I’m So Damned Tired of This

Affordable_Care_Act_100413This is truly getting annoying.

If one more person suggests that the Mainstream Media is in the bag for the Democrats, I surely will flatten them with a left hook. The so-called “liberal media” has been relentless since the roll out of the Affordable Health Care Act, in pointing out all its flaws and shortcomings. It has repeatedly asked the question: “are these glitches portents of real issues in the law itself?” Yes, of course, the pimple on my nose is also directly related to the rainstorm that now threatens too. Please folks get a clue.

Meanwhile the EXTREME RIGHT has all its ducks in a row and is panting out the same refrain from radio and TV–this is a train wreck and it’s just as we predicted. This can’t be fixed! The President lied! Millions are losing their insurance! Millions are facing huge increases in premiums!

Suddenly the awful healthcare system in this country, one that does just fine for the wealthy but barely exists for the poor, is being touted as the “best health delivery system in the world!” It ain’t. People who are not rich but are well enough off routinely travel to other countries for a variety of procedures that can be done cheaper with every bit as good an outcome. It’s called medical tourism.  And whatever they might try to tell you, people are not leaving Canada, Britain and a host of European countries, all in some attempt to escape “socialized” medicine in those countries.

Yes the Website for the healthcare exchanges is bad, but it’s not nearly as bad as it was. Was that inexcusable? Certainly. Shame on them all. Has anyone been harmed by the delay? Not a single soul as far as I know. Today, you can negotiate the site fairly easily. When I tried to continue my enrollment and found that the information input was not taking properly, a phone call to the 800 number (which was answered promptly and involved a wait of only two minutes) provided an answer within five minutes and I am ready to reset and try again.

Much has been made about all these people getting cancellation notices from their insurance companies. Somehow this is making Obama out to be a liar. He is not, quite plain and simple. Let me make this as clear as can be:

  1. Company policies that were in place BEFORE the ACA became law, are grandfathered in. Many of these were and are substandard policies, not covering major catastrophic needs, but they are grandfathered in nonetheless.
  2. Policies that were issued AFTER the ACA became law, are required to be “brought up to standards”.
  3. There was, therefore EVERY reason on earth for the President to tell people that for those who had EXISTING policies, they could keep them. This did ASSUME that they were grandfathered policies for WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND IN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY WOULD ISSUE SUBSTANDARD POLICIES AFTER THE ACA PASSED KNOWING THEY WOULD BE GOOD FOR ONLY ONE YEAR?
  4. How was the President to conclude that those policies issued BEFORE the ACA would be cancelled? And that in many cases, insurance companies would run the following scam: Hi, you insurance is being cancelled because it doesn’t meet the ACA standards to go into effect Oct 1, 2013. Here are some new plans you can buy from us that are up to the new standards (all at much higher prices).  If we don’t hear from you, we will continue your coverage under a new compliant plan at this new price. (no mention that you might find better coverage at lower cost on the exchanges).
  5. Insurers create and drop plans all the time, and they continue to do so. Is the President responsible for this process and do people have a right to hold him accountable just because their insurance was cancelled due to the usual alternations conducted by the insurers? Surely most people have had their insurance cancelled at one time or another. This is not the President’s fault, but the fault of companies who are always playing the numbers and when you seem ripe for a claim, they are doing their best to cancel you before that happens.
  6. The cancellations are being sent out to approximately 5% of all people who are self-insured. Most people are not self-insured by are covered through employer programs, or medicare/Medicaid. Of these some 3% will end up when all the dust has settled with premiums higher than they had before for substantially the same coverage. Those are pretty darn good numbers, even though in the individual circumstance they might be painful. In most cases, they will occur to people who can afford the increase.

To all those who are so filled with hate for Obama that you would rather eat nails than get cheaper and better health care? Well, I have one answer. Keep your fake insurance or get none at all. But the FAIR thing to do is to pass a law exempting medical expenses from bankruptcy. Then when you get hit by a bus, you can pay your fair bill from the hospital and not stick the rest of us with your treatment. Capish? I mean, you don’t want to be one of those awful “takers” do ya?

