Monday, December 29, 2014

THE YEAR IN BULLSHIT, PART TWO.

(Here's the second installment of a year-end bottom-ten of the lowlights of 2014, culled from my archives and elsewhere. The first installment is here. Read 'em and weep!)


7. Impeachment for the hell of it. Conservatives have been threatening to impeach Obama since 2009. You’d think the schtick would have gotten tiresome even to them by now, particularly when their favorite impeachable offenses, like #Benghazi, keep going belly-up in their own Congressional committees.

But it’s a key part of the job of professional propagandists to tart up old schtick. In 2014 National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy, previously best known as a torture enthusiast, published Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment. Impeachment, he explained elsewhere, “is not a legal matter; it is a political remedy.” The Founders left “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” vague for that reason; presumably there were no impeachments before Andrew Johnson’s because all our earlier Presidents, including national-bank-buster Andrew Jackson, were scrupulous about the Constitutional order, unlike Obama -- whom we can’t get at, sighed McCarthy, because nowadays “we put our faith in law, not judgment, and it becomes a ready-made excuse for inaction while the lawyers temporize.” Another black crook works the system!

This may be why top conservatives such as Sarah Palin, Joe Miller and Rep. Steve King felt free to rev up the impeachotron without coherent legal justifications when Obama announced executive action on immigration last summer. When Democrats began to notice and comment on this impeachment chatter, however, conservatives changed direction, suggesting Obama was actually trying to get impeached, despite their best efforts to stop him.  This "might be the first White House in history trying to start the narrative of impeaching their own president," cried GOP House Whip Steve Scalise. "Does Obama WANT to Get Impeached?" asked National Review's Rich Lowry. "Such a calculation — amnesty-by-fiat to deliberately court impeachment — is breathtakingly cynical," look-who's-talkinged Charles Krauthammer.

Fox News even recruited McCarthy to tell viewers that his book — which, I remind you, is called Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment — isn’t an argument for impeaching Obama.

Assuming this isn't a misguided effort to get Obama's supporters on board, this seems to be conservatives' way of coping with memories of the disastrous Clinton impeachment while leaving their options open. If they can pretend that, should impeachment come, it really won't have anything to do with what they actually want, maybe they won't get the same treatment Newt Gingrich got when, unable to resist their new majorities in both houses of Congress, they finally succumb to temptation.


6. The Gruber maneuver. We’re at a strange place in the history of Obamacare: conservatives hate it and insist no one wants it, but insurance-starved citizens are rushing to obtain it. Republicans are understandably scared to repeal it, and hope like hell the Supreme Court will do it for them with the mother of all nuisance lawsuits, or one of the others they have lined up.

If SCOTUS doesn’t oblige, the new GOP two-house majority may not have the balls to return America to its old Pay or Die healthcare system without serious backup. So, in the absence of a believable Republican alternative, conservatives seek ways to make the program look so bad voters won’t mind when it croaks. Most of their 2014 arguments in that line — for example, that Obamacare is bad because it lets people quit jobs they don’t want, or that the long lines of people waiting for Obamacare remind them of “Venezuelans waiting in bread lines” — didn’t get very far.

But then some guy circulated some tapes of one Jonathan Gruber referring to the role of voter ignorance in getting Obamacare passed, and the brethren hit the battlements, denouncing Gruber and convincing House Republicans to get up a committee to yell at him.

What government position does Gruber occupy? None; he’s a freelance policy expert who helped the Democrats build the ACA (and helped Mitt Romney build You-Know-Who-care in Massachusetts). But Gruber had an unofficial title — Architect of Obamacare! When the shit hit the fan, this led to the following hilarious Google News results:


If that weren’t enough, investigative outfits like Breitbart.com dug up more connections between Gruber and the Feds — for example, “OBAMA CLAIMED TO HAVE 'STOLEN IDEAS' FROM GRUBER IN 2006.” He was practically a member of the family!

Why all this effort just to elevate an enemy consultant? I mean, even Alger Hiss had a real government job. Well, like Hiss, Gruber is a pointy-head with much book-larnin’. Plus, he had suggested, in his muttering way, that Americans were stupid, and one of the pillars of conservatism (along with tax breaks for the wealthy and persecution of minorities) is resentment against them high-toned liberals who look down on you, Mr. and Mrs. America, and your simple ways. Connect that with Obamacare and you’ve got something.

