Hurricanes, Riots, And Viruses, Oh My. Is God Trying To Tell Republicans Something?

In the past Republicans, and their evangelical emissaries, have been quick to declare that natural disasters and other civil disturbances were indications of God’s disapproval for sinful behavior. They believe that the calamities that wreaked havoc on Haiti, New Orleans, the Jersey shore, and even acts of terrorism like the massacre in Orlando, were divine messages conveying God’s anger and were intended as punishment for sinners.

God's Pissed

Today there is a report that the Republican National Convention may be suffering from an outbreak of biblical-style pestilence. Several delegates have come down with symptoms consistent with the norovirus which, according to the Centers for Disease Control, is:

“…a very contagious virus that can infect anyone. You can get it from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed. This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up. These symptoms can be serious for some people, especially young children and older adults”

The good news is that treatment for the norovirus is covered by ObamaCare. However, this potential health crisis could still threaten to upend a convention that has already been roiled by human-made catastrophes like Melania Trump’s blatant plagiarism of a 2008 speech by Michelle Obama. But this is just one symptom of a much larger problem for the the GOP.

Civil unrest has been a constant threat for the RNC since back in March when Donald Trump raised the specter of violence at the convention if he wasn’t crowned king of the Republican Party. He literally warned that “I think you’d have riots.” Having set that tone, Trump’s followers began planning to attend the convention fully armed and prepared for a righteous battle. The city of Cleveland has had to take extraordinary steps to try to prevent bloodshed.

And that’s not all. The last GOP convention in Tampa, Florida, in 2012 was also beset by tribulations. They were forced to cancel the first day due to the approach of Hurricane Isaac. That was actually the second consecutive Republican convention that was interrupted by a hurricane. The 2008 affair in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota was cursed by Hurricane Gustav.

So with this virus outbreak this is the third Republican convention that appears to have stirred God’s wrath. After hurricanes, riots, and viruses, what’s next? A plague of frogs? At some point you need to ask the question: Is God trying tell Republicans something? Is their aversion to many of the principles espoused in the bible causing these divine adversities?

After all, Jesus was a proponent of the poor; of feeding the hungry (food stamps) and healing the sick (ObamaCare). The bible commands believers to welcome immigrants in Exodus 22:21 saying “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” And even the environment is sacred as noted in Genesis 2:15 which says that God’s orders for humans with regard to his creation were “to cultivate and care for it.”

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

In reviewing these sins of the Republican Party it is easy to draw conclusions. Anyone with an open mind can clearly see that God is pissed. It may be wise to stay away from GOP conventions, or vote for their candidates, until these issues are resolved and Republicans change their evil ways. And at the top of the list is dispensing with Donald Trump who says that he has never asked God for forgiveness despite having already committed all seven of the deadly sins.

Majority Of Americans (Including 41% Of Republicans) Favor Socialist Healthcare

The Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) has been a contentious point of debate in the media ever since it was proposed by a timid Congress that worked fervently to water it down and excise its most progressive elements. In subsequent polling the nation has appeared divided on whether they favored the insurance reforms, although the polls often neglected to differentiate from those who opposed it because it went too far and those who who opposed it because it didn’t go far enough.

Medicare For All

This week Gallup released a poll that definitively settles that question. They gave respondents a clear choice that included the option of “Replacing the ACA with a federally funded healthcare program providing insurance for all Americans.” That option, which is essentially universal healthcare, received a clear majority of 58% favoring it.

What’s more, when Gallup broke down the responses by party, it revealed that 41% of Republicans were in favor of the federally funded option as well. Not a majority, nor even close to the 73% of Democrats, but a surprisingly high figure representing the heretofore unknown socialist wing of the GOP.

The other options in the poll were “Keeping the Affordable Care Act in place,” which was divided 48-49%, and “Repealing the Affordable Care Act” which was also close at 51-45%. However, as Gallup noted:

“…the group of Americans in this survey who favor the law’s repeal, a core policy proposal of many Republican presidential candidates during this campaign season, includes some who apparently want the ACA repealed to replace it with an even more liberal system.”

ObamaCare, in its present form, has been an unqualified success. It has brought the number of uninsured down to historically low levels. It has kept the cost of healthcare down, both in premiums paid to insurers and direct costs of care. It has guaranteed access to insurance for people with preexisting conditions and provided equality of cost and care for women. These are just a few of the reasons that, despite a concerted effort by Fox News and other conservative media to scare Americans away from it, ObamaCare continues to enjoy widespread popularity.