PS: On an anecdotal note: I got into two conversations on Facebook with “Obamacare disaster victims”. In both cases (one over 70, the other in their 90′s), neither wanted Medicare and were unhappy because their insurance companies wanted a lot more money to keep insuring them. Cry me a river. Seriously.

It All Depends on How You Define Insurance

obamacare-bumpersticker-no-freedomThe headlines are simply appalling:

Pregnant woman loses her health insurance because of Obamacare”

Florida woman told her $50 health insurance will now cost $500 under Obamacare.”

Peter Sessions sends forth a Facebook entry: “While the Obama Administration publicly promised that Americans who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it, privately it knew that wasn’t true.”

The GOP knows the whining about a website’s faults only gets so much traction. As one commentator said, the average person can pretty much separate a faulty website from the value of an insurance plan.

So we have to move on. Now all we are hearing is that millions of people are losing their insurance unless they play 5, 10, 20 times what they paid before. All this after the president promised that we could keep plans we liked.

Okay, lets actually look at the FACTS.

obamacareDeath_Panel_protest_sign_2_croppedPresident Obama did say that if people were happy with their insurance they could keep it. In some instances he said “if you are happy with your employer insurance, you can keep it.”

Eighty percent of all those who are insured are insured through employer plans. So the President was accurate as to 80% of all insured people.

That means 20% are self-insured. Of those something between 40-60% have plans that meet federal standards or are grandfathered in. The latter accounts for the 20% discrepancy since the grandfathering aspect is a case by case situation depending on how stable the plan has been over time–if your plan fluctuates every year in terms of deductibles or so forth, it might not be grandfathered.

Let’s be fair and split the baby. Say 50% of all self-employed have policies that are acceptable. That means that now 90% of all insured people can have the policies they already have. The President is now 90% accurate.

That means that for 10% of insured, their cannot keep the insurance they have.

Why is that?

Quite simply, it’s because those policies are deemed to be sham policies by and large. They have exorbitant deductibles for instance, don’t cover pre-existing conditions, have annual limits or life-time limits, and don’t cover enough situations to make them considered real insurance. The “insurance” company has two options–to discontinue the policy or to improve it with presumably higher premiums.

Is that the end of it?

Certainly not. Every such person affected has the right to then go into the Affordable Health Care system and see what is available there. In most cases, they will end up with better coverage at equal if not less cost. That will not be true in all cases, but at least preliminarily from anecdotal information that has actually be investigated, it suggested that upwards of 60-70% of those people will end up with better policies at little or no additional costs and sometimes much cheaper.

Let’s look at some of the cases reported so far that I have heard of.

  • A well-known satirical writer from NY who is I would guess in his 30′s, says he went on the exchanges and ended up with a much better policy at a lower cost than he was paying.
  • Three people appeared on Sean Hannity and said they were losing their policies and would have no insurance they could afford because of Obamacare. One later admitted he had simply lied, none of his claims were true. The other two admitted that they had not sought to determine what they could get on the exchanges. When that was done for them, in front of them, based on the information they supplied, both were eligible for plans that were better than they had and at lower cost.
  • One man got a letter from his insurance company saying his plan would be cancelled. He went on the exchanges, and admits he found a better plan at a lower cost, but he is angry because he has the right to pay more for less if he wants to and no government has the right to step in and keep him from being an idiot (okay, he didn’t say the very last part).
  •  CBS News reports The Florida woman who was paying $50 and will have to pay $500? Start with she lives in Florida whose governor and state legislature are controlled by Republicans who have refused to extend Medicaid or set up exchanges. This story was reported on CBS Evening News. The reporter, Jan Crawford, didn’t bother to do any investigation. If she had, she would have learned that the woman in question had what Consumer Reports calls “junk” insurance. The policy doesn’t cover hospitalization of any type. It grants her $50 toward a doctor’s visit, $15  toward her prescriptions, and pays for lab tests. This is not insurance. The company clearly makes money, since nobody sees their doctor once a month or gets lab tests every month. This is similar to “prescription insurance” cards which pay some portion of any prescription you might have to get in the future. If you have a condition with monthly prescription renewals, you surely aren’t going to qualify. They want to make money, not pay it out. Further, with the Florida woman, there is no indication that she has even looked at the federal exchanges. The $500 premium is what is quoted from her “insurance” company for a policy that meets federal standards. With a bit of effort it was determined that this woman might well qualify for a full plan under AHCA at almost exactly what she was paying, but at worst (if her income were substantially higher, she could get a full plan for about $332.00.
  • Red State reported the pregnant woman story. They did not bother telling you the entire story. Again, the woman was paying $98 a month in California for “coverage”, of what we know nothing. Obviously it cannot be for much. It turns out that the woman cannot get subsidies because she and her husband (both lawyers) make in excess of $80,000 per year. Well, I’m terribly sorry but I fail to see why I should be heart-broken if two lawyers can’t afford something a bit more than $98 a month for a junk policy.
  • I can think of at least three other instances of people self-reporting that they got through the exchanges and discovered that they could get more coverage at lower rates than they were paying.

