Tag Archives: healthcare

The passage of “Obamacare” highlights republican disconnect with reality.

30 Jun

Last week Obama’s healthcare reform legislation was upheld by the Supreme Court. CNN and Fox, showed just how little facts matter to them in their rush to be first to break the story by neglecting to read the whole document before declaring the legislation dead. Meanwhile, republicans showed just how little facts matter to them by promptly exploding upon hearing that the legislation passed.

Some republicans hilariously threatened to move to Canada as a result of this ruling. Little do they know, Canada has universal healthcare much stronger than anything passed in Obama’s legislation.

Romney promptly came out and denounced the legislation, vowing to repeal it on his first day in office.

Which is hilarious because in 2006 it was his idea:

In fact, the whole notion of an individual mandate, the government forcing you to buy something against your will, was originally the brain-child of the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation.

You see, the anti-free market notion of being forced to buy health insurance was developed by conservatives. Obama’s legislation was crafted by the health insurance industry. It spoon feeds them 30 million new customers who are required by law to buy from them.  Back in 2009, when all this was starting, 77% of the country supported having a public (government) option to generate competition and help keep prices down. Competition would have been bad for health insurance industry profits, so they made sure to take that option off the table. Instead we got this watered down legislation. Yes, it’s better than nothing at all, assuming it lives to take full effect, but what we needed was real systemic reform and this is not it.

But you see, conservatives are masters of compartmentalization and ignoring cognitive dissonance brought on by hypocrisy. None of the above mentioned facts will have an effect on them. They will continue to scream about the evils of making sure everyone has access to health care, and how this whole thing is liberal big government taking over their lives. This just goes to further highlight what I’ve been saying is the rosetta stone to understanding conservatives:

Objective reality and facts don’t matter. Narrative does.

In other news, republicans ban scientists and city planners from discussing sea level rise.

Why are bombs ok, but not condoms?

3 Mar

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of how the conservatives held a one sided “hearing” on birth control where not a single woman was able to testify. Here in America, reproductive health is not viewed as a legitimate issue, and women are not women, rather they are a sum of parts to be regulated. (At least in the eyes of our politicians) One such sum of parts was a Georgetown law student named Sandra Fluke. She was supposed to go to the hearing to testify on why reproduction is part of human health (seems obvious) and thus should be covered by healthcare. Unfortunately the conservatives barred her from testifying.

Bombastic conservative icon Rush Limbaugh the proceeded to call this woman a slut and a whore for wanting healthcare to cover contraceptives. He went further to say : “if we’re going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

I’m not sure if Rush is aware, but it takes two people to have sex. Actually, Rush might be aware seeing as he was stopped when trying to re-enter the US after a trip to the Dominican Republic because he had a massive quantity of Viagra. What were you doing in the Dominican Republic with all that Viagra Rush? You weren’t married, and according to you, unmarried women who have sex are sluts and whores. Were you on a sex binge with prostitutes? Of course not. I’m sure it was somehow related to a church mission to help the poor.

Conservatives are decrying contraception coverage as symptomatic of the nanny state, a big government waste of tax payer money so others can have sex.

Lets exam this:

1) The government isn’t paying for the birthcontrol. Healthcare companies are.

2) If healthcare companies covered contraceptives, it would save you money. Pregnant women are expensive for healthcare companies. The fewer pregnant women in your healthcare pool, the less a healthcare company has to charge to pay for them and you.

3) It is ok for healthcare to cover Viagra so old men can still get a hard-on and have sex, but it is not ok for healthcare to cover birth control, which some women take as a hormonal treatment and not just so they don’t get pregnant?

Why aren’t conservatives calling men sluts and whores and decrying how healthcare is paying them to have sex? Why aren’t they demanding sex tapes of these individuals online? Like Rush Limbaugh for example. (Hint: Answer starts with H and ends with ypocrisy)

Viagra is used to treat one thing, limp dick. The pill treats a number of issues besides preventing pregnancy.

4) Why is it not “nanny state government” for the government to regulate who can marry, who can have what types of sex in their private homes, and what a woman can do with her body, but it IS “nanny state government” for healthcare to have to cover contraceptive?

5) Conservatives claim that they want to stop abortion. Birth control stops unwanted pregnancies which lead to abortions. If A=B and B=C, A=C, thus birth control stops abortions. (That’s a liberal conspiracy called logic)

A rational person would think that if someone truly wished to lower the amount of abortions per year, you’d invest heavily in birth control and stop the problem before it starts. Surely that would be the most effective use of resources.

6) Lastly, if conservatives can refuse to pay for life saving healthcare, can liberals refuse to pay for their bombs? Why is it ok for us to be forced to pay for you to kill people, but not ok for you to be forced to pay to make people’s lives better?