Considering the broad appeal of a universal, Medicare-for-all style healthcare program, it would be advantageous for the presidential candidates to pay heed to the will of the people. To date, only Bernie Sanders has taken a position that fully embraces this policy. Hillary Clinton, though, has been inching toward it with a recent statement in support of a public option.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

It would also be helpful if the media would cover this preference on the part of the American people. This may not be as sexy a subject as Donald Trump’s latest sleaze mongering, but the press is supposed to be a source of credible information, particularly in the midst of a presidential campaign. No one would expect Fox News to report the results of this poll, and they haven’t. It would completely contradict their phony free-market, crony-capitalist, Republican sponsored narrative. But the rest of the national television newscasters have largely ignored it as well. And without a responsible media giving this issue the attention it deserves, the candidates for both national and local offices will feel no pressure to address it either.

ObamaCare Liars On Fox News Get Bitchslapped – On Fox News

There has been an aura of the absurd permeating this election season for many months. And it isn’t all connected to Donald Trump (although that’s a huuuuge part of it). The circus atmosphere of the Republican contest has exceeded all bounds of reason. They are calling each other liars, flip-floppers, and worst of all, Republicans. Who would have thought a year ago the the foulest insult that could be aimed at a Republican would be the accusation of being an “establishment” member of your own party?


Amidst the turmoil and tantrums, Fox News, the staunchest evangelist of right-wing gospel, has itself come under pressure from within their own congregation. Most notably Donald Trump has pounded the network as unfair, unbalanced, and rife with dummies, losers, and bimbos. And he’s not the only wingnut taking swings at the conservatives favorite network. Everyone from Rush Limbaugh, to Glenn Beck to Ann Coulter has hurled broadsides at Fox. Well, those critics are not going to be happy about what happened the past couple days on the channel that had made destroying ObamaCare its prime directive.

Like most Republicans, Ted Cruz (R-TX) has feverishly attacked ObamaCare and promised its repeal if he were to be elected. This week he reiterated the demonstrably false GOP dogma that Obamacare was “the biggest job-killer in the country.” And when the subject came up on Bill O’Reilly’s show it did not receive the typical mindless thrashing that is the hallmark of Fox’s coverage.

O’Reilly noted that the Associated Press fact-checked Cruz and found that, not only was his statement false, the opposite was true. More jobs were created (over 13 million) simultaneous with an increase of nearly 17 million people getting health insurance who were not able to get it before ObamaCare. However, O’Reilly went on to cite dubious statistics that muted the beneficial aftermath of ObamaCare.

In response, his guest/victim, Kirsten Powers, disputed O’Reilly’s numbers, but also argued that even he were right “you have to make the connection that it was caused by Obamacare, and I don’t think that Cruz has made that connection.” Unfazed by facts, O’Reilly continued to muddy the debate by baselessly asserting that both sides have valid arguments. To which Powers replied with specific examples of conservative studies that affirm the positive impact of ObamaCare on employment. Characteristically, O’Reilly refused to budge, even while failing to offer a substantive rebuttal. He closed with a weak concession that Cruz ought to have sourced his data which, of course, O’Reilly himself didn’t do.

Today on Fox News Sunday the same issue was discussed. Ted Cruz was interviewed and given an opportunity to defend his own false allegations. He faced Fox’s Chris Wallace who surprisingly confronted him with the facts. Cruz typically dodged the question with a knee-jerk slam on the “liberal” media.

Wallace: The fact checkers say you’re wrong. Since that law went into effect, the unemployment rate fell from 9.9% to 5% as 13 million new jobs were created, and 16.3 million people who were previously uninsured now have coverage.
Cruz: Fact checkers are not fair and impartial. They are liberal editorial journalists. And they have made it their mission to defend Obamacare.

