Chaos Theory Edition: Samurai Palin, Livers for Alcoholics, and a Witch Doctor

Posted in General by TBartine on July 24, 2009 No Comments yet

As with most Fridays I’ve got the problem that I have TOO MANY LINKS…but I shouldn’t complain, as it is much worse to have too little to talk about.  As it is, I have gathered the most interesting (by my reckoning) and will present them here, categorized as best I can manage.  The rest…will have to go to the “recycling bin of history,” because if I don’t tell you about them now…by next week they will be “old news.

So…here’s the Friday “Chaos Theory” edition, containing all the leftover news items for the week of July 19th through the 25th:

PALINWATCH:

  • In 2008, Sarah found another interesting use of Alaska taxpayer money…she used it to travel to the Mat-Su Valley so she could attend two religious events with the Wasilla Assembly of God folks.  Events…which included the odd use of SAMURAI SWORDS.  A minister quotes from scripture: “May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double edged sword in their hands to inflict vengeance on the nations, and punishment on the peoples, and to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, and to carry out the sentence written against them.“  Perhaps someone should tell them that if they kept reading, this guy named Jesus had more of a “peace-sort-of-thing” going on instead of a “stabby-sort-of-thing.”  But, who can blame them, I mean c’mon…SAMURAI SWORDS Here’s a clip.
  • Ok…this is one of the funniest political items I’ve seen all year:  Vanity Fair ran a piece where Sarah’s resignation speech was marked up by an editor, a research editor, and a style editor.  It can be seen here…really, take a minute and look through it.
  • Woo hoo! Sarah Palin has been slapped with her 19th ethics complaint.  One more punch on her card, and she gets a free six-inch sandwich.  The Alaska Fund Trust, was created and group of lawyers from around the country who are “experts in state and federal law.”  The fund’s purpose was to assist Palin with the costs of her various legal defense efforts.  These attorneys have pointed to similar funds (like Hillary Clinton’s) and asked why the fund that they created is any different. The Answer: those other funds are held to federal law, which they comply with.  Sarah’s fund complies with federal law…but may not comply with ALASKA law.  The state investigator thinks the charge has substance; predictably, Sarah and her attorneys do not.

HEALTH CARE:

  • GOP Rep. Steve Scalise from Louisiana would like to warn us all about the organ rationing that will occur under the Obama plan:”When you look at the bill, you start to realize what they’re doing and proposing is the very government takeover where rationing of care would exist where a government bureaucrat can get in between the relationship of you and your doctor. It’s the same thing that’s happened in Canada, the same thing that’s happened in England, where unfortunately just yesterday, we saw the story of a 22-year-old, who was denied life-saving care, denied a transplant by this government bureaucracy that exists in England that rations care.“  First of all…all health care systems, including OUR CURRENT ONE, exercise organ rationing because…there are only so many organs available!  Oh, and the 22-year-old he mentions that didn’t get a transplant in Australia…it was a liver transplant, and it was denied because he’s an ALCOHOLIC and he wouldn’t have received it in our country, either.
  • Remember how Republicans promised that they would offer their own health care plan?  Well, GOP Rep. Roy Blunt, chair of  the “House GOP Health Care Solutions Group” now says they won’t.  Why?  They claim it is because they don’t want to “confuse the focus.“  I’m only “confused” as to how they get away with opposing every administration plan without ever proposing a reasonable alternative…
  • Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Republican whip, called it “the nonpartisan Lewin Group.”  The House Ways and Means Committee Republicans called it an “independent research firm.“  No matter what you call it…this group is the primary source of the Republican’s statistical data when they are arguing against the health care reform plan.  AND no matter what you call it…it is COMPLETELY owned by UnitedHealth Group.  That’s right:  one of the nation’s LARGEST health insurance providers.  Oh…but I’m certain the data is completely accurate and not at all “massaged” towards the company’s own interests.
  • I’ve seen an number of blogs and emails which clearly aver that the president said things, at times they even attribute the claim as a direct quote, that HE DID NOT SAY AT ALL.  So, for the record…here’s the transcript.  And no…he did not say that the government will make decisions for doctors…and no…he did not say that you grandmother won’t get her pain meds…and no…he didn’t say that it is going to be paid for by taxing your health benefits.  Read or listen to the speech…and then comment on the speech.  That’s the procedure.
  • The GOP keeps playing this cute game of “if we can delay this past August…we can say we defeated Obama!“  What makes this needless, political stalling “not cute” is that nearly FIVE MILLION people have lost their health insurance since September, 2008.  The number of uninsured is 36.5 million, which means that 4.8 million adults have lost their insurance…IN LESS THAN A YEAR.
  • The Health Insurance Industry would like to share their own “data” with us.  They TRIED to say that 77% of people are satisfied with their private insurance…but it turns out that those are just the people WHO NEVER USE IT.  Here’s a shocker:  healthy people who never have to deal with their insurance company…they think their service is AWESOME.  Oh, and in terms of customer satisfaction…turns out that people are just as satisfied with Medicare as they are with private insurance; so much for the whole “government can’t do anything right” claim.
  • U.S. Reps. Michele Bachmann and John Kline (both Republicans) say they oppose the formation of a public option because it would be…cheaper.  That is, it will be cheaper…than the insurance that is currently bankrupting businesses and families while providing little in the way of service.  Um, Michelle…John…that’s the whole point.

