the plan, he was a moderate Republican and CommonwealthCare was considered a sober-minded centrist plan. Now Romney is a conservative, and conservatives have decided that ObamaCare is a socialist plot, so he’s had to make up a lot of reasons that their extremely similar plans are actually totally different. Part of the conservative assault, though, is hard for Romney to wriggle away from—the right’s claim that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. Obama’s got one, and Romney’s got one. So does Romney agree with the right that RomneyCare is unconstitutional, or will he defend Obama from this charge?

My colleague Lee Fang asks Romney and he refuses to say.

Go watch the video there for Romney's convoluted response.

And as Rachel points out we have Chuck Grassley and Orrin Hatch's hackery. From TPM -- Grassley: Health Care Bill Is Bad -- I Just Added Good Things To It (VIDEO):

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) today explained his health care flip-flop, saying of the health care bill that "even though it's got a lot of good things," even "a lot of things that I wrote," in the end "the bad outweighs the good."


Host Andrea Mitchell also asked him about the individual mandate, something currently being challenged on constitutional grounds, but which Grassley himself helped conceive in 1993 during the Clinton Administration.

Grassley explained: "If it was unconstitutional today, it was unconstitutional in 1993, but I don't think anybody gave it much thought" back then.

And then there's Orrin Hatch:

VAN SUSTEREN: Your state attorney general has signed on to this lawsuit to challenge it on constitutional grounds. You're a lawyer. Your thoughts on it, any legs to that, or is this --

HATCH: Back on Hillary-care they had a mandate in there. I didn't realize it, I didn't pay attention to it. We were trying to defeat Hillary-care. The more I studied since then, the more I've looked at it, the more I've come to the conclusion it would be unconstitutional to force people to buy something they don't want to buy.

Rachel points out how ridiculous that statement is.

Maddow: No, no, no. The mandate was your idea. It's a good thing they didn't pass your own proposal back then when you proposed it Senator. Turns out that you hadn't really thought about just how unconstitutional it was... back then... when it was your idea... that you didn't know anything about.

What Republicans believe about Obama and Obama's response

Okay, this probably isn't news, but it's still important because it shows clearly how deep is the pit into which the Repugnican Party has fallen; it shows clearly that Repugnicans in the "heartland" are still as stupid as broomsticks; and it is scary as hell.

This from a new Harris Poll:

+ 67 percent of Republicans believe that Obama is a socialist.

+ 57 percent of Republicans believe that Obama is a Muslim

+ 45 percent of Republicans are certain that Obama was not born in this country and thus is not eligible to be president

+ 38 percent of Republicans claim Obama is "doing many of the things that Hitler did"

+ 24 percent of Republicans avow that Obama could be the anti-Christ

Whew! What a bad guy we have as president. I mean, he hasn't started a war; he's worked hard to get the economy back on track; he's struggled to pass meaningful legislation with bi-partisan support and received no bi-partisan help; he's revived our standing in the world; he's trying to do something about the environmental crisis; about renewable energy; about government waste; and he's gotten a health care reform bill passed against all odds.

But what really shows his true colors, his penchant for socialism, his hidden communistic beliefs, is that he gives his money away. Yup! You may recall he received the Nobel Peace Prize which came with a $1.4 million check!

Well, Obama, being a truly terrible person, is giving it all away! Can you imagine? What profligacy! If he was a true-blue, god-fearing American, he'd buy a new car, a new TV, and a closet full of guns!

But noooooo. He's giving money to Fisher House, "a national nonprofit that houses families whose loved ones are receiving care at Veterans Administration medical centers. He will give another $200,000 to the Bush-Clinton Haiti Fund to help the country recover from the earthquake."

The rest is going to a variety of organizations, "including education foundations, scholarship funds and regional development groups in Africa and Central Asia."

Ah, the temerity of such dastardly business. Don't you just long for the days of Bush and Cheney when greed and self-serving canards ruled the day?

Health care reform - oh, the horror of it all!

Details on the details of the health care reform bill were derived from Nick Baumann, writing for Mother Jones Online.

If you listen to the Repugnicans - especially the batshit-crazy ones like Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin or John McCain - you'd think the world has come to an end with the passage of the health care reform bill.

Some of these broomsticks are keening loudly that this terrible deed is further proof that President Obama is a Marxist, a one-worlder, possessed by demons, not an American citizen, and is probably the anti-Christ!

Well, maybe they are right. I mean, just consider some of the things involved in this awful piece of legislation:

1. The wonderful insurance companies are not allowed to put lifetime coverage limits on your insurance. Whatever will they do if they can't deny you coverage when you get really sick and they can't cut off your insurance? No more lifetime caps!

