Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Nine minutes of stupid*

"Barack Obama means anti-Christ. It says so in the Bible."

"We don't need no czars. Jesus is our king."



Granted, this is a bit gratuitous, but when I see videos like this I begin to wonder what the point of this nation is. To give snake oil salesman like Glenn Beck a loony middle class to buy his books and watch his show? If these limbic brained nitwits were born in any other country but ours, with our limitless resources and social safety nets, they would be spending their days eating mud and their nights hiding from bears in a trees. Reason #894 why we should require the South to secede.

*For the record, I disagree with the interviewer's scoffing at the differences between fascism, socialism and communism... they are all similar in that they are collectivist economic systems of a sort. Also, I don't necessarily agree with the written statement at the end.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Health Care = Big Government

No shit.



Bill O'Reilly, despite his Masters degree in Public Administration, never has a solution to any problem. He's a smart guy who can find the festering purulent ulcer emanating from the diabetic's leg, and he may even know how to debride and dress it, but he won't.

Here's the deal: there are two possible solutions--- and only two. One, we can provide health care for everyone and fund it with consumption taxes, ie, clean up the wound, or two, we can amputate the leg, by stopping all mandates for hospitals and doctors to provide free or below-market care. Both will work equally well, but very different in their level of difficulty and pain and outcome. I'll start with the second choice.

Choice #1 : Amputate the leg (= Repeal EMTALA)

First of all, this is not a call for ending old folks' Medicare, far from it. This is a call for the right wing approach of allowing the free market to call the shots and getting "Big Government" out of health care. The metaphorical "leg" in this scenario is the EMTALA statute (Emergency Medical Transfer and Active Labor Act) that requires all acute care hospitals that accept Medicare to also accept everyone regardless of the ability to pay for services. Repeal that law and let the "free" market sort it out. No more Big Government.

When I was an intern on the general surgery rotation, the chief resident handed me the giggly saw for an above-knee amputation. Exciting as it was, even I understood that his thought was that even a first year gynecology resident can do this.

Sounds simple, and it is, but amputating EMTALA would completely revolutionize health care in this country. EMTALA is the primary driver of rising health care costs because hospitals and physicians must shift costs for underpaid and free care over to the paying customers. If Needy Ned comes in with an acute appendicitis, he has to get treated-- by law-- and only later does he decide if he's going to pay. The hospital is not allowed to require payment at the time of service and cannot transfer him to another facility under penalty of law.

What does this mean? This means that the ER doctor, the surgeon, the radiologist who reads the x-ray, and the pathologist who prepares and reads the surgical specimen, all work for free. The hospital must provide nurses, technicians, operating room personnel, housekeepers, patient transporters and pay all their salaries. Then we have the overhead expenses: electricity, heat, rent and liability insurance. All fixed and variable costs provided for free. And these costs are met by shifting them to the person in the next gurney who does have insurance... which is the largest reason why health insurance premiums are rising so dramatically.

And Bill O'Reilly, with his Harvard degree, knows all this, remember that.

Likewise, Medicaid does not cover costs, so it's barely better than nonpayment. It pays 18 cents on the dollar of private carriers and about one-third of Medicare. Physicians are not required to take these patients in their offices, but hospitals must accept them for urgent and emergent care. As part of EMTALA, hospitals must make available certain specialists as well as primary care for 30 days following an ER visit. Most acute care hospitals make physician privileges contingent on covering the emergency room patients so this is a form of endenturement. If they cannot coerce physicians, then they often pay a stipend to local private doctors or they hire an entire staff of doctors and nurses for indigent care. Expensive.

As the economy falters and people lose their jobs, and thus their health insurance, more and more folks will qualify for Medicaid or go without insurance. If hospitals could require fair payment for services and turn non-payers and under-payers away, then Medicaid would have to increase reimbursement to something closer to Medicare fees.