obamacare20-333x420

Anecdotal evidence doesn’t prove much I admit. But most of these examples are from the Right. And they prove to be false.

It turns out that the vast vast majority of self-insured will come out the same, no different or better than they were before. A few percent will pay more we think. Some will be more than able to afford it.

The GOP has made this whole thing worse by its refusal to extend Medicaid in poor red states. And now they cry about the predictable outcome.

Just like they claim that the business is getting a years delay. Except the truth is that 6% of business is getting the delay. Not the other 94%.

It’s all lies, brought to you by those who are desperate to dismantle health care before everyone discovers the truth–it’s good for America. When people have that fact concretely in their brains, they will demand that the GOP stop blocking their right to health care. But the GOP prefers not to help solve the problems that exist, but only try to pretend that such problems will cause the end of America.

So are you hearing different? Let me know.

obamacarezvqstyHUW1qexjbwo1_500

A Typhoon in the Bathtub Only Threatens the Rubber Ducky

rubberduckyExcuse me if I’m a bit confused here.

The GOP has agreed on one thing–to a man and woman they HATE Obamacare. I mean they don’t just think it’s not a good program, they see it, also to a man and woman as the singularly one piece of legislation that will be known historically as the only and complete cause of the demise of the Republic and like a domino, will precipitate the collapse of Western civilization (which is the only one worth discussing of course) as we know it.

They have worked tirelessly since its passage to repeal it, defund it, and/or otherwise make it ineffective. They have sued it, screwed it, and otherwise squeezed it until every bit of blood was drained from its carcass. This they have tried.

They have warned the public that the plug would be pulled on grandma, that death panels would deny their precious precocious preteen the very treatment needed for life, all in the name of communistic commune-style equality. They have said that the doctor you love so much that you never forget her birthday, will be ripped from your arms to be replaced by automatons spitting forth paper check-off symptomatic lists and nurses that cackle in the hallway as you sit drenched in sweat and shivering dressed in your paper suit awaiting the verdict from a committee of cost-cutting psychopaths.

They have, in the guise of their governorships and GOP-controlled state houses, refused to participate in enlarging their own Medicaid rolls, even when guaranteed that for the first three years the Federal government would pick up the entire tab and 90% of the tab thereafter. They have sat with arms crossed and refused to set up exchanges to allow their citizens easier sign-up.

They have threatened the very economy of the entire country rather than give up on their pipe dream of ending this law–all in the name of stopping the vicious damage they have predicted would ensue to Ma and Pa Kettle and all their lil’ childrens across the great American landscape.

Sooooooo.

It strikes me as odd, that when your constant refrain to folks is, by golly gee wiz, doncha dare sign up for that devil-inspired, dripping with communistic red health care plan, that when there are problems, as there always are, with the website and sign-up procedures, you are not jumping for joy at how many people are being saved from the evil law, but rather you are complaining about how difficult it is for people to sign up as if that is evidence that the law is all kinds of bad.

I mean my head is turning around faster than Regan in the Exorcist. Aren’t they glad the sign-up is not working? Instead all I see are properly “horrified” members of Republican rectitude moaning about how this “has got to be fixed” or defunded, or repealed, whichever.

Has there been ONE SINGLE offer of a solution?

Has there been ONE SINGLE offer of an alternative to insure those presently uninsured?

Oh, yeah, I forgot, this is the party of NO. This is the party of destruction. This is the party of no government is good government.

