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|top10 ADMIN (155 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore||Mon Jul-27-09 12:01 AM
|The Top 10 Conservative Idiots, No. 369|
The Top 10 Conservative Idiots, No. 369
July 27, 2009
Bad Medicine Edition
This week The GOP (1,2), along with RNC chairman Michael Steele (3), remind us why they're the "Party of No." Don't forget the key!
Health insurance reform is a complex issue to understand, so let's just put it this way. When it comes to the lives of the American people, the Republican Party ranks things in this order of importance:
1) High corporate profits
2) Low taxes on millionaires
3) The lives of the American people
Actually I should make a correction to that list.
1) High corporate profits
2) Low taxes on millionaires
3) Hot extramarital sex
4) The lives of the American people
That's better. Now, back to health care...
FACT: "Since the recession began, an estimated 4 million additional Americans have lost their health insurance and 2 million have become uninsured. The recent turmoil in the job market is likely increasing the number of uninsured at the rate of 14,000 a day." -- Center For American Progress
FACT: "The challenges facing America's biggest health insurer range from the uncertain to the unknowable. ... For now, though, Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group has reason to celebrate ... For the quarter ended June 30, UnitedHealth said net earnings were $859 million - a 154.9 percent increase from $337 million a year earlier ... Joshua Raskin, an analyst with Barclays Capital, called it a 'very strong result' in a note to investors." -- Minneapolis Star-Tribune
THE DEMOCRATIC RESPONSE: "There are reports of insurers raising rates by 28 percent in California; seeking a 23 percent increase in Connecticut; proposing as much as a 56 percent increase in Michigan. If we don't act, these premium hikes will just be a preview of coming attractions. And that's a future you can't afford. That is a future that America can't afford. ... So, Ohio, that's why we seek reform." -- President Obama
THE REPUBLICAN RESPONSE: "I can almost guarantee you this thing won't pass before August, and if we can hold it back until we go home for a month's break in August ... If we're able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him." -- Sen. Jim DeMint
THE SECOND REPUBLICAN RESPONSE IN CASE YOU COULDN'T QUITE BELIEVE THE FIRST RESPONSE: "We can stall it. And that's going to be a huge gain for those of us who want to turn this thing over in the 2010 election." -- Sen. James Inhofe
Sure, maintaining the status quo means that Americans will die. But who cares about that? The GOP smells blood in the water! And never mind whose blood it is!
You've got to hand it to those Republicans though - when it comes to the perils of health insurance reform, they've got the facts on their side. According to the Washington Post:
The political battle over health-care reform is waged largely with numbers, and few number-crunchers have shaped the debate as much as the Lewin Group, a consulting firm whose research has been widely cited by opponents of a public insurance option.
To Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Republican whip, it is "the nonpartisan Lewin Group." To Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, it is an "independent research firm." To Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the second-ranking Republican on the pivotal Finance Committee, it is "well known as one of the most nonpartisan groups in the country."
So there you have it. It's a well known fact that the Lewin Group is a bastion of nonpartisanship, and has nothing at all to do with any health insurance companies - certainly not UnitedHealth Group, the company I mentioned in the previous item that just declared a 150% increase in profits.
Generally left unsaid amid all the citations is that the Lewin Group is wholly owned by UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation's largest insurers.
Oh, I see.
The man who in my opinion may be the greatest RNC chairman of all time was back in the news last week after holding forth at the National Press Club in Washington. Michael Steele was there to talk about the Democrats' health care plans, which - surprise! - he hates. According to Think Progress, "Steele derided President Obama's health efforts, calling it a 'risky experimentation,' a 'Grand Experiment,' and the product of a 'cabal.'"
So far so good. Then things started to go wrong...
After reading his speech, Steele then took a few questions. It quickly became apparent that, once Steele ventured off his prepared talking points, he was uncomfortable responding to queries about his health care views. The RNC Chairman offered a host of bizarre, conflicting, and nonsensical responses.
Asked whether he supports an individual mandate - an issue that became a point of controversy in the 2008 election between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - Steele was completely ignorant. "An individual requirement? What do you mean?" Steele could only respond that there are "differing opinions" on this.