Will increasing Medicaid reimbursement increase health care costs? Answer: No. The costs are already high and are already being paid since they are merely shifted to paying patients. The problem is that since outpatient access for Medicaid patients is so low-- because very few doctors voluntarily accept their payment-- these patients over-utilize the emergency rooms and this pushes up costs astronomically. Pay primary care docs a fair wage to see them in their offices and they could prevent many of these expensive ER visits. Penny wise versus pound foolish.

Without EMTALA, people will die; that's the painful part. But the free market is brutal and guys like Bill O'Reilly and Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell and Glenn Beck are hypocrites to blabber on about the benefits of the free market but then conveniently leave out the down side. I have heard not one pundit or politician or tea-bagger broach the repeal of EMTALA because they know that people will die. It's easy for these assholes to compel doctors by law to take care of people for free. Furthermore, I have not heard of one left-winger bring this up-- and I think this is the crux of the issue. Shame on all of them.

The Supreme Court just ruled that corporations have personhood rights when it comes to financing elections, so why don't hospital corporations have personhood rights to refuse low reimbursement for services? Food is necessary for life, yet grocery stores are not required to hand out free food to nonpayers. My plumber isn't required to fix my leaking hot water heater without payment.

But in the long view, costs will be saved. Private insurance premiums will decrease as hospitals and physicians stop shifting costs around. Free marketers can set up charities to provide insurance for poor people if they are so inclined, or not. If not, then society will be relieved of the burden of all these irresponsible and poverty-stricken freeloaders. Whatever.

Sure, do all the other free market stuff, too, to get "Big Government" out of health care: allow insurance to be sold across state lines, provide for health savings accounts, require doctors and hospitals to post prices for shoppers, give private citizens who purchase insurance the same tax breaks as employers, or better, do away with tax breaks altogether for health insurance. NO mandates for insurance, no price fixing, no opacity. But the repeal of EMTALA is part and required parcel of any free market renovation of the health care industry.

After ten years of Republican control of Congress, they had only made EMTALA more restrictive which only decreased the influence of the invisible hand on health care. Also, Medicare Part D, a Republican baby, is a biggest cost-plus government boondoggle since the stealth B-2 bomber. They know all the buzz words for free market, except for the most important one: EMTALA-- yet the GOP has no intention of ever making health care, or anything else for that matter, an actual free market.

Choice: #2: Debride and Dress the wound (= fix the system)

Actually, we have no "system" per se in health care in this country, only a patchwork of plans, facilities, and payers without any rhyme or reason. Each insurance payer has different standards and fee schedules. Some pay more for primary care and less for specialty care, and others the opposite. Some pay for screening exams, others don't. The only consistency is that all the private payers vie vociferously for the healthiest and wealthiest patients. And the rest go on Medicare and Medicaid, or go without insurance.

Does Medicare lose money? Sure, but maybe it's because they take the oldest, sickest and most disabled of the citizens while the private companies have all the younger and healthier ones. This is yet another case of privatizing the profits and socializing the risks. I think Medicare does a better job than any other payer in managing the huge risks at relatively low cost. Of course, it's impossible to compare Medicare with private companies head-to-head because we have no public option or Medicare-for-all plan.

My suspicion is that the most important issue for Aetna, Wellpoint, United Health, etc during this recent health care tirade was to strike the public option from the legislation. They could live with any other provision as long as they were not compared head-to-head with Medicare-- then we would all know how inefficient and egregious these private payers really are. If Medicare were allowed to take on healthy working folks who pay private premium rates, my guess is that it would compete very well with Aetna, et al, and Medicare would actually flourish.

In the current set up, if one of the healthy and wealthy gets sick, there is a better than even chance that they will be dropped by their insurance and never qualify again. One person I know has an infant born with a congenital medical problem, so he can never quit his job or he will lose his insurance forever. Forever.

So here's what the progressive Democrats have to do: submit two bills to Congress. The first restricts private insurance from using pre-existing illness as a criterion for disallowing benefits. The second bill prohibits insurance companies from dropping enrollees when they get sick or lose their job. That's it.