Except where you and my uteruses are concerned. Except where who I sleep with is concerned. Except where who I pray to is concerned. Except to what I learn as science is concerned. Except there. Oh yeah and except where there are enough cheap junk F-18+ how ever many more there are today that still don’t work worth a damn but until there are enough of them to have one in every damn driveway of America–Strength Through Massive Military Might–. Except where it concerns black and brown people and their pesky determination to continue having children and making me sooo uncomfortable that they might not want to the same things I do, so I need to keep them marginalized with voter suppression laws. Have I left anything out?

Now, the President has called once again for the House of Representatives of Big Business to get off their yawning asses and get on with some immigration reform. And the response of  Speaker out of both sides of his mouth, Boehner and his wanna be speaker next, Eric Cantor, has been, why sure we need some of that, cuz as rational? Republicans we know that we gotta placate those brown faces EVENTUALLY or we will never win a damn election again. But the rank and file? Oh my heavens no.

The same crazy that brought you 16+ days of glorious “screw America” can’t wait to bring you more of that sort of crap, because “I can’t stand to even look at your face” and you know that means that we can’t do a thing that would make this BLACK Demon look good. We enjoy cutting off our noses to spite our ugly faces doncha know? Course it ain’t got a thing to do with our fear that we as pasty white dudes are losing control of the reins of power. We are wearing Depends all the time now, cuz we are so scared you will do unto us as we have traditionally done unto you. But you’re being Black? Why that’s irrelevant to our cause, and besides you are only half-black which means something even worse to hear it from the TeaLegions of Crazy.

Which all goes to say, that I am expecting nothing to change.

Did you know these lazy asses have only 19 more days to work for the whole rest of the year?

And I am so very sick and tired of talking points.

And I’m in favor of taking a lottery system and putting everybody’s name in the drum, and drawing out the requisite number of sending them forth to Washington. It could not seriously be worse. I mean can you imagine worse at this point? Don’t you feel rather Italian? Or Greek? Hurrah, we now have governments just as chaotic and worthless as much of Europe. Or truthfully, are we more like China, with only the illusion of government meant to mimic real ones?

I’m going back to bed. At least my dreams involved palm trees, and warm sands and softly brushing waves upon the shore of my sanity.

We Knew That They Would

gawkersYa just knew it would come down to this. Although of course, there just might be a last-minute reprieve that postpones things another few days or weeks.

When you deal with unstable and basically ignorant people, there is little hope of getting through with logic or common sense.

And the TeaBirchers are certainly unstable and certainly ignorant. It’s hard to understand what they are for or against, unless it starts with the letter O, they are against all things O. Once you cross that line, any semblance to a recognizable landscape vanishes and you might as well try to remain upright walking through the fun house.

Many a pundit has concluded that the TeaBirchers are not people who want to govern but rather those who wish to destroy government in general. That’s partially true.

These pundits claim that the TeaBirchers were sent to Washington to say NO to everything that has to do with spending money. Reduce government to a size that can be drowned in a bathtub they cry, ala Norquist. Yet, if you ask them (the average idiot who wears the funny tri-corner hat at the rallies) if he or she is ready to dump social security or medicare, well, they are pretty much likely to carry these signs:

Tea-Party-Medicare-signAs I said, these folks are severely lacking in basic knowledge about that of what they speak.

Which always brings us to race, and well, yes, that is a huge part of what’s going on here, but not all.

The thing is most TeaBirchers aren’t against social security and Medicare. They like those things. They feel they should have those things for themselves. But they are very suspicious that nice upstanding, hardworking, bible-clutching, (read WHITE) folks like themselves are but a small number of the people who are getting this “earned benefit”.

It’s all those “other” people who don’t deserve these benefits that cause the trouble. Why, these little programs would be just fine (and hugely smaller) if only the “right” people got the benefits.

Now, of course that is not the way Calgary Ted or Randy actually see things. They are serious elitists, draped in the American flag, and passionately proclaiming that “real Americans” don’t want or need government handouts of any sort. Get old? Your family is responsible for that, and heck, the poor house is still a viable option for those who refuse to work until they drop dead. Work keeps you young! Be just poor? Company towns will make sure there is a roof over your head (of sorts) a few square feet of personal space and all the potatoes and fat back you can eat. Keeps you healthy enough to work on the killing floor of the slaughterhouse no?

