August 31, 2009

Heartbreaking story

But one that I fear is all too common, where medical bills threaten to destroy a family. In this case, a couple who loved each other deeply had to divorce rather than lose everything they had, and everythign they had saved for their kids.
A study reported in The American Journal of Medicine this month found that 62 percent of American bankruptcies are linked to medical bills. These medical bankruptcies had increased nearly 50 percent in just six years. Astonishingly, 78 percent of these people actually had health insurance...

Don't tell me that the opponents of health care reform stand for families. I am sorry. I just don't buy it. Don't lecture me on self-reliance when the health care costs are beyond anything any single person outside Bill Gates could handle on their own. We have a very dear friend who is struggling to rehab after a severe injury. He has great insurance from his military service, and well he should, but without it, I shudder to think where his family would be.

The opponents scream rationing and socialism. The reality is actually rationing and a bizarre capitalism where avoiding paying for sick people makes people money.

What we have is not right. And what we are getting from conservatives on this is worse.

Health care as a moral issue--updated

H/t to Anglican for this great blog post from Roger Ebert on the morality of healthcare.

As I have said before, I often feel like I have stumbled into some kind of rabbit hole where the people supposedly the most concerned with morality (and often critical of liberals as having no moral foundation) are on the wrong side of just about every moral question today. They are supportive of torture and torturers and in opposition to extending healthcare coverage.

I am afraid that for many conservatives (and liberals) politics has become just another rabid "fan" experience. Just as they cheer for their favorite football team even when that team is inept and loses, they now cheer for the GOP first and foremost. They are opposed to health care, not because of some deeply felt philosophical issue, but merely because their team is opposed to health care, and the team they hate (Obama's team) is for it. I understand there are thoughtful conservatives like LB out there who have thought about this from a principled perspective, but would argue they are in the minority.

Anyway, Ebert's column is well worth the read.

Update. I just noticed a friend's status update on Facebook.
is thankful that Jesus was wounded for her transgressions, bruised for her iniquities; that the chastisement for her peace was upon Him, and that by His stripes she is healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
I like this post, and I like this verse, but can't quite wrap my head around the theology here (not picking on this friend, btw, as I don't know how this particular friend stands on torture). This seems to me to be the conservative Christian disconnect--that their theology is based, in part, on the Christ's torture for them, but they seem to be uncaring about the torture of others.

August 28, 2009

Of all of the apologies about racial comments

I can really see this one. CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive - Congresswoman apologizes for ‘great white hope’ comment - Blogs from

This one seems like a genuine saying that is not inherently about race--even though the original is. Am I wrong about that? Much different than Westmoreland calling Obama "uppity" and then claiming that he didn't mean it in a racial way.

August 26, 2009

Wednesday morning

First, RIP Ted Kennedy. I know many Americans hated this guy's guts, and most of those never forgave him for his younger days, but the man put together some credible years in the Senate working to make America better for those not fortunate enough to grow up in the Kennedy family. I certainly remember that in my younger days, the specter of a second President Kennedy was something conservatives feared. And perhaps, rightly so. But his body of work in the Senate, I think, will stand on its own.

Second, I still remain amazed that we are still debating the ethics of torture. And conservatives made the rounds on the media yesterday complaining about any investigation into these "legal" practices. Note to Obama. The precedent is clear. Whatever you do, just find a lawyer with absolutely no moral center (can't be that hard) and get him to write a memo for your OLC that says whatever nefarious thing you are about to do is legal. That will make it ok. The conservatives have said that, and, of course, the Obama administration is going along with it. And still being accused of undermining our security.


And speaking of the GOP, I think Steven Pearlstein has run out of patience with the party who now claims to defend medicare. Yeah, the same party who has pledged to kill Medicare on every possible chance. A friend of mine sent me an email yesterday saying that the latest economic news meant that now was a terrible time to reform healthcare because we just can't afford it. That sent me into a bit of a rage, as it is very hard to make that argument with a straight face when conservatives have never wanted to reform healthcare in the first place. Cost, then, is just the latest excuse.