Nobody would dare argue with these simple requirements. Polling shows that a vast majority of voters agree with these two restrictions. If Republicans argue or want to add other provisions, remind them loudly that they were the ones who wanted line item votes on every single aspect of health care-- no huge omnibus bills, no "Big Government". And these bills will pass with only 51 votes.

The next sound we would hear is the plaintive screams from private insurance executives whining about how unfair this all is. They can't be required to insure sick people! How will they ever be profitable!? How will their executives ever be able to afford yachts and Swiss ski vacations!? They will plead for an insurance mandate, a law requiring every healthy 25 year-old to purchase one their insurance products (which, by the way adds no value to health care.) This, they will argue, is the only way to ensure a large enough risk pool to enable the above restrictions.

Okay, the progressives say, we have mercy on you; you can have your mandate to go along with the pre-exiting illness and loss of job restrictions.... BUT, then we have to add the public option AND an expansion of Medicare to 55 year-olds, for no other reason than to allow a trial period of head-to-head comparison to see how costs flesh out. If they balk, then fine, we'll just institute the popular restrictions and move on, and they can whine to themselves.

The other free market stuff like fee transparency, selling policies across state lines, health savings accounts, tort reform, etc., can be added later, or not-- none would have a material effect on either health costs or access and they merely serve as pet projects for specific interest groups. So go for it.

My surmise is that the eventual finding would be that publicly administered health care, ie, Medicare, would become the most popular choice as costs are saved with economies of scale and premiums become more affordable. Buying drugs, billing, authorizing treatments would all be done on such a huge scale that costs would be slashed. The added value would be the huge data base that could be assembled to look at treatment outcomes, cost analysis and ways to improve access.

And if the federal program isn't efficient, then private payers would garner a larger and larger niche and the experiment would end.

Similar to postal service, where the federal government competes with private carriers, the health field would have true choice. The post office has the added mandate to provide home service to every rural outpost and domicile, and despite this constraint, they operate with very similar profit/loss numbers as Federal Express. Can it be improved? Probably, but it's in the ball park and I know of nobody that doesn't hesitate to use the US Post office to pay bills and send important mail-- all cheaper than private carriers.

After a few years, my guess is that Medicare-for-all would become a popular request as people find that their 55 year-old relatives are not dying in droves and they often see the same physicians and go to the same hospitals as their privately insured relatives do. Sure, some would eschew federally operated health care, and that would be fine. And we would no longer need EMTALA laws since everyone would have decent insurance.

Likely, we would continue like France and England with public and private systems operating side by side, competing and improving outcomes.

Conclusion

Either one of these plans would work, but ignoring the problem would be a mistake. If the Republicans hope that the recent negation of health care reform will table it for another 16 years, I would like to think the Democrats will disabuse them of this notion. We cannot afford to spend 18% or 20% of our GDP on health care. The lousy access is literally killing people and this is not appropriate for an advanced society. Whining about who is going to pay for all this health care is outrageously idiotic: you are already paying for it, and then some. To delay reform is only more expensive.

Everyone is covered already, we treat health health care as a de facto right in this country-- that's why nobody is rushing to repeal EMTALA. The next time some teabag troglodyte or Fox News 'tard rails on about "the free market", remind them that we haven't had a free market in health care for a long time, if ever.


American Health Care Pie

Regardless of your stance, this is hilarious.



Old guys on Medicare standing in the way of working people getting health care coverage. Nice.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

How do you know when a trial attorney is lying?

Answer: his lips are moving.

And Reason #892 why we should require the South to secede from the Union.




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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Whither FDR and LBJ?


So this is the part of Obama's presidency where he becomes FDR and LBJ.

Everyone has advice on how he can save his presidency, so I'll add mine. If only he would do it my way. If only he would fix healthcare my way, if only he would regulate the banks my way, if only he would cut taxes for small businesses and stimulate consumer spending... my way.


