More Health Care Madness: An Assault Rifle, Chuck Grassley, and the Best Protest Sign

Posted in General by TBartine on August 17, 2009 No Comments yet

There’s not as much time available today for “creative exposition,” so I thought I’d quickly aggregate some of the more bizarre health care developments of the last three days…and trust me, things continue to devolve into even more bizarre “conversations” and developments.

Hope you’re sitting down:

  • Last week, we reported that a man attended the Obama Town Hall in New Hampshire with a loaded gun strapped to his thigh, and a sign referencing Thomas Jefferson’s quote that the “Tree of Liberty” must occasionally be refreshed with “the blood of patriots and tyrants.“  Chris Matthews would later interview the man on Hardball…revealing this protester to be an unbalanced man with no reasonable justification for his actions, nor a working knowledge of the Constitution.  This time in Arizona, another man had a gun strapped to his thigh…and was carrying an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle.  As with the previous incident, this man claimed to be simply exercising his “freedoms” proving ONCE AGAIN that many Americans don’t realize that just because you have the “right to do something” does not make it the “right thing to do.
  • Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is the Republican senator who is leading the bipartisan effort to draft the health care reform bill…which is a little frightening since he has been making public, partisan attacks which contain lies about what is in the bill: “you have every right to fear. You shouldn’t have counseling at the end of life. You ought to have counseling 20 years before you’re going to die. You ought to plan these things out. And I don’t have any problem with things like living wills. But they ought to be done within the family. We should not have a government program that determines if you’re going to pull the plug on grandma.” After catching quite a bit of criticism over these remarks, Grassley has decided to employ a novel defense:  blame the negative reactions on the Democrats.  When asked in an interview why he was perpetuating the false notion of “death panels,” Grassley responded, “Well, listen. I see that as nothing more than a distortion from the far left bringing up these end-of-life concerns, which are not the issues we ought to be talking about. We ought to be talking about government takeover of the health care system.“  Yeah, Chuck…it’s obviously the DEMOCRATS who don’t want to have a substantive, reality-based discussion about health care.
  • Oh, but Chuck Grassley’s not finished yet.  As said previously, Grassley’s SUPPOSED to be working with Democrats to forge a bill…and according to Grassley, the most important thing about the bill, even more important than what’s actually in it:  Republican support.  And he goes on to imply that even if some Republicans support the bill (again, that’s what’s REALLY important to Chuck)…he won’t vote for it, unless the “overwhelming” majority of them do.  Here on planet Earth, we fully realize that in all likelihood none of them will, which begs the question:  why is their support important, again?
  • Fun new poll: a new poll shows that the majority of Republicans either believe that “death panels” are in the reform bill, or aren’t sure.  Combined with the “birther” poll which showed nearly the same percentage of Republicans don’t think President Obama is an American citizen, or aren’t sure, I think we have clearly established that Republicans will believe just about anything, no matter how outrageous the claim…and they will hold onto those believes no matter how available the hard facts are that disprove those beliefs.  It’s a lovely quality, folks…don’t go changin’!
  • Last weekend’s Meet the Press panel included both MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, and Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas).  Armey, is now with a group called FreedomWorks, which is essentially a fake-grassroots, lobbying and conservative PR/Rabble-rousing firm.  On the show, Armey was cornered and forced to condemn the use of swastikas and other Nazi references by protesters…but when he said that Freedomworks didn’t support violence and disruption, Rachel was quick to point out that FreedomWorks and its associated entities, have used violence and disruption as a “rallying cry” for the mobs they have engineered.  Here’s the clip…watch also for when Armey falsely claims that compared George Bush to Hitler in an ad, and Rachel points out that it NEVER HAPPENED (it was a false claim initiated by none other than Rush Limbaugh):

  • WHOOPS! Speaking of Dick Armey…guess who just had to resign from his law firm of DLA Piper, because the actions of FreedomWorks are drawing so much negative attention?  Yup.  Armey released a statement saying: “It is painful and frustrating to see a good, decent, able and effective partnership of honorable men and women and their clients attacked for things in which they are not involved simply because of their association with me. One would expect a higher degree of competence and professionalism from members of the media than spurious attacks on innocent bystanders.“  Let me see if I’m following this:  Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks organizes protests that are filled with shouting, threatening, disruptive people…these people are told by a FreedomWorks-sponsored organization, in writing, how to be disruptive and threatening…and the media, by covering this insanity and his relationship to it, is somehow attacking his honorable and upstanding coworkers at the law firm.  Uh huh. Well, look at it this way, Dick…now you can devote ALL your time to lying to the American people in order to generate civil unrest.  It doesn’t look as good on a resume, but you gotta do what you love…
  • Conservatives for Patients Rights, the group led by controversial and disgraced former HCA CEO Rick Scott, filmed a new “anti-health care reform ad” featuring several British citizens making complaints about their national health care system.  Only a few problems…firstNOBODY is even talking about nationalizing our health care system, so to be blunt, who cares if some British people have complaints.  Second…the Brits were told by Conservatives for Patients Rights organization that the ads were part of a British ad campaign to reform the British system, so they just wanted to give some suggestions…the truth is, all of the citizens they interviewed LOVE the British system.  The women WERE NOT TOLD that their comments were really going to be used to defeat health care reform in AmericaThird…conservative legislators in Great Britain…EVEN THEY love the British system, and by a sizable margin.  Here’s the ad:

  • House GOP leader Roy Blunt (R-MO) was busted spreading falsehoods by a local paper, St. Louis Post-Dispatch. They blasted Blunt in an editorial for making the following claim in an interview with the newspaper’s reporters: “I’m 59.  In either Canada or Great Britain, if I broke my hip, I couldn’t get it replaced. As the Post-Dispatch pointed out…this is COMPLETELY false, and Blunt responded by apologizing and promising to stop making that assertion.  This is even more embarrassing because Roy Blunt…is the head of the House GOP Health Care Solutions Group, so there is NO EXCUSE for him getting the facts wrong.
  • Hey, at least somebody is loving all this:  On increasing doubts that the public option will not be included in the reform package…Insurance companies stocks are on the rise.  Our loss – is OFFICIALLY their gain.
  • Sometimes you just have to laugh about it: visit here for some of the funnier signs seen at town hall protests.  This one is my favorite:

That’s all for now…more tomorrow.