2. The poor insurance companies are also limited in placing annual caps on your insurance, and by 2014 such caps will be outlawed totally.

3. No more pre-existing exclusions. Insurance companies are forbidden to deny your children insurance based on a pre-existing condition! That's just terrible. Many insurance companies may even have to cut back on their advertising!

4. Adults with pre-existing conditions can get insurance from a "special, temporary program." And in 2014, "when the health insurance exchanges--basically big 'pools' of businesses and individuals--come on line. At that point "all insurers will have to cover everyone, pre-existing condition or not." Damn. Some of them insurance folks may find their million-dollar bonuses cut by a dollar or two!

5. If you get sick, your insurance company cannot drop you like a hot potato, which has been the routine for many of them. No wonder the health insurance industry did everything they could to stop this legislation!

6. Young adults may remain on their parent's insurance until they are 26 years of age!

7. Old folks like me will get some bucks to help with the "donut hole" in the prescription drug coverage. And in nine months 50 percent of the "donut hole" will be covered. Eventually it will be closed completely.

8. Yippee! For those of us on Medicare, we'll get a free visit annually to our primary care physician. And, "no more co-pays for preventative services in Medicare."

9. Small business owners come out smelling like a rose. They can get up to 50 percent of premium costs as tax credits "for offering health insurance to their workers."

10. The last one bit the health insurance in the ass. If a company has "unusually high administrative costs" (hmmm...advertising, bonuses, other company perks?) they "have to offer rebates to their customers, and every insurance company has to reveal how much it spends on overhead."

Damn those Democrats and Obama! How could they pass this monstrous piece of legislation when all it does is help people and not corporations? Didn't the Supreme Court just rule that corporations are people, too?

Obviously, offering such health insurance goodies to the needy as well as the middle class is just another step down toward the hell of an atheistic, godless, communist society!

But never fear, Palin's PAC is dedicated to erasing those smiling Democratic faces from the Washington scene!

You can read Baumann's entire article here.

Coulter, the bully, turns tail and runs

The story goes like this: protesters were threatening Ann Coulter with violence, so she canceled her scheduled appearance in Ottawa, Canada, one of the places she planned to peddle her new book, titled "I'm a lying wimp."

Nah, that's not the name of her new book; I just made it up.

But the rest is true. And poor Ann, in her inimitable way, trashed the organizers of the event and officials in Ottawa because she had been treated so badly.

According to Ken Wightman, writing for the Digital Journal, "Coulter's security detail informed her it may not be safe to speak and so the event was cancelled (sic)." Unfortunately, her anger was misplaced. Wightman notes that the Ottawa police were not responsible for the cancellation. Alain Boucher, "Ottawa Police Services media relations officer ... said, 'It was a decision by organizers and her own security.'"

Furthermore, some media folks claimed thousands of protesters had gathered, that they became a "mob," that there was a "riot," and that the police presence was insufficient.

And ... omigod ... there were also "reports that the police were monitoring Facebook and had informed Coulter's people of an apparent menacing tone in Facebook activity ('bring sticks, bring rocks')".

Almost makes you feel sorry for poor Ann.

Except for the facts: Police guessed the crowd at about 1,500 and many were not protesters at all, just folks who wanted to hear what Annie Get Your Gun had to say. There wasn't any mob or riot. And when the police suggested the crowd go home, they went quietly.

Furthermore, "Boucher ... said the Ottawa police took the protest seriously and were not undermanned," nor did the police "monitor" Facebook.

Ah so. Coulter, a noted bully, did what so many bullies do when their bluff is called: She pulled up stakes, took down her tent, and headed for a safe haven, while blaming everyone in sight for her own cowardice.

Annie get your gun and run!

h/t and thanks to Ken Wightman at Rockinon

Eric Cantor the phony target of an angry mob

Well, it really wasn't an angry mob. According to Cantor and associates, it was a bullet that was shot right into his offices, probably by some deranged Democrat! Yep! And it was more than likely because he dared to stand up to our commie prezident and his Democratic minions in Congress who just passed a health care reform bill despite the fact that Cantor and his friends did everything possible to make Obama "fail"!

Oops! It turns out that no bullet entered Cantor's office. It turns out someone shot a gun into the air. Cantor's building was not damaged, Cantor was not threatened, Cantor was not in any danger. It turns out that Cantor tried to use a random bit of shooting as a means of taking the spotlight away from those 10-12 Democrats who have, in fact, faced threats of physical violence!