The one bright shiny spot from the last year has been a stock market rally. For Pres. Obama or Barney Frank or Chris Dodd to have squelched that rally could have been disastrous. Sure employment still lags and we still have massive consumer and government debt, two wars, ongoing terrorist threats, and assorted other maladies, but everything must be done in its place.


Dear President Obama:

Critics on Wall Street will never like the timing or the nature of your call for regulation of the financial industry. Get over it, they aren't going to vote for you anyway, Barack. This goes for the health-insurance industry as well. It's time to find out who your friends are, and they are the people of the United States.

Financial Industry

Without significant reform, banks and investment houses will ruin this world. A year ago the bank bailout brought us back from the abyss, but it cost us nearly a trillion dollars. Now solid legislation is necessary to prevent any recurrence. Our reserves are spent and no more such mistakes can be made.

We all know the banks need to be fixed either with more regulation, more loan reserves, less securitization or more regulation of trading, but something has to be done. The eight largest banks now control more revenue than before the crash, so if they were too big to fail then, they are certainly too big to fail now. Some advocate splitting the largest banks into smaller ones, but opponents say would be unable to compete in the worldwide economy. We may need to sacrifice some competitive advantage to reduce the risks of large banks destroying us. That's what FDR would do.

Silly, nit-picking taxes are not the answer.

I cannot believe the whining that has taken place the last 72 hours because the stock market has dropped three days in a row. The horror. After a 70% rise in the stock market indices, we've pulled back a mere 4%... so we're back to December 31 levels. Whoopdy doo. In no way should stock market performance be a deterrent to promoting regulation and legislation to prevent another financial meltdown. If Bank of America stockholders are that concerned, then they should vote for a break up of the dysfunctional behemoth... same goes for Citigroup. Their shareholder value would soar. And why Goldman Sachs is still publicly traded is beyond me.


Health Care Reform

Your signature legislation of an all-in-one healthcare bill is dead. Now is the time to go about this in a piecemeal fashion, and it may even turn out better: first, disallow health insurance companies from denying benefits due to pre-existing illness, and second, restrict health-insurance companies from canceling insurance due to illness or loss of jobs. Not even the most recalcitrant Republican can vote against these popular measures, and even if they do, since they are not omnibus bills only 51 votes would be needed for each of these to pass.

At this point insurance companies will come crying to Congress that without an insurance mandate these measures will kill them. They can't be required to accept just anyone onto their roles without ensuring that even the healthy and wealthy are also required to sign up. Then the bargaining begins and offer the needed insurance mandate only if there is a public option and (not or) expansion of Medicare to 55 year-olds. That's how LBJ would rebuild the Great Society.

It's time to grow a pair, Mr. Obama. While it would have been nice to pass the all-one health care reform, that didn't happen, and besides it wasn't enough reform anyway. Now, the proper overhaul can get done and the American people will be better off for it. It would have been nice if the banks and investment houses would have reformed on their own, but, come on, I know you aren't that naive. Jettison Larry Summers and Tim Geithner, and bring in some acolytes of Paul Volcker.

What this country needs is some good ol fashioned populist outrage. This Scott Brown guy isn't as bad as the progressives and left wing make him out to be. He's a bit too authoritarian for my liking, but he voted for the Massachusetts universal health care bill and he realizes that the financial industry needs to be reigned in. Let's face it, Republicans in Massachusetts are more like Democrats from Nebraska than anything else.


It's crunch time.





Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sen Webb and his Re-Election



Democratic Sen. Jim Webb today said that we should wait for Sen. Brown to be admitted before any votes on health care take place. It's only fair that the voters of Massachusetts be represented on such an important issue. As one commenter has noted on another site, in 1998 the Republicans had lost several seats in the House and Senate midterm elections, yet they went ahead with the impeachment of Bill Clinton before the new Democratic legislators could be seated. So much for respect for voters wishes.