Thus, we got headlines like “Obamacare Architect: Yeah, We Lied to The ‘Stupid’ American People to Get It Passed” and “Gruber Got 24 Times the Average ‘Stupid’ American’s Salary for Obamacare Work” (he’s hoity-toity and rich — prob’ly cosmopolitan and rootless, too!). “So the left has disdain for average Americans?” said Flopping Aces. “Tell me something we don’t already know.” Ah, but soon the whole world would know, thanks to the rhetorical genius of Trey Gowdy!

Gruber testified, and for the brethren it was Watergate all over again, only this time a real bad guy was under siege. “At critical points, of course, Gruber couldn’t recall,” reported Scott Johnson of Power Line. “He couldn’t recall if he had heard his friends in the Obama administration discuss the need to conceal the Obamacare tax on health insurance… When Gruber says, ‘I honestly do not recall,’ the ‘honestly’ puts screaming exclamation points on his lying.” “For those keeping track, that is not a ‘no,’” scrupled Noah Rothman of Hot Air. Sounds like Gruber was in real danger of losing his imaginary job!

When insulted Americans did not descend on Washington with pitchforks, conservatives bitched that the press was engaged in a Gruber cover-up (“Besieged by stupid Americans, Media circles the wagons around Gruber,” headlined Hot Air), notwithstanding the hundreds of thousands of videos of Gruber available on the internet. Breitbart.com actually attacked the Washington Post’s Fact Checker column on Gruber’s testimony, not because they defended Gruber, but because they “really should have bumped their rating from 2 to 3 Pinocchios,” and offered 1,538 words in defense of this proposition.

It seems like another wash-out — but Judge Andrew Napolitano, frequent Fox News guest nut, holds out hope that the Gruber maneuver will convince someone, at least: “Now we all know this was done intentionally, and guess what?” he told NewsMax. “The Supreme Court now knows this as well… If this phrase, this admission by this professor, gets before the Supreme Court, Obamacare loses." Now who thinks other people are stupid?


5. All the free speech money can buy. In 2014, conservatives were very concerned about free speech. Not everyone’s free speech, of course — for example, if you recently protested police brutality, Rudolph Giuliani and others said at year’s end, your speech caused two NYPD officers to be killed, so shut up. No, they were mostly concerned, as they usually are, with the rights of the wealthy and the powerful.

There was a big uproar in the spring, for instance, when seniors at some colleges decided they didn’t want conservatives to speak at their commencement ceremonies. Some people might imagine that was their call to make — after all, no one has a Constitutional right to a well-paid speaking engagement before an unwilling audience. But conservatives felt differently: “Critics rail against liberal bias for commencement speakers,” reported the Washington Times, quoting an activist who complained of “a severe bias against conservative viewpoints.” The expected follow-up, in which the Times revealed that DJs at graduation parties were biased against country music, was never published.

“Liberal bias at America’s universities is on display more than ever during this year’s commencement season,” reported Claire E. Healey at TownHall. For instance: “Robert Birgeneau, a chancellor at the University of California when police broke up an Occupy protest, refused to attend Haverford College’s ceremony to receive an honorary degree when students and faculty made objections.” The nerve of the guy!

Their biggest upset was saved for former Bush Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was deprived of $35,000 from Rutgers University when students squawked. “Mob rule,” cried Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon; “Censorship 1, Condoleezza Rice 0,” tallied Dick Polman. National Review’s Jonah Goldberg actually compared Rice not getting the gig to the Palmer Raids of the early 20th Century, and huffed that on campus “social or administrative policing of thought crimes is all the rage.” (“Social” policing means people just don’t want to listen to you, I guess, which is Liberal Fascism farrrt.)

When both the free-speaker and the organization that didn’t want to hear it were rich and powerful, conservatives split the difference and took the side of… well, see if you can figure it out:

In April Brendan Eich was dismissed as Mozilla CEO after the company’s Board of Directors learned he’d supported an anti-gay-marriage drive. It’s not as if the brethren were saying that corporations couldn’t fire people for their speech — perish the thought! In fact, one Eich defender, PJ Media’s Bryan Preston, originally demanded that Mozilla employees who said they wanted Eich gone be “fired summarily,” before exploding with rage when the board instead dumped Eich.