SEX SCANDALS:

  • First it came out that Governor Mark Sanford had been cheating on his wife…and that he abandoned his state without notice so that he could meet with his mistress and “soul mate” one last time.  Now we know…he flew FIRST CLASS and on the taxpayers’ dime.  His office’s response?  They say that he “compares very favorably with previous administrations on use of the state plane, and we believe he would compare favorably on his use of other state travel as well.”  In other words, he may be corrupt, but at least he doesn’t abuse taxpayer money AS BAD as those past governors did.  This clearly seems to contradict his own claims that he is very concerned with “frugality“…and why not…he already contradicted himself on how “morally upright” he is and regarding those pesky marriage vows.
  • And…more and more creepy details come out about the C-Street house, where Sanford, Ensign, and Pickering stayed, prayed, confessed to each other, and then ran around on their respective spouses.
  • On the Subject of C-Street, Rachel Maddow interviewed Jeff Sharlet, the author of a book he wrote about his experiences while undercover within the C-Street residence:

SOTOMAYOR CONFIRMATION:

  • Quick Catch-Up: The confirmation has been delayed for a week…for no reason whatsoever, because everyone freely admits that she will definitely be confirmed.  Senator Graham (R-SC) says he will vote for her…and added: “Her life story … is something that every American should be proud of, and if her selection to the Supreme Court will inspire young women, particularly Latino women, to seek a career in the law, then that is a good thing – and I hope it will.“  Personal Comment:  Regarding Graham’s statement…seriously, only a politician can call you a “motherf–ker” all week and then praise you at the end for being an “inspirational person.” Senator Kyl (R-AZ), will not…a specific reason wasn’t given…

POLITICIANS BEHAVING BADLY:

  • More GOP racism:  Dr. David McKalip, a Republican activist with a strong anti-health-care-reform stance, sent an email around with the words “funny stuff” and a picture of President Obama as a witch doctor with a bone through his nose.  Let’s see…we have a foolish email…with a racist picture…all that’s missing is a ridiculous claim of “communism.”  Oh wait…scroll down to see the hammer and sickle.  That’s it – he got the jackassery trifecta.
  • Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s (R-TN) words: “Let’s agree that we’re going to have PAYGO enforcement. That we’re not going to cry ‘emergency’ every time we have a Katrina, every time we have a Tsunami, every time we have a need for extra spending, that we don’t go call for a special appropriation that allows us to circumvent the PAYGO rules.” While we can all appreciate fiscal responsibility…Blackburn’s claim that events like Katrina shouldn’t be treated as special circumstances where what must be done gets done with a minimum of bureaucracy and a maximum of speed and efficiency…is a bit sick.
  • Maybe it’s a Republican thing:  Watch Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) stumble over a classic adage:

You’ll remember that someone else in the GOP had similar difficulties:

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

  • FOX’s Glenn Beck has reacted to the death in the Senate of a ridiculous gun law that would have invalidated each state’s specific gun laws, and allowed individuals from any state where they have a permit, to go to any other state and carry their weapon.  He said in defense of the bill: “I went to the movie this weekend with a gun. And surprise, surprise, I didn’t kill anybody!“  Here he is…in all his lunacy:

  • It’s official: Jon Stewart of the Daily Show is America’s most trusted newsman.  Jon would be the first to say that this is a strange, sad day…a day when news journalism is so vapid and, at times, so biased that a man who runs a COMEDY NEWS SHOW is more trusted than any of the rest.
  • Good For You, Joe:  On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough laid into FOX for being the only major network to refuse to air the president’s news conference.  What show was so important that it just couldn’t be preempted?  So you Think You Can Dance…sigh.

And that’s it for this week…tune in Monday for all new tales of whimsy, debauchery, political espionage, and the American condition…

…have a great weekend.