Chaos Theory: Grayson’s Charge, Sex Clinics, and the Olympics

Posted in General by TBartine on October 2, 2009 No Comments yet

It’s been an eventful week in many arenas, and so it is now time for the weekly “Chaos Theory” edition of the RLF blog…where I quickly attempt to get caught up on all the other strange political news items, leftover for the week.

Let’s get started…

THE HEALTH CARE CARNIVAL OF DESPAIR:

  • Most people hadn’t heard of Representative Alan Grayson (R-FL) before…but they have now.  In a wonderful, congressional, “oh, no you didn’t” moment…Grayson laid out in simple terms the terrible truth about the Republicans on Health Care Reform:  tens of thousands of Americans are dying because they don’t have insurance…and the Republicans have offered NOTHING but opposition to changing this…therefore, they must just want people to just “not get sick” and if they do…they should “die quickly:

  • Of course, the Republican backlash to Grayson’s statements was fast and furious, and they demanded an immediate apology, comparing what Grayson did to the actions of Senator Joe “You Lie!” Wilson…despite the fact that the two events have nothing in common, especially in terms of congressional procedures and policies regarding decorum.  Grayson…complied, but not in the way the GOP expected he apologized, not to the GOP, but to the dead and the dying and to their families…he apologized for Congress allowing this to happen.  So far, Pelosi has backed Grayson, along with the rest of the Democrats…and now some Democrats seem to be realizing: “Wait a minute…the GOP really HAVEN’T offered a plan…we should point that out!“  No kidding guys…that one was a gimme.
  • Want the very definition of “out of touch?“  House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH)…says nobody has ever approached him supporting the public option and he therefore doesn’t think most people support it.  Ummm, John…the majority of people in YOUR STATE support it…the VAST majority of the people in the country support it and would be willing to pay higher taxes to pay for it…and unless you, Snowe, and some of the Democratic Senators who voted against it in the Senate Finance Committee realize that the majority of your constituents want it…well, there will be obvious political consequences come reelection time.

POLITICIANS BEHAVING BADLY:

  • Senator David Vitter (R-LA) has some new problems…stemming from his old problems.  It’s been very odd to watch a Senator, busted for soliciting prostitutes, question the morality of Democrats and claim that he and other southern Republicans are the ones representing “true values.“  Perhaps he mistakenly believed that the scandal was behind him…well, “not so” says the Louisiana Office of Disciplinary Counsel.  Apparently (who knew?), soliciting prostitutes just might violate the State’s laws regarding professional misconduct for a lawyer.  The law states that lawyers may be charged with misconduct and subsequently disbarred if they “commit a criminal act especially one that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.“  Ooops.
  • The Health Care bill contains a provision for health clinics to be established in schools, since studies show that access to health services can greatly increase academic performance.  This gave Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) all that she needed to formulate a new “anti-reform” conspiracy theory.  Bachmann tells us…that these would actually be “sex clinics” where kids could go to get ABORTIONS without their parents knowing about it: “The bill goes on to say what’s going to go on – comprehensive primary health services, physicals, treatment of minor acute medical conditions, referrals to follow-up for specialty care — is that abortion? Does that mean that someone’s 13 year-old daughter could walk into a sex clinic, have a pregnancy test done, be taken away to the local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, have their abortion, be back and go home on the school bus that night? Mom and dad are never the wiser.“  Of course…Michelle only read item (II) under section 2511 of the bill…if she had bothered to read item (I) RIGHT BEFORE IT she would have known that the bills says: “SBHC services will be provides in accordance with Federal, State, and local laws governing– (I) obtaining parental or guardian consent; and (II) patient privacy and student records, including section 264 of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and section 444 of the General Education Provision Act;“  Your choice: bad reader…or just a liar?
  • Governor Sanford of South Carolina…having been asked by both his fellow Republicans and his constituents to resign over his actions regarding the abandonment of his duties to pursue an illicit affair…now asks that the state ethics panel doesn’t release its findings I wonder why.  Hear that sound?  It’s the sound of Sanford’s fingernails dragging across the State of South Carolina…clinging on like grim death so that he can stay in office for just a little bit longer.
  • The “Republican” brand name?  Not doing so hot…and given the types of things I’m reading and posting each week, this should surprise NO ONE.

