Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I can't count how many times over the past few weeks that I've read or heard a conservative say that the federal government either should not be involved in health insurance or that if the government were involved it would mean we've become a socialist country.

These are some of the same people who show up at town hall meetings to shout down anyone who tries to talk about or explain the proposed health care reform.
It would be helpful if those people actually, y'know, KNEW WHAT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT before they showed up and exposed their galloping ignorance.


Ruth said...

High point of yesterday's town hall meeting with Pres. O. was when he read from a letter/email that he received; "Keep the government out of my medicare."

The wingnuts are counting on that 20% that you can fool all the time, for sure.

Gordon said...

Here's another one for you: I think the federal government should not be involved in health insurance.

rockync said...

Gordon - this whole "keep the govt out of my healthcare" screed is tired and lacking in logic.
Perhaps the government should stop trying to keep your air clean, protect your civil rights, keep up a military, handle disease epidemics...
Health care is a national concern - do you really want to stand next to someone coughing TB droplets into the air you're breathing because they don't have access to health care? How many poor kids should die from childhood diseases? How many cancer patients dying because they can't afford the exorbirant price of treatment is going to be an acceptable number?
If you have insurance, I'm happy for you - I can't get private insurance due to pre-existing conditions so, every day is a crap shoot for me. And I am not alone.
Stay healthy or you might find yourself joining me - in the current system the insurance companies can dump you at will.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Piggybacking onto what bloggingdino said in the comments over at The Swash Zone with regard to the South and desegregation:

Where are the churches, temples, mosques in this fight? We haven't heard [I haven't] a word from them. Yet they represent themselves as institutions that support justice and Christian and other religious attitudes toward the poor, the underprivileged, the underserved.

And yet we hear or see no signs of any organized religion promoting health reform. Why are they on the sidelines if, for example, the Christian religions espouse the teachings of Christ:

Jesus on Healthcare: "Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers that you do unto me also"
Matthew 25:31-46:

Arthurstone said...

Government has to be involved in health care because the 'free markets' do such a pitiful job. Medicare works beautifully. And, in fact, one of the dafter of the Real Americans is quoted as demanding 'Government keep its hands off my Medicare'.

Which, of course, perfectly describes the level of 'debate' surrounding this issue.

Mentioned on another thread is the odious Betsy McCaughey. Who's that?

Now I admit it's hard to tell the players in the GOP naysayers line up without a program but McCaughey is well-known for leading the charge against the Clinton health care initiative in 1994 and working as a shill for big tobacco and big pharma.

And, of course, as a Republican and former elected official in New York state, she is as responsible as anyone in her 'just say no, forever' party for failing year after year after year to deliver any sort of health care reform in any way, shape or form. Like Newton who is getting beaucoup airtime during this contretemps she is currently holding forth opposing solutions to a problem she and her ilk are the cause of.

Anonymous said...
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Gordon said...


I'm strictly fee-for-service, and with my blood pressure no insurance company would take me willingly.

And Arthurstone, it's not Big Pharma anymore. Didn't you get the memo? Since President Obama promised to protect their profits, they've agreed to spend their advertising budgets this fall supporting Obamacare.

That's straight out of Mussolini's playbook, you know. It's called corporatism.

No more Big Pharma. Now it's "America's Pharmaceutical Industry, Marching in Step for Our Glorious Future."

But don't take my word for it. Take Robert Reich's word for it.

Arthurstone said...

C'mon Gordon.

Spare me the Mussolini nonsense. Please?

Not a tea bagger myself those comparisons don't really work.

You'll have to do better.

Clavis said...

When Bush was President, speaking ill of our Commander-in-Chief during a time of war sent the wrong message to our allies, to our enemies, to our troops in harm's way and to the American people."

But now that Obama is President, apparently, calling openly for armed revolution and accusing the President of wanting to destroy his own country and plunge the world into chaos and tyranny is the height of patriotism.

Does anyone think we *aren't* going to see mass violence from the right? We've already had half a dozen right-wing shooters -- all of which have been waved away by the Right (as secret plants by the Left), the Republican politicians are stirring the "death panel" anger, the Glenn Becks of the world are already covering their asses with insincere exhortations not to do anything "nuts", and both the political heirarchy and the mob nuts have learned that neither Democratic politicans *nor the media* intend to do anything to even protest their behavior. So why would it do anything but intensify?

They have realized that they can have the best of both worlds -- just as with the "War on Christmas" and the "homosexual agenda", the nuts on the right will simply pretend (or tell themselves) that we *already* started it. They already are -- they're claiming that their anger righteously derives from perceived offenses committed by Obama, such as "death panels" and forcing their priests to perform gay abortions. It's madness, and it's America.

