Chaos Theory Edition: Waterboarding Grandkids, Possum Meat, Nazi Golfers

Posted in General by TBartine on October 16, 2009 No Comments yet

It’s been a long week, and what better way to end it than with the RLF’s weekly “Chaos Theory Edition” where we wrap up the remaining strange news items from the week.

Only four categories this week…but lots of links, so let’s get started

POLITICIANS BEHAVING BADLY:

  • We’ve all been witness to the GOP’s recent “enlightenment” regarding the nation’s debt.  For the last eight years, while they held the reins of Congress, the rampant government spending was “absolutely necessary.”  Now: It’s the equivalent of kicking our grandchildren in the teeth.  Or, as Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) recently put it, it’s the equivalent of “waterboarding” them.  Coburn said, “We’re going to waterboard them.  We’re going to flood them with debt.“  Senator Coburn was referring to a program funding the study of political science, which Coburn claims is not necessary…since people can learn all that they need to know about politics from CABLE NEWS.  It’s suddenly quite obvious where HE learned most of what HE knows about it…
  • It’s an established fact that Republicans have had some difficulty adjusting to the “internet age“…perhaps best displayed by the fact that most of them don’t seem to realize that if they say something that directly contradicts what they said one year ago, the clip of both statements will be on YouTube before the day is out.  Want to see a slideshow of the “Top Nine Republican Internet Fails?”  Here you go
  • The number one problem with allying oneself with a minority of loud, activist, ignorant, and unreasonable people…is that you suddenly lose the support of the much larger body of normal, moderate, sane folks.  Want to see what happens if you try to win the moderate people back by behaving like a reasonable human being, open to compromise and the good ideas of others?  Watch here as Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) finds out what happens when the lunatics figure out that you are not really one of them:

  • Liz Cheney is not quite done fighting her father’s battles…no matter how many times she appears on discussion panels and is identified as having the foreign policy knowledge of a teenager.  Now she has formed the “Keep America Safe” organization, whose mission statement claims to support “an unapologetic approach to fighting terrorism around the world, for victory in the wars this country fights, for democracy and human rights, and for a strong American military that is needed in the dangerous world in which we live.“  Ms. Cheney…first of all, even if we look only at the fact that planes have not crashed into buildings this year, President Obama ALREADY has a better track record than your father had, in terms of keeping the country safe.  Secondly, Obama has succeeded in gaining international allies in the struggle against terrorists…allies that your father helped to alienate.  And third, well, I think the DNC put it best in their response: “Last fall, the American people overwhelmingly rejected a radical foreign policy authored by Dick Cheney that alienated our allies, emboldened our enemies, depleted our resources, distracted our focus and made the nation less secure. The Cheneys lost that debate and their approach was deemed a failure. The Cheneys can continue to focus on securing their sullied legacy if they want to. But, the President will continue to focus on securing the country.“  Exactly.
  • Retaining his crown as “King of the Bizarre Analogy,” RNC Chariman Michael Steele said in a recent FOX interview that he feels like…well…health care reform is a “train,” and President Obama is the conductor, and Obama is trying to get all the Republicans to get on board, and Steele sees himself as a “cow on the tracks.“  Ok, sure.
  • I mentioned in a previous post, one way that you know that the GOP is focused on simply OPPOSING EVERYTHING is when a number of GOP legislators vote against Senator Franken’s first bill:  a bill protecting rape victims, working for companies with government contracts.  Here’s Jon Stewart, who points out what should be an obvious truth: “If, to protect Halliburton, you have to side against rape victims, you might want to rethink your allegiances.

  • It recently came to light, in part because of the work done by the National Women’s Law Center, that in eight states, insurance companies can and do consider being the victim of spousal abuse a “pre-existing condition” that allows them to deny coverage.  State and Federal representatives from most of the eight states expressed immediate embarrassment and outrage over the situation, and most have already taken steps to remedy the matter. But not Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.).  When the president of the National Women’s Law Center, Marcia Greenberger, appeared before a Senate committee to discuss the issue, Burr thought it appropriate to repeatedly interrupt and otherwise disrespect her:

Greenberger:  If I could get back to your question about the specific examples: they manifest themselves in many different ways. For example, if a woman ends up in an emergency room with cuts, bruises, broken arms, black eyes, typical injuries that result from domestic violence, we know of instances where women are being denied insurance coverage and neither the insurance company…

Burr: My question…

Greenberger: …doesn’t view that…

Burr: …is specifically about North Carolina…

Greenberger: …and I’m trying to answer that…

Burr: …and the insurance commissioner tells me we haven’t had a case. We haven’t had anybody…

Greenberger: Well, I’m trying to explain. First, I think it’s great that he is now explicitly having a rule, which as our report pointed out, didn’t exist before. So that’s really excellent, because of the way insurance companies deal with this issue in particular. They will often deny the coverage of victims and survivors of domestic violence without saying that that’s the reason…

Burr: …I’m just going by your report…

Greenberger: You asked the question about did we follow up and we did.

Burr: Well, I found more information in my one call to North Carolina than I think your report did.

