Sunday, February 27, 2011

Last Call

I seem to recall Republicans spending the last two years saying Obamacare meant rationing of health care, and death panels, and the government deciding who lives and who dies, and other "fascist" nonsense.  So of course when Indiana Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels suggests that "we can't always pay for the most expensive technology" in our "aging society" to extend lifespans to "the very very last day", Republicans are going to disown him and shriek DEATH PANELS as loudly as possible, yes?

Democrats continue to be pilloried by the right for even suggesting anything in the ballpark of what Daniels is saying here, attacked by hacks like the WSJ's James Taranto.

"Government takeover," like "death panel," is a true description of ObamaCare's essence. These phrases are "inaccurate" only in that they cut through formal distinctions designed to deceive the public. (We wish we could use a barnyard vulgarity in place of the unwieldy clause "formal distinctions designed to deceive the public," but The Wall Street Journal is a family newspaper.)

"Death panel" was especially effective at cutting through the hockey. Lots of people warned about rationing, but, as PolitiFact grudgingly acknowledged, it was Palin's vivid language that "launched the health care debate into overdrive. The term was mentioned in news reports approximately 6,000 times in August and September, according to the Nexis database. By October, it was still being mentioned 150 to 300 times a week."

Many of these media mentions were disparaging, "raising issues," as PolitiFact prissily puts it, about "the bounds of acceptable political discussion." In other words, Palin's statement was widely propagated by journalists who thought it "unacceptable." Americans recognized the essential truth of Palin's words and strongly opposed ObamaCare.

Palin got the truth out with the help of journalists determined to bolster the deceptions at the heart of ObamaCare. She was instrumental in winning the political argument that looks increasingly likely to render ObamaCare's legislative victory a Pyrrhic one. Sarah Palin outsmarted the formerly mainstream media simply by being blunt and honest. That is why they burn with a mindless rage against her.

Palin's "blunt honesty" of course meant calling what Daniels here calls for -- families to have the option of end-of-life planning -- as "government death panels."

So will Daniels now be attacked by Taranto for agreeing with what President Obama was saying we need to do about health care costs?  Considering half of America thinks the PPACA has been repealed already, of course the Republicans will get away with it.  And they'll get the credit when they suggest "common sense health care solutions"  -- which will of course consist of what's still actually in the bill -- that will go into effect between now and 2014.

And hey, Republicans will have "fixed" Obamacare just like they ended slavery, passed civil rights legislation,

Pay attention to the plan, please.

The Ghost Of Moosemas Past

How bad is it for the GOP right now in finding somebody who can win in 2012?

This bad.

As Sarah Palin wonders whether to run for president, she might want to talk to people in places such as South Carolina.

She'd find her star fading, and her prospects daunting.

Republicans still like her, but now they openly question whether she could or should be nominated for president, let alone elected.

At a recent gathering in South Carolina, the site of a crucial early presidential primary next year, party activists said the former Alaska governor didn't have the experience, the knowledge of issues or the ability to get beyond folksy slang and bumper-sticker generalities that they think is needed to win and govern.

Many are shopping for someone else. They're looking at Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., for example, and seeing what they call a smarter, more experienced candidate who's equally as conservative.

"Sarah Palin with a brain," said Gail Moore, a Republican from Columbia.

Remember when openly questioning Palin's qualifications made you a misogynist because if she wasn't qualified, she never would have been picked as McCain's running mate so the only possible reason to think she couldn't handle the job was because you hate women?

You know, couldn't possibly be she wasn't actually qualified or anything.

So now, Michele Bachmann is.  Scary.

Somebody FOXed Up

So, late last week David Corn reported on the story that publisher Judy Regan was told to lie to the Feds about her affair with Bernie Kerik, the police chief Dubya originally tapped for Homeland Security Director.  The motive:  to protect Rudy Giuliani.  The party who supposedly convinced Regan to lie?

Fox News boss Roger Ailes.