No, it was the gay angle that turned Eich’s dismissal, in the eyes of some, from acceptable corporate behavior to an attack on straightness and on Christian morality itself. Imagine, firing an CEO for insulting homosexuals, which once was de rigueur for a successful exec! Why, soon they’ll be purging Klansmen from the C-suites… whoops, that already happened, or so it seemed, with the Donald Sterling fiasco in the NBA. Yes, a few dozen billionaires desired to disassociate from a team owner who had made racist statements, and once again conservatives rushed to defend the defenestratee.

You’ve probably figured it out: Conservatives reliably defend the powerful against the powerless but, when both parties are powerful, they side against the one that associates with the powerless. This, by the way, also explains the modern Democratic and Republican Parties.

(More later.)

101 comments:

  1. "This "might be the first White House in history trying to start the
    narrative of impeaching their own president," cried GOP House Whip Steve Scalise." Maybe Scalise is trying to start a narrative that he is racist.

    • Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, has admitted that he spoke at a conference hosted by a white nationalist group.
    Scalise says he didn’t know at the time that that’s what the group was.
    It’s called the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, it was
    founded by infamous white supremacist David Duke, and it runs a website
    called whitecivilrights.com, but Scalise says he had no idea what the group’s agenda was. OK, then.

    Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2014/12/29/im-a-little-too-young-to-introspect/#ixzz3NKbdoJP8

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  2. https://twitter.com/hashtag/SteveScaliseExcuses?src=hash

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  3. That turd Eich produced a thousand wingnut tears.

    http://img.izifunny.com/pics/20121108/640/izifunny-picdump-93-pics_64.jpg

    ~

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  4. FDRliberal6:41 PM

    Gee, just a few weeks ago the Tea fleas were hopping up and down with glee, all sugared up on the GRUUUUUBERRR!!! nontroversy, praying it would lead to the downfall of King Obama. Alas, no one gave a damn what the Romneycare consultant had to say outside of the Tea cult, even after Fox News turned the hype dial up to eleven.

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  5. willf7:21 PM

    ...insurance-starved citizens are rushing to obtain it.



    Here's hoping that they can actually afford to use it, and afford to pay the deductible and copays, and that the insurance companies won't refuse payment.

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  6. cahuenga7:27 PM

    Wackadoos have had an impeachment boner since Nixon

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  7. what's sad is that this is practically an annual story for southern electeds, particularly those in leadership positions. and what's sadder is that no one cares unless it's convenient to.

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  8. Years ago, on "The West Wing," CJ Cregg was trying to figure out a way to maneuver investigations of President Bartlet. She was worried about a reasoned investigation by an independent counsel, and offered this alternative:

    "Leo, we need to be investigated by someone who wants to kill us just to watch us die. We need someone perceived by the American people to be irresponsible, untrustworthy, partisan, ambitious, and thirsty for the limelight. Am I crazy, or is this not a job for the U. S. House of Representatives?"



    The White House last summer basically daring the Republicans to launch impeachment hearings reminded me of that. And two years to go...

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  9. Well that bullshit lie didn't last long, praise for Duke in '99.

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/44165_BREAKING-_In_1999_Rep._Steve_Scalise_Embraced_David_Dukes_Conservative_Views

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  10. coozledad8:30 PM

    It's a slightly different dynamic from the years leading up to the Civil War, but the Republicans have absolutely co opted the political and ideological ground of the copperheads when it comes to sucking that money dick. Our Person County Republicans ran on the fear that yankees are going to ruin our economy by strangling Duke Energy's rights to dump arsenic compounds in the water table.


    They managed to blend this with the whole concept of god and free enterprise, and they fucking won.


    I used to wonder how the planter class got white trash to bleed for them on the order of 30-40% casualties per military engagement in the Civil War.


    Now I know. It's a perennial slave system. And the black slaves were the only ones who elected to op out in significant numbers.

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  11. Seeing them all stacked up like this, it hits me anew:

    The Right Wing is nothing but a bunch of excessively thin-skinned and whiny individuals.

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  12. GeniusLemur8:44 PM

    When you have a movement that's all about standing in front of the rush of time and shrieking "No! I like it now! Stop! Stop or I'll hold my breath till I'm blue in the face! *Stamping feet* Stop! Stop! STOP!" That's what you get.

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  13. coozledad8:47 PM

    The right wing is about easy money for people willing to perform the necessary gyrations.


    Nobody with any self respect would do what they ask, and they count on it.