When stumped with numerous health care policy questions, Steele said, "I don't do policy," acknowledging that he's paying attention to his internal RNC polling to craft his political message. Moments later, Steele said he's "not concerned" about the politics of health care. "I'm not looking at this through the rose-colored glasses of, oh what are our political fortunes."
Given his terrible performance at the National Press Club, you'd think Michael Steele might have the good sense to replace himself as health care spokesperson with someone who knows what they're talking about. And you would be wrong! The next day Steele appeared on CNN, where, according to the Huffington Post:
The RNC Chairman stumbled during an appearance on CNN on Tuesday when he was asked to name what type of insurance he has and who exactly is his health care provider.
"What company is it?" host Kyra Phillips asked.
"Blue Cross Blue Shield I believe," Steele replied. "Or maybe not. I think it is Blue Cross Blue Shield."
The slip-up was immediately seized upon by the Democratic National Committee, which charged that Steele's hesitation was further evidence that he and the RNC are out of touch and only interested in political warfare when it comes to health care.
"It must be nice to have the luxury of not even knowing the name of your own health care provider, but Michael Steele's comments today, and the Republican strategy of working to kill reform for their own political purposes, is simply insulting to the millions of American families and businesses struggling with soaring health care costs," read a statement from DNC Press Secretary Hari Sevugan.
Greatest RNC chairman of all time.
This week's first dose of batshit crazy racism comes courtesy of one Dr. David McKalip, who, according to Talking Points Memo, "isn't just some random winger. He's a Florida neurosurgeon, who serves as a member of the American Medical Association's House of Delegates."
In other words, you'd think he would know better than to forward an image like this to his email list:
Dr. McKalip even appended his own comment to the image: "Funny stuff."
I guess if that's his idea of "Funny stuff," this must be his idea of "A night out with the boys."
If you haven't been following the whole "Is Obama a U.S. Citizen Or Not?" idiocy, just read this. It doesn't take long and it explains the whole thing. It's got everything - birth certificates, birth announcments, document descriptions, photographs... basically, if you think there might be a conspiracy here, you have to believe that either the plot was hatched by the Honolulu Advertiser in 1961, or that Obama has a time machine.
But let that not stop the lunatic fringe, who now have a new leader in Lou Dobbs - let's call him the "Big Birther" - host of CNN's Xenophobia Hour at 7pm Eastern Monday to Friday. Here's Lou on his radio show last week:
"I'm starting to think we have a document issue. You suppose he's un... no, I won't even use the word undocumented, it wouldn't be right."
Oh Lou, you are such a dou... no, I won't even use the word douchebag, it wouldn't be right.
After taking a pounding from the blogs, Lou returned to the airwaves and wildly shook his fist at those insolent young whippersnappers.
You know, these -- he's speaking to an audience that -- the only part of which that would respond to that kind of nonsense is the limp-minded, lily-livered lefties -- who, by the way, are also attacking me in a concerted form, as I actually raise a question of this great president.
I mean, think of this. I actually had the temerity to inquire as to where the birth certificate was and why the president of the United States would not turn over that birth certificate to the national media and end the noise. And I also said four times in one show, "I believe the president is a citizen of the United States." I don't buy into the Kenyan secret agent stuff, as Jim Geraghty of National Review put it. I mean, I don't buy into that.
But, I mean, the nat -- the left wing comes after me like I had said -- as I said earlier -- like I had said we should surrender to the communist Chinese, put up a white flag. And then I thought, "No, they probably would have less trouble surrendering to the Chinese than they do with me suggesting that the Great One might turn over a copy of his birth certificate so that the American people could move on past this nonsense."
Unfortunately for Lou, it's not just the lefty blogs who are outraged.
"The truth about the president's birth is not in dispute. ... The fact that Mr. Dobbs suggests otherwise on CNN - while real CNN reporters tell the truth - is both deplorable and an embarrassment to all serious journalists. ... Respectable news organizations should not employ reporters willing to peddle racist conspiracy theories and false propaganda. It's time for CNN to remove Mr. Dobbs from the airwaves."
...said J. Richard Cohen of the Southern Poverty Law Center last week. Ouch.
G. Gordon Liddy
You know how it wouldn't be right to call President Obama "undocumented?" Well...
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Gordon Libby is a conservative radio talk show host and a pal of mine. So, here we go. What is your argument, Gordon?