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

  • FOX’s Sean Hannity is so consistently wrong in terms of his facts and historical data, that Jon Stewart was able to dedicate almost a third of one Daily Show episode…just to pointing out Hannity’s RECENT mistakes.  I submit this clip for your enjoyment and edification:

  • Bernard Goldberg, a media critic, usually appears on FOX shows…to DEFEND the network against the constant stream of accusations that they have an obvious, right-wing bias.  So…you can imagine that people were a bit shocked to see him appearing on the O’Reilly Factor, and saying…that in many ways, FOX is to be held responsible for creating this perception, especially when it does things like “promoting” Tea Party protests rather than simply “reporting on” Tea Party protests:

  • Once again, Shepard Smith, host of FOX’s “The Fox Report” has chosen to speak the truth rather than simply parrot the talking points.  On a recent segment, a guest tried to levy criticisms at the current Health Care Reform proposals…by pointing out that Canada’s single-payer system is less than perfect.  Shepard is quick to point out that it seems like a false and deceptive comparison, since NONE of the bills in Congress propose a single-payer system.  When Shepard’s guest then tries to create a classic “straw man“/”slippery slope” argument…Shepard wasn’t going to allow that either.  Good for you Shep:

  • Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), at a recent discussion in front of powerful Washington “movers and shakers,” came right out and said that the “birther” conspiracy theorists are “crazy,” that Obama is certainly not a “closet Muslim,” and that Glenn Beck “is not aligned with any party. He is aligned with cynicism and there has always been a market for cynics. But we became a great nation not because we are a nation of cynics. We became a great nation because we are a nation of believers.“  Wow…could there finally be a Republican who might realize that the votes you get from siding with the extremists…ARE NOT WORTH IT.

THE OLYMPIC FLAME…FIZZLES:

  • Even after President Obama flew to Denmark to make the case for the 2016 Summer Olympics to be held in Chicago…the prize went to someone else.  In a shocking turn of events, Chicago didn’t even make it past the first round of voting…Tokyo would fall in the next round…and at the end Rio de Janeiro won over Madrid the right to host the games.
  • In a display that can only be described as exceedingly puerile, conservative commentators/columnists including RedState’s Erick Erickson, Michelle Malkin, and Rush Limbaugh have been, quite literally, CELEBRATING the fact that America will not be hosting the 2016 games…simply because it allows them to claim that “Obama failed at something.“  That’s right: Conservatives are CELEBRATING, during an economic crisis, that America will NOT get the projected $22 billion in revenues, the 315,000 new jobs, and the $11 billion in new income that those jobs represent.  They’re willing to cheer against the best interests of the country…if it means a “failure” for the President.  Remember this, when listening to these same people discuss Health Care Reform, or anything else:  these people would rather America suffers…as long as it denies Obama check in the “win” column.
  • While the President was unable to convince the voting members of the IOC to permit the games to be held in America…top White House Advisor David Axlerod is correct at saying there is more involved than the President’s charm.  It’s a well established fact that the IOC is an extremely political body, and that its voting process often produces unexpected results.  In recent years, the IOC has come under increasing pressure to allow the games to be hosted in a country OTHER than the United States, the nations of Europe, and the countries comprising Asia…and preferably a South American country.  Given this pressure, the decision to hand the honor over to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil…starts to make more sense.

