Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ham, Turtle, And Rand For Dinosaur's Steve's Breakfast

Every now and again Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear reminds me he's actually a proud Democrat in a state full of bitter Republicans, and he ate Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell's lunch at Thursday's Farm Bureau breakfast at the KY State Fair as he defended Obamacare in front of the both of them.

The governor compared health insurance to "the safety net of crop insurance" and said farmers need both. He said 640,000 Kentuckians—15 percent of the state—don't have health insurance and "trust me, you know many of those 640,000 people. You're friends with them. You're probably related to them. Some may be your sons and daughters. You go to church with them. Shop with them. Help them harvest their fields. Sit in the stands with them as you watch your kids play football or basketball or ride a horse in competition. Heck, you may even be one of them."

Beshear went on to say that "it's no fun" hoping and praying you don't get sick, or choosing whether to pay for food or medicine. He also said Kentucky is at or near the top of the charts on bad-health indicators, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer deaths, and preventable hospitalizations. He said all that affects everything from productivity and school attendance to health costs and the state's image.

"We've ranked that bad for a long, long time," he said. "The Affordable Care Act is our historic opportunity to address this weakness and to change the course of the future of the commonwealth. We're going to make insurance available for the very first time in our history to every single citizen of the commonwealth of Kentucky."

About half the audience burst into applause at that point while the other half sat on their hands. But he wasn't done. He cited a study that showed the law would inject about $15.6 billion into the Kentucky economy over eight years, create 17,000 new jobs, and generate $802 million for the state budget.

"It's amazing to me how people who are pouring time and money and energy into trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act sure haven't put that kind of energy into trying to improve the health of Kentuckians. And think of the decades that they have had to make some kind of difference," Beshear finished pointedly.

Those are frankly two of the best arguments for Obamacare that I've heard, the third being "Expanding Medicare sure is a lot cheaper than taxpayers swallowing the cost of indigent emergency room care."  Jason Cherkis reminds us that if people don't know it's Obamacare, they love it.  Even here in Kentucky.

A middle-aged man in a red golf shirt shuffles up to a small folding table with gold trim, in a booth adorned with a flotilla of helium balloons, where government workers at the Kentucky State Fair are hawking the virtues of Kynect, the state’s health benefit exchange established by Obamacare.

The man is impressed. "This beats Obamacare I hope," he mutters to one of the workers.

“Do I burst his bubble?” wonders Reina Diaz-Dempsey, overseeing the operation. She doesn't. If he signs up, it's a win-win, whether he knows he's been ensnared by Obamacare or not.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- Obamacare -- totals 974 pages, and in the popular imagination is several times longer. How the complex law unfolds could very well determine the winner of Kentucky's high-stakes 2014 Senate race pitting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) against Democratic upstart Alison Lundergan Grimes -- and along with it control of the upper chamber.

But Diaz-Dempsey has managed to distill it all down to three sentences.

We are Kynect -- part of the new health care law.

Do you know anyone who doesn’t have health insurance?

You may qualify for Medicaid or a tax credit based on your income.

And people love Kynect.  It's not Obamacare, you see.  Regardless, it's good seeing Beshear stand up for Obamacare.  My question is does Alison Lundergan Grimes have the courage to do the same?

Your Stopped Clock Is Right Twice A Day Alert

With the Obama administration discussing intervention options in Syria today, we see a SCIRTAD alert issued for one "Cap'n" Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.

On one side, we have a hereditary dictatorship that has a track record of genocidal attacks on its own people.  On the other side, we have an aggregation of impotent secularists and radical Sunni Islamists with a track record of mass-murder attack on civilians.  The question isn’t which would use chemical weapons to further their cause, it’s which wouldn’t, and the answer is neitherUnless we start bombing everyone, it’s difficult to see why we’d want to intervene at all, except to grab or neutralize whatever stores of chemical weapons we can find.

There are no good guys in Syria's civil war, folks.  The Assad regime is horrific, and the rebels are killers as well.  If there's an ultimate big bad itself, it's Syria's military.  With the death toll above six figures and at least that many fleeing as refugees, it's good to remember that "intervening" in Iraq and Afghanistan didn't exactly go well, and in Libya we traded Qaddafi for an unstable cease fire that probably won't last the year.

And yet odds are very good we'll be in Syria very soon. 

Hanoi Jane And The Butler

Oh bitter old douchebags here in Kentucky, you're the reason Elizabethtown can't have nice things.

A Kentucky theater owner has banned the number one movie in America, The Butler, from his theater because he says that actress Jane Fonda is "an enemy of the United States of America."

Movie Palace and Showtime Cinemas owner Ike Boutwell told The News-Enterprise that he was not interested any of the $25 million that Lee Daniel's film about an African-American butler who served eight United States presidents had made during its opening weekend because Fonda had brought disgrace to the screen with her portrayal of former First Lady Nancy Reagan.

"I was a military flight instructor during the Vietnam War, taught hundreds of pilots to fly, many of whom Ms. Fonda clapped and cheered as they were shot down and killed," the retired Marine explained. "That's treason, right in our Constitution... aid and comfort to the enemy."

Boutwell said that it would be a "terrible dishonorment on my part to give money to a woman" such as Fonda.

He added that it would be "throwing gas on the fire" to support a "person of treason" as she portrayed a "patriotic lady" like Nancy Reagan.

"I'm a former Marine, I've got a long memory," Boutwell pointed out. "I just -- I cannot give up to the enemy, and Ms. Fonda, as far as I'm concerned, is an enemy of the United States of America. That's exactly how I feel about it."

Well, at least the guy's not saying "I'm not going to show this movie with black people in it" or anything.  That would be really ludicrous, right?

StupidiNews, Weekend Edition!

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