I’m sure a conservative will try to counter that last point with “national security. Killing people overseas makes us safer” but that’s extremely debatable. A liberal could easily counter with how fewer unwanted pregnancies = fewer unwanted children = fewer crimes = safer America.

Let’s be honest. This isn’t an issue of tax payer money going to fund wild sex parties. This is an issue of conservative sexism, hypocrisy, and disdain for women.

It’s a great time to be a conservative

7 Jan

Last Wednesday at noon the republicans took control of the house with the vow to slash domestic funding and decrease the federal deficit.  They came in with a strong list of new rules. One of the biggest changes was “Slash as you go” instead of “Pay as you go.” This means that for every dollar in government spending you add, you must slash a dollar somewhere else. They also forbade anything that would add to the deficit.

But these are republicans, rules? principles? You’ve got to be kidding. Cue massive hypocrisy.

The biggest target in republican’s cross-hairs is the weak sauce healthcare reform. Unfortunately for them, the Congressional Budget Office (the non-partisan organization that crunches the numbers for everything the government does or is considering doing) came out and stated that repealing the health care reform would add $143 billion onto the deficit. That’s a mathematical fact provided by an independent accounting organization.

But then again these are conservatives. Reality and facts are what you want them to be.

The new speaker of the house, republican John Boehner simply replied “The CBO is entitled to their opinion.” The republicans tacitly admitted they knew the CBO was right because they then passed one of their first acts: giving themselves and exemption to their rule of “slash as you go” so they could kill healthcare and add $143 billion to the deficit. Bravo…. (Oh, and don’t forget, even when they kill healthcare, the republicans are planning on keeping their free healthcare that they get as US congressmen.)

But healthcare hypocrisy is not the only reason to celebrate! The republicans plan on gutting every protective legislative body they can. The FDA regulates businesses that make sure the food your family eats or the drugs you take aren’t poison? Kill it. The EPA regulates corporations that would dump toxic sludge in your neighborhood rivers? Kill it.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, they are going after protective legislation with a battle ax.  The goal is to put us back to the turn of the 20th century, where you were either dirt poor or one of those robber barons, where snake oil salesmen went from town to town bilking people of their money in return for poison, where tainted meat and vegetables made their way easily onto your dinner table, where environmental protection was only a dream. This is the goal.

Speaking of environmental protection, it’s official, there will be no improvement in the fight against global warming; the most dangerous and pressing issue facing us today. If we do nothing we may all die. We may very well push our planet out of the the knife edge thin “Goldilocks zone” where the conditions for life are just right, into a run away greenhouse effect that is currently cooking the planet Venus.

But that won’t happen. You know why? JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yep, denying reality (be it scientific or what the CBO says the numbers are) is mandatory for membership in the republican club house. A shinning example is John Shimkus. Johhny boy is trying to become the chairman of the committee responsible for oversight on those groups that regulate pollution, toxic waste, and the greenhouse gases that are cooking our planet. But have no fear! Even though all the observable evidence tells us that we are racing for the cliff edge, nothing bad will happen. Jesus won’t let it. God made this earth for us and he wouldn’t make it so we could corrupt it…. (original sin? releasing evil into the world? No? Guess he’s not big on reading his own book, but then again republican and hypocrisy are synonymous)

But the party continues! Now that the republicans are in control of the house they are promising non-stop investigations and witch hunts, even against organizations that don’t exist anymore.

Yet do you want to know the #1 reason right now is an amazing time to be a conservative? The icing on the cake? The piñata of goodies?

Because Obama is your bitch and no matter how bad your policies fuck up the country and the future of the world, ultimately he is president and there is a “D” by his name.  Obama just hired William Daley to be his chief of staff, replacing Rahm Emanuel. (Rahm who said liberals, ie the people who voted for Obama and make up the democratic base, were “fucking retarded.”) If you think Rahm is right wing and pro-establishment, get a load of Daley! Daley’s a right wing corporatist who works for JP Morgan and who wants to kill the consumer protection agency! There is no fucking way Obama is a liberal or has any intention of fighting the status quo! He is the status quo.

So republicans are vicariously living through Obama while pushing through their “kill all government agencies that don’t help the rich get richer” policies that, if they fail or fuck everything up, they can easily lay at the feet of the democrats just in time for the 2012 elections when they can do it all over again for another four years… Goddamn it’s a good time to be conservative!

What is “Choice” when it comes to faith?

15 Jun

It seems to me that a lot of religious people are confused as to what exactly is a choice and what it means to be able to choose freely.

A choice in it’s most basic form is when you are presented with two or more options on how to proceed and you must pic one.

There is a major difference, however, between a free choice and an unfree choice.

A free choice is a choice where no matter what the possibly outcomes, no option has drastically more consequences than another. A free choice does not just mean that you have the ability to make a choice, but that you are not overly pressured to choose one decision over another.