Course Ted and Randy keep that “real” agenda on the QT, since the rabble may be dumb, but probably not that dumb.

There are, shockingly, no hordes poised at the gates threatening to storm the Bastille. But you wouldn’t know that to hear Ted or Michele, or any of the rest of the utterly crazy head spinners who grab every microphone within a ten yard radius to tell us that “all the American people know that Obamacare is a disaster, and 30 million people who have healthcare are losing it”, and the death panels are mere seconds from having their first hearing to DENY YOU your dialysis treatment.

You’d really think that there should be crowds picketing the White House no?

Did somebody forget that Obama beat the Romney “we hate Obamacare” machine by a record 51%, a higher margin than any posted since DD Eisenhower? Higher than even Ronnie “the now God” Reagan? Did somebody forget that the Democrats WON seats in the Senate and increased their number while Republicans LOST seats in the 2012 election? Did somebody forget that with having a near strangle hold on almost all of their gerrymandered seats in the House, they managed to lose a net 8 seats to Democrats and lost the popular vote by a 1.4 MILLION vote margin?

Does that suggest that people on average are pretty okay with the Affordable Healthcare Act?

Does the fact that out of the numbers who are “against” Obamacare, fully 30% are against it because it doesn’t go far enough, “i.e., single-payer system). And that those “against” it go down when you use the words Affordable healthcare Act instead of Obamacare?

Does the fact that by a strong majority people don’t think it’s appropriate to defund an existing law or threaten a government shutdown to do what you can’t do at the ballot box, matter?

Funny, when the GOP talking pointers tell me how much “all Americans” know Obamacare is a disaster, they never mention these points.

Funny, they also (with straight faces to a fault) tell me that the President and Harry Reid are unwilling to negotiate. I mean let’s get past the chutzpah of these folks who refuse on principle to compromise on ANYTHING, because it’s a dirty word. First get past that. Then riddle me this brain of a protozoan:

The AHA was passed by both houses of Congress by MAJORITIES, duly signed into law by the PRESIDENT, and found CONSTITUTIONAL by a Court that nobody considers liberal under the most strained definition.

The GOP cannot manage to either win the Presidency, nor the Senate, nor convince Democrats (some of which surely must care about the well-being of the American public before the well-being of their party) to pass in both houses a repeal nor convince the President that he should go along with them.

Failing that, they have said, okay, a minority of us within 1/2 of 1/3 of the government, are willing to burn the place down if we don’t get our way, having figured out no other means to get our way–LIKE VOTES BY THE PUBLIC ELECTING THEM TO CONTROL THE GOVERNMENT.  It’s akin to a robber putting a gun to your head and saying, “your money or your life, and if you refuse to give me your money, well don’t blame me that you are dead.”

They think I’m so stupid that I will blame the hostage rather than the hostage taker.

I am not going to blame the hostage.

Nobody is going to blame the hostage.

Except fellow travelers of the hostage takers. And you had then at hello.

The question left is: JOHN BOEHNER DO YOU HAVE PAIR? EVEN A STRAP ON SET WILL DO AT THIS POINT. You can give ‘em back if it’s too heavy a carry after this  is over. ONCE AND FOR DAMN ALL.

 

Searching for the Gem

Estate saleAre you a junkie?

“Psst, come over here so we can whisper.”

Does your heart go pit-a-pat at the idea of buying other people’s stuff at bargain prices?

Yeah, I know. It’s just too good to pass up.

I like estate sales way more than auctions. I hate to wait for hours for “my” item to come up and then the bidding starts about a kazillion more than I could ever pay in the first place.

Estate sales are neat and tidy. Everything is already marked.

We went yesterday to a great one. Chock full of lawn and garden this and thats. I mean stuffed with planters and statues, chairs and tables. Just stuffed. We bought a bear carved from a log with a welcome sign. That went at the front door, hoping to distract from the lovely? piece of patio stone with the words “The Payton” carefully painted on it, a gift from our handyman. Of course it’s Peyton and not Payton and it should have an ‘s at the end. We must of course show it. We would not be rude.