“In many ways the campaign in Massachusetts became a referendum not only on health care reform but also on the openness and integrity of our government process,” Mr. Webb said. “It is vital that we restore the respect of the American people in our system of government and in our leaders. To that end, I believe it would only be fair and prudent that we suspend further votes on health care legislation until Senator-elect Brown is seated."

Huh? Prudent? Massachusetts already has universal coverage. The rest of us don't.

I think Sen. Webb has a lot of nerve allowing the failure of health care reform because of a "principle" which is defective and has not been applied by the opposition in the past. This all is just pseudo-statesmanship and is further evidence that the Democratic Party is losing its ability to govern. First they make up a requirement that 60 votes are needed because this is "important "legislation." Complete bullshit. If it's really important legislation and this is a good bill then pass it with 51 votes. Is it really more important than impeaching a president?

If a recent Harvard study is to be believed, 45,000 Americans die every year due to lack of health insurance. So Sen. Webb's pseudo-principle trumps the lives of 45,000 people. I don't want to overstate the drama of such a large number but even if it were 5000 people per year that would be too many. Even if no lives were saved but we could reduce costs and improve insurance coverage that would be reason enough to pass legislation with 51 votes.

The current bill has many moving parts and that is the nature of such wide ranging legislation, which is necessary to reform such a broad-based industry. Half measures never work because players in the economic system will merely seek out loopholes on which to capitalize.

At least the Republican party has principles. They have stated clearly that they want to kill health care reform. They do not believe that working class folks deserve a break. and the GOP is sticking to its principles. Health care stocks are up!


The Democratic Party has no principles and they continue this game of attempting to read tea leaves to garner some advantage in the next election. If the purpose of health care reform is to reform health care then pass this bill now; if the purpose of health care reform is to allow opponents to tear it asunder, then wait for Sen. Brown to take his seat.

But, Sen. Webb, the working parent with two kids is watching and she will vote in the next election. The small business owner whose health-care costs have risen 50% in the last eight years is watching and he will vote in the next election. The majority of physicians who are in favor of health care reform are watching and they will vote in the next election.

Good luck in the next election Sen. Webb, you'll need it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Health care reform: Abandon Hope

One of the most annoying themes of the Obama campaign was the slogan of "Hope", which also played a minor role in the Clinton campaigns, playing off Clinton's birthplace: The man from Hope (Arkansas). Clinton, however, proved to be a pragmatic executive over eight years which showed that the "hope" language was not his modus operandi.

President Obama is at a crucial juncture in his embattled tenure. Sure he has had more than a president's fair share of detritus to clean up, but now we see his signature legislation in danger of failure due to the Senatorial election in Massachusetts today. The Ted Kennedy seat may go to a Republican for the first time in a couple generations, and to a candidate campaigning primarily against the current health care reform.

Chuck Todd today on MSNBC said the Democrats are "still hoping" that the seat won't be lost and thus the bill will be salvaged. Hope? There is a sage Buddhist sermon from the first part of the eightfold path that calls for us to "abandon hope" and thereby "abandon fear."

The Democratic health care reform bill is replete with hope and fear. Fear of public options, universal coverage, hope of bending cost curves, etc. Instead of doing the right thing, the bill has lost its purpose and has become a sell-out to business interests and tea partiers. To be frank, we're better off without it. And i've been of the mind that we are just one small step closer to the proper solution: single payer.

If a public option is preferable, then put it in. If you want to bend the cost curve down, then spell it out explicitly. If universal health care is better than the patchwork bullshit we have now, then mandate it. The problem with the Democratic authors of this bill is that they not only sold out to their lobbyists' interests, they sold out the basic principles of governance. Pussies.

Massachusetts has state-run universal health care, so why the hell do they need to support national health care reform? They got theirs. What do they need Coakley for?