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  14. billmon had a couple of brilliant storify-ed tweets on a similar topic. https://storify.com/billmon1/herrenvolk-democracy-and-the-american-right

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  15. coozledad9:43 PM

    I have similar disaffections with the Democratic party, even on a local level. We had to admit people into our campaign headquarters that i wouldn't let set foot in my house. Racists.
    I did everything I could to exclude the fucks, but I'm an old man, and no good with a knife and hardly better with a shovel.


    The reality in the South is, you've got a minority of splendid people. Gods. People who arrived at politics through the beatitudes. Then you've got people who don't want to pay taxes but know the Republicans will side with anyone who'll cut their daughter's throat for whoring. You've got a small minority of people like me,who know the Republicans are our Nazis.


    We would happily embark on a course of rigorous physical training to kill them all with piano wire, but we are all old and fat, and tone deaf besides.

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  16. https://storify.com/billmon1/herrenvolk-democracy-and-the-american-right

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  17. What's The deductible when you have no insurance?

    Oh right, 100%.

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  18. montag210:13 PM

    Y'know, I gotta admit that their fealty to Kindasleezza Rice is remarkable. Given the debacle that was the most recent Bush administration, and her place in it, most sane people wouldn't have even considered inviting a war criminal.
    When Rutgers went ahead and did the unthinkable, the sane people objected. It's bad enough to be lectured by a war criminal, but having to pay for that cruel and unusual punishment was clearly a bridge too far.

    And yet, the Brethren immediately got to work making big mountains over little molehills--well, with undocumented labor, rather than their own, mind you--saying, in essence, "you can't shut out the voice of a whiny dilettante with a a shoe fetish who was so in over her head that Dunning-Kruger doesn't apply and repeatedly violated the Smith-Mundt Act in order to push a nation into a horribly misbegotten war just because she's a conservative!"

    That's chutzpah roughly the density of tofu.

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  19. redoubtagain10:13 PM

    His district includes Metairie, of course. (Someone has to represent David Duke's voters.)

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  20. coozledad10:16 PM

    It's inviting Mosely to the premier of Britten's War Requiem.

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  21. coozledad10:23 PM

    It's a requirement for the club. It's a policy statement. And it's a call for sedition that reflects the utter stupidity of the constitution.

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  22. I wonder what his speech was about!

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  23. Megalon10:49 PM

    The Byron Preston piece is called "OKCupid Goes Full Fascist for the Gays."

    I don't know what I can really add to that.

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  24. I want to sit in front of the fire with a goblet of this and a soon-to-be-much-closer friend.

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  25. This is when I wish we could bring up some gay people who actually lived under real fascism. I'd bet that, even at 90+ years old, one of those folks could kick Preston's ass around the block and back up to his keyboard.

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  26. It's not even "I like it now!", it's that they like it back when Blacks were invisible and White men ran roughshod over everyone without impediment. They're standing athwart history yelling "BACK UP!"

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  27. coozledad10:59 PM

    I've been reading a bigass book about Alan Turing and fuck Republicans forever.

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  28. AGoodQuestion11:45 PM

    unlike Obama -- whom we can’t get at, sighed McCarthy, because nowadays “we put our faith in law, not judgment, and it becomes a ready-made excuse for inaction while the lawyers temporize.”
    Someone may have pointed this out already. I'm not going to look yet because it can't be said too many times. Andrew McCarthy is a lawyer. He is, in fact, a former Assistant US Attorney. And we should probably be grateful that he was never a defense attorney, because whichever poor fucker was represented by him would get sent up the river so fast.

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  29. AGoodQuestion11:47 PM

    !!!

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  30. AGoodQuestion12:46 AM

    If, by some miraculous series of events, Carter had won a second term, the madness could have made itself felt even earlier.

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  31. Geo X4:26 AM

    This Gruber thing makes me crazy. I mean, they ALL make me crazy, but, uh, this one somewhat more than the norm. So the dude said voters are ignorant (the most self-evidently true statement ever, but for the sake of argument, let's pretend that such things really ARE shocking and beyond the realm of polite discourse). Okay. And...? This appears to be a classic underpants gnomes situation: 1. Guy says voters are dumb; 2. ????; 3. Obamacare repealed!

    Of course, it's also like BENGHAZI!!!!11 inasmuch as wingers are incapable of articulating what the great big scandal is actually supposed to BE, but ARGHBLARGHIMPEACH!!!

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  32. Jeffrey_Kramer5:13 AM

    I haven't spent much time here lately, so by way of apology I thought I'd offer a New Year's tribute to Roy and all you wonderful commenters.