An unfree choice is just that: a choice that involved significant biases. A prime example of this is “God gave us “choice”. We can choose to love him and go to heaven, or we can choose not to, and spend the rest of eternity in unimaginable torment.” Yes you have the ability to “choose” one option or the other, but merely having the physical capacity to “choose” does not mean it is a “free choice”.


Political violence in the US

29 Mar

Political violence in the US quickly escalating since the passage of health care reform. People have been shattering windows, ramming cars, sending powder laced letters to representatives, even cutting gas lines! Meanwhile, politicians offer half hearted, limp wristed calls to stop the violence.

(The above incidents were all targeted at democrats, but apparently some thought it would be a good idea to do the same thing against republicans in Albemarle County…..)

All this violence is really quite disgusting. People don’t get their way, and instead of working to change things in the next election, they take to sending representatives death threats and vandalizing property. People on both sides need to calm down; this is not some banana republic, it’s the United States. I’m afraid that if things keep going the way they are now, people are going to start shooting.

Terrorism: -noun the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious

View of Tea Party changing

28 Mar

Despite my usually hardline attitude on this blog, I’m not an unreasonable person. If someone calmly presents their case for an argument I’m willing to listen, and depending on their points, might even change my mind.

This has recently happened with my view of the Tea Party movement….sort of.

For the longest time I felt nothing but disdain for the group that I saw as silent during the Bush crimes and record deficits. I viewed them as completely created & led by Fox “news”; gullible angry people being manipulated by big business and special interest. I viewed them as the people who felt the republican party was not conservative enough. An angry mob that claims to love the constitution without ever having read it.

Well, my views have changed a bit.

As for the origins of the Tea Party movement, as it turns out, they did exist back during the Bush ear as the Pork Busters. Apparently they targeted the republican big spenders who were running the deeper and deeper into debt. This is a cause I can applaud. I hate earmarks on both sides of the aisle, and any attempt to cut the pork is good with me.

So what about my view of the tea partiers being silent during the Bush years? Well, if they were supportive of pork busters, then that’s obviously not true. Yet I still feel a bit the same way about the people who are only now just joining up with the tea party. Some attribute this to the economic collapse, but that still doesn’t address the issue of destroying the constitution.

I hear Tea Party protesters claim that Obama is destroying the constitution, and they are furious. (I have looked, and I can’t find any examples other than some people complaining about guns) But for the people who just recently joined up with the Tea Party movement after the republicans lost power, I’d like to ask “Why were you not  joining massive protests against the patriot act, or warrantless wiretaps, or indefinite detention, or the suspension of habeus corpus?” Those were far more drastic and real attacks on the constitution by Bush than anything Obama’s done. Or do you only care about the constitution if your wallet is being threatened?

As for my view that Fox “news” created and have been leading the Tea Party movement, that’s also changed. I accept that I was wrong about that, but it does look like Fox is trying its damnedest to capitalize on the Tea Party by portraying these protesters in a light drastically different from how they portrayed the massive anti-Bush agenda protesters. (But that is more of an attack on Fox than the protesters, for what “fair and balanced” news station would go to such lengths to promote one agenda over another?)

I can empathize with the anger of the Tea Party protesters. The rage they’re feeling now is something I grew up with. That type of anger, but directed at Bush, was constant. I can recognize that some of their aims are good. Smaller government, less waste, reducing the deficit, those are things I can get behind, yet it’s the side effects of the medicine that worry me.

While the Tea Party tends to avoid social issues, if they get power and the issues are laid at their feet, at the end of the day, a great deal of them are conservative. (Or I could be wrong, perhaps they are mainly true libertarians, socially liberal and economically conservative. But I get as riled up over social issues as they do over economic ones, if not more so.)

Should I buy a gun?

25 Mar

So lately I’ve really been thinking if I should buy a gun. The political climate in this country is starting to worry me. With Tea baggers throwing bricks and cutting gas lines, conservative bloggers calling for the assassination of the president, and Fox “news” constantly inciting their viewers to violence, I’m afraid that the violence is only going to escalate. I’m even more worried that when the republicans take power in 2010, there is going to be a strong crackdown on human rights and other freedoms. Worse, if they do not take power in 2010, I’m pretty sure that will be the last straw. After being drunk with power for 8 years, they really can’t swallow the idea that the American people voted them out.

I’m really thinking of buy a gun to protect myself and my rights of freedom of speech and religion from right wing nuts who would take them away. Part of me on the other hand however doesn’t think that buying a gun is a good idea. Nothing good will come of it. The more the victims we are the better. When the crazy nut cases go over the brink and start wholesale shooting liberals, as I’m afraid some will do in the future, the rest of the sane world will see them for who they are; and then we win.