Unfortunately, the party of the GOP has turned into a party of nothing. Seriously. They encourage their base to believe nonsense about reform--things that are demonstrably false. In two recent instances, (one with Senator Grassley) members of their town halls either bragged of being a "right wing terrorist" or told Grassley that he would "take a gun to Washington." In the first case, the "right wing terrorist" was called a great American. Grassley said nothing to someone who just threatened to take up arms against the country.

Country first, my ass.

And finally, a couple of items. One is the aforementioned recently released torture report that lays out what most of us already knew in rather scary detail. This is what we did to people in custody:
• Threats of execution, using semi-automatic handguns and power drills
• Threats to kill detainee and his children
• Threats to rape detainee's wife and children in front of him
• Restricting the detainee's carotid artery
• Hitting detainee with the butt end of a rifle
• Blowing smoke in detainee's face for five minutes
• Multiple instances of waterboarding detainees, of the type we prosecuted Japanese war criminals for using:
• Hanging detainee by their arms until interrogators thought their shoulders might be dislocated
• stepping on detainee's ankle shackles to cause severe bruising and pain
• choking detainee until they pass out
• dousing detainee with water on cold concrete floors in cold temperatures to induce hypothermia
• killing detainees through torture techniques, whether accidental or not
• putting detainee in a diaper for days
That's right. We killed people in custody. But let me just say this. I have no faith that conservatives will read that (or this next story about a Texas man who may have been wrongly executed) and feel anything except, "so?"

I think that has made me the saddest. The conservatism that taught me about right and wrong and morality--don't really care if we execute innocent people, and they certainly don't care if we torture people in the name of protecting us. I have had several recent conversations that drive that home.

It makes me sad.

August 24, 2009

The Last Abortion Doctor

As I have stated here several times, I am as uncomfortably pro-choice as I can be. That means, as far as I can tell, that I am like one hell of a lot of pro-choice people. Just found this essay on The Last Abortion Doctor at Esquire and could not stop reading. It isn't easy. But this is the last guy in the US who performs these late abortions, and this interview came right after George Tiller was gunned down in Wichita.

I had a conversation with an old friend on facebook. She started her attack on Obama with "not sure how a Christian can want to kill babies," and continued from there. She didn't mind torture as she knew people who had lost military members and they were "tortured" by their loss. She didn't mind wiretapping without warrants because she "wasn't doing anything wrong and just wanted to be kept safe."

I was struck by all of those uninformed statements. But her flip take on those who are pro-choice is in my head this morning. Reading this essay, with all of those women who struggle and are changed for the rest of their life by this decision, but in many cases are there because they have no other choice (read about the couple from Canada who arrived in Wichita only to find their doctor murdered in his church).

My old friend scares me. Unfortunately, she is not alone in her take on any of this. But I think she has not thought through many, if any, of these positions. Her Christianity is now more GOP than follower of Christ, or that is certainly how it feels. Her litany of problems with Obama certainly sounds like those coming from the RNC and Fox News. They are sound-bites rather than reflections of a principled position. She has very little concern for those uninsured, no concern for those innocents caught up in our anti-terror net, and not one clear thought on the constitutional protections she enjoys. Yet, I bet money she would tell me that America is a Christian nation.

We can do better than this. We can do better than to simplify complex issues into "killing babies." I doubt we will. But we can do better.

Why we need some healthcare reform now

Because of stories like this.

August 23, 2009

Guest post: The Leonard Peltier case

My good friend WIV (formerly known as Cold in Laramie) sent me this for the blog. As he knows more about this topic than I, it seems a perfect spot for a guest post:

On Friday, a United States court denied Chippewa Leonard Peltier parole. Peltier currently serves two life sentences for the 1977 murder of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The deaths of the two FBI agents came in the wake of the American Indian Movement’s (AIM) occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973. AIM leaders came to South Dakota in order to protest the treatment Lakotas received from South Dakota law officials and the corrupt administration of Richard “Dick” Wilson. After AIM ended its 71-day shoot-out with FBI and tribal police officers, the Pine Ridge Reservation endured a four-year “civil war.” The supporters of AIM at Pine Ridge were in combat with tribal police officers, nicknamed the “GOON” squad, who were given assistance by the FBI. Drive-by shootings became common and many deaths have yet to be solved. The FBI provided the GOON squad with intelligence about AIM supporters at Pine Ridge and weaponry, including, according to one account, armor-piercing bullets. In June 1975, FBI agents chased a vehicle to the Jumping Bull ranch, a shootout occurred and the two FBI agents were shot at close range.