    I have a rendezvous with derp
    At some demented online mag
    Where culture scolds play “Spot the Fag!”
    And Rich White Jebus shares his cross
    I have a rendezvous with derp
    Where zombie lies grow thick with moss.

    It might be at the Jammies' sign
    It might be NRO Online
    Where Jonah lofts his anal burp
    It might be somewhere even worse.
    I have a rendezvous with derp
    Where “Merry Christmas” is a curse
    Snarled out as if to dare the world
    To persecute God's chosen churl.

    God knows, 'twould better be to snore
    Oblivious in some Village bar
    And miss the universal fap
    When next some fucked-up Wyatt Earp
    Shoots down an unarmed dark-skinned chap
    But I've a rendezvous with derp
    When New Year comes, and brings once more
    Alinsky and Benghazi crap
    And I to my pledged word am true
    I shall not fail that rendezvous.

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  33. mommadillo6:12 AM

    “a severe bias against conservative viewpoints.”



    I'd have to agree a lot of people are biased against conservative viewpoints. It's called "sanity" and fortunately prevails much of the time.

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  34. Turing's life is a model for Republican treatment of the lesser volk. Get the maximum use out of them and then toss 'em in the garbage when you don't want them any more.

    As an added bonus, you can ignore inconvenient facts - such as a gay man saved the motherfucking free world - that contradict your carefully honed stereotypes about the lesser volk.

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  35. Clearly, poetry is part of the liberal conspiracy.

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  36. Not too sure about that. If Reagan had lost, it would have shoved an awful lot of lunacy back into the closet. For example, the White supremacists would have been forced to continue their retreat, instead of being validated by having Reagan (who began his campaign with a speech on state's rights in Philadelphia, Mississippi). And more than a bit of lunacy in the Middle East would have been avoided as Carter most certainly wasn't going to be selling missiles to the mullahs--and concurrent with that, we likely would not have had as much U.S. sponsored carnage in Central America, either. Trickle-down economics would not have been tried, so the constant drizzle of tax cuts for the rich would just be so much rightwing fantasy instead of a crippling reality. Likewise, Reagan's massive deregulation push would not have happened, and we'd have stronger federal oversight of everything from the environment to the stock market.

    The list goes on, but suffice to say that a second Carter term would have left America in a much much MUCH better condition today.

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  37. mommadillo6:59 AM

    It's worse than that. When I had my stents put in back in 2011, the bill was just shy of eighty grand, which is what I'd have been on the hook for if I hadn't had any insurance.


    My insurance company's "discount" (what, you didn't know insurance companies use their huge client bases to extort big discounts from hospitals?) took that bill down under thirty thousand.


    So not only do you have to pay the entire bill if you don't have insurance, it's a much larger bill than you'd get if you were insured.


    Never seemed to make much sense to me - let's charge the the most to the people who can least afford to pay.

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  38. The Gruber thing is of a piece with much else the right pushes for: If you don't understand it, you must fear and shun it. This goes from science (evolution! stem cells! cancer-causing pollution!) to tax policy (rich people create jobs! a flat tax is good!), and it works astonishingly well, as recent election results show.

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  39. About 10 years ago, someone posted their tale of having a heart attack and being rushed to the ER. They had emergency open-heart surgery and spent a week or two in the hospital.

    A month later, he got the statement from the hospital showing the tab came to better than $120,000. He was shocked, but waited to see what his insurance would cover. Some months later, he got his statement from his insurer that showed they had negotiated the entire bill down to $1,200 dollars, which was below his deductible.

    I remember this story first because of the extreme disparity between the billed amount and the settled amount. But second because of his observation at the time that someone without insurance would have had no negotiating power and thus would have been on the hook for the original $120,000. It's sad to note that, a decade on and after healthcare "reform," nothing's changed.

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  40. This sounds like a description of stupidity.

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  41. "first, we kill all the lawyers."


    --andrew mccarthy, esq.

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  42. There's a thin line between social policing and socialist policing, a thin pinky-blue line.

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  43. I want to fill two bathtubs on top of a cliff with this and have a soak while holding hands and discussing my four hour erection with a loved one.

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  44. Sure. Whatever you're up for.

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  45. There's an element of this to the White House's actions. But the Republicans are most definitely on the path of "Now look what you made me do!" as they gleefully toy with impeachment.

