Saturday, September 20, 2008

Don't fall for it.

Look at this number.


That's ten billion, three hundred and eighteen million, dollars.

That's how much profit health care insurance companies made in one year, as of the April 17th, 2006 issue of Fortune.

None of that money went to healthcare.

This is always the excuse the Republicans give: "Oh, we can't afford that."

Yet, they can afford wars and Wall Street bailouts. Which are much, much, much more expensive, AND do not create anything in return.

So, don't fall into their frame.

Every penny of profit the insurance company makes from health care is now up for grabs. That is a considerable amount of money, isn't it? And yet, in terms of getting healthcare to people, it's all wasted.

If a parent spends money on drunken expeditions to Vegas, and then claims they can't buy the kids shoes, we call them on it.

We don't need the insurance companies to give us healthcare.

We don't need drunken expeditions to Vegas.

Call them on it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

McCain is the X Million Dollar Man, Only Evil

How much have McCain's surgeries, just in the last eight years, cost?

Find out how much surgery he’s had since 2000, and run him as the X
million dollar man. (I have not had a chance to research it, and we
want it to be accurate.)

How many of us could afford this much treatment of even a deadly disease, such as McCain's?

You know, his health plan would tax any health care benefits people receive from their employers. Ironically, forcing people to drop it would take the burden off of employers, and then they will have to drop it because they can no longer afford coverage without such economies of scale.

Thanks for the tax break, Senator McCain.

And then very few people would have health insurance. Thank you, Senator McCain, whose wife wore an outfit estimated at $300,000 dollars. Admittedly, retail.

But hey, it’s fine to run McCain at this age. Evil geniuses take time to develop that much fine tuned rage and sadism. Don't push them!

He's ready and experienced. And he already has minions.

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures
see Sarah Palin pictures

So be pleased with what our tax dollars have wrought.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The tide, it turns

A liberal pundit soars to a prominent perch - The Boston Globe: "'MSNBC is trying to define a niche for itself as a center for commentary,' said Sid Bedingfield, a former CNN executive who teaches journalism at the University of South Carolina. 'It wants to be the home for liberal and left-wing viewers.'"

Well, hey, that's a home I can feel comfy in. With the advent of Rachel Maddow's new show, there are now two truth-tellers on television.

It's that simple.

Calling them liberal simply points up Stephen Colbert's well known saying, "Reality has a strong liberal bias." It takes a lot of spin, propaganda, and outright lies to keep this lead balloon floating; keeping people thinking Republicans have some kind of solution to the problems they have created.

Supposedly, Will Rogers said, "Stupidity got us into this situation. Why can't it get us out?"

As upset as I get over people coming to conclusions based on scraps of wrong knowledge, I have to admit that our common media outlets simply do not make it easy. On purpose.

As I mentioned in this post, our news outlets don't particularly want us to come away from their program with a set of well-formed, well-informed, outlooks on the issues. They sow confusion, leave important conclusions hanging, and dart in and out of a story until all possible thread is lost.

Watching the television news, without any other context, makes it impossible to figure out what is really going on.

And that is its purpose. The illusion of being informed.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Reaching the Republican Oppressed

I think there's a chunk of the electorate that is waiting to be reached.

The really disaffected Republican voters. Not the ones who whisper to Obama. But the ones on a tier below that. I think of them as the Republican Oppressed.

In many Republican circles, one is the Alpha Dog... or one is nothing. From a community to a workplace to the family, this is simply how they arrange themselves. That leaves a lot of people doing all the grunt work, with little appreciation.

Deep in their hearts, they do think racism is wrong, that women are smart, that their physical problem or sexual orientation shouldn't make them feel less than human. Yet they are stuck in a deep red sea, unable to openly retaliate, dependent on people they secretly resent for treating them this way.

They aren't going to talk on the phone. They aren't going to speak in the street. One would have to reach them with a line in a speech.

Reach these people, the Republican Oppressed, by telling them:

You are not nothing. You matter.

They could nurture in their hearts a way of striking back. A way no one need know about. Alone in the ballot box, it could be their secret.

You are not nothing. You matter.

I think they would vote for someone, anyone, who would tell them that.

You are not nothing. You matter.

There would be an extraordinary psychological pull towards someone saying that to them.

Because no one ever has.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I See Dead People

When I watched the Republican National Convention, what is most striking is what I don't see.

I don't see a packed hall, possibly because Ron Paul pulled 10,000 into his competing rally.

I don't see many non-white faces.

I don't see enthusiasm, except for the images of the dead and the descriptions of torture.

Then there's Sarah Palin. A pick that the Base and some loyal syncophants in the press will love, and will turn off everyone else.

It's been a week now, and while it will take a while for the polls to settle down, interviews with such small town, blue collar voters that might have been persuaded shows that they have not been.

It is premature to pronounce this party down for the count, of course. But it has been traditional for the primary winner to swing wide, having secured their base. Now is the time they reach out to as-yet uncommitted voters.

But the McCain campaign didn't do that. They pulled in, and made a pick that was meant to secure their base.

This is a campaign in trouble.

No matter how they court hernias to spin how this is all "good for Republicans," that's a clear sign of trouble to all savvy watchers.

So now they know they are not fooling insiders. This unmistakable signal of weakness, coupled with denying access to the vice presidential candidate, will increase press hostility.

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures
see Sarah Palin pictures

This is the slow grind of attrition, the horror of being behind. It doesn't matter when the contest is starting out, but scrambling to stop a slow bleed at this point, right after the convention, is a danger sign.

In the 26 states and the District of Columbia where registration data were available, the total number of registered Democrats increased by 214,656, while the number of Republicans fell by 1,407,971. | Voters abandon GOP for Dems, 8/5/08

That's some astonishing numbers. It's clear that a lot of people want to be Democrats... and an awful lot of people don't want to be Republicans.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

They are ghouls. Make it stop.

At the age of ten, I was subjected to child abuse.

Republicans wouldn't think so. I sat through a two hour evangelical sermon by one of those fire and brimstone speakers who did Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ for the blind.

By the end of it, I was a quivering mass of fear and empathetic pain. It pleased the people who put on the show. They came down to smile upon the children, and told us not to sin anymore.

This is how I felt, watching Fred Thompson, in excruciating detail, outline all the torments and tortures inflicted on John McCain during his captivity as a POW.

In front of the man's mother.

These people are sick. They are twisted worshipers of death who are all too eager to share their joy. I expected the Ronald Reagan tribute. They exhume him every chance they get. But I didn't expect to get all queasy and have an evangelical flashback.

It's them. They love inflicting pain. They really do.

Merciful heaven, they must be stopped.

Fortunately, in the classic "evil sows the seeds of its own destruction" way, they will die of attrition, which is more merciful than anything they have shown their many victims.

A Pew poll released this week showed that by 2007, the number of white evangelical Protestants leaning toward the Republicans was 57 per cent — down from 62 per cent in 2004. The decline of America's religious right

Because, despite the obvious drawbacks of Palin on the ticket, they are going to soldier on. No matter what she will reveal next, it's a good thing.

At last, at long last, I believe they have reached a level where people will be ashamed to vote for them.

And they should be.