Peltier has become a cause célèbre in many circles. Peltier supporters argue that much of the FBI evidence used to convict Peltier was acquired through intimidation of witnesses, the courts did not consider the AIM-GOON violence in the trial, and many FBI officials still do not acknowledge the support they provided to the GOON squad. Opponents of Peltier’s parole, on the other hand, cite forensic evidence linking Peltier to the execution-style murder and that he has not shown significant remorse for the murder of the two agents. This was not the first time Peltier was up for parole (all denied of course). In 2000, rumors abounded that then-President Bill Clinton would pardon Peltier, however, forcefully lobbying by FBI officials helped to prevent this.

I am uncertain if Peltier is guilty and Peltier has sometimes been a troublesome prisoner. However, it seems very clear that Peltier did not receive a fair trial nor has the FBI demonstrated significant remorse for its role at Pine Ridge in the mid-1970s. From what I have read, there is enough reasonable doubt to question Peltier’s conviction. Yet, he remains in federal prison and will in all likelihood remain there until he passes on.

I hope this generates some discussion. It is a fascinating subject and case about which to read and debate.

August 21, 2009

Ah, the stupid.

Amd this really is stupid. Evidently, some people are outraged (OUTRAGED) that the First Lady is seen in shorts.

Put me on the record for saying that this particular First Lady is gorgeous and amazing. Her sense of style and decorum is impeccable in my book, so she can wear whatever she wants.

And people wonder why I have problems with the ways evangelicals talk about prayer

Are You There, God? It's Me, Charlie | TPMDC


Is this shades of Pat Robertson on the weather watch?

Perhaps the best take on the media's approach to healthcare that I have seen

From Michael Berube. CA, is essentially Berube, and here he "interviews" the entire American Mass Media, or AMM. My favorite part:
CA: Pardon me? People are threatening violence because a Democratic administration might be considering public health insurance? That’s not exciting, that’s lunacy. Why doesn’t anybody explain the “public option” to these nutcases?

AMM: With all due respect, Michael, that’s not really our job.

CA: ...

AMM: No, really. We’re not in the business of pushing some President’s agenda, unless it’s a war. We’re in the business of reporting what people say. And if some people say that Obama’s plan will feed your grandma to the wood chipper, and some people happen to disagree with that, then it’s our responsibility to report both sides fairly. That’s all part of democratic debate, and we’re proud to play our part!

CA: So, so you’re actually saying it’s your job to report complete falsehoods without challenging them?

AMM: That’s basic journalistic ethics, yes. Besides, even if it was our job to choose sides, which it isn’t, we’re just not well equipped to handle this kind of thing. Health care involves very serious policy issues and complicated stuff about money, and everyone knows math is hard and policy is boring. So we try to concentrate on what we do best.

August 20, 2009

But Obama is a fascist?

Tom Ridge on National Security After 9/11 admits that he
"was pushed to raise the security alert on the eve of President Bush's re-election, something he saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over."