    It's crucial to understand that, in the minds of Republicans, NO Democrat can ever legitimately be president, and no Democratic president will ever be legitimate. Until the GOP implodes, we can count on every Democratic president being threatened with impeachment, if not actually impeached.

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  46. 9/11 + national security advisor = promotion!

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  47. Ellis_Weiner10:47 AM

    You would.

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  48. Ellis_Weiner10:59 AM

    I had a different response--namely, that they're all so hideous, so hypocritical, so opera-buffa in their outrages and selective positions, and so mendacious, that the real schmucks in this biz are the media outlets who take them seriously. Mocking them, as we do here and on the Daily Show and (the late, lamented) Colbert and etc., is the only intelligent, sane, and honest response to them.

    In 1979 I joined a big gang of wise-guys in writing The 80s: A Look Back, a satirical pretend history of the 80s (as though pubb'ed in 1990). One of the developments was the discrediting of the Fed. gov't. to the point where only lunatics and idiots ran for and were elected to Congress. This culminated in the so-called Congress of Nuts, with risible consequences.

    Okay, so we were 25 years too soon and only got it half right. Still.

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  49. Ellis_Weiner11:04 AM

    Well...as happened to me when I was uninsured, it's common for hospitals to cut the bill if you tell them you have no coverage. Which means the whole thing, (i.e., The American Health Care System) is a Persian market of bids, haggling, arbitrary prices, and made-up "costs." It's literally insane. (And try getting quotes from hospitals around the country for a given procedure. They differ by orders of ten or more.)

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  50. Magatha11:05 AM

    I'm on Medicare, and I appreciate the hell out of it, and I support single-payer, but am happy about the benefits the ACA provides to people previously left out. But. Disparities, insurance strangleholds, inexplicable payment systems. My case in point: my doctor recently wrote me a prescription for a steroid targeted to the gut (ulcerative colitis) called Uceris, because I am allergic to the more typically prescribed sulfa-based drugs.

    When I went to the pharmacy, I was told that it was a Tier 5 drug, so Medicare wouldn't cover it, so it would cost me $1,085.99 for 20 pills. I said oof. I spoke with the Part D person who said that if my doctor requested an exemption on account of the allergies, the coverage would allow me to pay the low low co-pay of $358.00.

    The cute thing is that along with the prescription, my doc (a really good guy) gave me a coupon that described how I could get my first prescription for $25.00. The catch? You cannot qualify if you (a) try to pay cash for the medicine, or (b) if your prescriptions are "paid in part or in full by any federal or state-funded program...". So if anyone has ever wondered how much Uceris SA 9mg. #20 costs, it's between $25.00 to $1,085.99.

    Luckily it's not a life-or-death situation for me.

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  51. Magatha11:10 AM

    There's an alternate history novel in there. I agree with you, but wonder if we might be plagued by a much better coordinated home grown militia movement. Unless the militia movement got more impetus because of Reagan. Hmm. I should revisit some David Neiwert writing.

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  52. I see this on a much smaller scale with my own medications. I've been taking Synthroid for the last 25 years, and in those 25 years I have never paid the same price twice in a row. Sometimes a 30-day bottle is $15, sometimes $5, sometimes $20, sometimes $0. There's no rhyme or reason to it. One time I had to buy an "extra" 30-day supply because I was traveling abroad for a month and would not be able to fill a prescription in Africa. The price for that? Just under $100 as insurance wouldn't pay for the 30 "extra" pills.

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  53. And try getting quotes from hospitals around the country for a given procedure. They differ by orders of ten or more.

    But . . . but . . . Republicans say you should just shop around whenever you need medical care!

    Shopping for medical procedures is one of the higher orders of lunacy. Unless you're a doctor, you're going to be asking for prices on something that 1.) you don't really understand what it is or what its possible ramifications might be, and 2.) you do not have any real way to comparison shop for as you have no way of comparing outcomes with costs, and 3.) the price quoted may have no actual bearing on the price charged. (For example, a simple appendectomy quote might range from $5,000 to $50,000. The $50,000 price may or may not include everything from pre-op to recovery, while the $5,000 quote probably includes ONLY the surgeon's fee and nothing else. Which option do you pick?)

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  54. glennisw11:32 AM

    “Now we all know this was done intentionally,



    What? They passed the ACA legislation intentionally?