America today is like that mentally retarded woman wrapped in explosives that insurgents sent into a crowded marketplace in Iraq and then remotely detonated. I'm just waiting for the button to get pressed.

James' Muse said...

Where are the churches, temples, mosques in this fight? We haven't heard [I haven't] a word from them. Yet they represent themselves as institutions that support justice and Christian and other religious attitudes toward the poor, the underprivileged, the underserved.

Go to Jim Wallis' blog at Sojourners...he's more of the "religious left"...the religious right hates him.

Arthurstone said...

Great post Clavis.

But let's hear from a 'Real American'.

William Kostric, 'patriot'.

This is not Kramer from Seinfeld.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"William Kostric, 'patriot'."

Ah, yes. The knucklehead who showed up at a meeting [where the POTUS would be speaking] with a loaded gun and a poster that reminds people that the tree of liberty has to be refreshed with the blood of patriots from time to time.

That knucklehead who thinks that this is perfectly normal behavior in a country that has seen one too many assassinations and assassination attempts of its leaders.

He had to remind people that he was acting perfectly legal. Yes. It may be perfectly legal, but it was also perfectly looney.

A gun and a lunatic. What a great combination.

My sister and her husband lived in New Hampshire for over 30 years. And believe me, that Kostric guy is NOT what NH is about. Most of the population of NH lives near the Mass. border, and the once very, very conservative state is turning blue--see the last election.

Arthurstone said...

Shaw typed:

'And believe me, that Kostric guy is NOT what NH is about.'

Kostric can happen in the best of families, the finest of cities, the greatest states. Self-absorbed, tiny minded, profoundly ignorant. A lethal combination.

Interesting that Chris Matthews is starting to show up for work again. I guess some of the villagers are tired of Jon Stewart earning all the creds as a comedian doing what these alleged 'journalists' should be doing.

About time Chris.

But, sadly, Kostricitis is fairly widespread. My good friend Gordon here equates Obama with Mussolini, a 'corporatist'. The same 'liberal', leftist', 'Marxist' Obama ready to embrace collectivism.

Obama, has, somehow, someway embraced every kind of bad from racism to Nazism to Marxism to cigarette smoking.

The good news is the demographic perpetuating these lies continues to shrink. It was marvelous noting Latinas embracing the 'Wise Latina' theme with a new tee shirt last week after the Sotomayor confirmation.

Painful times for the reactionaries.

The times they are a'changin'.

dmarks said...

Gordon said: "Here's another one for you: I think the federal government should not be involved in health insurance."

My view on this differs. I support welfare programs for the needy. This includes health care for the indigent, poor, and disabled.

I don't support welfare programs for the well-off. Therefore, I oppose the Democrats successfully expanding SCHIP (originally marketed as being for children in poverty) to include federla healthcare handouts for well-off adults. Medicare should be strongly needs-tested. And I oppose a "public option" for healthcare that is a handout for the rich and middle-class (as well as the poor).

I want government to help those who can't help themselves.

Agnes of Gosh said...

Wow! I've popped in to read what's going on in the winger blogs.

They are seriously deranged with hatred.

At least when the lefties felt this kind of anger, it was justified and it didn't happen until Dubya had proved his colossal incompetence in the management of the EYE-rack war and Katrina.

It seems like the wingers wanted to jump in on that as soon as Obama became president, as a sort of payback for all the humiliations they suffered by having Dubya as their leader.

None of it makes sense.

This "Obama is a tyrant" talk, and the "He's taking away our freedoms" is so absurd as to be possibly something a drunken slob or someone seriously high, man, on ganja would blubber.

Where do these deluded fools come from?

dmarks said...

Agnes said: "It seems like the wingers wanted to jump in on that as soon as Obama became president, as a sort of payback for all the humiliations they suffered by having Dubya as their leader."

Indeed. I remember the blubbering and wailing by the reality-lorn sore losers in 2001.

Agnes of Gosh said...

mr. dmarks, it's one thing to be upset at losing a very, very close presidential election by way of a supreme court decision, it's entirely another thing to have these screaming idiots saying they want their country back when it hasn't been taken away from them.

this is all theater and incredible stupidity fed by ignorance and hatred.

Gordon said...


Robert Reich is a corporatist, and has been one since he was composing cute phrases as a low-level Carter staffer. He advocated collusion between government and big business as labor secretary under Clinton. He then followed Tony Coelho to Wall Street where he reaped him some fine, fine bonuses. And he was on the Obama transition team, for goodness' sake.

If a lifelong Democratic operative who wants government health care is worried about a threat to democracy, perhaps we all should be, eh, Shaw?

I'm not saying President Obama is a fascist. But if his policies match Mussolini's, then we may well need to speak up.

dmarks said...
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dmarks said...