Klein asks the pertinent question

"How can you sustain a democracy if one of the two major political parties has been overrun by nihilists? And another question: How can you maintain the illusion of journalistic impartiality when one of the political parties has jumped the shark?":
There are conservatives — Senator Lamar Alexander, Representative Mike Pence, among many others — who make their arguments based on facts. But they have been overwhelmed by nihilists and hypocrites more interested in destroying the opposition and gaining power than in the public weal. The philosophically supple party that existed as recently as George H.W. Bush's presidency has been obliterated. The party's putative intellectuals — people like the Weekly Standard's William Kristol — are prosaic tacticians who make precious few substantive arguments but oppose health-care reform mostly because passage would help Barack Obama's political prospects. In 1993, when the Clintons tried health-care reform, the Republican John Chafee offered a creative (in fact, superior) alternative — which Kristol quashed with his famous "Don't Help Clinton" fax to the troops. There is no Republican health-care alternative in 2009. The same people who rail against a government takeover of health care tried to enforce a government takeover of Terri Schiavo's end-of-life decisions. And when Palin floated the "death panel" canard, the number of prominent Republicans who rose up to call her out could be counted on one hand.

An argument can be made that this is nothing new. Dwight Eisenhower tiptoed around Joe McCarthy. Obama reminded an audience in Colorado that opponents of Social Security in the 1930s "said that everybody was going to have to wear dog tags and that this was a plot for the government to keep track of everybody ... These struggles have always boiled down to a contest between hope and fear." True enough. There was McCarthyism in the 1950s, the John Birch Society in the 1960s. But there was a difference in those times: the crazies were a faction — often a powerful faction — of the Republican Party, but they didn't run it. The neofascist Father Coughlin had a huge radio audience in the 1930s, but he didn't have the power to control and silence the elected leaders of the party that Limbaugh — who, if not the party's leader, is certainly the most powerful Republican extant — does now. Until recently, the Republican Party contained a strong moderate wing. It was a Republican, the lawyer Joseph Welch, who delivered the coup de grâce to Senator McCarthy when he said, "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Where is the Republican who would dare say that to Rush Limbaugh, who has compared the President of the United States to Adolf Hitler?

But I thought he was a fascist who wanted to take all our guns and kill our elderly?

White House Backs Right to Bear Arms, Even Outside Obama Events, if State Laws Allow -

As I noted yesterday, people who wore anti-Bush t-shirts were arrested, yet these same idiots simply nodded and agreed with that. Now, a President who agrees they have a right to carry a gun--even when it is done in such a stupid and irresponsible fashion--is called "fascist."

This is stupid beyond belief. Seriously.

August 19, 2009

The Health Care Stupid

Natalie has a nice rant on the current dialogue, if you can call it that.

It is really amazing stuff out there. Some dozen people bringing guns to Town Meetings or Obama speeches, and it is good to remember that they are doing this about expanding healthcare. There does not appear to be some groundswell of support for gun control, but merely to expand healthcare and to make sure all of us have some basic care and are not kicked off when we are sick.

But the dialogue is even worse than that. I am not linking to it, because I found it disturbing, but Youtube has a woman shouting "heil hitler" at a Las Vegas meeting when he defends national healthcare. Healthcare! He takes umbrage, and rightfully so, but how in the hell did healthcare become a Nazi thing?

I know where it comes from, but still don't understand the thought process. Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh have been flogging the Obama as Hitler meme for sometime. I think the problem is that socialism no longer scares people like it used to, so they are just calling him Hitler because that still works.

But I remember when MoveOn had a video that compared Bush to Hitler. Man, did people freak out over that! Including, a friend of mine, who still refers to Moveon as the organization that compared Bush to Hitler. Except they didn't. It was part of a contest and MoveOn yanked the video.

Jon Stewart had a funny bit about the wackaloons with guns which included a little sound clip from the Chris Matthews (I believe) show. Remember when a couple of anti-Bush people were turned away from a Bush rally for wearing anti-Bush t-shirts? T-shirts! Not guns. Fucking t-shirts. According to the clip, they were arrested when they refused to take the shirts off.

Hmm. Now public conservatives openly compare Obama to Hitler; over a dozen people brandish guns at rallies; and self-identified conservatives routinely compare Obama to Hitler and healthcare reform to the Nazi party. (I notice that my same friend has defended these town hall people as "legitimately angry" and has not expressed much outrage over the Hitler stuff.) Guns, evidently, are fine. T-shirts are dangerous. Shouting hate slogans is fine--now.