Of course. Everyone knows that fact-checkers have always been biased proponents of recklessly doling out healthcare to any slob that was dumb enough to get sick. Cruz’s notion that fact-checkers are not actually checking facts is a lunacy that is reminiscent of the Romney campaign in 2012 when his pollster declared that “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers [who have] jumped the shark.” Republicans keep admitting that the truth is of no use to them. And in that spirit the answer Cruz gave ignored the facts entirely, offered no alternative data to confirm his view, and then veered wildly off topic. Then he became obstinate and angry when Wallace pressed him to address the subject at hand.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Veteran Fox-watcher Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine has reported that personality issues and infighting have left Fox News grasping to shape an image during this campaign. But that is only part of the explanation for their spongy positions on matters that were once hard-coded. The viciousness exhibited by the Republican candidates toward one another presents an inherent conflict for a network that is so accustomed to agreeing with whatever the guy on the right said. Now they’re struck with the dilemma of who to suck up to if the choices are all right-wingers? And that predicament has left them confused and unprepared when a marginally progressive argument is dropped in their lap. They are simply so befuddled that they can’t keep their stories straight. Let’s hope this lasts until November.

Sarah Palin Stars In Night Of The Living Death Panels Sequel: The Re-Dumbification

Now that Sarah Palin has been unceremoniously jettisoned from her Fox News post, she has deemed it necessary to whip up as much controversy as possible in order to keep from becoming nothing more than a creepy memory and the reason for John McCain’s eternal damnation to Hell. That’s why she ditched her unsuccessful Internet video subscription service hoping more people would watch if they didn’t have to pay.

Sarah Palin Death Panels

To that end, Palin has posted a screed on her Facebook page declaring in all caps that “DEATH PANELS STILL NOT DEAD.” As the title suggests, Palin continues to suffer from an acute ignorance of law, facts, and common sense. Her blitheringly dumb resurrection of the Death Panel nonsense begins with the hilariously oblivious assertion that it’s the politicians who don’t get it.

“Their ‘Death Panels’ still won’t die. Last night Obamacare masterminds decided they’ll pay healthcare providers for vulnerable patients’ ‘end-of-life’ plans. Remember that’s the strange, intrusive, unaffordable, and unnecessary scheme that was actually stripped from Obamacare five years ago, once we ‘found out what’s in it.’ So now that part of this socialistic healthcare takeover is back.”

Palin then launches into a self-defense of her faulty grasp of what “end-of-life” plans (aka Advanced Directives) are. And she predictably slams the media for correctly noting that she has been “universally discredited” on this subject. She rants about the non-existent government rationing of healthcare and criticizes the imaginary “faceless bureaucrats” who she says “will measure a person’s worth.” She preaches about the “sanctity of life” in her trademark politi-vangelical style bemoaning that “a bloated bureaucracy and weak-kneed politicians sent millions of Americans into financial distress, unseen in history, with this leftist scheme called Obamacare.” Of course the documented truth is that, since the Affordable Care Act was implemented, more Americans are covered by insurance than ever before, and fewer are facing financial difficulties and bankruptcies due to medical bills.

What launched Palin into this confused orbit was news that Medicare is considering reimbursing doctors for consulting with patients about Advanced Directives. And while Palin calls it an “unnecessary scheme,” it is something virtually every medical professional and patient advocate recommends. The Medicare proposal does not require consultations, nor steers patients toward any specific preference of care. So in effect, what Palin is objecting to is giving people more control over their medical care. And when she fails to make a coherent case against Advanced Directives, she diverts her argument to a completely different and equally benign part of the Affordable Care Act, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is a doctor-run advisory group tasked with identifying the best practices in health care to insure the best medical outcomes and to avoid unnecessary or exploitative procedures.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

None of this is new. Palin has been on a rampage against these useful services for as long as they have been public. And for all of that time she has intensely misunderstood them. A year ago Fox News railed against Medicare’s exploration of this policy, making the same irrational arguments that Palin makes. In short, conservative wingnuts believe that it is a God-given right to be denied healthcare by the faceless bureaucrats at greedy insurance companies. But it is submission to tyranny if the government steps in and makes such care available and affordable. Palin et al prefer the old ways when Americans went bankrupt (or died) because they didn’t have insurance or their coverage was insufficient. And it is obvious that this zombie lie about Death Panels is going to be a cornerstone of conservative politics for the foreseeable future, despite how thoroughly it has been debunked by knowledgeable sources.

Update 7/14/2015: Sean Hannity weighed in on this with his predictably inane commentary saying…

“Remember all the talk about Gov. Palin talking about Death Panels? For those of you who were wondering what ever happened to the Death Panels, you don’t have to wonder much longer. You probably won’t. They’re currently being implemented under “Dying for Dollars,” a strategy where the administration pays doctors to persuade elderly patients to end their lives by discontinuing treatment.”

