Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Last Call For The View From Nowhere

Steve Benen makes an excellent catch on why Republicans constantly and consistently get away with their behavior as he notes Charlie Rose's interview with Hillary Clinton:

Which leads us to the 2016 election cycle and Hillary Clinton’s confrontation with the same question the president heard in the last cycle. Consider this exchange from Tuesday between the Democratic frontrunner and CBS News’ Charlie Rose. 
ROSE: A lot of people think the biggest problem for America is Washington. And that’s reflected in some of the politics that we see. 
CLINTON: Yes, that’s true. But look at the way our Founders set it up. They set up this separation of powers. And they made it really difficult to get things done. And some years it’s really hard. We’re in one of these periods where we have a minority within the other party that doesn’t believe in compromise, doesn’t believe in reaching consensus – 
ROSE: But there you go attacking them. That’s not the way to do it! 
CLINTON: No. Because part of what you have to do is make it clear to everyone else who is in that party that there is room for negotiation. 
Clinton’s answers were important, but not quite as illustrative as Rose’s line of questioning.

Note Rose's response to what, as Benen points out, are all true statements by Clinton.

Pointing out the objective truth, that there is a subset of Republicans that do not believe in reaching a consensus, is a "partisan attack" in Rose's mind and he says so.

In other words, we have a Beltway journalist who believes telling the objective truth about the GOP is a partisan attack.


Note that everything Clinton said happens to be true. Objectively, by any fair measure, there’s a significant contingent among congressional Republicans that “doesn’t believe in compromise” and “doesn’t believe in reaching consensus.” I’m hard pressed to imagine any observer, of any ideological stripe, making the case that Clinton’s wrong about this. 
But as it happens, for some, it doesn’t matter if what Clinton said is true. If you’ve ever wondered why so many media professionals cling to the “both sides are always to blame, facts be damned” narrative, this offers a powerful hint: to acknowledge simple truths about many congressional Republicans sounds like an “attack,” and must therefore be avoided.

It's always "both sides do it".  And both sides always means "Democrats are to blame".

The Dawning Of Bevinstan

It's official as Governor Matt Bevin takes office today, and NPR talked to people in Jackson County, Kentucky -- one of the poorest counties in the nation -- about why they voted to end their own Medicaid.

And yes, for some it was "screw Obama, I'll still get mine."

Among those on Medicaid in Jackson County is Angel Strong, an unemployed nurse in McKee, Ky. — one of roughly half a million Kentuckians who received health insurance after outgoing Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, embraced the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion. Kentucky saw one of the sharpest declines in the rate of uninsured adults. 
"I had never had Medicaid, because I had insurance at my job," said Strong. "Now I am out of a job and I am looking for another job, but in the meantime I had no income."
Religious beliefs "outweigh" having health insurance 
Bevin's lack of support for expanded Medicaid didn't faze Strong, who voted for Bevin because she supported his socially conservative stands against gay marriage and abortion. 
"My religious beliefs outweigh whether or not I have insurance," Strong said. 

But the reality is the county doesn't think Bevin will dare take anything away from them, so losing Medicaid expansion was never a voting factor for them.

Most Jackson County residents are in Strong's shoes and need some kind of financial help to get health insurance coverage, said Doug Justice, who helps locals sign up for insurance. 
"I do have some who are subsidized," he explained. "They get some help there but the majority of [my cases are] Medicaid. A lot of it is. And it's helped a lot of people." 
Justice said many in Jackson County did not have the future of Medicaid in their state in mind when they went into the voting booth last month. 
"They are not getting into the details of that either," Justice said. "Maybe because they don't understand the ramifications of that should it happen, or they're just thinking, 'I'll deal with it when it takes place.'"

Bevin wouldn't dare, would he?  Ask our new Health and Family Services Secretary,  Vicki Glisson.

"Kentucky is consistently ranked as one of the least healthy states in the country," Bevin said, noting that about one in four Kentuckians are now enrolled in Medicaid, the government health plan for low-income, disabled and many elderly people in nursing homes. 
"We must be innovative in our efforts to improve health outcomes for Kentuckians but do so in a prudent and sustainable manner," he said. 
The cabinet also oversees kynect, the state's health insurance exchange Bevin has vowed to dismantle, and the Medicaid expansion authorized under the federal Affordable Care Act. Bevin has said he wants to scale back the expansion that has added about 400,000 people to the state Medicaid rolls.

The cuts are coming, but none of the people who voted for Bevin expect to be affected.  Only those people will be hurt, you see.

Night Of The Don's Knives

The political science performance art piece that is Donald Trump hit another box on the way to completing the Modern Fascism bingo card this week with The Donald calling for a "total and complete shutdown" of allowing Muslims into the United States, including American citizens.

Trump, in a formal statement from his campaign, urged a “total and complete shutdown” of all federal processes allowing followers of Islam into the country until elected leaders can “figure out what is going on.” Asked by The Hill whether that would include American Muslims currently abroad, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks replied over email: “Mr. Trump says, ‘everyone.’

The call, which he made hours after the release of a poll showing Trump being overtaken by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-­Texas) in early-voting Iowa, drew swift and forceful condemnation from the White House and virtually every presidential candidate in both parties.

Describing Trump’s proposal as “unhinged,” “fascist” and “downright dangerous,” Trump’s rivals sought to characterize it as further evidence the bombastic real estate mogul is unfit to lead the country.

“Again, this is the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don’t know what they’re talking about,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said in an interview. “We do not need to endorse that type of activity, nor should we.”

Yet Trump maintains that a significant number of Muslims harbor a “hatred” toward America, citing a poll by the Center for Security Policy, a think-tank that has criticized the role of Muslims in America.

That survey showed that one-quarter of Muslims living in America polled “agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as part of the global jihad” and that a majority think that Muslims in America should be allowed to answer to Shariah law.

“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine,” Trump said.

“Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”

Trump isn't the problem, he's just the symptom.  The problem is the millions of Republicans who think his increasingly incendiary and racist hatred is permissible, even necessary, here in America today. 

I know I called him a performance artist above and many other things in the past, but let's remember his words are truly dangerous and people will be hurt because of what he says.  The Republican candidates attacking him now are across the board hypocrites who have called for religious tests, visa program restrictions, and monitoring of mosques and Muslims too...they've just been more polite about it.  Republicans are fascist at this point, Trump is just the most overt.  All of them would sacrifice human rights for votes in 2016.  All of them.

And reminder, this is nothing new.  WWII Japanese internment camps, black slavery and Jim Crow, Chinese indentured servants, mass deportation of Mexican-Americans under Operation Wetback, and oh yeah an entire country conquered from Native Americans...America has always been a real piece of work if you're not a white guy.  Why is anyone surprised that we have a major political party gunning for Muslims in this country literally built on racism and intolerance?

Hell, the Carson camp tried to one-up Trump with this idiocy last night.

Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon and Republican presidential hopeful, thinks everyone visiting the United States should register and be monitored while in the country, a spokesman for his campaign said on Monday.

The statement came after Donald Trump, the businessman and current front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, called for an immediate halt to all Muslims entering the country until further notice.

Everyone visiting our country should register and be monitored during their stay as is done in many countries,” said the spokesman, Doug Watts. “We do not and would not advocate being selective on one’s religion.”

All visitors.  I mean, it's not racist if you do it to everybody equally, right?  Jesus.  America, you've got to find something approximating a soul and fast.


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