Agnes: "Take our country back" arguments were used a lot by the Dems running against Republicans. Was it OK then?

And the election loss was because Gore did not win the popular vote enough states to get enough electoral votes. (The Supreme Court got out of the way and let the actual result stand, as it did in all of the previous elections) Those who could not deal with the reality were "sore losers" as bad as the Birthers and others today.

The "stolen election" whackos in 2000 and 2001 were no less of "theater and incredible stupidity fed by ignorance and hatred".

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Michelle Malkin is again stalking children. Remember the stunt Malkin pulled in 2007 when she wrote a media assault against a 12-year kid with brain injuries who spoke in support of SCHIP?

This time she is stalking an eleven year old girl who asked President Obama a question at a local rally. On her blog, Malkin exposes the girl for having “political connections.” Link here.

Why is it that all boundaries of civilized behavior and decorum seem to be violated by those of the extreme rightwing? And why conservative readers commenting here don't speak out against this behavior?

dmarks said...

" And why conservative readers commenting here don't speak out against this behavior?"

Well, for one thing, I don't read Malkin.

Shaw Kenawe said...

This talk of "corporatists" is curious, since I heard nothing but silence when the Bush administration made a sweeheart deal with Big Pharma [and yes I know about Mr. Obama and the recent deal] as part of his Medicare Part D plan, nor did I hear any talk of it when Hank Paulson made sure Goldman Saks got a nice chunk of bailout money as part of President Bush's bailout plan last fall.

I guess its only a concern when you sniff out creeping fascism or corporatism if it has to do with Democrats.

As for Michele Malkin, I don't read or listen to that odious montebank. She, like Beck, Limbaugh, and Hannity, feeds off of people's ignorance and fear.

I would no longer listen to her honkings than I would a goose's at a fowl auction.

Civilized behavior and decorum have never been present whenever change is looming in the horizon.

Those people screaming and bullying at the town halls are not interested in asking questions. Those planned donnybrooks have been a concerted effort set up by the corporatists to thwart any effort to rein in their power over American politics.

Shaw Kenawe said...

A commenter over at Talking Points Memo has this interesting first person observation of "socialist" France's health care:

Getting Cancer in a 'Hell Hole' Socialist Country
August 12, 2009, 11:24AM

TPM has a fasicnating headline today about about mistaken assumptions: on the face of it, it's just an embarrassing blunder. The editor of Investor Business Weekly speculated that the eminent scientist Steven Hawking would have been eliminated by NHS death panels had he been, erh.. British.

As embarrassing as that is, not knowing Hawking's nationality is a mere detail. The real mistake, far more ominous for its ignorance, are the mistaken assumptions flourishing in the media about "hell hole socialist countries" and "death panels."

I live in such a country (France) though I am American and I should probably go ahead and admit that I am also a citizen of the place.

I haven't blogged in here much lately because I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and I've just (today even) gotten a letter from one of those "death" panels. Amazingly, I wasn't shaking when I got the letter. They are called Medical Councils here and they determine whether someone is eligible or not for 100 percent medical coverage provided by the state, due to a prolonged illness that is in no way the fault of the patient.

This "Council" provides an essential service that is desperately needed in the US. It makes a decision about a patient's health that does not depend upon considerations like age, income, pre-existing conditions or lifestyle. The council has only one question to answer: does the patient have an illness (or trauma) that requires long term treatment? If the answer to that question is yes, the person is immediately covered at 100 percent for the duration of the illness. the NHS functions in the same way, hence Hawking's extended care.

In every country, there is a percentage of the population that falls victim to these situations. Our consistent inability to provide sustained medical care to these people regardless of income is the main reason we are a country that spends the highest percentage of our GDP (16 %) on healthcare of any developped country while maintaining the highest unnecessary death rate among these countries.

Let's stop the hype and starting looking at the facts.

Arthurstone said...

Gordon typed:

'I'm not saying President Obama is a fascist. But if his policies match Mussolini's, then we may well need to speak up.'

But just in case...

Fascist. Muslim. Marxist. Socialist. Kenyan. Smoker. Too handsome.

Obama is a canvas upon which his opponents paint their fantasies.

Here's my contribution.

Obama murdered Vince Foster.

Handsome B. Wonderful said...


Yeah excellent point. I must have missed the part where Jesus charged a co-pay for his healing and miracles.

Gordon said...

What TPM didn't tell you about Stephen Hawking is that his care is supplemented by generous and substantial grants from various foundations--because he's Stephen Hawking. How well he might have survived absent that additional care is not known.

dmarks said...

Hawking might not fare as well in the Netherlands, where bloodthirsty "doctors" successfully seek to kill so-called defectives in order to save the government some money. Against the wishes of the families.