What a boob. He apparently has forgotten that end-of-life counseling may also result in patients choosing to prolong their lives with every expensive medical procedure that exists. It’s the patient’s choice. That’s the whole point. Hannity and Palin are arguing to prohibit patients from being able to make their choices known. What’s really sad is that they have so many people who blindly believe what they spew.

Republicans Despondent Over ObamaCare Should Be Sending The Supreme Court Fruit Baskets

Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court upholding the subsidies in the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) is being portrayed in the media as an historic victory for President Obama. And, to be sure, the ruling does affirm the constitutionality of the law and prevents the cancellation of more than six million health insurance policies nationwide.

However, from a political perspective, the big winners are the Republican Party. Chief Justice John Roberts really pulled their butts out of the fire with his decision finding that…

“In a democracy, the power to make the law rests with those chosen by the people. […] Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”

For the rest of the day, and throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, you will hear the moaning and gnashing of teeth of disingenuous Republicans pretending to be disappointed by the ruling. In fact, they could not be happier. This ruling allows them to run on a platform of repealing what they claim is a disastrous law that curtails all freedoms and sets the course of the nation toward Armageddon.

ObamaCare Supreme Court

Had the Court ruled against the subsidies, millions of Americans would have lost their health insurance, and the the remainder would have been subject to higher premiums as the pool of the insured became smaller and sicker. In that scenario, Republicans would have had to run the gauntlet of enraged voters who were suffering the consequences of the GOP’s greedy self-interest. Most of those voters would have been from red states and the south where the most recipients of subsidies from federal exchanges reside.

As a result of the this ruling, the GOP will still run on a “repeal and replace” campaign, but they won’t have to do it with their own constituents breathing down their necks in disgust. Instead they will lament the corrupt socialists on the Court and promise to deliver something better if they win the White House and Congress in 2016. Never mind that they have made that promise for more than six years but have never produced a viable replacement. To their credit/shame, they have voted more than fifty times to repeal ObamaCare.

On the other hand, Democrats won the legal and logical battle with this ruling. But they lost the opportunity to run against a Republican Party that had stolen the health insurance from millions of Americans. One of the great ironies of democracy is that it is harder to run on your accomplishments than it is to run on your opponents’ failures. So while millions of voters who were rescued from the heartlessness of the GOP by this ruling should be grateful to Democrats for passing the legislation, their gratitude will be harder to translate into votes than if the Court had struck down the bill and they could vote their disapproval of Republicans.

In the final analysis, it is far better that the Court upheld the subsidies because, politics aside, real people’s real lives hang in the balance. For whatever period of time that ObamaCare may have been obstructed by a negative ruling, Americans would have suffered both financially and medically. Indeed, people without access to health care would have become sicker and even died. And those who survived would have lost much of their financial security, including their homes and retirement savings. So if Democrats have to try harder to get their message across, then so be it.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

In light of that, every time you hear a Republican whining about the awful Supreme Court decision, remember these two things: 1) They are actually ecstatic that it takes them off the hook for all the outraged voters who would have lost their insurance had the decision gone the other way. And 2) Their feigned despair is actually an expression of disappointment that millions of people didn’t get shafted and forced to face poor health and bankruptcy, which is what they were ostensibly rooting for.

Breitbart’s Asinine Advice To Wreck ObamaCare: Don’t Buy Health Insurance

There are times when one encounters political punditry that makes you genuinely question the mental health of the alleged pundit. One of those times is at hand with today’s article by Breitbart News editor John Nolte titled “Break ObamaCare’s Back: Do Not Purchase Health Insurance.”

Breitbart ObamaCare

BreitBrat Nolte is offering this blitheringly stupid advice to his dimwitted readers based on a series of falsehoods and a fetishistic aversion to the availability of effective, affordable health insurance. He begins his rant by revealing some personal reasons for putting his health – physical and financial – at severe risk.

Nolte: Running around uninsured for the first time in my adult life has not been easy. The tax penalty isn’t cheap (2.5% of your taxable income) and there is the constant uneasy fear of an expensive medical problem, a cancer or car accident, the kind that can bankrupt you.

“History has shown, though, that there is almost always a personal price to pay for social change through civil disobedience — a price I’m willing to pay to help break the back of ObamaCare, an immoral and illegitimate government program sold with serial-presidential (and media) lies and enacted into law using one-party procedural tricks.”

Nolte is portraying himself as the Gandhi of the anti-healthcare movement. He thinks he is taking a principled stand to save America from having to suffer the torment of access to doctors and medicine. But to him the the sword dangling over his head is worth the risk if it can contribute to forcing everyone in the country to face the same risk he is foolishly assuming voluntarily.