This is just insanity. Republicans are not responsible for all of this, make no mistake. But they are doing precious little to stop the misinformation and outright lies. A recent NBC poll shows that a shocking number of Americans believe the "death panel" nonsense. That is not good for our republic. As I have said repeatedly, there are legitimate points of disagreement, and very legitimate concerns about this reform package.

But conservatives are not talking about them. Town halls are filled with people who believe blatant falsehoods, and are willing to compare expanding healthcare with the Nazi regime.

The stupid. It burns so very much.

August 18, 2009

Twelve Carry Guns -- Including Assault Rifle -- Outside Obama Event | LiveWire

Twelve Carry Guns -- Including Assault Rifle -- Outside Obama Event | LiveWire

And this one is interesting too. I love how he says that "taxation is theft." That is a ridiculous argument only helped by the Republican mantra that taxation is evil.

Again, I respect the lawful ownership of guns. I am not just saying that. But you cannot expect me to look at these people bringing guns to Town Halls and Obama events and think that is a good thing. That is the threat of violence, and given the entire response toward Obama and the right wing insanity about him, this is playing with fire.

August 17, 2009

Uh, yikes

The rising popularity of imprecatory prayer and some instruction on how to do it.

A refresher on the stupid

As one of my own senators suggests that members of congress have earned the death threats coming from the idiots at town halls:

These people are threatening death and destruction because Obama is trying to expand health coverage.

That's it. That is what pushed these people over the edge.

Not, mind you, an administration promoting torture, or wiretapping without warrants, or lying to us to get us into a war.

Not an administration solely dedicated to helping the rich get richer.

None of those things got the wingnuts out in force. Nope. That came from an administration wanting to expand healthcare coverage and to make sure those same idiots don't get kicked off their healthcare coverage.


August 16, 2009

Holy Cow--God packing heat?

Kevin Powell: I guess the second commandment was just a suggestion. Among other things.


Especially in this current climate. All due respect to the responsible gun owners out there, and I know there are many, the current atmosphere of anger among the right, this scares the crap out of me. As I referenced in a conversation with someone else, the right wing populism has a discernibly more violent tinge to it, and we are seeing that. After 8 years of people hating Bush, I don't remember that hatred turning violent. Angry, yes, and even calling him the usual tyrant names. But I never thought the war protesters were going to go violent.

I have no such belief about the town hall crazies. And when the right wing combines a love of guns with a militant reading of Christianity, I get a little scared.

August 14, 2009

Anglican has some questions

And they seem like good ones to me:
"Some observations made of recent politics:
Liberals protest war, sometimes loudly, and are called traitors.
Conservatives protest health care, sometimes loudly, and are called patriots.
Those who benefit from the part of our system that is in fact socialized--i.e., Medicare and Medicaid--are fighting tooth and nail against extending a similar benefit to others.
Those opposing reform are putting their trust with the political party that opposed the creation of Medicare in the first place."

I like his walk through his socialized reality as well. I had a recent conversation on Facebook with an idiot (sorry, but true) who said that government is always abusive and that it rarely does anything good. I wish there were a way to instantly remove all the contributions of government from his life. I really do.

The stupid. It burns so very much.

August 13, 2009

What is prayer?

I have no clue. A good friend of ours was just recently badly injured in a bicycle accident. According to the initial reports from his daughter, they came very close to losing him. Scary stuff.

In the updates and comments (on FB) there has been a steady discussion about prayer requests and offers for prayers and offers for prayers on specific aspects of this crisis. I understand that as a reflection of concern, and as an expression of caring.

What I don't understand is the "we can get a bunch of people who don't know him to pray for him" thing. Again, concern is a great thing, but I don't get the theology of the matter. Doesn't it imply that the God they are praying to has to be convinced into doing something good? God, on his own, won't heal anyone unless people request it? What kind of God is that?