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  55. JM Cornwell11:38 AM

    The way I hear it, the Republicans are not actually going to go for impeachment because Obama being black insulates him. Vote for impeachment and Obama is impeached and the Republican party is sunk for the next 200 years, rather like Johnson's comment that putting through Welfare would keep the n*****s voting Democrat for the next 200 years. I've heard rumbles of getting rid of Eric Holder because he has overstepped his boundaries time and again until the DOJ is little more than the political arm of Obama's agenda. Should be interesting to see as Republicans grumble and moan about Obama while doing nothing for the next 2 years despite having control of the Senate and the House.

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  56. Ellis_Weiner11:45 AM

    I know. I listen to ads (or tag lines on NPR stations) for hospitals here in L.A. ("City of Hope...we LIVE to cure cancer.") and think, "Really? Sounds great. If I get cancer, that's the one for me!"

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  57. glennisw11:46 AM

    And Gruber said VOTERS are stupid, but, hey, guys, it wasn't voters that passed the ACA.

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  58. Not often enough in recent memory for my tastes.

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  59. He's claiming it was about "gross mismanagement of tax revenue or “slush funds” that have little or no accountability", which evidently allowed him to talk about "graft within the Housing and Urban Development Fund, an apparent give-away to a selective group based on race" (wink wink)

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  60. Another potential candidate, state Rep. Steve Scalise (R), said he embraces many of the same “conservative” views as Duke, but is far more viable.

    “The novelty of David Duke has worn off,” said Scalise. “The voters in this district are smart enough to realize that they need to get behind someone who not only believes in the issues they care about, but also can get elected. Duke has proven that he can’t get elected, and that’s the first and most important thing.”

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  61. "The Right Wing is nothing but a bunch of excessively thin-skinned and whiny individuals."

    Oh, yeah... but the problems come when those individuals get their hands on money and power. For the next two years, those poor, oppressed, misunderstood souls will be like the young Tom Riddle :

    " I can make bad things happen to people who are mean to me. I can make them hurt, if I want..."

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  62. I'm not sure I can agree. The lunacy is always trying to get out of the closet. When the 'Murrkin People in their infinite wisdom elected Reagan, we actually got to experience the lunacy: we got the de-regulation, the tax cuts of trickle-down supply side economics which continued to cripple our economy, the carnage in Central America, the insanity in the Middle East, the hand of government squashing civil rights, gay rights, and reproductive rights. We've experienced all of it, saw how bankrupt it all was, and God Damn if, by not turning out to vote, we allowed it all to come roaring back.

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  63. Twilight Zone reference?

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  64. You mean to tell me you'd rather pay a $5000 deductible than $30000?

    What ate you done kind of socialist?

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  65. satch1:01 PM

    Harry Potter.

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  66. Tbone1:02 PM

    The best thing is that even the right wingers couldn't explain what the deal was with bangazi. Shit, they didn't even know where it is.

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  67. Don't get me started on the costs of meds and what the goddamn insurance will and won't pay for. I still remember trying and trying to put requests through for vacation supplies and doing every tweak I knew and still having it come back "refill too soon", and then you have to explain to Mr. Low-Info that, yes, he does have refills on his prescription, but, no, the insurance won't pay for it, so he can't have them, usually leading then to a fun thing I like to call "Spend Twenty To Thirty Goddamn Minutes Listening To The Hold Music" as you try to get someone at CMS or ExpressScripts or whoever to listen to your request, only to be told that, no, the patient will have to wait.

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  68. No Reagan then no Bush I, therefore no Bush II. Reagan was already showing Alziemers by 84 so I don't think he would have run. Mondale v. Dole 1984

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  69. Oooh!

    Useris (budesonide) is now in a new formulation! (translation: renewed patent!)

    A rectal foam!

    There's always the temptation there to describe to the patient how to properly apply it...

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  70. willf1:13 PM

    And if we got rid of the parasitical insurance companies, then what would it be?

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  71. See also Brownback, Kansas FUBAR

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  72. Why bother with what happened or where it was when you can just skreee about AMERICANS DIED!!! IMPEACH THE KENYAN USURPER!! 9/11!! 9/11!11

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  73. Tbone1:46 PM

    Single payor, is what it would be.

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  74. Tbone1:49 PM

    Meh. Facts always get in the way of a good hate wank.

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  75. Horrors.

    I can just imagine the inconvenience of not having several insurance processors, and the loss of the fun of guessing which one any particular card is linked with.