The main thesis is that preventive and proactive health care is cost-effective. Poor people would be less of a burden if they had regular access to the medical complex. Republicans don’t believe this; and that’s costing a lot of money in the long run. A 24 y/o woman with two kids might be able to avoid another pregnancy if she has access to a doctor for birth control, or better, a sterilization. Instead, we pay for her prenatal care and her kid’s Medicaid, and her kid’s kids’ Medicaid since she will likely get pregnant at age 16, too. All because you didn’t want to give her $100 worth of birth control or provide a tubal ligation for a few hundred dollars. Now that's stupid.

But this is what is happening. We fear calling it like it is, and we hope it will all work out in the end. The result is a costly, unworkable system that spirals out of control. The current health care reform has no stalwart backers from either side. On one side are the Medicare recipients and people with insurance who see no problem. On the other side are people who understand that this bill doesn't solve the problem of poor access and runaway costs. Anybody paying attention to the crisis in health care knows that these half measures are often worse than doing nothing at all.

Can we afford 17% of our GDP in health care costs? The answer lies not in hope or fear. And the voters will choose to shuffle the deck (again). Abandon hope, abandon fear, get health care reform done.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Beck + Palin = OMFG!


Now this really is a whole lotta stupid. If you have ever considered either of these two nimrods insightful, if you have ever considered voting for either one for a public office, if you have the least bit of interest in the what the "conservative" movement has become...

... then watch this video of perhaps the most inane 13 minutes I've ever seen on television.

Here are my thoughts as I was watching.

1. Okay, okay, Glenn tries to disarm critics in the first few minutes by predicting "they're going to call us stupid." Nice try, moron.

2. McCain, the evil progressive, was for TARP bailouts. Wait a minute! I distinctly remember both of these yahoos were for the TARP bailouts, too!

3. Alaska made "adjustments" for the oil companies? Wait a minute! Those are taxes, ie, re-distribution of oil wealth to the people! Socialists!

4. How the hell is health insurance reform a violation of the 10th Amendment? Did she go to the John Yoo School of Constitutional law?

Sure enough, Media Matters has great documentation to corroborate my memory. This is a real problem for the Republican party and for the conservative movement since only the most irrational voters could find such inaccurate pabulum the least bit palatable.

Then try to harken back to the days when conservatives had an intellectual foundation, when Bill Buckley roamed the airwaves and sought out liberals with whom to cross swords on broad ranging topics. Today's conservatives would rather laze about in a beach house smirking to each other about the Statue of Liberty and misinterpreting the 10th Amendment.

Buckley, whether you agreed with him or not, bravely tilted into the breach:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

McGwire "Lies" and media has double standard

From Eschaton:

Just to compare and contrast Mark McGwire with, say, Rudy Giuliani. While McGwire was called a "liar" yesterday, last week when Rudy said there were no domestic terror attacks under George Bush it was said -- hours later -- that he was "not quite correct".

Ooooh, and Brian Williams is miffed! (Fourth estate, yeah right.) And Pierce nails it, short and sweet.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Democrats excuse racism?


Okay, a quick post, no references. This weekend Liz Cheney castigated the "liberal establishment" for being "silent" on Harry Reid's "racist" 2008 comment about then-candidate Barack Obama's light skin and lack of a "negro accent" and compared it to the public dressing down that Trent Lott got when he was Senate leader.

All Harry Reid said was the truth, white people would indeed view Obama differently than, say, Jesse Jackson, the use of the word "negro" notwithstanding. Poor Trent Lott, on the other hand-- he didn't mean nuthin'.

Let's remember the real history of why Trent Lott lost his job. Trent Lott said, in couched terms when praising Strom Thurmond's presidential run in 1948 as a segregationist candidate, that we would have been "better off if we had followed Strom's lead." Now this really is a racist statement and shows that little Liz has mastered the Orwellian technique of re-writing history.

And yet again, nobody calls out Liz Cheney on the substantive difference in the comments of Reid and Lott. If they were to do it just once maybe Dick's daughter would shut up.