G. GORDON LIDDY: My argument is, this whole thing could be settled in a minute, if the president would simply produce a valid birth certificate. So far, in so far as I know, he has not. All he's produced has been a quote - "certificate of live birth." You can't get a passport with that. You can't even register your son for little league with that. That's the problem.
MATTHEWS: I understand that he presented a - what's called the short version of the - of the - of the birth certificate, which is what you need to get a birth - a passport. And that's adequate - and that's adequate to get one. That's what people expect you to turn over when you go to the State Department.The document he has is what you're supposed to show, this thing right there. This is what you show the State Department if you want to get a passport. And this is what he's got.
MATTHEWS: How do you explain the announcement in the - in "The Honolulu Advertiser" back in '61, when he was born that he was born? How do you explain that...
LIDDY: Well, I would want...
MATTHEWS: ...to the parents he was born to?
LIDDY: I would want my child born in the United States, or at least I would want people to think he was born in the United States, so he could have all the advantages of being a United States...
MATTHEWS: But it listed their address in Honolulu.
MATTHEWS: So, if he wasn't born here, and he's never gone through a naturalization process, right, that you know of...
LIDDY: Not that I know of.
MATTHEWS: ...therefore, he's here illegally.
LIDDY: That would follow.
MATTHEWS: Then you're saying he's an undocumented alien?
LIDDY: Illegal alien.
MATTHEWS: He's an illegal alien? So, the president - so, he should be picked up.
MATTHEWS: No, but I'm serious. I mean, let's go all the way. And, by the way, who do you think is in on this, Gordon? Do you think his wife is in on this? Do you think his mother is in on this? Who is in on the - how many people are in on this conspiracy to make him look like he was born here? I figure his mother must be involved, his grandparents must be involved. How many people are part of this cover-up?
LIDDY: Well, his mother is dead.
MATTHEWS: No, how many people were part of this presentation to us that he was born here?
LIDDY: I don't know.
MATTHEWS: Well, it would have to be - the mother would have to say it. She saw him run for president. She saw him - how about the colleges he went to. He went to Occidental College, where Jack Kemp went. Do you think they knew he was here illegally? Columbia University, Harvard Law?
LIDDY: We would like - we would like to see the - the records of those places. Apparently, they have been available to you, but they're not available...
MATTHEWS: Well, we have got the state health director who says he was born here. They have got the certificate. The Republican governor of the state says he was born in Hawaii. Why would - why would Linda Lingle, the Republican governor, lie? Why would - why would everybody lie going back to 1961?
MATTHEWS: He's never been naturalized. He's never claimed to have gone through a process. So, by your account, he's illegally in the country, and his mother is involved in this, and everybody who has ever dealt with him. His wife, do you think she knows, Michelle, that he was not born here?
LIDDY: I can't look into Michelle's...
MATTHEWS: But all these people say he was. Is she part of the cover-up? Or was she lied to by him?
LIDDY: I have no idea.
There's video too. Enjoy.
Look out world! Sarah Palin is free at last! No longer trapped in the Alaska governor's mansion, Palin is striking out on her own. The results could be... interesting.
Sarah Palin says she's ready to be unleashed.
The Alaska governor, who is set to resign her post at the end of this month, took to the social networking site Twitter Friday to proclaim she's looking forward to being a little less restrained.
"10 dys til less politically correct twitters fly frm my fingertps outside State site," Palin declared.
Egad. You mean she's going to say less politically correct things than...
"I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities."
"Our opponent though, is someone who sees America it seems as being so imperfect that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country."
"I'm the mayor, I can do whatever I want until the courts tell me I can't.'"
Oh well, at least the crowd at her farewell address seemed to be having a good time.
George W. Bush
Remember when the Bush administration decided to push abstinence-only sex education? Well the results are in...
Teenage pregnancies and syphilis have risen sharply among a generation of American school girls who were urged to avoid sex before marriage under George Bush's evangelically-driven education policy, according to a new report by the US's major public health body.
