Thursday, May 16, 2013

Last Call On The Banks Of The Rubin Con

At this point Jennifer Rubin is reduced to bleating what was written about Dubya circa 2005 and replacing the various nouns with Obama-related ones.

That is the real similarity between the Obama team and the Nixon administration. In the 1970s, a paranoid president’s convinction that his enemies were out to get him and that their opposition was a threat to national security informed the decisions of his underlings. The ends justified the means. Now, a prickly president convinced of his own messianic quality and surrounded by sycophants decries his opponents as operating out of ill will. His underlings get the point.

It is not a coincidence that the few dead-enders in the lefty blogosphere and punditocracy still defending the president embody the same ethos as the president. Republicans are liars, entirely responsible for all that goes wrong, out to wreck the economy and racists, they would have us believe. Obama set the tone, but they amplified it, encouraged it and dutifully took down the White House talking points. Had they not been so passive and eager to enable the White House, some in the administration might have internalized a sense of limits. Instead, they got nothing but encouragement.

In the delusion that Rubin lives in, Obama is is mere yards from being thrown out of office by a groundswell of tens of millions (the same groundswell that failed to materialize and elect Mitt Romney, by the way) and that ironclad fact means anyone who disagrees with her is a "dead-ender", sure to be swept away in the tide of Revolution For Make Glorious Benefit Nation Of Teabagistan.

We all should be laughing at her, of course.  But keep an eye on the "progressive left" who think she's right.  She knows who her audience is.

Begun, These Clone Wars Have

Yesterday's amazing breakthrough in stem cell research where for the first time, viable stem cells were cloned and grown from an adult's DNA, is about to run into the buzzsaw of Crazy Anti-Science Republicans.

"There are already 60 countries in the world that have laws on their books banning human reproductive cloning, and this prohibition is also in a number of international agreements" says Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the , which is devoted to the responsible use of new genetic and reproductive technologies. "But in the U.S., we have not managed to put such a law on the books at the federal level."

At least 15 states ban cloning, either for reproductive purposes or research, or, in come cases both, according to the

But Congress has mostly fought issues of both and to a draw.

"What we saw the last time cloning was in the headlines was that the discussion really got mired in the abortion controversy," Darnovsky said.

The House passed bills banning all forms of cloning in 2001 and 2003; the Senate failed to act in both cases.

"All the other issues got completely swamped," she said. "And I really hope that doesn't happen this time."

But both the issue of cloning — for research and reproduction — and embryonic stem cell research have been mired in the abortion controversy from the start.

I agree we need ethical and consistent guidelines for stem cell research, especially those cloned from human embryos.  But the last people who should be writing these guidelines are House Republicans who believe the earth is only 6,000 years old and believe these non-viable blobs of cells have the same legal rights as live human beings.

I'm of the mind that the Senate needs to get out in front of this and gets a piece of legislation out that does this responsibly before the anti-science nutjobs attach a "personhood and cloning bill" to the next debt ceiling crisis.



Angelina Jolie recently made the news for having a double mastectomy.  Her mother died at age 58 from breast cancer, and suffered for quite a while.  It was an ugly thing for Jolie to endure, and when she learned she had genetic markers that made her at high risk, she took no chances.  Her double mastectomy reduced her chance of aggressive cancer from 87% to around 5%.

Her story has brought the test into the spotlight, and that’s a great thing.  Most insurance companies will not pay for the test unless the patient has already had cancer (helpful, eh?) so women who have histories of breast cancer in the family are forced to pay around $3,000 out of pocket for the test.  That’s too much for most people to handle, and if they get a positive result, preventative steps such as a double mastectomy may not be covered by insurance.  Through prohibitive costs and lack of coverage, our medical choices are narrowed.

The good news is, premiums are coming down and increased competition and transparency has caused insurance companies to drive harder bargains and provide more services.  Several sources have already projected that Obamacare will lower premiums and medical care costs.  It seems that under Obamacare, men will pay slightly more, women may pay slightly less, older will pay slightly less and the young will pay a little more.  That sure sounds to me like the cost is being made level, since women and the elderly have long been gouged by a slanted system.  There is also an expected trend forcing more preventative care options at lower rates.  In other words, women who live in fear of cancer that has robbed them of their sisters, mothers and cousins, may be better able to afford tests like the one Angelina Jolie used to save her life.  People may have to pay more, but they will get more in return.

And people may not have to pay that much more.  Thinkprogress has already pointed out an instance in which insurance companies voluntarily lowered costs to remain competitive.  This was directly brought about by the expectations and practices of Obamacare.  It is also likely the first in many concessions between insurance and healthcare providers to stay on top when millions of people flood the market.  A giant is toppling, and there will be consequences of all kinds, but so far Obamacare has done nothing but deliver on its promise.

It isn’t a perfect system, but it was the right call to fix this from the top down.  Besides, anything is better than listening to Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter whine about his oppression from his multi-million dollar castle.

I'm At WKRAP In Cincinnati

Hey kids, guess what the local Fox affiliate here in Cincy found about the regional IRS office last night?

FOX19 has exclusively learned that as many as four people may be the first Cincinnati Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees to face disciplinary action, and possibly even criminal charges, for allegedly targeting Tea Party and Liberty groups applying for non-profit status.

That’s four, not two.  Just in case you can’t count, being a regular Fox viewer and all, they cover that again (emphasis theirs):

However, despite the claim of just two employees being involved, FOX19 has exclusively learned from two separate sources that there could be at least four Cincinnati employees involved.
Those four employees, whose names we have chosen to withhold until they have been officially confirmed, have each worked in the IRS Exempt Organizations Department.
And they have Sources(tm)!

One of FOX19′s two sources went on say that these four IRS workers claim “they simply did what their bosses ordered.”

This qualifies as a major national bombshell or something.  Perhaps the President should rehire and re-fire Steven Miller as acting IRS Commissioner again to cover the other two IRS guys here in Cincy.  You know, just in case you thought the GOP, the press, and the haters weren’t going to immediately move the goalposts after last night.


Related Posts with Thumbnails