PALINWATCH – HOW CAN WE MISS HER IF SHE WON’T GO AWAY:

  • Politico’s recent polls suggest that ex-Governor Sarah Palin is not well regarded among her fellow Republicans, Republican advisors consider her to beelectoral poison,” and many of her former supporters either tired of her during the Levy/Bristol business, or don’t respect her resigning the governorship before completing her term…but there is still a demographic that absolutely LOVES her:  Evangelical Christians, and Republicans living in small, country towns…and of course, there’s some overlap between those two groups.  I don’t think I even need to say anything else on the subject…draw your own conclusions.
  • The New York Post reports that Palin’s new career as a “highly paid speaker is not going so hot…perhaps due to the limited number of people (mentioned in the previous item) who still think she’s “bright” and “adorable.”  In fact, one industry expert told the Post: “The big lecture buyers in the US are paralyzed with fear about booking her, basically because they think she is a blithering idiot…Palin is so uninteresting to so many groups – unless they are interested in moose hunting.  What does she have to say? She can’t even describe what she reads.“  And as with the previous item…I really can’t think of anything that I need to add to that.
  • In a surprise move…perhaps due to her inability to book speaking gigs at $100,000 a pop…it was announced that Palin’s memoir would be released November 17, which is four months ahead of schedule.  The announcement regarding the book’s title generated even more surprised looks: “Going Rogue – An American Life.“  It seemed strange to some…that Palin would want to reference “going rogue,” as it was a comment that McCain campaign insiders made referring to how Palin’s off-book, off-message, inconsistent, and completely unprepared remarks were TANKING MCCAIN’S PRESIDENTIAL BID.  In other words…it wasn’t meant as a compliment.  Pre-orders for the book suggest very brisk sales, causing some on the left to ascribe to a conspiracy theory that conservative groups and churches must be buying up the books in large numbers to increase the sales figures.  In reality…people just need to realize that not everybody who buys the book necessarily admires Sarah Palin…many will get it just for the likely entertainment value, the same way millions of people each day go out on YouTube and watch people ride bicycles into walls, fall off skateboards, and slip and fall while dancing.
  • Want a good laugh?  Here’s Ann Coulter, appearing on Joy Behar’s new show on CNN…asserting that the effect of Sarah Palin’s “death panel” tweet shows that Palin is “a powerful woman” and that people listen to her because she is so “coherent.” Joy…took particular exception to the “coherent” part.  Many more excepts may be viewed here.

MISCELLANY:

  • Remember Valerie Plame?  The undercover CIA agent whose identity was leaked to the press after her husband criticized the Bush administration?  Remember the Bush administration agreeing to “chat” with investigators, but not on the record or under oath…and how Scooter Libby was eventually “volunteered” to take the fall for leaking the information, despite the fact that conventional wisdom suggested it was Vice President Cheney’s idea?  Thursday, a federal judge, against the wishes of both the Bush and Obama administrations, ruled that the FBI’s notes of their interview with Cheney must be publicly released.  This could be embarrassing…on the upside, if Cheney’s statements are embarrassing/incriminating enough, maybe he’ll finally stop appearing on talk shows.  Fingers crossed…
  • Just last week, I was criticizing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for not being assertive enough, in terms of getting Senate Democrats to do what’s right and not “what’s best for insurance companies.“  Apparently, Reid HAS grown enough of a backbone to send letters to President Obama and Secretary of Defense Gates…asking them to finally step up and lend their support to the fight to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which is causing highly trained interpreters, war heroes, technical experts, and other brave soldiers/sailors/airmen, to be discharged from the armed services…just for being gay.  Reid wrote, “As Congress considers future legislative action, we believe it would be helpful to hear your views on the policy,” he writes. “Your leadership in this matter is greatly appreciated and needed at this time,” and then goes on to include stories of highly valuable and distinguished soldiers being discharged under the policy.  Obama has voiced his opposition to both DADT and DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act)…but so far his administration has done more to squelch challenges to the various anti-gay rights policies and laws, than it has done to repeal them.  At a minimum, they should be lending their support to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who has been fighting the good fight in the Senate.
  • Turns out that the Secret Service’s investigation of the Facebook user who created a poll asking if the President “should be killed,” has identified a juvenile as the perpetrator.  No charges will be filed…but many are missing the obvious topic for discussion:  while the poll may not have represented a viable threat to the President, doesn’t it say something when the tone of our national discourse has become SO irrational, SO violent, SO hateful…that a child asks such a terrible question?  Glenn, Michelle, Rush, Sean, Ann, Bill, and others…won’t you please think of the children?

That’s all from the Reality Liberation Front for this week – have a good weekend, and we’ll see you on Monday.