In a report that will surprise few of Bush's critics on the issue, the Centres for Disease Control says years of falling rates of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease infections under previous administrations were reversed or stalled in the Bush years. According to the CDC, birth rates among teenagers aged 15 or older had been in decline since 1991 but are up sharply in more than half of American states since 2005. The study also revealed that the number of teenage females with syphilis has risen by nearly half after a significant decrease while a two-decade fall in the gonorrhea infection rate is being reversed. The number of Aids cases in adolescent boys has nearly doubled.
The CDC says that southern states, where there is often the greatest emphasis on abstinence and religion, tend to have the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and STDs.
In addition, about 16,000 pregnancies were reported among 10- to 14-year-old girls in 2004 and a similar number of young people in the age group reported having a sexually transmitted disease.
Back in April, Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina made a TV ad opposing Barack Obama's stimulus plan.
SANFORD: Recent days have been difficult in our state, in our country. Many families are struggling with challenges we've not seen in our lifetimes. Some say the solution lies in more government spending and deeper debt. The truth is, more tax dollars will be spent in our state this year than ever before. But there must be a stopping point. Going further into debt will not solve a problem that was created by too much debt. There must be a price that we will not impose on future generations. For me, the easy thing would be to accept money handed out from Washington, but the easy thing isn't always the right thing. We've proposed a budget that responsibly addresses our state's critical needs without more debt. To get there we have to finally restructure the broken ways our government operates. There is a better way than saddling our children with massive debts, that's what I'll continue to fight for."
Well, it turns out that Sanford was eventually overruled by the state's Supreme Court, who ordered him to take the stimulus money. But gosh, he made his point. What a model of fiscal responsibility this man is!
There's just one small problem...
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford shed his fiscal conservatism on several taxpayer-funded international trips, including a South American jaunt that included time with his mistress, choosing expensive first-class or business-class seats while his aides sat in coach.
Sanford, who once criticized other state officials for costly travel, charged the state more than $37,600 for one first-class and four business-class flights overseas since November 2005, expense records show. Other state employees flew in the back of the plane at a fraction of the price, according to the documents.
The Republican governor, who balked at taking federal stimulus money after arguing it was an unwise use of taxpayer funds, charged the state $8,687 for a Delta Air Lines trip to Brazil last year that included a leg in business class, state expense records show.
But it's okay. According to spokesman Joel Sawyer, "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."
Really? So other governors spent more money flying to Argentina to bang their mistresses, did they?
And finally, meet Paul Stanley. No, not that Paul Stanley...
This Paul Stanley!
Yes, Tennessee state senator Paul Stanley, who according to Talking Points Memo is a "solid conservative Republican and married father of two" who "recently sponsored a bill designed to prevent gay couples from adopting children."
And when a Planned Parenthood official recently sought his support for family planning services for Memphis teens, Stanley told her, according to the official, that he "didn't believe young people should have sex before marriage anyway, that his faith and church are important to him, and he wants to promote abstinence."
Therefore you probably won't be surprised to learn that according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal:
A Tennessee investigator says in an affidavit that state Sen. Paul Stanley, R-Germantown, told him he was having "a sexual relationship" with an intern in his office and had taken photographs of her in his Nashville apartment.
Long wrote in an April 14 sworn affidavit: "During an interview with Stanley, he advised Morrison was an intern in his legislative office. Stanley subsequently advised he had developed a sexual relationship with Morrison, during her internship. During the interview, Stanley acknowledged taking a photograph(s) of Morrison in Stanley's apartment."
The intern in question is 22 years old, and the story came to light after her boyfriend tried to blackmail Stanley. Whoops. But it's okay, because "Stanley, 47, who is married and has two young children, indicated he does not plan to step down from the Senate." And why would he? He's a Republican. You're supposed to do what he says, not what he does.
And come on, give the guy a break. It's not like he makes a habit of this sort of thing. Wait, what's this?
In 1994, Stanley's first wife, Judy Martin, filed for a restraining order against him, charging that he had physically assaulted her three times. She wrote: "He was going out the door to leave our house and he hit me with a tremendous blow and then he proceeded to turn and run away from me outside the garage to the street." Stanley and Martin divorced the following year.
According to the Nashville Post, Stanley met his current wife, Kristi Stanley, soon afterwards, while both were working for Bill Frist's U.S. Senate office in Memphis. She was working as -- an intern.
The Top 10 will return on Monday August 9. See you then!
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