Not only that, but the numbers and quality of the people praying seems to supposedly matter. If someone is more advanced as a Christian, do their prayers matter more? Or if we can get a bunch of people praying on this particular issue, will God respond as long as there are more than 10 people praying? Perhaps more than 20? Perhaps fewer if enough of them are suitably "mature in their faith?"

I don't get the theology here at all.

August 11, 2009

Healther Skelter - Obama Death Panel Debate | The Daily Show | Comedy Central

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Chris Hayes has the answers

Your Questions About Health Care Reform Answered:
"3) I heard the proposals currently under consideration provide seniors with option of free counseling sessions under Medicare, where they can discuss a living will and end-of-life care.
That's a huge misconception. The bills require all senior citizens (who are non union members) be euthanized on their 70th birthday. Under section 278(c)ii all last rites will be performed by Jeremiah Wright using a Q'uran."

This is my point on government too

Though Publius said it better. When people think of government programs and dependency, they think about welfare and poor people:
"That's why you hear stories of people saying, "Keep government out of my Medicare."

But that's just one example. Life is full of invisible examples of government benefits we never think about. The free market didn't bring about the weekend, or clean air. It didn't create universal education, and neither did it provide universal health care for the elderly. It didn't desegregate our schools. It couldn't save the banking system -- there was a series of interventions that kept it from collapsing and got it back on its feet.

But all these things quickly fade into the background like an invisible platform.

That's why I sometimes wish life had a show/hide function similar to the one in Word that shows or hides formatting. We could click it, and reveal all the ways that political choices have improved our lives.

Of course, government isn't always good -- see, e.g., sugar subsidies, spectrum regulation. And markets do many things very, very well. But the demagoguery that the idea of government is receiving in the health coverage debate is completely undeserved.
I made this point to a guy on FB who kept calling government abusive. What is also interesting is that some of the people who refer to government as evil and abusive have been the most forgiving of torture and wiretapping. Which suggests to me that this is not about some kind of political principle, but about branding and partisan loyalty. And that is, perhaps, the most disturbing part of this "debate." Those people going to the town halls are angry because they have been told to be angry.

August 10, 2009

And this tying the anti-health care reform to race

And an interesting connection worth considering.

Bush's faith/zeal

We have to acknowledge that this story sounds a bit on the strange side. Not, mind you, that Bush believed this stuff, but that he would think it would convince a French leader to join him. But, according to a recent book, Chirac confirms that Bush told him that they had to fight the Iraq war to stave off something out of the Left Behind series:
"Stranger still are new accounts emerging from France describing how former president Jacques Chirac was utterly baffled by a 2003 telephone conversation in which Bush reportedly invoked fanatical Old Testament prophecy – including the Earth-ending battle with forces of evil, Gog and Magog – in his arguments to enlist France in the Coalition of the Willing.

'This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people's enemies before a New Age begins,' Bush said to Chirac, according to Thomas Romer, a University of Lausanne theology professor who was later approached by French officials anxious to understand the biblical reference. Romer first revealed his account in a 2007 article for the university review, Allez savoir, which passed largely unnoticed.

Chirac, in a new book by French journalist Jean-Claude Maurice, is quoted as confirming the surreal conversation, saying he was stupefied by Bush's reference to biblical prophecy and 'wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs.'"

I know there are many who share Bush's alleged beliefs here, but the thought that a world leader would send his people to war based on a contested reading of an ancient prophecy is mind boggling.

August 9, 2009

More on healthcare and an irresponsible opposition

Steven Pearlstein - Steven Pearlstein: Republicans Propagating Falsehoods in Attacks on Health-Care Reform -
"By poisoning the political well, they've given up any pretense of being the loyal opposition. They've become political terrorists, willing to say or do anything to prevent the country from reaching a consensus on one of its most serious domestic problems.

There are lots of valid criticisms that can be made against the health reform plans moving through Congress -- I've made a few myself. But there is no credible way to look at what has been proposed by the president or any congressional committee and conclude that these will result in a government takeover of the health-care system. That is a flat-out lie whose only purpose is to scare the public and stop political conversation."
Same, and even worse, can be said about Sarah Palin claiming that Obama will create some kind of "death panel" to decide who lives and who dies. If we want to talk about the legitimate issues around the public option and reform in general, that is fine. But republicans are not doing that.

