Chaos Theory Edition: 3300 Lobbyists, Death Panels Dead, Octomom Returns

Posted in General by TBartine on August 14, 2009 No Comments yet

It’s Friday, and that means it is time once again for the “Chaos Theory” edition of the RLF Blog…where I round up all the articles that I wasn’t able to get to during the week.

I’ve got lots of material on several different topics, so let’s just get started!

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HERE’S TO YOUR HEALTH:

  • Here’s the short and sweet: back in the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill, Republicans supported a portion of the bill that would allow doctors to be reimbursed from Medicare for giving end-of-life counseling to patients who wanted to learn more about their medical rights and options (ie. hospice, DNR orders, requesting treatment or meds, refusing treatment or meds, living wills…).  In 2008, Sarah Palin endorsed a similar measure by proclamation on “Healthcare Decisions Day” in Alaska.   In the current bill, Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) co-sponsored a section calling for all such counseling to be reimbursed by insurance.  But…then a health care lobbyist decided to tell the public that this provision would force euthanasia on seniors…and then Palin chimes in that it is the equivalent of a “death panel“…and then Chuck Grassley (R-IA) backs up the “pulling the plug on grandma” claim…and then Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) further supports the preposterous “pulling the plug on Grandma” idea.  So many people started protesting the imaginary “death panels“…that they have now pulled the counseling reimbursement from the bill.  That’s right: the loudest, dumbest, most ill-informed segment of the population just gave the insurance companies millions in savings…and took millions out of the pockets of our seniors, because now if they want to talk to their doctor about what their rights and options are…THE SENIORS have to pay for it.
  • Thanks for Trying: Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) at least attempted to bring reason to the debate.  At a large gathering she denounced Sarah Palin’s tactics: “It does us no good to incite fear in people by saying that there’s these end-of-life provisions, these death panels.  Quite honestly, I’m so offended at that terminology because it absolutely isn’t (in the bill). There is no reason to gin up fear in the American public by saying things that are not included in the bill.
  • In an Investor’s Business Daily editorial, the writer argued that the proposed health care bill resembles the British system (which it does not), and that it is a good thing that the brilliant quantum physicist Stephen Hawking wasn’t raised in Britain…because he wouldn’t have received care: “People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.“  Raise your hand if you see what’s coming…that’s right, Stephen Hawking WAS raised in the U.K., and he has responded that, “I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for the NHS (National Health Service).  I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived.“  The IBD has since removed the mention to Hawking from its column, and Britain’s health care system is starting to get tired of the lies being spread about it.  They can make their point easily…their system outscores ours in almost every way.
  • Meet Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of Obama’s chief-of-staff, Rahm Emanuel, and health advisor to President Obama.  On Sean Hannity’s FOX News show, Hannity proceeded to quote Ezekiel Emanuel, and then falsely claimed that the quote indicated that there were “death panels” in the bill.  Guest Ann Coulter’s response?  She said, “Totally ironically, Zeke Emanuel is on my death list. Hold the applause. I’m going to be on the death panel.“  And so…yet another conservative makes jokes about killing a public figure.  Emanuel, who is actually fervently AGAINST euthanasia, and does not appreciate having his comments misrepresented, is striking back.
  • GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell…just admitted that he has not read the health care reform bill, but says that he knows enough about it, “saying it will put health care in the government’s hands, and create significant cuts to Medicare to pay the trillion dollar bill over ten years.“  That’s not good enough Mitch…read the bill, then complain about what’s actually IN IT, not about what you THINK is in it.
  • Want to know how badly the insurance companies don’t want this bill to pass?  How about this: “six lobbyists for each of the 535 members of the House and Senate, according to Senate records, and three times the number of people registered to lobby on defense. More than 1,500 organizations have health-care lobbyists, and about three more are signing up each day. Every one of the 10 biggest lobbying firms by revenue is involved in an effort that could affect 17 percent of the U.S. economy.“  That’s over 3,300 lobbyists…working hard to make sure that your elected officials think of THEM before they think about what is good for YOU.

IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID:

  • The Wall Street Journal recently surveyed 47 economists…most said the recession is over, but there is much recovery to be done.  I’ve said it before:  Huge mess…built over more than a decade…near economic collapse…recession over within a year.  Stop splitting hairs and just say, “Thank you.”
  • Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman says that stimulus spending by governments has saved the world from a global depression and that all economic signs and indicators of export growth appear to be on the mend.  But he warns…recovery will likely take two years.  He also called for more government spending, and tighter global regulations.
  • Despite what the “we’re becoming Russia!” fearmongers are saying…the rich are getting even richer and the poor…even poorer.  Not only does the top one percent in America have almost all the money…but their income growth is growing 66% more than the incomes of the other 99%.  In short: the richest one percent has almost all the money, and is making more money even faster than ever before.  Yeah…we really can’t tax the “millionaires club” to provide for health care reform…they’re OBVIOUSLY really struggling.

POLITICIANS BEHAVING BADLY:

  • Representative John Sullivan (R-OK) recently held a town hall…where he supported both the crazed/conspiratorial claims of the lunatic fringe that Obama is not a citizen, and that Obama is compiling an “enemies list.“  He said, “This is a scary time in Washington.  It’s a very frightening time. I see Barack Obama is creating an enemies list of people who oppose this miserable health care plan. I think that’s frightening. That’s from a guy that can’t even show a long-form birth certificate. I think we all ought to be prepared to fight that.“  And people wearing tinfoil hats around the country jumped up and down and turned up the banjo music.
  • Sources indicate that former senator and presidential candidate John Edwards is about to admit that the baby his former mistress, Rielle Hunter, gave birth to 18 months ago…is his.  To anyone who has seen some of the pictures of the baby girl…this is not much of a shocker.


  • In April, Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) tried to warn that Obama’s expansion of the AmeriCorps program, a volunteer community-service organization, was little more than “re-education” camps to turn our youth into Obama-following socialists.  She also said that, as a mother, she would not want her children to have anything to do with it…wait for itwhat she didn’t know at the time is that her son, HAD ALREADY SIGNED UP.  Harrison Bachmann starts work with Teach For America, a division of AmeriCorps, shortly.
  • Liz Cheney, daughter (and some say clone) of former VP Dick Cheney, criticized Obama for diplomatic efforts with “enemy” nations, and saying that he should have more supportive of the “brave Iranian men and women” who protested the results of the Iranian election.  Umm, Miss Cheney…almost every foreign relations expert, and most Republicans, agree that Obama handled the situation perfectly…if the Iranian government even caught a whiff of the United States government publicly supporting the protests, they would dismiss the protests as being coordinated by us, instead of seeing them as legitimate displays of their peoples’ discontent.

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

  • Financial Times’ Niall Ferguson thought he’d make a rather strange comparison between the President and an old cartoon character…it wasn’t received too well: “President Barack Obama reminds me of Felix the Cat. One of the best-loved cartoon characters of the 1920s, Felix was not only black. He was also very, very lucky. And that pretty much sums up the 44th president of the US as he takes a well-earned summer break after just over six months in the world’s biggest and toughest job.“  Yes…you heard him right.  He’s saying that Obama is like Felix the Cat…because they’re both “black” and “lucky.”
  • In a Wall Street Journal article, the authors actually criticized Obama for telling us the details of the health care reform plan: “You know, every president has to make a decision, you know, are you going to fly way up high and look down on policy at 30,000 feet, sort of like George W. Bush did, or are you going to get down into the weeds and sometimes run into the risk of micromanagement, like Jimmy Carter did. Barack Obama has kind of tended toward the weeds….President Obama, not only does he want to hear about the unemployment rates — he wants to hear about the U6, the underemployment rate! A few weeks ago, they were talking about child obesity rates, and what to do about childhood nutrition. These things go into the weeds.“  I think we’ve recently experienced enough to show that the American people need MORE education and information…certainly not LESS.
  • First CNN host Lou Dobbs caught attention for supporting the inane “birther” conspiracy…and then he decided to follow it up by calling DNC chair Howard Dean a “bloodsucking leftist” who should be killed with “a stake through his heart.“  Dobbs has issued an “almost apology” for the latter incident: “I’m sorry if a Bram Stoker allusion is too literary for some, and for those who could not make what was seemingly an obvious connection, my deepest apologies and I’ll gladly withdraw the latter part of my remark.“  It’s not a literary reference, Dobbs…it’s yet another irresponsible media figure advocating violence against a public figure.  Note:  The “Lou Dobbs Foolish Remark Trifecta” is now in play….one to go…
  • Glenn Beck on FOX has called for armed insurrection against the government, warned of the end of the world, called the President a racist, compared the administration to Nazis, and recently joked about poisoning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  And now…his advertisers are leaving the show IN DROVES.  Stephen Colbert thought this might deserve treatment on his show:

MOB RULE:

  • Conservatives keep claiming that racism isn’t a part of these town hall protests…which they keep trying to label as mere “energetic, democratic expression.” They also like to claim that nobody is comparing Obama to Hitler or the Nazis. Well…what about the town hall where the COUNTY COMMISSIONER showed up with a sign bearing a picture of Obama and a swastika?  Or maybe the town hall where the picture of Rosa Parks was torn down and destroyed?  Or how about the representative who held a town hall…only to find a swastika painted on his office door the next day?  Or the protest where a man was arrested for carrying a sign that read “Death to Obama?“  Face it: you have right-wing extremists among your ranks, some nothing more than domestic terrorists.  It’s time to clean house in the GOP…
  • Representative Rick Larsen (D-WA) might have said it best at his recent town hall meeting: “With regards to the first comment about being forced to buy health care, I’ll say it again…The bill does not force anybody to buy health care…The bill does not force people to change their health care plan. If you’re in a plan, you will not be forced into the public option. You will not be forced into the health insurance exchange. Now folks will say that’s not true, but I’ve got facts on my side and you’ve got Glenn Beck on your side. It’s just not going to play out that way.
  • There Is A Relationship: The Southern Poverty Law Center is reporting a disturbing trend…militia groups are swelling their ranks with people either unhappy with the President’s race, or fearing that they will lose all of their liberties under this administration.  They are armed, training…and talking about the violent overthrow of our duly-elected government, which is as I have said in the past, ILLEGAL.  One such extremist attended the Obama town hall, and stood outside, with a loaded gun strapped to his leg, and a sign referring to Thomas Jefferson’s quote that the “tree of liberty” must be occasionally refreshed with the “blood of tyrants.“  Here, Chris Matthews interviews the extremist on Hardball and reveals that, like the other extremists, he cannot name any liberties that he has lost, cannot name one way in which the Constitution has been violated, nor can he provide any sane reason for his actions:

  • And lastly, on this subject, here’s Jon Stewart taking a look at the town hall mayhem on The Daily Show:

GHOSTS OF OUR PAST:

  • They’ve identified the two men that the CIA turned to, in order to develop the U.S.’s interrogation program.  Neither one had ever performed an interrogation, but they’d done quite a few “mock” sessions based on the torture techniques used by the the Communist Chinese.  That’s right: they used the torture methods that the Chinese used to force FALSE CONFESSIONS, instead of proven techniques to perform INTERROGATIONS.  There’s a big difference.  In the “confession” scenario, you just want the prisoner to say what you want him to say….in the “interrogation” scenario, you want actual, reliable information.
  • New documents from the House Judiciary committee, verify what we already knew:  The White House, through Karl Rove, asked the Justice Department to fire attorneys who wouldn’t look into bogus voter fraud claims that would benefit Republicans.  The same documents show also that when the Washington Post released an article about the political firings, two Bush staffers named Scott Jennings and Jane Cherry joked about it.  When Cherry asked “Good Lord, what have you done?” Jennings quipped, “Followed orders,” to which Cherry said, “Isn’t that what the Nazi’s claimed?“  Yes, Miss Cherry…it is.
  • Former VP Dick Cheney is now complaining that at some point, President Bush “went soft” and wouldn’t support Cheney’s decisions anymore.  Given that Cheney wanted to use American soldiers, on American soil, to illegally arrest American citizens…and that George Bush wouldn’t go along with the idea…maybe we finally have something we should thank Bush for.

MISCELLANY:

  • The Human Clown Car Is Back: FOX has announced that it will be airing a two-hour special on “Octomom” Nadya Suleman, with never-before-seen footage.  Meanwhile, FOX has released two clips to whet your appetite, here, one of which shows Suleman admitting: “I screwed myself.  I screwed up my life, I screwed up my kids’ lives…What was I thinking?“  Thank you, Captain Obvious.

That’s all for now…have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you back on Monday (unless something I just can’t resist writing about pops up Saturday or Sunday).