We also got “Juanita” a two-foot terra-cotta Indian woman with long braids and an ample girth. She’s in the living room hopefully giving off good vibes. Then I splurged on a copper sculpture that is a series of rings mounted on a disk. I guess I should take a picture, but anyway it’s a piece of authentic art produced by a sculptor here in Las Cruces. I also picked up a glorious leather purse on the cheap which is the perfect size.

We are going back today when things are “half price” an ultimately “best offer” to gather up some garden urns and perhaps some wall artwork.

Sequester-Army-KnifeI am so freakin’ tired of the word, and all it entails.

I am so tired of idiots.

Boehner looks more and more the boob as one-trick pony. If he says, “it’s time to get serious about spending cuts,” I may hire a thug to go to DC and beat him to a pulp.

It’s time to get serious about kicking your ass to the curb.

It’s time to get serious about kicking the Tea Bibbers to the curb, permanently.

It’s time to require a basic test to anyone who wants to run for a government office. Prove that you can read. Prove that you can think. Prove that you can count to 100. I don’t know, something. I’ve heard more stupid from people who got people to actually vote for them for some office than I care to remember.

Seriously, my dog could do the job. Seriously, I think he could.

Just-MarriedI really think this is gonna happen.

I mean I really do.

I think the Supreme Court will overturn California’s anti-gay marriage legislation.

About 30 other states have similar ones. They should fall too.

If the Court does invalidate it, hopefully it will be on a denial of equal protection under the law, a constitutional precept. Us constitutional law trumps and any state law or constitutional provision.

Game over.

Then perhaps we can get on with other issues rather than continuing our relentless attempts to punish people who aren’t like us.

The same will probably not be said for the Voting Rights Act and section five. That is probably going to fall. And that is a shame. Instead it ought to be upheld and broadened to cover the entire country. And it ought to prohibit any attempt that tries to disenfranchise any group of people, be their students, the elderly, or ethnic minorities. Voting is our most precious right. We should bend over backwards to make sure than everyone who wants to can. And maybe we should mandate that everyone does.

ObamacareThe GOP assured us that they would NEVER go willingly into the land of Obamacare.

They would kick and scream, they would throw themselves upon grenades if need be.

No never!

But political realities have a way of changing stubborn minds. Fearing that his time in office is limited, Governor Scott of Florida has had a change of heart. Chris Christie saw the logic of the situation as well.

Bobby Jindal has not. Which is a pity, since he counseled that the GOP must stop being the party of stupid. He’s the one of stupid for continuing his hold out. I mean who wants to be in the same camp as Ricky Perry from the grand old state of delusion, Texas? I mean Bobby, you still have New Orleans! You are not in Mississippi or Alabama, fighting for your very IQ life. I mean really Bobby.

whichwayWell it just ain’t about Obamacare though.

It’s about everything these days.

It’s about immigration, and gay rights. It’s about women’s rights. It’s about taxes, and loopholes.

How to rid themselves of TEA! When all the respectable Republicans (assuming they exist) just want a cuppa joe.

Boehner looks sad most of the time.

He must weep a lot at night.

The Tea Bibbers on the other hand, are all gleeful. They are too stupid to know any better.

I tell ya, it is so unfair to elephants to have them embarrassed this way in association with jackasses. I mean is that an irony or what?

We’re hitting around 70 degrees here today. I mean that is enough to make a heart sing is it not?

brave-but-dumb

Whose Ox Is Getting Gored Today?

Bullfighter Jose Tomas With some folks, freedom and all that fuzzy patriotic stuff can be, shall we say, relative. Much like fundamentalists and their rather astute manner in taking what they like in the Bible quite literally (even when that is not the actual meaning) and ignoring that which they don’t agree with, it seems that our more loudmouthed extremists on the right do the same thing.

You don’t have to watch it. Suffice it to say that our Hannity of Faux News is busy calling Mayor Bloomberg a nanny for his efforts to help his constituents stop ingesting such awful fake food into their bodies.

Now you can agree or not agree with Bloomberg on this. I tend to agree, but I also recognize that it’s very hard to impose such things on people who are addicted to the high sugar, high fat, no nutrient value of a lot of fast food and drink. And there is this other thing–it is an impingement in a sense on one’s right to kill themselves if they so choose.