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  76. Tom Parmenter2:24 PM

    I spent two months in the hospital last year. I had to go there because I had died. Thanks to Medicare and a reasonably priced Medigap policy, this stay in the greatest hospital in the world (Mass General) for what they called a miracle cure (dying had given me several fatal illnesses) cost me $48.24. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4SVida_Nj8

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  77. billcinsd2:26 PM

    coozledad, God gave you a gift. You shovel well. You shovel very well

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  78. smut clyde2:27 PM

    http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/08.12.99/gifs/burden-9932.jpg

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  79. billcinsd2:28 PM

    first, we kill all the other lawyers
    second, derp, derp, derp
    third, Profit!!!

    Andrew "Bill Shakespeare"'s Gnome" McCarthy, esq.

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  80. billcinsd2:31 PM

    That's from what "I Cloned Hitler's Feet"? Those look like little Nazi boots

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  81. The evidence on your side is certainly compelling--not least of which was the election of George H.W. Bush. I can only point out that Carter's policies, especially those surrounding energy independence and foreign policy based on actual human rights performance, would have been much better for the country over the long haul, and probably would have cemented Democratic control of the White House for another generation or two.

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  82. smut clyde2:36 PM

    Carter most certainly wasn't going to be selling missiles to the mullahs
    He started the policy of arming the Mujahideen, remember.

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  83. Bigby2:41 PM

    I don't see how impeachment was 'disastrous' for the GoOPers. They lost a few midterm seats, lost Newt (who arguably lost little power or influence, hell, he's the LEGACY of the current GOP) and Bob Livingston (replaced by The Hammer, who was 100x worse), then gained them all back, then took all three branches of government, then fucked up the entire planet, moved the Overton window so far over that milquetoast, circa-1965 Rockefeller Republican Barack Obama is now a "wild-eyed, far left, commie pinko", and now will fully control two of three branches plus 39 of 50 state houses. If anything, I could argue that the GOP's two biggest fuckups on their watch in the last 25 years, impeachment and 9/11, not only weren't 'disastrous' for them, it locked them into a permanent strength that may be unbreakable for another decade (I'm not one to think the 'non-white demographic disaster' will befall them in 2016, 2026 maybe...). They've legitimized permanent impeachment talk for any and all Democratic Presidents, and legitimized permanent war on a noun.

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  84. He's also the one that established the RDF and the policy of treating any Soviet move toward the Persian Gulf as an assault on United States interests: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carter_Doctrine

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  85. UT!

    I am out here saving the world from Communists and Martians who eat your feet, and he's making PEANUT BRITTLE in my WASHER!

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  86. I do remember. However, I was referring to Reagan's illegally selling advanced missiles to the Iranians to finance the illegal war in Nicaragua.

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  87. billcinsd2:57 PM

    deregulation started with Carter and Carter's economics weren't all that great either although it's true they weren't particularly supply-side

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  88. billcinsd3:17 PM

    they are also working on a war on the past perfect tense, because too much of the past had Democrats in power. The future perfect however will still be there but only as long as we promise to elect Republicans

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  89. billcinsd3:21 PM

    The Flaming Carrot is my hero
    more insane than the Emperor Nero

    He solves crimes with his wit
    too bad that there's not much of it


    --The Porcelain Boys

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  90. J Neo Marvin5:29 PM

    The idea that we should be putting faith in "judgement" rather than law doesn't make any logical or ethical sense, except as a euphemism for "more fascism please."

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  91. I thought their line was about how we're a "nation of laws, not men".

    Oh, wait, that was Clinton-time, and this time they can't find a law sufficient to impeach over, so fukkit.

    (I almost wrote "nation of lawns". More apropos, I think.)

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  92. AGoodQuestion11:26 PM

    It's lawn gnomes versus lawn jockeys. Which side are you on?

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  93. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person12:14 AM

    I was thinking Star Trek TOS...

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  94. DrLearnALot9:13 AM

    This begs to be set to music. With perhaps a mandolin accompaniment.

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  95. StringOnAStick1:03 PM

    Thanks for the Billmon link; most excellent.

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  96. StringOnAStick1:42 PM

    Everything written in this subthread puts the lie to the right's argument that 'Obamacare means Death Panels'. Clearly, not being insured is the ultimate Death Panel.

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  97. StringOnAStick1:52 PM

    If they want Holder gone, they'll have to*gasp* cooperate with the Near President. Holder said he'll stay until a replacement can be confirmed, which we all know is never.

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  98. JM Cornwell11:37 AM

    Not while there is breath in Holder's body.

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