Healthcare is NOT a Gov. take over!

25 Mar

Everywhere you turn, you find frothing at the mouth morons screaming that this is a government take over of healthcare. Take your collective heads out of your asses and look around for once before you just guzzle down the shit Fox “News” feeds you.

So, what was in the health bill that Obama signed?

Prohibits excluding children with pre-existing conditions

Temporary High-risk pool for uninsured with pre-existing condition

Prohibits dropping people when they get sick

Lower senior citizen drug prices by closing donut hole

Allows children of dependents to stay on until age 26

No charge for preventative services to prevent you from getting sick in the first place

Real quick, here is the definition of socialism:

–noun

a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
Did the government take over the health insurance companies? No. They’re still there and they’re still going to try and shaft you on coverage to the best of their ability. So don’t worry, you’ll still be given the run around with your health in the name of profit. A government take over of healthcare was never really on the table. (But Fox “news” didn’t want you to know that because they like to keep their viewers scared shitless and ready to grab their guns) The closest thing to government take over would have been the public option, which most Americans really wanted. That would have created a government insurance company, separate from the private companies, which would then allow for more competition. The market would then drive prices down as the gov. would do things for less. People could still keep their private insurance and buy through those private companies if they wanted, but the rest of us would be able to buy the government insurance. Unfortunately, the private insurance companies didn’t like the idea of competition in their market and so they worked with their bought and paid for republican allies and killed that section of the bill.

Republican hypocrisy on healthcare:Abortion

12 Mar

So I saw this comic yesterday and it really struck me:

Wow, come to think of it, that really makes sense. What constantly gets me is how republicans say they don’t want government in their lives, but then they turn around and demand that government intervene in other people’s lives to enforce their moral code.

Oh progress…..

26 Dec

A lot of wind was taken out of my zealous sails the other day during a talk with my girlfriend on politics. She got me thinking about some of my positions and my initial gut reactions to them. I was furious about the healthcare bill because it was not liberal enough, but I guess she’s showed me that it was the best pragmatic solution possible. So perhaps I’m becoming more of a pragmatist. I don’t really have energy anymore for long, drawn out ideological fights over politics anymore.

With the progress on healthcare in mind, I wanted to sit down and examine my thoughts on where liberals and conservatives fall within the fight for progress.

For starters, I guess I should define what I think of as “liberal” and “conservative”. Conservatives, in my mind, are concerned with maintaining the status quo. This is to the benefit of their majority, or primarily White, Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Conservatives dream of the “good old days” of the past, and seek to return America to an idealistic version of the 50’s.

Liberals on the other hand are constantly fighting the status quo. The liberal base is made up of not just WASP, but of all types of minorities, be they racial, religious, or sexual minorities. This heterogeneous nature of liberals sometimes leads to in-fighting, and a lack of cohesion, which the conservatives exploit.  For liberals, the “good old days” were only good if you were a WASP male. It was back then that only men could vote, women were excluded from the workplace and equal education, and racial minorities were brutally kept in their place with violence and Jim Crow laws. Liberals fight the “good old days” of total WASP male domination in an effort to make the country’s laws more just for all. (It will be interesting to see what happens in 2050 when WASP becomes the minority)

To this end, when I look at U.S. history I can get a sense of progress towards the liberal goal of a more just and equal world. Sure there have been setbacks before, but progress eventually steamrolls through the resistance. Progress usually comes slowly, it’s a generational thing. A black man would by lynched if he was seen holding a white woman’s hand in the 50’s. Today nobody thinks twice. Each generation is slowly more and more tolerant than their parents, and so progress continues.

But if this progress is inevitable, then conservatives only act to retard it. They might want to completely reverse all the progress made, but being unable to change the mindset of entire generations, they fail to do this. My question is, if the social change is inevitable, why fight it? You’re just going to lose, like you always have in the past.

“The world is not ready yet” is what I would expect in response, which leads into the idea that if we changed, society would collapse. This is ridiculous. Society is not going to collapse. The only time a society collapsed in US History was when the south lost the Civil War. Their society based on the enslavement of an entire race of people collapsed, and in turn was replaced by a new society that had to undergo the growing pains of the civil right’s movement.

Lets pretend for a moment that when we wake up tomorrow, all the liberal dreams for society come true. The economy would not crash because women were being paid equal money for equal work. Straight marriages would not be worthless and destroyed because Bob and Dan down the street got married and now receive the legal benefits of marriage. God would not come down and smite the country if the various racial and ethnic groups lived together in mutual respect. No, the conservative fears about liberal social progress are unfounded. It just means that WASP males would no longer have privilege above all others, they would be equal, just like the rest of us.

It just frustrates me when conservatives slow the inevitable, because while we’re here arguing, people are suffering in an unjust country.

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