Note we are not talking about school lunches and the right of school officials to help children develop good eating habits in the first place. That is a laudable goal, and schools provide the opportunity for some children to get the only decent meal they get all day.

But juxtapose Hannity’s silly outrage at Bloomberg’s behavior with that of Nikki Halley’s attempt to limit food stamp usage in her state to only “healthy” food items, meaning that you can’t use them to buy chips and soda and stuff like that I presume. Is she now to be called “nanny” Halley? I’m sure Republicans support her efforts to reduce “obesity” in her state, or is it just possible there is some other motive involved?

I recently had a conversation with a man who hates government programs like food stamps, precisely because he has “stood behind people in line who had food stamps and they weren’t buying good food, but stuff that was unhealthy, and “stuff I wouldn’t be buying if I was allegedly that poor” The real motive being–I want to control charity to others so I can make sure it goes to the “right” people and is used in the “right” way. He had early objected when he offered some leftover pizza to a man who asked for a couple of bucks. When the man reiterated that he’s just like the two bucks, the guy grew incensed, since “he wanted the money, obviously for something other than hunger relief.”

This raises the ugly specter of folks that think they have the right to control those people who they deign to give help to. I you think I’m assuming a bit too much here, I invite you to the case of Florida and Governor Scott’s attempt to impose drug testing on welfare applicants. 

A federal district court ruled Scott’s attempt blatantly unconstitutional, and a Federal appellate court agreed, finding unanimously that the attempt to monitor citizens in this fashion violated their 4th Amendment rights. Note the assumption made here by Scott and Republicans: that welfare recipients necessarily pose a significantly higher threat of drug usage than other citizens. Such is neither warranted by the facts or commons sense, and bespeaks a racist overtone that is apparent to at least me.

Now, I’m told that the conservative seeks to remove government from interfering in the lives of individuals. These examples, serve I think to suggest that that is nothing but balderdash to use a quaint conservative term. It all depends it seems on whose freedoms are at stake–the tiny minority of fellow-traveling extremists, or all those “others” who we don’t really like simply because they ain’t like us.

¥

What to know the ugly truth of why health care costs are so high? It’s because they charge ten times more for stuff and you get stuck with it. They give you a Tylenol and the charge is more than a whole bottle would be at the drugstore. There is a major exposé in Time this week and you can read it here. Thanks to Squatlo Rant for the link up.

¥

Best news of the day? Oh by far it’s that Tom Latham, (R-IA) has determined not to run for Tom Harkin’s senate seat. Latham is a true conservative, but he’s not insane. This leaves the pathway wide open for the one and only truly insane candidate on the extremity of the Republican Right little toe—-our favorite idiot Steve King.

And that means that Bruce Braley, an excellent Democratic candidate who is already “in” for running, is sure to win this seat.

I cannot wait to watch this one. King, who is so famous for not debating his opponent, won’t get away with it this time. It should be fun.

Dear Karl of course was threatening to send in his money against King, which hopefully only will make him want it all the more, and that is all she wrote, said the spider to the fly.

 

Gimme What I Want! Just Give Me A Second to Decide What That Is!

Lindsey Graham Flings his poo

Lindsey Graham Flings his poo

Yes, our little Lord Fauntleroy is having another tantrum. Lindsey has apparently missed the fact that (a) the election is over and his side lost and (b) the tea baggers are not sophisticated to understand that he is no longer a MODERATE and is one of them, (at least until his next election). He continues to wring his hands with plenty of “oh what to do, what to do” as his hankie waves desperately.

Usually it’s enough that Johnny S tells him what to do and Lindsey dutifully says, “yes Johnny boy, whatever you say, oh you cute old grumpy drawers,” but as they say, fear is a powerful thing. Faced with the serious threat of being “primaried” Lindsey has looked down and started to see a Johnson actually peeping out of his nether regions. It may be a tiny Johnson, but according to the pictures he’s seen (on THOSE sites on the Intertubes), he’s pretty sure it’s  a real Johnson all right.

And well, he is in a full-blown episode of the vapors. “Lawdy, lawdy, what ever shall I do without that fine old office to nap in on the Hill?” What would Truman Capote do at a time like this? Write a book?