Cantor says he's glad it was a "random" thing. But that's a really lame comment considering he made up most of the story (even suggesting he was targeted because he is Jewish) in order to pretend he was a "victim" (just like the Dems) of the anger of some wacko political nut.

We've known for a long time that Cantor is a foul-smelling rat of a Repugnican with nothing whatsoever of value to offer our country, but this is a new low - even for him.

Here's the low-life speaking about being a "target." He just can't seem to tell the truth, and is not perturbed whatsoever by his own hypocrisy!

h/t to Huff Po for video

Alan Grayson responds to Palin putting him in the crosshairs

From Crooks and Liars:

Ed Schultz asks Alan Grayson to respond to being put on Sarah Palin's list of "targets" on her crosshairs post on Facebook.

Grayson: She told her followers to "take me out" like I was a moose that you shoot from a helicopter.

Schultz: Yeah, what is your response to that Congressman. How do you feel about that?

Grayson: It's all they've got left... fear and hatred. They've got nothing left.

Grayson also called out the Republicans for stoking fear and hatred and then blaming the Democrats for it. Ed asked Grayson what he would say to her if he met her face to face.

Grayson: You know, every time she smiles she proves that ignorance is bliss. I don't even know if she understands half the things she's talking about.


I'd love to see a Palin/Grayson ticket in 2016. We'd get elected and then the next day she'd quit. That's what she does. She's the patron saint of quitting.

Ed Schultz - Glenn Beck is a coward and a liar

Bill Maher and the "New Rule"

From Crooks and Liars:

New Rule: You Can't Use "There Will Be No Cooperation for the Rest of the Year" as a Threat If There Was No Cooperation in the First Half of the Year:

New Rule: You can't use the statement "there will be no cooperation for the rest of the year" as a threat if there was no cooperation in the first half of the year. Here's a word the president should take out of his teleprompter: bipartisanship. People only care about that in theory, not in practice. The best thing that's happened this year is when President Obama finally realized this and said, "Kiss my black ass, we're going it alone, George W. Bush style."

Two months ago, conservative Fred Barnes wrote, "The health care bill is dead with not the slightest prospect of resurrection." Well, if it's dead, you just got your ass kicked by a zombie named Nancy Pelosi. Seriously, the last time a Democrat showed balls like that John Edwards' girlfriend was filming it. Make all the botox jokes and she-shops-too-much jokes you want, but this is the biggest political victory a woman has ever achieved in America. Yes, Nancy Pelosi likes nice clothes. So does Sarah Palin. The difference is Nancy Pelosi pays for hers.

But even before the Democrats got to take a single victory lap they were already being warned not to get used to the feeling, and not to get drunk with power. I disagree. All you Democrats: do a shot, and then do another. Get drunk on this feeling of not backing down and doing what you came to Washington to do.

Democrats should not listen to the people who are now saying they shouldn't attempt anything else big for a while because health care was such a bruising battle. Wrong -- because I learned something watching the lying bullies of the Right lose this one: when they're losing, they squeal like a pig. They kept saying things like, the bill was being "shoved down our throats" or the Democrats were "ramming it through." The bill was so big they couldn't take it all at once!

And I realized listening to this rhetoric that it reminded me of something: Tiger Woods' text messages to his mistress that were made public last week, where he said, and I quote, "I want to treat you rough, throw you around, spank and slap you and make you sore. I want to hold you down and choke you while I fuck that ass that I own. Then I'm going to tell you to shut the fuck up while I slap your face and pull your hair for making noise." Unquote.

And this, I believe, perfectly represents the attitude Democrats should now have in their dealings with the Republican Party: "Shut the fuck up while I slap your face for making noise -- now pass a cap-and-trade law, you stupid bitch, and repeat after me: 'global warming is real!'"

The Democrats need to push the rest of their agenda while their boot is on the neck of the greedy, poisonous old reptile. Who cares if a cap-and-trade bill isn't popular, neither was health care. Your poll numbers may have descended a bit, but so did your testicles.

So don't stop: we need to regulate the banks, we need to overhaul immigration, we need to end corporate welfare including at the Pentagon, we need to bring troops home from... everywhere, we need to end the drug war, and we need to put terrorists and other human rights violators on trial in civilian courts, starting with Dick Cheney.

Democrats in America were put on earth to do one thing: drag the ignorant hillbilly half of this country into the next century, which in their case is the 19th -- and by passing health care, the Democrats saved their brand. A few months ago, Sarah Palin mockingly asked them, "How's that hopey-changey thing working out for ya?" Great, actually. Thanks for asking. And how's that whole Hooked on Phonics thing working out for you?