In his first attempt to provide a substantive reason to forego healthcare, Nolte praised pre-ObamnaCare policies that he ludicrously described as “these wonderful catastrophic policies.” Now there’s a turn of phrase that cries out “oxymoron.” Nolte has to be the only person who has ever had a catastrophic policy who thinks it was “wonderful.” The rest of the world regards them as a last resort and prays that they don’t get sick.

Even so, Nolte’s praise of these wonderful policies comes with the criticism that President Obama made them illegal. But then, in his very next sentence, he contradicts himself saying that “Actually, what ObamaCare did was make these catastrophic plans unaffordable.” He’s still wrong. Nolte’s evidence of this was his assertion that he would have to pay close to three times more were he to get a catastrophic plan through ObamaCare. However, he offers no proof of that claim and his numbers are utterly unbelievable. He says that he would have to pay a premium of $400.00 per month, but the average cost of a Bronze plan under ObamaCare is only $209.00.

Nolte goes on to claim that his out-of-pocket costs would increase because providers offer lower fees to people without insurance. However, they provide the same discounts to people with high-deductible insurance plans. Plus, many preventive services (annual exams, vaccinations, colonoscopies, mammograms, etc.) are paid in full with deductibles waived.

The real motivation for Nolte’s tirade is stated when he writes “I want to do my part to break the back of ObamaCare. I just can’t live with the idea of doing anything that will benefit Obama’s and the media’s serial lies.” Nolte is admitting that his agenda is political, and not based on his best medical interests. He is simply opposed to the “greedy takers enjoying these subsidies.” That tells you something about how he feels about low and middle-class Americans seeking access to health care.

Nolte closes by misrepresenting the public’s view of ObamaCare. He cites a recent poll by the Washington Post that shows 54% opposed and 39% in favor. But Nolte is leaving out a lot of pertinent information. For instance, the Post admits that their results “contrast with other recent polls finding softening opposition and support above record low levels.” What’s more, the Post survey also shows that a similar majority (55/38) say that the Supreme Court should not rule against the ObamaCare subsidies in the King v. Burwell case that is presently being decided. That includes 65% of Democrats, 57% of Independents, and even 34% of Republicans.

Another thing that ObamaCare opponents frequently use to misconstrue public opinion is the fact that many of those who say they oppose ObamaCare do so because they think it doesn’t go far enough. When the numbers for those who favor ObamaCare are combined with those who want it to be even more comprehensive (i.e. universal, single payer), they are a solid majority.

The right’s crusade to sabotage ObamaCare is nothing new. They have been trying to kill it since before it became law. That campaign has included brazenly lying about the law’s effects, including ancillary nonsense like threats of prison for those who don’t sign up. PolitiFact has ruled at least twelve times on “Pants on Fire” lies by ObamaCare opponents bent on scaring people away.

But what Nolte is doing is much worse. He is giving his personal advice to go without health insurance. That could lead some people to suffer terrible consequences should they become sick or injured and not have the ability to seek medical care. And even if they do get treatment, they could be find themselves in a financial morass that could leave them bankrupt or homeless. This is something that conservatives have tried before. Fox News even advocated what they falsely called alternatives to health insurance, but were mostly shams that failed entirely to cover people for real-world needs.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

These attempts to steer people away from health care are irresponsible and dangerous. And whether it is Fox News or John Nolte or any other partisan hack, they should be held accountable for the harm they cause. And there are real victims like this guy and this guy, and even this guy.

Uh Oh: Jeb Bush Proposes Federally Mandated ‘Death Panels’

At a campaign stop in Manchester, New Hampshire, prospective GOP presidential candidate and successor to the Bush dynasty, Brother Jeb came forward to praise his own actions as Florida governor during a controversy that involved a woman in a persistent vegetative state. Terri Schiavo had suffered irreversible brain-damage and was being kept alive by machines against the wishes of her husband and, according to him, herself.

The torturous spectacle that Bush engineered included multiple court challenges and even signing a law giving him, personally, the right to decide Schiavo’s fate. Somehow that didn’t offend his Republican principles against Big Government. That law was later ruled to be unconstitutional, and after months of emotionally brutal wrangling in the courts and the media, Schiavo was mercifully allowed to die.