Oh yeah, and remind me again what qualifies Liz Cheney to be on the Sunday talk shows over, say, Glenn Greenwald or even the Rude Pundit for that matter.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Giuliani wins the Orwell Award of the Week

If the internet tubes survive the cataclysmic destruction of Western civilization I will return to this clip from my mountainside bunker wi-fi connection for the gentle reminder of what precipitated our demise as a culture.

This is only one example of the hysterical lies that are currently being expounded and expanded on every news show I have seen in the last two weeks.


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



Ya. No terrorist attacks on Bush's watch---
except for the 4,000 civilians killed on 9-11!!!

Did history begin on 9-12-2001? Was Bush not required to know about the fatwa issued by Osama bin Laden in 1998? Or the bombing of two US embassies in the 1990's? Or the attack on the USS Cole in 2000? Terrorism has been around for a long time, even dating back to the Beirut barracks bombing in which hundred of US marines were killed, the Iranian hostage crisis, etc, etc. Of course, not only did a terrorist attack happen on Bush's watch... but it was the WORST terrorist attack in US history.

Rudy learned the lesson of George Orwell. If you are going to tell a lie, make sure it's a BIG fucking lie. In fact, make sure it's the biggest fucking lie you could think up.

The fact that an asshole like Rudy Giuliani (and multiple other Republican tards) can go on cable or network show and breezily lie about Bush's "clean record" on terror is one thing, but the unbelievable bit of this clip is the complete lack of push back by the supposed pundit intelligentsia. The duty of the fourth estate is to protect society from the propagation of these very untruths.

I love Mika's face on this clip: blank stare. I wouldn't expect Scarborough to call out Rudy, but the panel that morning also included Mike Barnicle, the crusty newspaperman, and Willie Geist, the slightly sarcastic pop culture aficionado. Perhaps the media are just becoming fatigued from the daily onslaught of lies by GOP operatives the past 10 years. It's like the fire hydrant principle: the flow is so voluminous, what's the point of trying to stop a few drops?

On another show, Giuliani let fly the exact same falsehood to George Stephanopoulos who also let it go unchecked. Later, George issued an apology: “All of you who have pointed out that I should have pressed him on that misstatement in the moment are right. My mistake, my responsibility.”

From wiki: "The adjective Orwellian describes the situation, idea, or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free society. It connotes an attitude and a policy of control by propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the past..."

I'm not sure if Giuliani actually believes these lies the he tells over and over, or if he is purposely trying to deceive, and I'm not sure it even matters. Why anyone would seek out Giuliani's opinion on anything is beyond me. These guys are bad. Really just bad people.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

"Yeah, but, you never said why they attack us"

Greenwald has a typically excellent piece concerning the disregard we have for motivations of the terrorists. If you read one column every day, you should make it Greenwald.

Does anyone perform surgery without knowing why it needed to be done?

Special note should be made in the video at how the venerable Ms. Thomas is summarily dismissed by the next correspondent asking a question. Abhorrent.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Mumbai versus Mayo?

Crazy Beck helps with a question I've always wondered about. Thanks, Glenn.

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WTF, let's do two Stewart videos about Fox tonight.

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Monday, January 04, 2010

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Tiger, time to find Jesus?

Brit Hume proselytizes the Chosen One, and disses Buddhism in the process:


When does apparently well-meaning evangelism become naked arrogance? (And yes, I did punctuate with a cavuto.)

Cheney, the lone nutjob

Other Bush officials seem to disagree with former VP Richard Cheney. From Meet the Press today:

Bush CIA and National Security Agency chief Mike Hayden: "I am heartened by the fact that the president consistently says we are at war with al-Qaeda and its affiliates."

Bush Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, regarding Current Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano: "I've known her for a long time. She's got a good skill set, she's got great experience, her heart's in the right place, and I, I heartily endorse her."

This is not to say that a major failure of of our security apparatus has not occurred, obviously it has.