  • Again? Representative Bill Otto (R-Kansas) has obviously not been paying attention.  First he puts a video on YouTube titled “Redneck Rap” where he raps (and badly) his various criticisms of President Obama, and about eating opossum, which he calls “the other dark meat.“  This obviously drew allegations of racism (at a minimum it is childish, insensitive, and inane), and eventually the clip was removed from the site.  And now…Otto says he’s going to repost the video, because it was his adult daughters who took the video down, and also because he fears that “People are going to think that this was done by people to shut me up.  I’m getting hate e-mails from Maryland to California, but, hey, that’s part of the game.“  Mr. Otto:  It’s not a game, it’s civil service and YOU are an elected official, jackass.  Next time, listen to your daughters…and try to learn from the lessons of other, like the OTHER Kansas legislator who just recently got in a heap of trouble for saying that the GOP is looking for a “great white hope” to defeat Obama.

THE MEDIA – PUNDITS, HACKS, AND OTHER INVETERATE LIARS:

  • Want the “short version” of the merry war between the White House and FOX News?  Here goes…

WHITE HOUSE: FOX News serves as the propaganda arm of the Republican Party.

BILL O’REILLY: Nuh uh

MEDIA MATTERS: Umm…it’s pretty obvious, guys…

GLENN BECK: The administration is like the Nazis…and we’re the Jews!

NEW STUDY: Not only is it true, but we found something interesting:  Most of the anti-Obama forces aren’t particularly racist…the only thing they have in common is they all watch FOX News, and because of this…they believe some pretty outlandish sh-t.

  • It’s fun picking on CNN’s inability to both perform research and report news.  It’s especially fun…if you’re Jon Stewart of The Daily Show:

  • Remember the rather bizarre reactions from some members of the media when Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize?  Well, Rachel Maddow thinks it can all be explained by “Obama Derangement Syndrome:

THE HEALTH CARE CARNIVAL OF DESPAIR:

  • By now you’ve heard that the Senate Finance Committee managed to pass the “Baucus Bill.“  You also heard that Republican Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) voted along with the Democrats to send the bill on.  And recently, it may have come to your attention that another Maine Republican, Senator Susan Collins, may also lend her support for the bill.  Well, MoveOn.org, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the AFL-CIO, and the Communications Workers of America would like to remind you:  it’s a CRAPPY bill, that would make a mountain of money for the insurance companies, would change little in the way they do business, and would NOT serve to get all of America’s uninsured the health care coverage that they need.  In fact…any OTHER House and Senate version might just be a better choice.
  • Thank you, Captain Obvious: The most ridiculously unnecessary headline in health care reform news comes courtesy of The Washington Post:  “Health Insurers Emerge as Obama’s Top Foe in Reform Effort.” That’s right….”emerging“…as if it weren’t always the case.
  • Think only our elected officials are in the pocket of the health insurance industry…but our stalwart media will be there to keep us informed of the truth regarding the health care debate.  Maybe not. CNN contributor, Alex Castellanos…has been revealed to be connected at the hip with America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the monolithic insurance lobby currently (and ferociously) campaigning to kill reform legislation.
  • You don’t generally hear about “progressive faith groups,” but the American Values Network aims to change that.  They are currently releasing ads…emphasizing the moral and religious arguments supporting heath care reform.  It’s not a difficult argument to make, and represents one of the best examples of “fighting fire with fire” that we have seen in a long time.
  • Is it obvious that former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has a new book out?  Not only has he been making the usual talk show rounds, but he also managed to inject a little sanity into the health care debate.  Of right-wing assertions that the Obama plan represents “socialized medicine” and warrants comparisons to Britain, Canada, and France, Frist said on C-SPAN, “What the Obama administration is doing is not socialized medicine.  Socialized medicine is where the government owns the hospitals, owns the doctors, and decides how people get paid.“  Yes…thank you…finally…is everybody listening?

MISCELLANY:

  • In Lakeville, Massachusetts, someone carved a swastika and the word “Obama” into a golf course green.  The course manager believes that someone used either a cleated golf shoe or some other tool to perform the vandalism.  Strange…one would certainly think that America’s golfers have had some extra time to get used to the idea of having a very popular, half African-American leader.
  • NEW HERO: Dylan Ratigan hosts the “Morning Meeting” show on MSNBC, and lately has shown to be a tough, bright host…who knows how to play hardball.  In a recent interview with Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Ratigan responded to Donohue’s attempts to claim that free, unfettered enterprise has the solutions to all problems by saying, “unless the government and people like you that lobby to the exemptions that allow banks to [speculate with taxpayer money] get out of the way, we will never have fair play again in this country and we’ll have job creation by virtue of taxpayer theft, which is ultimately destructive, and I would argue, treasonous to this country.“  When Donohue complained that, in essence, it’s harder to spread economic propaganda when the host asks hard questions, Ratigan responded, “Yes, it is.  Especially when you talk nonsense.
  • Oh no they didn’t: The White House decided to take a play out of the “Sarah Palin Media Strategy” book, when confronted with the mounting criticism in the blogosphere regarding the administration’s failure to achieve civil rights goals for gay citizens.  NBC White House Correspondent John Harwood reported, “For a sign of how seriously the White House does or doesn’t take this opposition, one adviser told me today those bloggers need to take off their pajamas, get dressed and realize that governing a closely-divided country is complicated and difficult.“  Caaaarefullll.  Remember the role bloggers played getting Obama into the White House?  UPDATE: The White House would like to disavow those comments…never happened…nothing to see here.

Now what could we possibly add to all that?  As CNN would say, we’ll “leave it there” for now…and see you back here on Monday.

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