Today Bush still thinks he did the right thing and says that “I don’t think I would change anything.” However, he went on to express what he said was his one regret:

“In hindsight, the one thing that I would have loved to have seen was an advance directive where the family would have sorted this out […] I think if we’re going to mandate anything from government, it might be that if you’re going to take Medicare, you also sign up for an advance directive where you talk about this before you’re so disabled.”

Jeb Bush Death Panels

Yikes! What Bush is talking about are the dreaded “Death Panels” that Sarah Palin made famous in her blitheringly stupid criticism of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). Advance Directives are nothing more than voluntary statements that inform doctors and family members as to the wishes of a patient in the event that they are unable to speak for themselves. Palin turned this into a surreal debate over the wholly imaginary prospect of the government deciding who will live or die. For that she was awarded the PolitiFact “Lie of the Year” honors for 2009.

Having been subjected to devastating ridicule did nothing to temper Palin’s dumbfuckery. She continues to believe in the Death Panel myth that she was so instrumental in creating (although she has shifted her ire toward the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a group of health care professionals who insure best practices in medical care and fair pricing, which she now calls Death Panels). When Palin gets wind of Bush’s endorsement of Advanced Directives there is likely to be an earthquake in the Tea Party precincts that still admire her vacuous ramblings.

As for Bush, there is reason to be positive about his support for such a common sense initiative that gives people more control over their own lives. However, he may have taken it a step too far. The suggestion that Advanced Directives be mandatory seems like the sort of government intrusion that Republicans usually rail against. While a Living Will is advisable for most people, forcing them to prepare one when they may not be ready to make all of the profound decisions involved is way too strict a requirement.

What’s more, Bush is only proposing mandated Advance Directives for Medicare recipients. Why is he discriminating against just that sector of the population? Why not make it mandatory for anyone with a health insurance policy, whether public or private? As usual, the Republican solution to any problem is to put the burden on those who are already on society’s lower financial rungs. It’s why they advocate mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients, but not for doctors or lawyers or politicians, who hold people’s lives in their hands. It’s why states like Kansas are currently trying to dictate how food stamp recipients can spend their benefits, but there are never similar dictates on how wealthy recipients of government subsidies can spend their benefits.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

If you’re poor in America the government can tell you what to do and how to live. If your rich, anything goes, even if you still get benefits from the government, including tax breaks that contribute to your wealth. That’s the Republican philosophy. And then they will condemn anyone who proposes a policy that permits the government to control any part of a citizen’s life. Unless, of course, it has to with a woman’s control over own body, a patient’s desire for medicinal marijuana, or anyone who wishes to be free from mandated exposure to Christianity.

In short, the GOP Doctrine of Acceptable Hypocrisy requires that any regulation of the rich be condemned as an intolerable intrusion by Big Government. But similar regulations of the poor are necessary controls on irresponsible, and probably criminal, moochers.

RepubliCare: The GOP Alternative To ObamaCare Is A Corporatist Sham

Republicans in Congress just held their 56th vote to repeal or cripple the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). It is a pointless waste of time and taxpayer dollars that will never become law, but the wingnut obsession with this boondoggle never seems to let up.

Throughout the debate over ObamaCare, conservatives have tried to pretend that they are concerned about the welfare of the American people and that they intend to replace ObamaCare with their own version of reform. But more than four years have elapsed since ObamaCare was rolled out and there has not been a single bill introduced as an alternative.

ObamaCare Ruling

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Now the Republicans with a newly fortified majority in Congress are promoting a plan that they say can replace ObamaCare. There are, however, two major problems with their initiative. 1) It isn’t actually a draft of legislation at all and will not be voted on. And 2) it illustrates their bias toward corporations and their animosity to the American people they profess to support. Here is a summary of their “plan:”

The GOP’s Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment – or CARE – Act

  • Calls for the outright repeal of President Obama’s signature health care law, and with that, the individual mandate to buy insurance or pay a fine.
  • Provides for targeted tax credits to individuals and families up to 300 percent above the poverty line to encourage people to buy plans in the market place.
  • Allows insurers to sell plans across state lines.
  • Caps the amount of monetary damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice litigation.
  • Calls for a specific ‘continuous coverage’ protection where individuals moving from one plan to another cannot be denied.