More on stupidity

The kind of stupidity that at least one of our commenters seems to buy. Hunter, from the DailyKos is right about this one. When Republicans can claim that Democratic healthcare will mean killing a disabled child, then there is nothing factual about their opposition. And nothing responsible, either.
Seriously? I mean, come the flying monkey hell on. How is it that this hollow-headed dimwit doesn't get run out of town for statements like that? Obama's going to come murder her son?

The whole Republican party can absolutely make stuff up, no question about it, 100% lies, no factual basis whatsoever, outrageous, known false stuff about euthanasia and "death panels" and denying care to people that are no longer "productive", stuff that's right out of the most venomous propaganda playbooks around, weird-assed, depraved, paranoid stuff that would be perfectly at home in a Henry Ford tract about the secret methods of the evil Jews or the like -- and not a goddamned news outlet on the planet is making a story out of the fact that these supposed leaders of their party are gleefully lying through their teeth about all of it, or that the "teabaggers" carrying these selfsame lies into public meetings aren't just angry Americans with a different point of view, but people spreading known, 100%-goddamn-freaking-false-and-false-from-the-very-first-time-it-was-uttered bullshit, and intentionally doing it so loud that they hope nobody can possibly shout them down.

There's no "he-said, she-said" on a statement like "Obama's coming to murder my handicapped child."
Palin is not a genuine person, and has no genuine interest in good governance or good public policy. And neither, as fara as I can tell, do anyone from the Republican leadership. All they seem intent on doing is getting idiots to post stupid things on liberal blogs and go shout at their congressional representatives.

The indecency of Palin and Bachman

And if you are quoting from Bachman, that is enough to show that you are in the wackaloon territory, rather than the area of legitimate conversation about this important issue. I would say "shame" to Sarah Palin, but it is increasingly obvious that she has none. More here.

August 6, 2009

Light blogging for a while

Off to a music camp. Back in a few days. Talk about healthcare reform while I am gone. One of my conservative friends claims that Obama is "ramming" healthcare down the American people's throat. Discuss.

August 5, 2009

Deep thought for the day

Why is it that we have not had a Republican ex-President out negotiating for hostages or trying to bring peace to a region?

August 3, 2009


Conservative Christianity, evidently, means that "history" is what you want it to be. Facts and historical scholarship be damned.

And this guy was and is a major candidate for President for the Republican party. The fact that he is vastly more qualified than the former governor of Alaska only reiterates the ridiculous anti-intellectual place that is the modern Republican party.

Interesting: man took his wife's last name

I took my wife's last name - The Globe and Mail

I know an awful lot of people where both just kept their last names. I actually like that, though I understand it can be confusing if there are children involved. But one of the things the patrilineal naming system often does is reduce that matrilineal influence.

August 1, 2009

I like Jon Alter

Alter: Our Heath-Care System Is Just Fine As Is! | Newsweek Voices - Jonathan Alter |
And how could the supporters of these reform bills believe in anything as stupid as a "public option"? Do they really believe that the health-insurance cartel deserves a little competition to keep them honest? Back in the day, they had a word for competition. A bad word. They called it capitalism. FedEx versus the U.S. Postal Service, CNN versus PBS—just because it's government-backed doesn't mean you can't compete against it. If they believed in capitalism, the insurance companies would join the fray and compete.

I really do love how many people love competition in the market place until they absolutely do not. If government plans are so bad, then how bad would that make the private companies that can't compete with them?

Ultimately, as I told a friend in email, I am stunned that we seem to still be allowing the people who don't think we need healthcare reform to dictate healthcare reform policy. As I suggested to him, it seems analogous to allowing those who think that humans have made no contribution to climate change decide how we respond to climate change.

More fun with Republicans and polls

According to a new poll, only 42% of Republicans believe Obama is an American citizen, and if you break that down by region, you find the "birthers" predominately in the American South.