Anyway, dear old Lindsey is threatening to hold up the nominations of EVERYBODY until he gets his way. After all, he’s can’t come up with anything else to raise cain about since nobody has yet called for him to come down and ride the Queen’s float in the Mardi Gras festivities. It is apparently also insufficient that Lindsey has been named as the proof positive that Darwin was wrong. The Smithsonian has promised his brain front and center status at his demise, or sooner since he has little use for it anyway.

In the end, we see, Republicans are in such a feeding frenzy of their own, that all good people globally need only sit back and watch the festivities. Popcorn anyone?

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Meanwhile, over in the United State of Zooniville (once referred to as Arizona), the good Sheriff of Stupidham, Joe Arpaio, who arms anybody who shows up and calls them “volunteer deputies”, has set aside the important business of birther investigation (well he MIGHT try for a third term ya know), and has taken up the cause of “protectin’ the lit’lins in our scools”. Yes, none other than ACTOR Steven Segal, ACTOR if I forgot to mention, has been called upon  to LEARN the gun-happy volunteers how to strap on up, and catch them some crazy. Maricopa county, Zooniville now has some 3,500 of these folks, loaded with clips and weaponry sneakin’ around every public place, demanding “lemme see your hands! On your knees! Spread ‘em”.

If you contemplate a vacation in the area?

NO!

Darwin you LIAR!

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The NRA may be one of the greater collections of sub-human examples of what Darwin got wrong. Beyond La Pee Pee Pierre, there is this delightful jackass who spoke at the NRA Wisconsin State Convention, one Bob Welch.

Welch is mighty darn sure that there will be no gun legislation of any kind, because of course, that can’t happen until it’s okayed by them, and they are not okaying a damn thing except more rhetoric that you all better keep buying every gun in sight, cuz, well, you know why.

We have a strong agenda coming up for next year, but of course a lot of that’s going to be delayed as the “Connecticut effect” has to go through the process. [...] What’s even more telling is the people who don’t like guns pretty much realize that they can’t do a thing unless they talk to us. After Connecticut I had one of the leading Democrats in the legislature—he was with us most of the time, not all the time—he came to me and said, “Bob, I got all these people in my caucus that really want to ban guns and do all this bad stuff, we gotta give them something. How about we close this gun show loophole? Wouldn’t that be good?” And I said, “no, we’re not going to do that.” And so far, nothing’s happened on that.

Connecticut effect huh? Human’s call it GRIEF you sick bastard.

And guess what?

reagangunAnd in 1999, you blowheads were ADVOCATING complete and full background checks.

Tell us again that this is not about your conspiracy-under-every-bed ideas that the Black guy in the White House is gonna declare himself king and take away all your guns? Tell us that, huh?

Go do that impossible thing to yourself will ya?

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While we have plenty of examples of private industry attempting to lower the number of hours worked by their employees to under 30 hours so that they can avoid providing health care (Applebees, Olive Garden, etc), the state of Virginia through its budget plan seeks to do the same thing. This appears to be the first incidence of a Republican led state intending to hurt its citizens in order to vent its anger at Obamacare.

As citizens of those states see that their counterparts in other states continue to receive health care, I believe that Mr. McDonnell and his band of Republican light-heads will rue the day they tried this little trick.

Republicans have long forgotten exactly WHY they are elected in the first place.

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I gotta tell ya, my phone has been ringing off the hook ever since the news hit.

What new?

Oh the pope is taking early retirement.

Yeah, he’s heading off to soak up the sun along the Riviera.

Anyway, everyone is begging me to give ‘em the scoop on who will be the new Pope.

Seein’ as how I’m Catholic and all, and well Bennie calls me nearly every week. . . .

Well, il papa John Paul II, was an ultra conservative, and while clutching the throne of Peter, he hugely enlarged the College of Cardinals, and made sure that all his new Cardinals were of a similar right-wing persuasion.

So, unless the Holy Spirit jumps into the fray as in Vatican II (now gutted by humans who of course KNOW better than God), expect that the next pope will not be any more friendly than the last two when it comes to contraception, gay marriage, women’s ordination,  or anything along those lines.

You heard it here.