Yeah, I know it's like All-Star Bush's first term mania, right?  So I didn't think anything of this story other than the trashy factor...until this morning.

Big Barry Ritholtz is reporting that Ailes may be getting a visit from the Legal Fairy very soon.  Well, here's your news item for the rest of forever

Here’s what I learned recently: Someone I spoke with claimed that Ailes was scheduled to speak at their event in March, but canceled. It appears that Roger’s people, ostensibly using a clause in his contract, said he “cannot appear for legal reasons.”

I asked “What, precisely, does that mean?”

The response: “Roger Ailes will be indicted — probably this week, maybe even Monday.”

Now keep in mind Roger Ailes has an entire news network to go to bat for him, so if you think this story is going to turn into how the evil Obama administration is holding a witch hunt like I do, batten down the hatches.

This is going to get insane.  Ahead Obama Derangement Syndrome Factor Infinity.

Trouble On The Verizon

(CNN) -- The iPhone 4 is now 0-for-2 with Consumer Reports.
After declining to recommend the popular smartphone after its original release last June, the influential product review publication is now giving a thumbs-down to the new model for Verizon's network.  According to Consumer Reports, the phone has the potential for problems with dropped calls and poor reception, just like its predecessor.
Verizon is banking on this to solidify their place in the mobile provider rankings.  However, it looks like this new product is going to cause them more problems than bring in customers.  It's not too late to turn it around, but with the failure to earn consumer trust and correct known issues, this isn't looking good for Verizon.  Customers aren't wanting to switch for the same thing, but for something better.  I'm not impressed with the quality or procedures they have shown, and the phone still doesn't work on their 4G network.

Thanks for playing, guys.  Sprint is making a real run for growth, as is T-Mobile. This might be the beginning of the end for yet another communications giant that failed to expand and roll with the changes, and lost the race.

Gay Old Time At Church

COLORADO SPRINGS — The guard hailed as a hero after the December 2007 shooting at New Life Church says the church indicated she was not welcome there after she informed church officials that she is gay.
The Denver Post goes on to explain that Jeanne Assam, a guard who stopped a gunman firing at the congregation, is no longer welcome at the church after coming out as a lesbian. The church denies this, but their denial doesn't ring true to me.  It's a little ironic, but I'm just watching and thinking about this. I can see many sides here, but in the end it doesn't feel like the church took the high road in how they handled it, regardless of what one feels about their position on the subject of her lifestyle. 

I admit, I get touchy on the subject of religion.  A lifetime in the Bible Belt has taught me a healthy fear faith and what people do in its name.  Still, how is that any different than the sinner right next to her, on either side?  What merit is it for a church only to save people that already follow their ways?

What do you guys think?

Mad Time In Mad Town

Estimates of a 100,000 plus in protests yesterday in Madison, as well as much smaller numbers in state capitals around the country.

People are beginning to notice that they made a mistake last November.  Maine's Tea Party GOP Gov. Paul LePage says he wants to take the Imperial Walker approach in Maine to eliminate unions and make the Pine Tree State "right-to-work".

Maine Gov. Paul LePage said Saturday he would push forcefully ahead with right-to-work legislation in his state, even if it means a Wisconsin-style fight with unions.
In an interview at the National Governors Association, the Republican praised Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and couched his own proposal in the language of liberty loved by tea partiers.
"He's got a big challenge, and quite frankly, once they start reading our budget they're going to leave Wisconsin and come to Maine because we're going after 'right to work,'" LePage told POLITICO.

They're not just going after public unions folks, they are going after all unions, all collective bargaining, all worker's rights to serve their corporate masters.  Whatever you personally think about unions, keep in mind what they have accomplished in this country over the decades.  The GOP wants to get rid of labor laws, period.

Why should workers have any rights, they figure.  If you're a good worker, you can go where you want to and people will fight over hiring you.  If that's not the case, then why haven't you started your own small business yet?

You're next.  Remember that.
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