What this amounts to is just another ObamaCare repeal bill decorated with gifts to the insurance industry. There is no realistic way to make insurance coverage affordable without broadening the customer base via mandates. The GOP plan would shrink the base and result in premiums that would be out of reach for most people due to the dominance of high-risk patients in the system. The provision to cap damages in lawsuits has been on the corporate wish list for decades and does nothing to help patients. To the contrary, it would result in people who suffered actual harm not being compensated fairly.

Most disturbing is the hoax that the GOP is proposing as their version of a coverage guarantee to people with preexisting conditions. In the RepubliCare model you would already have to have insurance and then you could not be denied a continuance. Of course they never explain how you got the insurance to begin with. And if you were attempting to get insured for the first time, the companies could reject you without consequence. In other words, it is no protection at all.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The GOP likes to complain that ObamaCare is a government-run healthcare program, despite the fact that the government has no role whatsoever in providing healthcare. It merely sets standards for insurance companies to make certain that everyone has access to coverage that is effective and affordable. Meanwhile Republicans claim to favor a more “patient-centered” approach, but then offer this fraud that was very likely written by insurance company lobbyists.

If these Republicans are successful, millions of Americans will lose their current insurance and suffer both medically and financially as a result. In its place will be a windfall for corporations that expands their profits at the expense of the American people, particularly those who are already sick. Nice work, RepubliCare.

Smacking The Smirk Off Of Tucker Carlson’s Face: Fox News Fails To Smear ObamaCare

For some reason, Fox News has made an editorial decision to segregate their most idiotic hosts to the morning hours on the network on programs like Fox & Friends. It’s where you will find Steve Doocy, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Brian Kilmeade, Anna Kooiman, and today’s special, Tucker Carlson.

In a segment that was undoubtedly designed to malign the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare), Carlson invited a healthcare consumer on to frighten us all with his tale of an insurance catastrophe that resulted in – well, it resulted in no harm whatsoever, but never mind that. There is a horror story to tell.

Fox News ObamaScare

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The segment (video below) began with ominous music accompanying a graphic with a foreboding theme: “Eyes On ObamaCare.” Cut to Carlson’s opening wherein he somberly warned that…

“Not only can you not keep your doctor, but you can’t keep your coverage either. Through a glitch in one of the official ObamaCare exchanges over 3,600 people in the state of Colorado saw their health insurances policies canceled without notice. Kafka comes to Colorado.”

Kafka , for those unfamiliar, was known for writing somewhat depressing novels with characters who were pummeled by heartless bureaucracies. You know, like the ones that make healthcare available to everyone. Yeah, what a nightmare it must be to be able to see a doctor when you need one. But what Carlson seemed to cavalierly skip over is the fact that the problem in the story he is introducing was caused by a glitch, not a government mandated assault on its citizens.

Carlson jumped into the interview by falsely asserting that his guest/victim, Steven Roussel, had suffered a rise in his insurance premium “thanks to ObamaCare.” Of course, there was no evidence that ObamaCare had anything to do with the higher premium which, in fact, are controlled by the private insurance companies, except for the limits that ObamaCare imposes on increases. Furthermore, Roussel himself never said that ObamaCare was responsible for the increase.

While browsing the exchange website and talking to a representative on the phone, Roussel’s policy was mistakenly canceled. As note above, this was not some Kafkaesque bureaucracy imposing it’s evil will on a defenseless peon. It was a computer error, a malfunction, a glitch, that was probably the work of Satan. So Carlson delved deeper into the mystery asking…

“Can you just give us a little background here? Were you happy or dissatisfied with your healthcare before Obamacare?”

Whereupon Roussel delivered a truly nightmarish response – if you’re Fox News:

“Well, I didn’t have any healthcare before the Affordable Healthcare Act went in. And it was because of that, that I was actually able to afford it.”

About this time there was an associate producer at Fox that was sweating and attempting to slither out a back door. Heads will surely roll for not having vetted this socialist subversive guest thoroughly before allowing him to get on the air and praise ObamaCare for creating an opportunity to get health insurance. But it gets even worse. When given a direct opportunity to disparage ObamaCare and its namesake, Roussel committed a Foxian blasphemy:

Carlson: How has this made you feel about the whole ObamaCare experiment?
Roussell: Well, experiments are either a success or fail, and this instance it’s a little bit of a fail. But it’s not necessarily the President’s fault. It’s more the CEO’s fault that knew about the glitch in the system and did nothing about it.

So there you have it. Blame was placed exactly where it belonged. The insurance company was responsible for the rate increase, and combined with the operators of the exchange, permitted a glitchy website to go online that inadvertently canceled some policies.

Carlson responded sarcastically saying that “Well, I betcha he’ll get right on it after this.” Which actually turned out to be true (Tucker got lucky). The exchange is contacting every affected consumer and assuring them that their policies will be reinstated retroactive to January 1, and they will have the opportunity to select any other plan should they decide to switch.

So in the end, this was nothing but a programming mishap that was quickly resolved without anyone suffering any negative repercussions. Which makes it an obvious target for Fox News to invent a controversy where none existed, and to frighten their viewers with false stories of a government gone wild. At some point Fox’s viewers are going to realize that the network was created by the pharmaceutical industry to sell more anti-depressants.

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Video via Raw Story

Obsessive Gruber Syndrome: Fox News Suffers From Its Own Manic Spin Cycle

A week after some stale and unfortunate comments by M.I.T. professor Jonathan Gruber were revealed, the conservative media circus have drenched themselves in it. And leading the way, of course, is Fox News where there isn’t an hour that goes by without some new and highly hyperbolized reference to Gruber’s remarks.

Fox News Gruber Brainwashing

An analysis by PolitiFact found that mentions of the Gruber affair occurred 779 times on Fox News since November 10th. That’s once every fifteen minutes, 24 hours a day, for eight straight days. It suggests an editorial obsession that exceeds anything they have exhibited for other current news events, including immigration, Ebola, and the battle against ISIL who just executed another American hostage. By comparison MSNBC mentioned Gruber only 79 times and CNN had 27 mentions. Of course, Fox News believes that the rest of the media are inappropriately ignoring the story, but the truth is that there is no news here other than a single person who is not a legislator or White House staffer saying things that no one else has corroborated.

Implicit in the incessant rash of criticism of Gruber, and by extension, the President, is the assertion that supporters of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) have lied about its contents. But if you’re interested in an assemblage of ObamaCare lies you need to look at the Republicans and their mouthpieces on Fox News.

Rarely mentioned is the fact that the substance of what Gruber said is not representative of anything but his own opinion. President Obama has dismissed him as a consultant and repudiated his insult to American voters. It has also been noted that ObamaCare is one of the most thoroughly debated pieces of legislation that has ever trudged through the Congress. So Gruber’s flippant references to a lack of transparency simply make no sense at all.

What’s more, it is pointless to reach back in time to a remark about ObamaCare when the bill has already been implemented and the results can be seen in action. There are more than ten million people who have insurance coverage now than did before the bill had passed. Those who have signed up are overwhelmingly satisfied with the coverage and the cost. And there haven’t been any disasters erupting from alleged secrets tucked into the bill.

Gruber - Hatch

The portion of Gruber’s remarks that has received the most attention is where he alluded to “the stupidity of the American people.” Right-wingers have never been shy about calling voters stupid in the past, particularly when discussing those who support Democrats. But in this case they are exploiting the gaffe in order to bash ObamaCare and the President. However, if you edit slightly Gruber’s wording you can arrive at an observation that is unarguably true. And that is that a certain segment of the American electorate is very noticeably stupid: Fox News viewers. They have been conned by the network’s relentless assault on ObamaCare. The current fixation on Gruber is simply a reaction to their inability to criticize the program on substance.

If, however, you are determined to look back to find something relevant to the current health care debate, you might want to check out Mitt Romney’s speech in April of 2006 when he signed the Massachusetts health care bill that was the model for ObamaCare. Romney took time to thank those he relied on to draft and implement his plan. And one of those people was Jonathan Gruber, about whom Romney said…

“I want to thank the many, many people in this room who were critical to crafting and coaxing the bold health care initiative that I’m about to sign. […] Jonathan Gruber at MIT devoted hours and hours to an essential econometric model.”

For an interesting Gruber reference you won’t see on Fox News, here is a clip from the Lawrence O’Donnell show on MSNBC in October of 2011 that identifies Gruber as a “Romney health care consultant.” It will be interesting to see if the Republicans who are hammering Obama for his association with Gruber will cast the same measure of scorn on Romney.

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[Addendum] Fox Nation is already beating on another video where Obama is quoted as saying “I have stolen ideas from [Gruber].” But in this case the video is from April of 2006, when Obama was a senator, and his remarks were about the launch of The Hamilton Project, an economic think tank from the centrist Brookings Institute. So it was before he was president and had nothing to do with health care. But Fox’s deceitful reporting never mentioned any of that.